Showing posts from 2017

Shochugeiko and other news

Shochugeiko will take place on Saturday 16 December from 9am to 5pm. Cost is $10 for Nanseikan members, $20 for VKR/AKR members. Snacks provided but BYO lunch. This year we will have a special guest Ekai Korematsu osho. Ekai osho is a Soto Zen priest and Abbot of Jikishoan Zen Buddhist Community in Melbourne . He is very familiar with Kendo having been involved in teaching Zen to some Hanshi 8-dans when he lived in Kumamoto. If you have a meditation cushion (like a zafu ) or stool, please bring it. Otherwise a firm cushion is fine. Ekai-osho's mini-workshop will start at 9.30am, after zokin and rei. WKC t-shirts and tenugui have arrived! The fund-raising tshirts and tenugui for the the Aussie team going to the WKCs next year have arrived, so we'll hand them out tomorrow to all those who ordered them. They look really good. Arpad Maksay sensei Kendo 6 dan Congratulations to Maksay sensei for passing his 6th dan exam on the first attempt! There w

Zekken ordering

Club zekken (also called nafuda) are required for all members who wear bogu. If you don't have one, you should order yours asap. They are made to order in Japan by Zen Sankei and are a once-off cost. Zekken pretty much last forever and you can easily transfer them from one set of bogu to another. The only exception is if you need a smaller size for children's bogu. In that case I would order a medium sized one. Otherwise for adults, order the large size. Here is the link: When entering your name, please type first name in sentence case, surname in all caps, e.g. "Jane SMITH" This is to avoid mistakes at the Japan end where family names come first and there can be confusion occasionally about which is which.  This zekken design is required by the AKR for all competitions. If you don't have one like this, you can't compete. And you don't want to be orderin

Weather warning: training to go ahead at this stage

With all of December's rainfall forecast to fall on us on Saturday, we must be aware of the possibility of the djo flooding and the need to cancel training. I will monitor the situation tomorrow and will keep you all updated. At this stage I don't imagine the Junior Championships at the Kenshikan on Sunday (12.30 for a 1pm start) should be affected and will go ahead as planned.


WWCCs All NSK members over the age of 18 should apply now for a Working With Children Card. It is free and the card lasts for five years. When you fill out the form, the volunteer organisation you should put is the Victorian Kendo Renmei: Organisation: Victorian Kendo Renmei Organisation Postal Address:  91 Rosslyn Street, West Melbourne, Victoria 3003 Organisation Phone Number: (please email me directly for this as it is a private number) As a state-govenment recognised organisation, the VKR also needs comply with VicSport's Child Safe guidelines. Please have a read through these: OBON Society / This is the organisation I told you about at training today. Here is a link to a news item about the Yosegaki Hinomaru  (soldier's good luck flag) return that Gazzaniga sensei attended earlier this year:

Wednesday night training is on this week!

And should be every week from now on for term 4. However for updates, click on "subscribe" in the masthead above.

Term 4 starts this Saturday + lots of news!

Welcome back! Term starts this Saturday. It will be good not to be freezing at the start of training! We will start with iai at 8.30 for those interested. Below is lots of news with  Action  items highlighted. New member We will be welcoming an adult visitor from Japan who wants to recommence her Kendo training while she studies English in Melbourne. I'm not sure how long she will be staying in Australia but that's something to look forward to nevertheless. Wednesday night training There will be no Wednesday night training this week (11 Oct). I will be unavailable next Wednesday (18 Oct) but training can go ahead if there are enough people who want to go. Action : Let me know this Saturday at training. Cherry Blossom Festival Kendo Demo Also, the Cherry Blossom Festival is this Sunday and I'd like to know who, apart from Sean, would be interested in taking part.  Action :  Please see previous post on this blog for details and let me know as

Kendo demo at the Cherry Blossom Festival

We have been asked to do a Kendo demo at this festival from 12.30 to 1pm. Ideally it would be great to have four people there to demonstrate, but the more the merrier! In 30 minutes I would hope to do some Kendo kata and also some shinai Kendo in full bogu. If you are interested in taking part please let me know.

Kendo Beginners' Holiday Homework

Reposting for Andy and Paul. Also click here to go to the NSK Beginners' handbook. See you all back at training on the 13th!

Support Team Australia at the next World Kendo Championships!


Reminder about gradings and confidentiality

The Victorian Kendo Technical Committee reminds all VKR members of the importance of confidentiality in regards to gradings. Please see the statement from Macak sensei below. The gist of it is that grading panels members do not know how other members vote. It is completely inappropriate to try and find out which panel member may have given you a failing grade. If you inadvertently find out, please keep the information to yourself and also let the VKR know how this information came to be in your possession, so procedure can be tightened preventing this happening again. Panel members are approachable for general feedback from their point of view. They may or may not choose to tell you which way they voted, however by asking them directly you put them in an invidious position. Better to just seek feedback on what aspects of your Kendo need work before the next grading. While it is hugely disappointing and frustrating to fail, you should remember that in Kendo there is no limit to the

Grading success!

Congratulations to all those who graded on Sunday! It was a huge grading, and there was a great feeling of how well Kendo is developing in Victoria. It was especially great to see so many kids from the Monash club. In the end the pass rate was 100%. For low kyu grades, this is as it should be. No-one should be arriving at their grading under-prepared, so it means both candidates and their clubs' instructors are doing their jobs. I was very impressed by our kids' performances. They all did their best-ever Kendo. This too, is as it should be. I'm sorry I didn't get a photo of everyone with their certificates; one of the problems of having my attention split between so many different areas. But this pic I think shows how busy it was in the Kenshikan. The day went very smoothly. Everyone got to watch the other other gradings too, so you all know what you will have to do for your next one! See you at training.

Reminder - training relocates to the Kenshikan tomorrow

Training tomorrow will be normal time: 9am to 11am. But we will be at the Kenshikan, 91-99 Rosslyn St, West Melbourne. See you there!

Beginners' course start this Saturday!

It's a busy weekend with the VKC, but we will be starting our semester two beginners' course this Saturday. Beginners from 9am to 10am. Seniors from 9am to 11am. If you're thinking of starting, drop us a line: nanseikan at gmail. Please download the enrolment form and bring it in on the day: There is also a handbook of Kendo terms and other information you can download for free:

New nafuda kake

Our new nafuda kake contains the names of all people who have been members of the club through the VKR. Quite a few of the names current members won't recognise. But it's a fitting way to mark our fifteenth year by honouring all the people who have trained with us, no matter what level they got to before they moved on. There is plenty of space for current members to move up to the upper grades, and plenty at the bottom for new members.

Term 3 starts this week

Our first training will be this Wednesday 19th July, followed by our first Saturday morning training on 22nd. Dates and events to keep in mind: Beginners' course starts 12 August -  Ben Fletcher to instruct Victorian Kendo Championships 12 & 13 August - all members to be available either as competitors or volunteers Interhigh Gasshuku 2 & 3 September - NSK training will relocate to Kenshikan for Saturday morning; volunteer helpers needed, please let me know if you can. Kyu grading 3 September - all eligible members to be preparing for their next grading Dan grading 17 September - eligible members to be discussing their readiness with me.

Email problems fixed but VKR website still down

If you have been trying to email Nanseikan through the email address given on this site (nanseikan at kendovictoria dot asn dot au) you may have found your emails bouncing back to you. This was a problem with our webmail server which has now been fixed. Hopefully we'll start getting some beginners enquiries now! On a related note the VKR website is still not working. If you go to you'll go back in time to 2006. Kind of cool but also kind of annoying. The VKR's FB page is a bit more up to date.

Otsuka Taikai 2017

On Saturday 15 July (last Saturday of school holidays), the Otsuka Taikai will be taking place at the Kenshikan. Please see the link below for details. The Otsuka Taikai is for anyone 16 years of age and over, from ungraded to 2 dan.

Kangeiko 2017

And so another term comes to an end. This time with somewhat of a bang thanks to Cho and Wright senseis' energetic training at Tora Dojo. This was the first time Nanseikan has done degeiko , other than the Kenshikan and it was a great success. I was very proud of the standard of Kendo shown by our members, partrticularly as there were so many sensei present. Fudoshin and MUKEN were represented by Maksay sensei, Sugimoto sensei and Chin sensei. The drills that Cho sensei had the juniors doing looked fun, but I couldn't watch because I was too busy keeping up with Wright sensei's relentless waza practice! The Tora Dojo tradition of the second dojo was great too. Pity the pub had already been taken over by hundreds of Rugby fans to watch the match between England and NZ! We'll definitely come again, but I think next time it should be us hosting Tora Dojo to our Shochugeiko on 16 December. Below are a selection, in no particular order, of some grea

Next week training at Tora Dojo - Kangeiko

Wesley College, 577 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne Next 24th June will be our last training for term two. We will recommence training on the 22nd July. In place of our usual all-day kangeiko , for our final training of term 2 we will be doing something new: 出稽古 degeiko . We will train at Nanseikan in the morning as usual. Then we will be travelling to Tora Dojo to join in their training from 2pm to 4pm . They train at Wesley College, in the gymnasium (see pin in the map above). Cho sensei tells me that you can park inside the college for free with no problems. Enter from Punt Rd. People who use club armour will need to take it with them and return it next term. In terms of lunch, I suggest that we should keep it light, given that we will be training again soon after. People can either make their own arrangements and we'll see you at the gymnasium at 1.45pm. Or if you want to be social you can meet us at the College Lawn Hotel in Greville street, (just because pu

No Wednesday night training 21 June

...but there will be training the following Wednesday 28 June. On that night we will be focusing on kendo kata, so bring your bokuto. Wednesday 28th is the one after our final Saturday training for the term.

Hayashi Kunio sensei

Hayashi Kunio (Aichi Pref., Kendo Hanshi 8 dan) is a sensei whom I have never met but from whatI've seen he has wonderful Kendo (as you would expect) and there are a lot of videos of him. Including this one, which is an excerpt from one of Kendo Jidai magazine's free DVDs. I linked this video video on the NSK Facebook page previously, of Hayashi sensei vs a Kyoshi 8 dan sensei. When you go on Youtube you'll see lots of related videos of him, you just have to recognise the kanji for his name: 林   邦夫  範士  八段 Hayashi      Kunio       Hanshi           8 dan This video above has an interesting drill that combines kirikaeshi format with suriage waza practice. We tried it last Wednesday at training and it was interesting but tricky. I think we'll try it again but a bit slower. Have a look at the video and see what you can glean from it.

2018 memberships are now due

VKR/AKR fees for Membership Year 2018 (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018) are now due. Juniors are $45.00 and seniors are $70.00. In other words no change from last year. As you know by now, membership fees pay for insurance and contribute funds so that the volunteers who run Kendo on our behalf have a budget with which they can organise gradings, support new clubs with equipment, subsidise seminars and support the national team, amongst many other things. Seniors are anyone 16 years of age and over. Please pay into my account directly because I have to make one payment to the VKR for the club. Once you have paid, if you could send me the payment details in an email that would be great!

Primary school shiai

For our junior members, here is some primary school shiai (competition) from Japan. This is the Saitama Prefecture Primary School Championships from 2011. The video is of the final of the grade 3 division. So these children are probably 8 or 9 years old. Watch how they enter and exit the shiaijo (court, or match area). Did you notice how they bowed first to shomen (high place in the dojo)   then to each other? That's because this is the final. You do that only when it's the very first or the very last match of the tournament. Notice the shinpan (referees)   also bow to shomen at the same time. Shinpan don't bow to the shiaisha (competitors)   though. This is a great match. White is quite a bit taller than red, but red doesn't seem scared at all. There is a lot of moving around in tsubazeriai (close fighting, literally 'meeting of the two tsuba'), but both shaisha regularly come back to tachiai (swords-crossed). This shows they are both experienced at sh

Training starts this Saturday, Wednesday night training starts 3 May!

Term 2 starts this Saturday! Along with that: Koryu class will continue same as last term from 8am for those interested. If you would like to start, please purchase a kaku-obi . You will also need a bokuto and plastic saya . Wednesday night trainings will start from 3 May from 7.30 to 9pm. Cost of training will be $10 which can be paid casually. These trainings will generally be in full bogu, but occasionally we will do Kata. They are open to everyone, with a specific focus on developing high kyu grade and dan grade members. VKR/AKR annual memberships will be due at the end of this term. Our Kangeiko will be held on the 24th June. This term is a 10 week term.

Buying kendo equipment online

There are a lot more sellers of Kendo equipment online than there used to be! The Equipment Buying Guide on this site is by far our most visited page, with more than four times as  many visits as the next popular page (the "About & Contact" page). While most of the info there is still relevant I thought I'd write a quick overview of what's been happening recently and how that affects us. History If memory serves, Mike Ma's was the first true internet shopping site for Kendo equipment. Since starting it out of his flat in Carlton while a still a student at Melbourne Uni, Mike moved the business to China around 10 years ago, from where he was able to access the rapidly growing Chinese Kendo equipment manufacturing sector. Initially set up to supply the large Japanese companies, China now has its own substantial Kendo community who need equipment. Alibaba and Taobao regularly sell equipment at startlingly low prices. It'

End of term BBQ at Malahang Reserve

Next Saturday 1 April after training we will be going to Malahang Reserve in Heidelberg West for a BBQ to celebrate the end of term 1. We will aim to get to the park by noon and have a good couple of hours of food, play and chatting! Location and information: Feel free to bring your whole family. Food and drink can be left in the fridge in the kitchen at the dojo while we train. Alternatively there is an Aldi and an IGA supermarket on Bell St where you could easily buy supplies on your way from the dojo to the park.

Grading requirements

Here are the kyu grading requirements in list form. For a more narrative, EI version, try this article on Shugo-Nanseikan . 2.3.5  6 kyu  Technical Requirements Kihon-waza to be executed with Motodachi, candidates wearing Tare and Do. • Correct Hakama & Keikogi • Correct Bogu • Rei and Sonkyo • Ashi-sabaki • Kihon Men • Kihon Kote • Kihon Do 2.3.6  5 kyu  Grading Technical Requirements Kihon-waza to be executed with Motodachi, candidates wearing Tare and Do. • Correct Hakama & Keikogi • Correct Bogu • Rei and Sonkyo • Ashi-sabaki • Kihon Men • Kihon Kote • Kihon Do • Kiri-Kaeshi 2.3.7  4 kyu  Grading Technical Requirements Candidates wearing full Bogu and demonstrating against each other. • Correct Hakama & Keikogi • Correct Bogu • Kihon Men • Kihon Kote • Kihon Do • Nidan-waza • Kihon Kote-Men • Kihon Kote-Do • Kiri-Kaeshi • Kiri-Kaeshi as Uchidachi 2.3.8  3 kyu  Grading Technical Requirements Candidates wearing full Bogu and demonstrating against each other. • Correct

Training starts this Saturday!

Only two more sleeps!

Happy New Year; Team App

Akemashite omedetogozaimasu!  Happy New Year and wishing you all the best for a happy, fulfilling and injury-free 2017! This year let's train hard and be vigilant about keeping our Kendo from settling on what is easy. Let's always push to make a little better the new normal. Team App The VKR is now using TeamApp for all notifications. This is very handy because it means all VKR members, not just club administrators, can be aware of all upcoming events as soon as they are published. Information goes from the VKR Executive direct to all members who use the app. To find out what to do, go to the TeamApp page of our website .