2012 Nanseikan Kangeiko Report
Last Saturday we had one of our biggest Kangeiko. This was thanks to the members of various VKR clubs that supported us by coming for a day of frozen feet, miso soup and lots of keiko.
The day's focus was metsuke, and we looked at a range of waza that tested our ability to maintain an even and impenetrable gaze. I was very happy when some of MUKEN's newest members thanked me afterwards for a training session where they got to do a lot of new things, including how to perform and receive tsuki.
the evening group
By the end we had a few extra faces, replacing the people who had to leave early. We finished as we usually do with a marathon session of jigeiko. Kind of the Kendo equivalent of an Emerson, Lake and Palmer double album. Ninety minutes of non-stop improvisation!
The dinner afterwards was a great success too, with former NSKers I hadn't seen for a while: Kurt, Richard, Geoffrey, Paul, Luke and Robert. Special thanks to Macak sensei for coming along for the dinner. Also to Gary Oliver and Fujiwara sensei who sent messages of support. Caleb went one better and sent a video greeting from Taiwan.
There were other members who couldn't be there, some because they were travelling and some because we just couldn't get in touch. I was thinking of all those people and hoping they doing OK. It really has been a honour to be part of so many young people's lives, and the closest thing to immortality you can get in this life. And of course we remembered those we have lost:
- Ron "Benno" Bennett sensei. He was a paradox: an Aussie Bodhisattva, a hard man from the bush who just radiated love. One of the founders of Australian Kendo.
- Jamie Fennessy sensei. Our most prodigiously talented kenshi, who achieved 7th dan in 1990, an unheard-of feat for a non-Japanese at that time. He left us too soon.
- And of course Nagae sensei, who lived a full and complete life, and who dedicated so much of it to us.