Showing posts from 2013

2013 Japan trip report

Finally I have a chance to sit down and compile a report about my trip to Japan. It was a very busy three weeks, with a lots of Kendo and even more non-Kendo activities. As most of you know, I was also taking my family with me, so after the grading it was family-oriented, with a little bit of Kendo on the side. First, I landed in Ikebukuro, one of the inner 'suburbs' of Tokyo. Khay-Lin Teoh sensei from Fudoshin Kendo Club and I were both staying in the same ryokan (Japanese-style inn). Here is K-L sensei standing out front of the Nippon Budokan, venue for the grading. And me looking sick/serious/grumpy. I really wasn't feeling as bad as I look in this photo, believe me! Both K-L sensei and I had been for 6th dan in Japan before, so we weren't as nervous this time. Warm-ups happen wherever you can find space, either in the back corridors... ...or in the main stadium itself. The morning session was for candidates under the age o

new web address for Michi Martial Arts

Michi Martial Arts (formerly Michi Budou) is one of our favourite suppliers. Russ and Junko do a lot for the club in terms of service, like taking orders and hand-delivering them to training at the dojo. Please support them whenever you can, by considering them as suppliers for your equipment needs.

Change of training venue for Saturday 16th November

just Google "Kenshikan Dojo Melbourne for directions" Due to my involvement in the Interhigh Gasshuku on the weekend of 16-17 November, Nanseikan training will be at the Kenshikan on the Saturday. So Nanseikan training will be part of the first two sessions of the Gasshuku. Training will start around 9am, so get there normal time. 9am —10 am is scheduled for Kendo. 10.30am — 12.30am is scheduled as a Naginata introductory workshop. I'm really excited as I've only done Naginata once before! So next week, everyone will need to remember to take their bogu home, and bring it to Kenshikan the following Saturday. from the German Naginata Federation

The Kendo Reader by Noma Hisashi

As promised, here is a link to a great new translation in English of what is a seminal book on Kendo technique and philosophy. The Kendo Reader or Kendo Tokuhon by Noma Hisashi is a classic of Kendo literature and is now available here . I will write a bit more about it at a later date. But for now, it is highly recommended. I would buy the hard copy, which comes with a free digital download as well.

URGENT: Volunteers needed for this Saturday afternoon - a 15min Kendo demo!

I need some Nanseikan members to help out with a very short Kendo demo this coming Saturday afternoon, at Heidelberg Primary School, from 2.45 to 3.00pm. We would need to be ready by 2.30, so that would mean arriving no later than 2.00 at the school (parking will be difficult). There's no restriction on skill-level, anyone is welcome to volunteer! If you can do it, please send me a short text message on 0422 146 367. b

Term 4 starts Saturday12 October

...and goes until 14 December. The calendar for next year has been fully updated as well.

Grading success!

Congratulations to all those who graded last weekend. Everyone was successful. Max, Patrick, Quinn, Ben, Alex and Nick all graded to 6th kyu. Sean graded to 5th kyu, Jerry graded to 4th kyu and Alvin graded to 3rd kyu. Grading fees are now due. They are $15 for Max, Quinn and Alex, and $35 for everyone else. If you want to do a bank transfer, just shoot me a quick email, otherwise you can pay at training next Saturday.

Shoji Teramoto's Kendo documentary

As promised today at training: lots of interesting stuff to look at in spite of no subtitles. The life of a poor Kendo champion... And then a look at the kind of teaching that I aspire to... :)

Congratulations, and ACT Taikai

Congratulations to all those who graded last Sunday. I believe everyone passed. Now, on to the benenfits of membership and grading!: the ANU Kendo Club, has extended an invitation to all VKR kenshi to attend their 2013 seminar and Taikai. More details here: Also, there is a new artilce on " Shugo-Nanseikan " about the Kenshikan Dojo, which may be of interest to those who were visiting it for the first time on Sunday.

September grading details

grading at Kenshikan when it had the old floor Upcoming grading dates below.  If you are grading please make sure you take either your own, or club bogu with you.  6th kyu will only need to wear do and tare. 5th kyu and above wears full bogu. If you are grading please take full bogu and tenugui!  (shinai as well, of course!) It sometimes happens that people get asked to double grade, in which case you need to have everything there just in case. Grading for 6th Kyu - 2 Kyu: Date:  September 8, 2013 Time:  12.30 registration for 1 pm start Location:   Kenshikan Dojo, 91 Rosslyn Street West Melbourne VICTORIA 3003 Grading for 1st Kyu   - 3 or 4 Dan:   Date:  September 22, 2013 Time:   12.30 registration for 1 pm start Location:   Kenshikan Dojo, 91 Rosslyn Street West Melbourne VICTORIA 3003 Grading fees are $35 for kyu grades , payable after you pass. The VKR will invoice me after the grading    and I will collect fe

Welcome back to training - term 3, 2013 - dreaming of Japan!

looking at Osaka Castle, from the roof of Otemae HS, 2009 Yes, part of my mind is in Japan right now. Training for and planning my trip in November is well underway. In the meantime though, normal life goes on... Firstly, please bring your bokuto to training for the next few weeks, as we will be practicing the bokuo kihon with the beginners, who start next week. Also... from this year's kangeiko Kenji Sugimoto from MUKEN passed his 5th dan grading at the Kendo Leaders' Summer Camp in Kitamoto, Saitama Prefecture. Pics of last year's camp can be seen here . Well done Kenji! You finally get to sit on the other side of the dojo. Kenji is a much better kenshi that I was when I passed 5th dan. I think he'll easily pass 6th dan when he's eligible. Here is an old diagram I made to show what height to raise the shinai for the backswing of a cut. Both are considered a large swing. There's no need to lift the sword any higher or further back

2013 Kangeiko Report

the first men toré of the day This year's Kangeiko was cold — 0º C when we started. The Kendo gods were truly smiling on us! In spite of that we had an excellent turnout, boosted by large contingents from MUKEN and for the first time Monash Uni Kendo Club. Kyohei had three of his students accompany him from Benalla. Members from Fudoshin and MBK rounded out the numbers. In all, throughout the day we had 25 kenshi attend. practicing oji waza The focus of the day was shiai, with a particular focus on introducing new kenshi to some of the ideas and issues of shiai. From looking at the definition of Yuko Datotsu , we practiced basics with a shiai purpose, looked at common strategies and mistakes at different levels of shiai, and then put that into action in three mini shiaijo . Each shiaijo had at least two experience kenshi overseeing the matches: a single shinpan officiating and another observer who was called on at the end to give verbal feedback. The begin

2013 Nanseikan Kangeiko

This year's Kangeiko will be on Saturday 22 June from 9 am until 5 pm. Kangeiko is a special training session that takes place in the coldest part of the year and  is usually an extended training that tests endurance. It also gives us a chance to cover a lot more things than a regular training. As usual this is also the last training for Nanseikan in term two. We will be following the same format as in previous years with breaks for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Morning tea and fruit will be provided but lunch is BYO. The focus of this Kangeiko will be shiai . Cost for Nanseikan members will be $10. Non-Nanseikan members $20.

2013 All Japan 8th dan Kendo Championships

As I mentioned at training yesterday, the 8th dan championships are probably the real pinnacle of Kendo competition in Japan. Watch particularly the opening bow to shomen as well as to each other. This is because it is the final. This is a good example of the bowing rituals or reigi saho for competition. You can also find other matches in the Youtube sidebar, since this is from the All Japan Kendo Renmei's channel, including some super-slow clips of winning points.

Keiichi Hashimoto visit / Hungarian kenshi's hansoku for throwing

Hashimoto-s. on left Keichi Hashimoto (Renshi 6 dan) will be visiting Melbourne for four days next weekend. Here is his training itinerary: Friday 3rd May  - VKR Friday night keiko (7:00pm warm up, 7:30pm start keiko) Saturday 4th May  - Open training at Kenshikan Dojo (2:00pm - 4:00pm) Sunday 5th May  - MBK training at Kenshikan Dojo (9:30am - 11:30am) After doing a little Google jutsu, I also found his Twitter account, his competitor profile on the All Japan Kendo Federation website, and an interview where he shows off his Hummer and talks about starting Kendo in kindergarten (!) and how his other passion is music. He apparently had a band and for a while considered giving up Kendo to focus on music. All bogu-wearing kenshi are welcome to join in training with him. Even newer members could benefit from watching him in action. Hungarian hansoku from this year's European Kendo Championships It looks like the video keeps getting deleted. First it wa

Term 2 classes start this Saturday

Momiji (Japanese maple) in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture, Autumn 2009 Autumn Term 2 starts this Saturday. It's a 10 week term and on the last Saturday we will have our annual Kangeiko , a special training that goes from 9am until 5pm. This term our focus will be on 1) integrating our new beginners  and 2) looking at the nuts and bolts of shiai , or competition. The aspects of shiai that we will look at most closely will be: correct procedure for competitors: reiho (etiquette) and basic rules yuko datotsu or what makes up a correct scoring point for more advanced students: competition strategy against different opponents introduction to being shinpan (referee) VKR AKR membership fees due Also, please be aware that in addition to term fees all membership fees will be due for Victorian Kendo Renmei and Australian Kendo Renmei. This is a single fee which members pay to the club and then I forward it to the VKR. It covers insurance, gradings and

Holiday training, in the holidays

This morning I went to MUKEN training. They have a training session every Wednesday morning from 7am til about 8.30am. It's a little different to some Kendo trainings because people tend to leave early if they have to go to work or lectures. But, like every VKR club, their training sessions are open to all VKR members, so feel free to join in if you have the time. There was also a very special visitor to training. We decided if he did Kendo he'd be a 9th dan sensei, based on his incredible self-control and lack of wasted movement! He is a tawny frogmouth ( podargus strigoides ) and as well as being incredibly cute, he is a nocturnal hunter related to, but different from an owl. Another surprise I received at today's training was the gift one of the new MUKEN tenugui . The story of the tenugui is below. Thanks to Viet and the the rest of the MUKEN Kendo club for the gift. These tenugui were designed by Takahiro Ueno, a calligrapher from Chiba, Japan. He is currently