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 well into 2021:

  • face masks + shields
  • no kiai
  • limited numbers in the dojo
  • limited training time
  • coming dressed to the dojo and bringing all equipment: no getting changed in the dojo or using the armour room
  • subject to the availability of St Pius X Hall
At this stage it seems that the only thing that will allow a return to full training as we know it will be the development of a safe and reliable Coronavirus vaccine.

All decisions about a return to training in person will be made as a club on a consensus basis. Those with health concerns of their own or of close family members will have the loudest voice in these discussions.

Gwanju City Kendo senseis seminar

Jeong Dong-Jin sensei, (K8 dan)
here with his trophy for 3rd place, 
2019 Korean 8th dan
Kendo Championship
Yesterday many NSK members joined in a Zoom training organised by MUKEN. For those who didn't manage to attend, please see the previous post for a description of some of what was learned. 

Pictured here is Jeong sensei who is 8 dan and who spoke at the start of the seminar. He said that he felt the current lockdown situation was a great opportunity to practice heijoshin (平常心) which is translated as 'ordinary mind' or more precisely 'equanimity': not getting too excited by things, not getting too depressed by things. Mental stability, in other words. 

This is the ultimate goal of Kendo. Jeong sensei and the others, Kim sensei and Jang sensei, all had the same message, that this period offers unique opportunities to develop your Kendo. I think that's a great lesson.

Yano sensei lecture on the technical elements of Kendo

As well as the Korean sensei, Yano sensei from Kenshikan (and also current national team coach) gave a lecture on the fundamentals of achieving yuko datotsu or a valid scoring point. Many of us know the basics, but Yano sensei's presentation delved into the minutiae, both physical and mental, of the all steps from facing your opponent in kamae through to zanshin. He made the point that the most important aspects of this process cannot be understood by theory. In the meantime however, while we cannot practice together, theory can help us imagine better what good Kendo looks like.

We can perhaps make a special time to go through this presentation for those who missed it. I will talk about this more at training.

Nanseikan and social media

I have made the personal decision to cease using Facebook-owned social media. This means that Nanseikan's Instagram account is in limbo. All the posts are still visible but the account is not being monitored. If any club member or members wish to take over the admin of this account for the purposes of promoting and recording club activities, please let me know.

Tomoko Fujiie's new shop

As you know, Tomoko san started making shinai and sword bags last year. Now she has an eBay shop and a lot of new items for sale. I recently bought a number of things from her: this shinai bag and sword bag, and this shoulder bag, as well as two other bags. They are all beautifully made. Highly recommended! 

Click here to visit.

Fun and informative videos

Thanks to Ben for this one. Who knew New York Film Academy had their own Kendo club? Makes sense I suppose... :)

..and another from Ben, a Star Wars sword-wielding club... 

OK, now this is about the stupidest thing I've ever seen, but it's hard to look away... I suppose this is what happens when Japanese Youtubers invent "the 24hr Kendo challenge". It's equal parts hardcore and ridiculous, in a way that's typically Japanese. I apologise in advance... 🙇

Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage Ryu is, I think, one of the most interesting of the old school (koryu) fighting systems in Japan. The Kage/Shinkage Ryu lineage is one of the oldest in Japan, in fact it is considered that of all the various schools of martial arts in Japan, the three oldest are the Nen Ryu, the Shinto Ryu and the Kage Ryu. Each of those roots led to a huge number of offshoot schools over the last six to seven hundred years. The Jikishinkage Ryu is a cousin of the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu. It is based at or originates from Kashima Shrine, which is quite close to the Katori Shrine (home of the famous Katori Shinto Ryu) in Chiba Prefecture. Jikishinkage ryu is famous for it's very distinctive Hojo Kata using very thick bokuto. But here is a video of their practice with bogu and shinai. Notice the different focus of their movements: flat back heel, slow footwork, changing kamae to create seme and so on. It is one of the best 'free sparring' examples from a koryu that I've seen. I'm not sure that I could have evaded that first kote-uchi! The dojo where it was filmed is at Kashima Shrine I believe, although I've never been there.

Lastly, here is a video of Claire Seika (Claire Simon). I believe she was a student of Tatsumi Ryu in Japan at the same time as Keeley sensei. She now lives in Toulouse, France. Her dojo in France is called Oshinkan. 


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