Showing posts from 2020

Merry Christmas and good riddance 2020! Training restarts Saturday 6 February

Well we got to train together finally! I hope everyone has a restful and rejuvenating break and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year. There may be some informal trainings during January so keep your eye on Team App for details. Official training starts back on 6 February. Here are some pics of Atsushi's place and surrounds. Looks like he might need a visit from a few of us to help him with that garden!

Two hours training next Saturday/ survey on change of training times

This is a short video of the right-foot-first, small men cut technique we looked at yesterday. It was great to train face to face finally! Everything went well and it was great to welcome back Soon properly and also two new members, Nick from Cairns (previously from Ballarat) and Nate our one and only Zoom beginner! In light of reaching the 28-day milestone of no new local cases of the virus we trained largely without masks but with other COVID-safe modifications to training. However if individuals wish to train with masks as some did on Saturday that is of course their right. It is likely that in future we may have new cases in the community and so we'll have to go back to a more strict mask-wearing regime during training, but for now I think we have earned the right to train mask-free without danger if we wish. Some points for those who haven't yet been to Latrobe:  parking is free after hours, even though the signs all say 'permit only'. So no need to find a parking

changes to instructions for training at Latrobe Indoor Sports Centre: 28/11, 5/12, 12/12

***NOTE: changes below*** We will be training at Latrobe Indoor Sports Centre for the next three weeks: Saturday 28 November from 12 noon to 1pm Saturday 5 December from 11am to 1pm Saturday 12 December from 11am to 1pm Cost of training will be $5.00 per person on 28/11 and $10.00 per person after that, payable on the day. Please bring two N95 masks per person to train in. Do not buy the ones with the plastic valve. Have other masks on hand for non-training use. ALSO PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES: We will be using the basketball court, not the squash court. But we will be in the same venue. See map below. This means the instructions around training a slightly different: We can get changed in the change rooms. We  will do  rei and mokuso before and after training. We will be training in the same space, which will make things easier and more flexible I have changed the other instructions below to reflect this. Some, such as the overall plan for training, remain the same. The locati

No Kata Tuesday/special meeting Wednesday/instructional videos

 As mentioned at training this morning there will be no Kata training this Tuesday 10 November. There will however be a special meeting at 5.30pm on Wednesday 11th to discuss returning to in-person training. Items on the agenda: confirm ability to train in person next Saturday 14 Nov decide on location and time discuss options for return to dojo  I will endeavour to speak with St Pius and find out what I can about their needs/issues around us returning. I will also see if there are some alternative (larger, better ventilated) venues that might be available either for a short-term or a medium term option. Videos First, the video of Tagawa sensei (H8 dan) from Detroit that I mentioned. And also the classic video of Chiba sensei and his 'seme-ashi'. Take note of the movement of his kensen when he makes seme. 

Some of my favourite Youtube channels for Kendo

This is not a channel but just a single vid, but I'm pretty sure it's where the examples in Yano sensei's presentation were edited from. It's 75 min of Miyazaki Masahiro sensei scoring ippon in competition! Gotta be happy with that! Filmed at the Kenshikan, this is the video I mentioned in last night's discussion where Chiba sensei talks about the right foot being used for seme. This was my very first time using a digital camera to record video of Kendo and upload it to the internet. I think the camera in question was a 2MP Canon Ixus, hence the shabby quality. Still, it's a wonderful record of Chiba sensei's incredible skill.  ************************************************************************* This channel is Sanmunokai 三無の会 and has lots of great videos of their in-dojo training and also instruction by their sensei Matsubara (K8 dan). This channel has lots o

Koryu that are not like Kendo at all

In the previous post I listed the various branches of Itto Ryu and asked you to consider the similarities between their use of the sword and Kendo. Sometimes when one becomes used to a certain way of doing things, one can fall into the trap of thinking that is the only, or maybe the best, way of doing things. In learning iai kata of Tatsumi Ryu, we are trying to break out of that thinking by exposing ourselves to a system devised long before even the Itto Ryu was founded. This means that there are some fundamental differences in how the sword is used.  In these posts I am mostly interested in the differences in how to swing the sword. In Kendo, and indeed in most of the styles of iaido practiced today, the fundamental cutting action is a straight up-and-down action often referred to as kirioroshi , cutting through or cutting down. In Tatsumi Ryu, the characteristic action where the sword first goes through a circular backswing before cutting downwards is called kowauchi , or 'power

Kata homework - Itto Ryu lineages

A figurine of Ito Ittosai as he appears in the manga "Vagabond" 人は眠っている時でも足がかゆいのに間違って頭をかくことはありません。人は意識下に己を防衛しようとする本能が動いております。その原理を生かせばよいのです。     伊藤一刀斎 (People do not accidentally scratch their heads when their feet are itchy, even when they are sleeping. People have an unconscious instinct to defend themselves. You have to make use of that principle.)   This is one of the famous observations of Ito Ittosai, founder of the Itto Ryu (One Sword School). It might not sound like much, but there's a lot to think about there. I've made a brief playlist of the main Itto Ryu lineages. There are some others I haven't listed that are more recent (i.e. less than 200 years old) but these are the main ones.  Of these, the Ono-ha, Hokushin, Mizoguchi-ha and Nakanishi-ha are the most widely practised. Kogen Itto Ryu is less common. Most have hereditary headmasters, usually called soke . The Mizoguchi-ha is

News for term 4 - training schedule for term 4 MUKEN Zoom seminar; Tomoko's shop; Instagram; fun stuff

Training for term 4 We will continue to have kata training 5.30 to 6pm Tuesday night  and more general training 10am to 11am Saturday via Zoom. We will continue this schedule until there is a change in regulations around public gatherings. When we come out of strict lockdown (no travel restrictions), it is likely the first opportunity to train together will be outdoors and with distancing. In this event we can consider meeting either at a park centrally or at different parks each week. I imagine that we will train in 'civvies' (normal clothes) and do solo movements:  suburi and taiso only.  When this happens we will discuss as a club what the best time and duration is for training, and what is the best mix of online and in-person training. As the situation improves, we can work towards more close-quarters training, eventually with the aim of returning to the dojo and practising one-on-one in full armour. Even then it is very likely that the following conditions would remain

Zoom seminar with Jang Sung-Hong sensei (K7 dan) and Kim Tae-Ho sensei (R7 dan)

Today the VKR held it's first group Zoom training session, organised through MUKEN (Melbourne University Kendo Club). Daniel Jeong sensei and Richard T'en were facilitators and Jeong sensei was the translator. Thank you both for your hard work and organisation. The seminar started off with a presentation by Yano sensei who is the current Australian national team coach and head instructor of the Kenshikan of the basics of yuko datotsu from a theoretical point of view. This was very interesting and I will bring you more detail about this presentation in the future.  First, a quick bio for the two Korean sensei: Tae-Ho KIM Sensei, Renshi 7th Dan  - Head Coach of Buk-gu District, Gwangju Metropolitan City Kendo Team - Member of 12th WKC (Glasgow 2003) Men’s Team 2nd place   Sung-Hong JANG Sensei, Kyoshi  7 th Dan - Head Coach of  Seong-Nam  High School Kendobu - Head instructor of  Yeok-Sam Dojo, Seoul - Graduated from Chosun University, Gwangju - 14th WKC (Brazil 2009) Men's t

Urgent: no Nanseikan training tomorrow. Please see TeamApp message

Hi all, Please refer to the TeamApp message I just sent or contact me directly if you have not received it. The link to apply to attend the special training is jEnaRA3nvda2RWcd9 If you plan on attending, please complete this form asap. There will be no Nanseikan zoom training.

Kata suburi

  Kata 1 to 5. Suburi using the counter-attack movements of the shidachi. Contact me directly me link to video.

Iai 居合

    Here's a video of two senior members of Tatsumi Ryu performing various kata at the annual demonstration at Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto. They start with iai, and you can see the standing and seated variations of Muko and Marui at the same time.   One of the things that makes Tatsumi Ryu unusual is that it has paired kata for weapons other than the sword. Here you see long sword vs spear (yari) and also short sword vs spear. Traditionally in most old Japanese arts like Tatsumi Ryu where the sword is the primary weapon, the sword always wins: the kata exist mainly to prepare the kenshi to use the sword against various weapons.   However in Tatsumi Ryu there are kata for weapons versus sword where the other weapon wins, and also kata that don't involve the sword at all, such as spear vs spear. In fact Tatsumi Ryu spear kata demonstrate the spear's amazing versatility: it can be used to strike at distance using its great length advantage (around 2.5m), but it can also be held

Kata practice at home

  For those who are practising kata at home, perhaps with a view to grading next March, here is the perfect video to watch all ten kata, made by the AJKF.   Click "Show More" underneath the uploader's caption and it has links to further explanations of each kata, and detailed demonstrations of important points. The top comment has time links to the start of each kata in the original video for easy reference.  Watch the detailed videos to help you with your practice, especially if you are by yourself.  For feedback on your performance your reflection in a window is best. Points to watch for and practice: Correct actions, i.e. kamae, waza, footwork, so that the grading panel can see you know the kata. If you do enough practice it will shine through even if you make a small mistake on the day, and this is what they are looking for. Posture: make sure your kamae and movement looks like these sensei: big, accurate and straight. Rhythm: watch carefully when to start, when to sp

Tajima sensei receives hanshi

Congratulations sensei! Tajima sensei kindly sent this photo showing him proudly displaying his newly-received  hanshi certificate. Hanshi is a 'shogo' title and the highest qualification in kendo. This certificate represents a lifetime dedicated to excellence in kendo, and perhaps even more importantly, tireless work in developing and teaching kendo. Tajima sensei is the head of Kendo at Shigakukan University, a private university in Kagoshima. He is dedicated to improving the standard of the kendo club there and has so far had great success building a thriving dojo that produces quality kenshi. This is not easy to do. Kyushu alone is full of powerful kendo university clubs. Tajima's students have achieved success at national level in competition and at least one I know of has gone on to a career in police kendo. Having spent some time with sensei in Kagoshima, I've seen the work that goes into running a busy university dojo. There is a huge amount of daily admin. Shig

More videos, iaido stuff, kata training, indoor shinai + more

Great training this morning everyone. Things to aim for in your home training: accuracy - have something to aim for when you cut; also practice tsuki and the action of hikite (thanks Ben F.!) pulling your right fist back to your hip strongly then grasping the handle again without looking. sharpness and stillness: senior people especially should aim for quick, sharp movements that return to stillness and relaxation in the body very quickly: in footwork, body movement and the action of the cut. strength practice: do suburi from sonkyo to develop core strength and also strength in your feet and ankles. Above is a picture of my indoor suburi shinai, made from a single shinai cut in half (thanks to Soon for the idea). I just cut the blade in half then bound the top half to the bottom half using old nakayui. I had to shave the tip a little to fit it into the original sakigawa. Feel free to use tape instead if you want. Videos Thanks to Andrew E for these two vids. The second one is especiall

At home viewing list no.1 - HEMA, Highlander and more!

Thanks for a great training today and glad to see everyone is well. Here are some links from our shugo as promised. Caleb's HEMA recommendation. These guys look fierce and skillful. Mick's recommendation. There can be only one... :) Want to watch 6 hours or Keirin racing from Nagoya? (Because bikes are awesome). Here you go... For Greg particularly, Keishicho vs Kogu (Tokyo Metro vs Imperial Palace) 2016 All Japan Police Kendo Championships. There's a great throw at 13:18. Not legal but who cares?  And here's one of Let's Kendo's excellent Ippon Omnibuses from the same tournament. Here is that documentary about 8th dan with Iwatate sensei that I mentioned. It's in English and has his explanation of what he looks out for when judging 8dan. He mentions left foot angle at 9:20. Sadly the uploader cut the doco before the end. just found the last bit! If you have Netflix, I highly recommend Japan Style Originator (Wafu Sohonke  和風総本家

Very cool kihon drills in a cute, tiny dojo

  Here's some more inspiration for when we get back into the dojo.  This is an interesting channel from a Distance Education Centre, also known as a 'correspondence school', Seiji International High School in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Pref. This video just popped up in my feed and it has some really interesting drills. This video was posted only a week ago and I can't help saying I feel a bit jealous that COVID19 restrictions in their part of the world are so relaxed that they can train together with full kiai and no masks! Anyway... Their drills seem designed to work well in a small space while still focusing on fundamentals. I particularly like the drill where the kakarite starts with their kensen level with their opponent's tsuba -- very close distance -- and then performs correct cutting with fumikomiashi and zanshin . Also #backyarddojogoals...   This channel looks worth subscribing to. I also love how many fans they've got going! August in Japan, I can only i

You can improve your oji waza by just watching this video!

  Title sounds click-baity I know, but I think it's true! Watch what Kouda sensei says about "keeping your armpits closed" and then how powerful his men cut is after suriage (tsuki-suriage-men at 2:37). 

Intro to iai

We've started to look at Tatsumi Ryu iai as a group in our Zoom training sessions. This is because it is something purposeful we can learn while in isolation. The movements relate to Kendo, whilst also teaching us more about the use and history of the sword. As I mentioned at training, one of the many things that iai teaches is how to use a sword safely. It is only once you have a sword in your hand that you realise they are very dangerous things: to the user as well as the user's enemy! This clip has some recent footage of the current Headmaster, Kato Takashi soke. He is the 22nd Headmaster in direct descent from Tatsumi Sankyo who founded the style in the 1500s. It is therefore one of Japan's oldest extant koryu bujutsu , or old school martial arts. Watch from 7:19 to 9:30 to see many of the basics I have mentioned, performed by Kato soke: muko (7:19)  - block from the draw then cut through  marui (7:45) - cut kote from the draw then cut through  yoto (8:08)  - bringing t

ready for indoor training!

Seem you on Zoom tomorrow at 10am!

Second online training on Youtube

The video of yesterday's training is up. Sorry I couldn't afford to buy any more pixels. Handy for anyone who wants a template of things to do at home during the week. See you next Saturday at the same time!

How to do "do-uchi" correctly. Don't drop the shinai tip!

Here is a sensei after my own heart! Kondo sensei demonstrates how to do do-uchi correctly to his university-aged students. This is part of a series of new videos from Kendo Nippon magazine where Kondo sensei examines the relationship between cutting with a sword using Kendo techniques, and striking with the shinai. It's a very interesting series. He even does hiki-waza effectively with a real sword! (Against the makiwara of course, not a person!). First he demonstrates correct technique with a shinken and cuts the makiwara using a fairly conventional do technique. Then he asks his students to demonstrate their technique. They do the current fashionable style of dropping the kensen to the floor straight after hitting the do (see video below for a good-bad example!). Which is SO WRONG!  Kondo sensei then schools them on how to stop this bad technique, in light of what he has just shown them with the way a real sword cuts. Hooray!  If there's something I hate, it's seeing oth

First Zoom training next Saturday 18 July at 10am

SoS We will be having our first online training next Saturday from 10am to 11am. Link will be emailed to members. If you are a current member of beginner and you don't receive the link by this Thursday please email nanseikan@gmail. See you then!

News from VKR relating to future events - COVID19

Please see this announcement from the VKR

Training tips from Osaka Police

Some great training drills from Osaka Police. One day we will practice them in the dojo! Please continue to take care of yourselves.

In case you've forgotten what Kendo is... :D

This is a great little TV doco from Japan. In Japanese but there's lots of good Kendo watch. And locations too. It's all about the Kyoto Taikai which happens every May at the Butokuden. Even though this was made for a general TV audience, they spend a lot of time on individual matches. There's even isshujiai ! (kendo v naginata) And it's called "The Kendo". Awesome!

"But all the same a crack on the cranium should stick in the memory. I shouldn't wonder!"

I hope this posting finds everyone well and making the most of the enforced seclusion of social isolation. It seems strange to be on such a long break from Kendo. Not only not training, but not making plans for the future. So to lighten your mood, here are a few fascinating and hilarious old newsreels from British Pathe. For those of us too young to remember, newsreels existed before most people had television. When you went to the cinema to see a movie, which for many was a weekly occurence, newsreels were played before the main feature and they were the news and current affair programs of their day. These ones from Britain have all the cultural attitudes of the day. It's quite amazing to see them from as early as the 1930s. And there's quite a difference between the film from 1962 and 1965. The 1962 group look like they learned Kendo from a book! Although the senpai has quite good tenouchi . The 1965 group look like they at least know how to wear their dogu. It would be w

All Nanseikan training suspended until end of March

As may have been expected, the VKR has this evening recommended all clubs to cease training until the end of March. They will monitor the situation and make further recommendations in due course. Below is the message from VKR President Cyntheia Lim. Dear all, The COVID-19 situation is changing very rapidly.  The VKR is now recommending that all kendo, iaido and jodo activities be suspended until the end of March.  We will review and update our recommendations before the end of that period.  Your support and understanding is greatly appreciated. Your voice will be heard We are open to hear your concerns, questions regarding this situation. Please feel free to write to . Kind regards, Cyntheia Lim President Victorian Kendo Renmei