Showing posts from 2015

Happy New Year 2016

あけましておめでとうございます! I look forward to training with all of you in the coming year, 2016, the Year of the Monkey.  Let's work hard to lift each other's Kendo!

Star Wars - Origins of the Light Sabre Duel

So here it is, the doco on the connection between Kendo and the swordsmanship of Star Wars. "You just took your first step into a larger universe." Enjoy.

2015 Shochugeiko

We were lucky that a mild day was forecast for this year's Shochugeiko. A smaller crowd this year, but from my point of view, probably the best gasshuku yet in terms of what we covered and how well we did it. Here's the crew who started the day... ...this is just before the final session, taken because Gazzaniga sensei had to leave to meet Tashiro sensei at the airport... ...and at the end. Mostly still smiling... The tell-tale sweat patches show that it was a good day! I will post soon on Shugo-Nanseikan with a technical summary of the day and a reminder of the main points. In the meantime, before you go into the break, a good opportunity with the hot weather forecast for the next week to wash your hakama . Here's a little reminder (for those with 100% cotton hakama): Fold your hakama properly along all the pleats and wash in luke warm water in a large trough or in the bath. I use wool wash mixtur

Mifune accepts challenges from high level students

This is a fantastic old film of one of the greats of Judo, Mifune Kyuzo sensei (10th dan).  If only there were as comprehensive film records of the greats of Kendo like Mochida, Ogawa, Saito et al. Even though I'm no Judo man, it's great to see Mifune's softness, "like an empty jacket" as one of the commenters puts it. I have no doubt that any of his challengers would put me flat on the mat in a heartbeat! The other thing I find astounding is the range of ways that Mifune disrupts his opponents' attacks. If you watch this on Youtube and see the links you might be tempted to watch some modern videos from the IJF. If you do, you'll see amazing athleticism, but be warned you'll also see such awful reiho that your eyes will bleed.

Zanshin for kote

Go to 19:36. This is Sawada sensei's explanation to his students of the correct method for zanshin after kote, as mentioned at training today. A brief summary of his points: the title says the technique is "tobikomi kote" (the girls are obviously taught to drive forward strongly after kote) After striking kote, raise the sword but keep your left fist as the pivot point, in other words at at the same height, don't move it up or down but keep it in the centre, in front of your hara . It is in this position that you move forward and crash into your opponent. There should be a definite space between your hands and your body, as there should be in your kamae also; that is, there should be space between your left fist and your stomach. Don't let this position crumble on contact with your opponent so that the space between your hands and your body disappears. If it does, you won't be able to do a hiki waza (cut going backwards) if the need arises. If

New training format in term 4 2015

Please note a new training format page under the tabs above. This new format is being trialled to maximise our short time in the dojo. It puts the onus on Nanseikan students to practice more suburi at home, to free up time for kata practice and intensive shinai kendo training.

Mumeishi 3s 25th anniversary competition

This year I think we can aim for at least one team if not two: let's make it happen! Dear All Australian Kendo Renmei Affiliated Kendo Club, It is with great excitement that we invite you to join in the celebrations of Mumeishi Australia’s 25 th Anniversary event by participating in the 2015 Mumeishi 3’s Kendo Clubs Championships. Date:              Saturday December 5 th 2015 Location:       Beaconhills College Human Movement Centre 30-34 Toomuc Valley Road Pakenham, Victoria 3810 Melways Ref: 317 A4 Time:               Doors open 8.30am for warm-up/registration                         Opening Ceremony 9.30am                         First match 10am Cost:                $40 per team of 3     ·       Each club may register two teams (A and B). ·       Competitors are to be registered on the seperate registration form. ·       Teams are to be comprised of 3 kendoka wit

New tenugui have arrived!

Our first ever Nanseikan tenugui! Beautifully printed by Zen Sankei in Japan they are a faithful rendition of Ishihara sensei's calligraphy "shuu sho ichi nyo".

Do kirikaeshi drill by primary school kids

Kaeshi-do drill. The Japanese caption says the first kenshi is in grade 3, the second in grade 6 and the last in grade 2. Don't feel inadequate! :) b

Japan's best high school kendo training routines

Komeda Toshiro sensei, instructor of Kyushu Gakuin Kendo Club This video is part of a series focusing on successful high school kendo clubs in Japan and their training methods. The two schools here, one girls' club and one boys' club, have a range of interesting training drills. Although the level may seem daunting, there's still a lot we can learn from watching the movement of these young people, namely loose, flexible wrists and smooth footwork. The schools are Yatsushiro Shirayuri Gakuen and Kyushu Gakuin, both in Kumamoto Prefecture.  

STOP PRESS! This Saturday's training CANCELLED.

I've just been informed that the hall will not be available this Saturday because the school will be having an event. Sorry about the late notice. I was told about it earlier in the year but didn't have a firm date. We will be on as usual the following Saturday.

Term 4 starts this Saturday

Term 4, the last term for 2015 starts this Saturday 10 October. This term we will be trialling a new warm-up and cool-down format that puts more emphasis on the cool-down. The warm-up will be much quicker and we will get into bogu and be doing kihon much faster. The warm-up and cool down format will use some basic Yoga poses as the starting point, concentrating on correct posture as well as the usual benefits of stretching and balance. This term we will spend the first hour to hour and a half on shinai kendo, and the second part on Nihon Kendo Kata . We will also have a look at how our usual training drills tie in with the latest knowledge on High Intensity Interval Training . While it is up on iview, this Catalyst program is well-worth watching. I'd be interested to know your thoughts and experiences in this area. EDIT: Check out this guy as well. EVENTS On a date in October (possibly Sunday 22nd) , the VKR will be reinstating the Victorian Junior Kendo Champ

Nihon Kendo Kata demonstration - more holiday viewing

I don't know these sensei's names but watching their kata is great mitorigeiko (training by watching). Study this well, as Musashi would say. b

Some holiday viewing - Shozo Kato sensei

In this post I suggest that one of the things you should do when not training is watch good Kendo on Youtube. To that end, here's a short and inspiring piece about Kato sensei from New York, the first 'foreigner' to pass the hachidan exam in Japan. I believe he is a photographer by trade, hence his talking about 'beauty'. Would love to have seen more of his Kendo, but beautifully shot and very poetic. Hope it inspires you to get out and do your daily suburi!  b

September grading results and term 4 start date

Congratulations to those who passed their kyu gradings last Sunday. There was a huge group, 97 people in all, making it quite a long afternoon. As usual the biggest group was 6th kyu and the smallest was the last group, 2nd kyu. Next term starts on 10 October. It will be the day we first use our new joseki , which I'm very excited about. Ever since the club first started I've wanted the joseki to be a piece by Ishihara sensei.  The second thing I'm very excited about is related to this, but won't be ready for the start of term. Yes, it's our very own NSK tenugui. The club has needed one of these too, for a long time, but cost and not having a suitable design got in the way. Now that we have a suitable design, the cost was surmountable. Couldn't order as many as I would have liked, but hopefully enough for now. It is being produced by Zen Sankei. Cain Lee was a great help at every step. They are highly recommended for

Upcoming gradings

The September gradings are approaching. The first is 6 kyu to 2 kyu and is on Sunday 13th. The next is 1 kyu to 3 dan and it's Sunday 20th. Both are in the afternoon, registrations 12.30 for a 1pm start. Candidates for 6 and 5 kyu wear do and tare. All others wear full bogu. Be prepared to double-grade. Always stay to watch the gradings above you: that will be you next time. Make sure you are wearing everything correctly. If you're not sure, ask! Ganbatte kudasai!

Tsuki uchikaeshi at Nanseikan

This is a recent version of uchikaeshi, it's our way of practising tsuki as part of the uchikaeshi pattern. Here you can see katatezuki (one-handed tsuki). The pattern is five tsuki, nine sayumen (four forward and five backwards) and then one tsuki to finish off. As you can see in the video, after each tsuki, the motodachi has to absorb a bit and moves back a step. But of course there is no follow through in the sense of going past the opponent. We also do a morotezuki (two-handed tsuki) version of the same pattern. We also practice tsuki-men uchikaeshi, usually using katatezuki in order to practice hand agility in releasing and regripping the tsuka.

Ozawa sensei does debana kote

Watch for his body movement after he makes the cut. The video should start at 1:00, but if it doesn't, that's where to start watching. b

Osaka Kendo Police performing kirikaeshi

Also as mentioned at training this morning.  b

2015 Victorian Kendo Championships

I helped out at the VKC today and I really think we should aim to enter a team next year. Some of the competition from day 2: women's team and men's open team events Posted by Nanseikan Kendo Club on  Sunday, 16 August 2015

New beginners' course starts today

So for all new beginners, please click here to download the Nanseikan Beginners' Course Manual.

Term 3 starts his Saturday

Things to be aware of this term: Victorian Kendo Championships next month Beginners' course starts 8 August All those who were training regularly last term have had their VKR/AKR annual membership submitted and paid for. Please organised your payment as soon as possible. BS

VKR membership fees due for year 2015-16

It is membership renewal time again. Until such time as the VKR devises an user-operated online membership portal, I have to submit all memberships manually. So, if you not currently not training, but you: imagine you will return to training soon, or have no specific return date for training but wish to maintain membership for other reasons (e.g. retaining your grade, supporting the organisation, etc) need to email me a.s.a.p. to let me know your intentions.  I will only renew your membership if you are currently training, or if you get in touch with me before 27 June.  NOTE 1: it is not necessary to send any money at this stage. The VKR will invoice me for the total amount when they process the application. Above is the schedule of fees and how they break down for each art in the VKR (Kendo, Iaido, Jodo).  The way it works is: AKR fee + VKR fee + discipline fee + insurance = total due. For example 20 + 29 + 10 + 11 = $70. This is the amount payable for a

16th World Kendo Championships in Tokyo

Today is day two of the the 16 WKC. There are some live streaming channels from each court: http:// http:// http:// Thanks to the Canadian Kendo Federation 16 WKC Facebook page for those links. The All Japan Kendo Federation' site, where all official results will be published is Kendo World has coverage of yesterday's opening ceremony

2015 MUKEN Taikai

Happy May Day to all! The 2015 MUKEN Taikai is coming at the end of this month. It is one of the best taikai for newer kenshi because it has 'upper' and 'lower' kyu grade divisions, and also a division for people who have only been training since 2014. Please see this message below from Jularaj about the details.

Competition dates for 2015 updated

See For explanation of the different formats of these competitions, see here:

Nanseikan's new Red Bubble shop

Red Bubble is an art marketplace where you can upload your designs and then people can choose to purchase them in different forms. I've created a shop with some Kendo-related designs such as this one that says "Nanseikan" (南西館). As you can see this is an iPhone 6 case, but you can also choose it as a t-shirt, tote bag, hoodie, etc, etc. Here's another one: At the moment there are four designs. I'll upload more as I come up with them. Check it out. Maybe you need a new hoodie for winter...? PS - Term 2 starts next Saturday

Michi Martial Arts back online

Good news! Michi Martial Arts are back, and with a very cool looking new site. Please consider them for your next purchase. Thanks to reader Marc for alerting me.

New equipment suppliers 2015

Recently there have been a few changes in the online (and offline) Kendo equipment world: Tan's Martial Arts in Lygon St has closed Michi Martial Arts' website is no longer up So here is an updated list of some newer sites worth checking out. Kendo This site is run by All Japan Budogu so the standards of service are very high and their products are excellent. I've ordered some small bogu and they're well made and very flexible. The biggest sizes they make would fit up to a small 12 year old. Free shipping like all AJB sites, but prices are set in US dollars so currently we lose out on the exchange rate. All Japan Budogu Started by Andy Fisher and run from Kumamoto, AJB have created a small revolution in online equipment retailing. Their quality is high, their shipping is free and their service is fast and excellent. It was Andy who sourced Nanseikan's hitting dummy when it was not even a product they offered. They are good fo

Important Dates for 2015

Here are some relevant dates from the VKR Calendar. Please read and consider which events might be appropriate for you, as well as your availability. Gradings 6 kyu - 2 kyu.............................................Sunday 8 March 1 kyu - 4 dan.............................................Sunday 22 March 6 kyu - 2 kyu.............................................Sunday 13 September 1 kyu - 4 dan.............................................Sunday 27 September Meetings VKR AGM................................................Sunday 29 March AKR AGM................................................Friday 3 April VKR Delegates' meetings..........................Sunday 17 May                                                                     Sunday 9 August                                                                     Sunday 8 November Competitions Australian Kendo Championships (MSAC, Albert Park).................................Sat/Sun 4 & 5 April M

Happy New Year!

あけましておめでとうございます! Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu! I hope everyone has a healthy and rewarding 2015. First training is on 31 January. Term one at Nanseikan sees a new beginners' course starting on 21 Feb and gradings in March. During the Easter break also sees the Australian Kendo Championships , to be held the weekend of Easter Saturday and Sunday at MSAC, Albert Park. There will be a great need for volunteers to help set-up, run, and pack up the event. Please have a think about your availability over that weekend and let me know. Our focus this term will be footwork , not just the different forms of footwork but also timing, rhythm and distance.