End of term 1 2012 beginners' course

Another very successful beginners' course has ended. I'm very excited to see so many people in the dojo and I hope you will all continue on next term. What makes me really happy is seeing such a mix of ages training together, especially family members. And of course having a dojo that is getting almost too full is really, really great. 

It's a good sign that with my back against the corner of the dojo, I still can't get everyone in the frame in this photo!

This term we used the bokuto kihon as the basis of our introduction to Kendo for our new members, and if you scroll down a bit you will find a previous post with an excellent video and the list of what the techniques are, for your future reference. We will revisit the Bokuto Kihon regularly, as well as looking at Kendo Kata.

Throughout the term we also played some games, like the now world-famous tama-komigeiko (tama meaning "ball" in Japanese)! It's always good to have games from time to time, as well as serious technical training.

Last lesson we transposed the Bokuto Kihon to using shinai. We only had time to look at the basics cuts of Kihon ichi, but we will return to using the Bokuto Kihon as a way of practicing all the other attacking and counter-attacking waza. We also practiced the difference between the Bokuto Kihon (and indeed Kata) approach, with its sliding footwork (suriashi) and zanshin moving backwards, and the more dynamic "sëmë"* kind of practice, where we step into distance, cut, and follow through dynamically using small, continuous footwork. The latter is how we perform Kendo generally with the shinai.

We also learned about taking apart the shinai, as well as how to put away the bogu. All these procedures have a particular method in Kendo, and it seems a lot of stuff to remember at first, but once you learn it, it never changes.

Finally, it's good to have so many people in bogu. Thanks to our experienced members for helping out so much with the new members and for putting the introduction of Kendo to the beginners ahead of their own personal development. It's also fantastic to have so many people returning to regular training.

So during the holidays, please keep up your solo practice. Here is last year's video which is a good template for what to do while you're waiting for next term.

Have a Happy Easter and I will see you on all 20 April.

* seme is a hard word to write in the Roman alphabet. If you write it just as "seme" then the first-time reader thinks it is pronounced "seem". Perhaps just keep in mind that when you see "seme" in a Kendo context, it is pronounced "seh-meh". :)


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