Showing posts from 2021

Seasons Greetings and take care

  Merry Christmas, happy Hannukah and happy holidays. After a difficult year, may 2022 be much better for all! Nanseikan will be closed for all of January. If you wish to train elsewhere in that time, please take care and I would strongly suggest going back to wearing a mask and/or face shield at all times when training. See you on 5 February for the start of our 20th anniversary year!

Holiday homework

  As promised, here is a short video of what to do over the break if you're at home; or on holiday for that matter! A little bit of practice every day will keep your skills sharp. You'll even learn new things about your Kendo, I guarantee it! For experienced people with their own bogu, you are welcome to train at any VKR or AKR dojo in the meantime, so long as you contact the dojo first and you are fully vaxed or have a legit medical exemption. All VKR clubs' contact details are here: And keep an eye on your email inbox for notification of some extra NSK trainings during January. Season's Greetings, stay safe, and here's to 2022 being a year when we can reconnect with those we have missed over the last two years.

No training next Wednesday night 1st December 2021

 Take the night off! :)

Fun and instructional videos

   These two videos are well worth a look. Firstly, from a channel that is uploading lots of "Kendo vs..." videos lately, this is the first one I've seen where someone with a high level of Kendo skill is up against a fencer. I'm not sure if the epee-ist is as skilled but it is an interesting match.  This video is more interesting from a technical and cultural point of view. It shows a demonstration shiai at the 88th Kyoto Taikai held at the Butokuden in 1992. The two competitors are Sugawara Keizaburo (on left) and Nakakura Kiyoshi (the taller sensei, who featured in the story I told last Saturday at training). Both sensei were 9th dan. George McCall has a great article listing all the 9th dans  here , including the rationale and history behind the higher dan grades. What I love about this match is how spirited it is. There have been 'generational shifts' in Kendo (as George observes in the linked article) according to how and where the major Kendo teachers we

Important: new dates and kyu grading guidelines for 2022

  Here is an important announcement from Macak sensei and the Victorian Kendo Technical Committee regarding changes to grading requirements. Please read carefully> To All VKR Kendo Clubs Kyu Grading Examinations in 2022 Given the achievement of the 80% double vaccinated target in Victoria most clubs are now either back to training, or soon will be. It looks like we are nearly back to normal, although none of us can foresee what lies in the future. There will be some significant changes to the way Kyu Grading Examinations will be conducted in Victoria in 2022 and Clubs and potential Grading Panellists should take the following items into consideration when they are planning for next year. VKR Seminar : As we did early this year, we will start the year off with a seminar currently scheduled for Sat/Sun 12/13 March. This is also the Labor Day long weekend, so please make a note in your calendar. It is expected that 3rd to 1st Kyu and 1st to 4th Dan Grading examinations will be schedule

Training starts this week + Ballarat Taikai + All Japan winner Hoshiko!

  Training starts back officially this week! We will be training for the next six weeks. Our last Saturday training will be 11 December and last Wednesday 15 December. Soon has put his hand up again to take the beginners course, which will also start this Saturday. Thanks Soon. As usual beginners will start at 9am and finish at 10am. Main class will be 10 am to 12 noon. Ballarat Taikai Those gutsy folks from the Ballarat Kendo Club, one of Victoria's oldest clubs, will be going ahead with their annual taikai. If you are keen to take part, please see Mick at training or send him an email at competition.nanseikan at gmail. Schedule below. Uchimura sensei's kote I'm pretty sure this is the kote I mentioned at training last night but it's much lower resolution than I remember seeiing back in the day, so the broken tsuru is not visible. This is a great compilation of all the other times Uchimura has scored kote in high level competition. You can get a sense of his style: usu

Coming out of lockdown 6! Return to in-dojo training

It looks as if, everything going to plan, we can return to the dojo on 6 November, the day after we reach phase C of the Victorian Roadmap (80% 16+ fully vaxxed).  This will of course depend on hearing an announcement from the Health Dept. It may even come earlier because Victorians are enthusiastically getting vaccinated which is wonderful.  It means that all members over the age of 12 will need to provide evidence of their full vaccination status on their first training back at the dojo. The best way to do this is to show a copy of your vaccination certificate (example below) downloaded from your MyGov account. Hard copy or just on your phone screen, either is fine. When you do come back to the dojo you will get to meet our newest member...

COVID safe shinpan and shiai rules - English subtitled video

  Let me know your thoughts or questions about this in the comments.

Important COVID update on Kendo training for end of 2021 - Vic roadmap out of lockdown 6

Hi everyone, please see below the message from Michael Dunn to all VKR members regarding events and issues related to return to training in November. ==================================================================== Dear all,    See below for a number of updates regarding the current COVID-19 situation. Please forward to your members.    1. Kendo Grading    As per the discussion at the State Council and previous emails, as we did not return to training by 20 September, there will be no Kendo Gradings held in October.  This also means that there will be no any Dan Kendo Gradings for the rest of 2021. The next Dan Kendo Grading opportunity will be in 2022.  It is also unlikely that we will be able to hold Kyu Kendo Grading in November as the recently announced Victorian Government COVID Roadmap indicates that indoor community sports will not reopen until 5 November 2021.  The VKR/VKTC will advise Clubs in October if there will be any Kyu Gradings in November.    2. Iaido/Jodo Grading 

Training continue on Zoom through the holidays | some interesting videos

Chiba sensei's Oji waza by ichibyoshi We're continuing training via Zoom on Saturdays and Wednesdays throughout the holidays since, well, no-one's going anywhere so why not? :) Usual Zoom times: Wed 5.30 to 6pm, Sat 10 to 11am. At today's training we were looking about seme and short techniques, particularly using the right foot for seme then holding that moment ( tame - 溜め) before cutting men or kote with a small movement. The video of Chiba sensei above shows this particularly well.  And while I was searching I came across this gem again. Best subs on a Kendo video! The culprit is none other than our own Kenji sensei from MUKEN. Cheeky but still informative. :D Lastly, we were also talking about ways to train against people of different levels and particularly against sensei. This excellent video is about Muay Thai but Kendo people will see and hear a lot of similar concepts.

VKR online seminars

The VKR will be running some online seminars that utilise the expertise of various members of the Victorian Kendo community. These seminars are free to attend. and highly recommended. Nanseikan members please keep an eye on your email inbox for details on how to register. If you do not receive this email, please contact Andrew E via announcements.nanseikan at gmail. 

Latest COVID news regarding VKR events - VKC, gradings, etc 2021-22

 from the VKR President: Victorian Kendo Championships 2021 Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, lockdown uncertainty and other events scheduled for the end of the year, the VKR State Council agreed that it would not be viable to hold a Victorian Kendo Championships in 2021 (even in a reduced or alternative format). Accordingly, the event has been cancelled for 2021 and refunds will be issued to all clubs and participants. Please allow 5 to 10 business days for this to be reflected in your accounts. Planning for the 2022 Event will commence in due course.   Kendo Grading Update   As previously advised, Kendo gradings for September were postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. At the State Council meeting on the weekend, the VKTC presented two contingency plans for potentially conducting Kendo gradings in October or November this year depending on when COVID restrictions are eased.   The first option (Kyu and Dan gradings to be held in October 2021), relied on indoor Kendo training resu

Excellent Kendo articles from Nittaidai sensei

    Here are three articles by the three Nittaidai sensei who recently held some online seminars. These articles are free to access on the Kendo Jidai website.    "The Complete Shinai Manipulation Guide"  by Yagisawa Makoto 八木沢先生『完全なる竹刀操作』 English : https://kendojidai. com/2021/03/08/the-complete- shinai-manipulation-guide/ 日本語: 2021/03/08/the-complete- shinai-manipulation-guide/   "Seme Footwork (Ashi-sabaki)" by Furusawa Nobuaki 古澤先生『足さばき』 English  : 10/12/seme-ashi/ 日本語: 2020/10/12/seme-ashi/   Kendo Article by Shinzato Chikano   新里先生『剣道研究室』 English  : 02/01/shinzato-chikano/ 日本語: 2021/02/01/shinzato-chikano/  

All September gradings postponed indefinitely; no term fees due for term 3

 As mentioned at training it is now official. All gradings have been put on hold until further notice. This also includes the online training for officials. Please see the VKR President's message below. Also, there are no fees due for term 3 training as yet. When we return to train in the dojo we will collect fees only for the remaining number of weeks of the term. ____________________________________________________________________________ Dear all,    As everyone would be aware, COVID cases have continued to increase in Melbourne and as of today (Saturday), Regional Victoria is now back in lockdown.    While the lockdown is due to end on 2 September, it seems likely that this will be extended or at least it is uncertain when indoor training and events will be possible.    Accordingly, following discussions between the VKR and VKTC this week, and considering the current COVID situation and the need for clubs to have returned to training prior to any potential grading, we can unfor

Lockdown 6 extension -- Zoom classes continue; if lockdown ends 2 Sept we will return to the dojo on 4 Sept.

 Be kind to all including yourselves. Stay safe and active, in that order! 😊

How to tie your do himo


No dojo training due to snap lockdown no. 6 - pivoting to Zoom training Saturday 10 am to 11am, Wed 5.30 to 6pm. Start of beginners' course will be delayed one week. EOM

Reminder to approve your zekken design if you have ordered from Zen-Sankei

After you have placed your zekken order with Zen Sankei, they will send you a digital image of the zekken's layout with your name as it will appear.  You must respond to this email and let them know if is correct or not. They will not go ahead with production of your zekken until you do. If you recently ordered one, please keep an eye out for this email. Please check your spam and junk mail as well. If you use Gmail you might find it gets diverted to the 'Promotions' inbox.

Training is back in the dojo again! From tomorrow night...

Great news, lockdown eased from tonight! That means tomorrow night's training from 6.30 to 8pm will be in person, in the dojo. And Saturday classes will start from this coming Saturday, also in person, in the dojo, from 10am to 12noon. Please observe the same protocols as previously: check in with QR code or sign in sanitise hands regularly no getting changed in the dojo - come to training in kendogi and hakama minimise what you touch minimise kiai masks at all times while training maintain social distance as much as possible DONT COME TO TRAINING IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS. GET TESTED. And get vaccinated. Flying to Japan is way more risky! See you at training! :)
Hi Everyone Here is an update on up comming gradings (Covid willing) September Grading Examinations Please note the proposed schedule for the September Grading Examinations: Date/Time Location Event Wed 1 Sep. – Sat 11 Sep. Various Club Based Grading Examinations for 6th, 5th & 4th Kyu Sun 12 Sep 8:00 am – 12 noon Monash AKR 5th Dan Grading Examination, VKR 3rd & 4th Dan Grading Examination Sun 12 Sep 1:00 pm Kenshikan Alternative time/venue for VKR 3rd & 4th Dan Examination Sun 19 Sep 1:00 pm Kenshikan VKR 3rd Kyu – 2nd Dan Grading Examination. (6th, 5th & 4th Kyu Examinations could also be held at this time if required) All Kendo members 4th Dan and above are requested to make themselves available as Grading Panellists, Tachiai or Motodachi for the Dan Grade examinations as required. 3rd Dan members with some experience as Grading Panellists may be called upon for the Kyu Grade Examinations. Lower Grades may be called upon as Motodachi for t

Extension of lockdown no. 5

  So we won't be training in person tomorrow night or this Saturday either.  We will have a Zoom training from 5.30 to 6pm tomorrow night.  And we'll have another Zoom next Saturday from 10 to 11am.  After that we'll see what happens! Please keep checking back to this website for updates in case things change. Stay safe and warm! In the meantime check out this video from Kamei sensei. It has English subtitles. He talks about some important aspects of kamae and seme. Fortunately it's much the same as what I always tell you all! UPDATE: Kamei sensei with more tips on how to practice eradicating unnecessary movement of the left foot.

Zoom training this Saturday 17 July (first class for term 3) 10am to 11 am

Due to the current snap lockdown (no. 5...?) we will have a Zoom training this Saturday. Same Zoom meeting room as previously. Email me if you don't remember details. Hopefully we will be back next week to have our first in-person training on Wednesday 21 July. If you are a prospective student/beginner and were coming to watch training, please keep an eye on this website for information about when training in person will recommence. This Saturday at the end of training I'd like to discuss details of the possible grading situation in September. This is the start of club-based gradings where individual clubs run gradings for 6kyu to 4kyu in their home dojos during their normal training times. There are some requirements around that in terms of training people to manage the admin and paperwork involved, as well as training up grading panel members. More details on Saturday.

Term 3 news | VKC | first aid | second Nittaidai seminar

  Term 3 This term we will be looking at shiai (matches). We will be doing lots of practice shiai and also giving people a chance to learn and practice their shinpan (refereeing) skills. There are some temporary rule changes due to COVID so we will be going through those carefully so those competing in VKC will be ready. Victorian Kendo Championships Applications for this year's VKC are now open. VKC is the weekend of 14-15 August.  There have been some changes to the rules which we can go in detail. Some are to do with COVID, others are to do with tightening up expectations around attire (e.g. correct zekken, no himo colour other than dark blue, no black mengane, etc). The closing date for applications is 23 July, so we will be discussing and finalising our entries after training on 17 July. First aid training The VKR is again sponsoring one person from each club to do first aid training. These are the criteria: The 2021 VKR  First   Aid  Program will be run as follows:  Up to 10

How to order a Zekken - 2021

Image If you haven't ordered your own club zekken yet, you should do so as soon as possible. Zekken are the special bag-shaped garment? device? tag? that goes over the centre flap on your tare. It's a one-time cost because you can remove them easily and swap them to different bogu as necessary. Above is a screen-shot of the new ordering page which Zen-Sankei has made easier for us at my request. Previously you could only order one zekken at a time and only using the account holder's name. But when I pointed out to them that we have families training with us, they made the change. Thanks Zen-Sankei!  The main part of the zekken -- the Nanseikan name at the top and the logo in the middle -- are set up at the factory in Japan already. All you need to do is: Choose your size -  choose large if you are using an adult sized bogu. All our new members (apart from Amelia) are weari
Hi All The VKR Kendo championships are to be held 14th to the 15th of Augest. Registrations are now open and must be in by the 23rd of July. We should be back and training before then and so we can discuss in the Dojo Its open to everyone. I have attached the link below but it may not work Andrew D

STOP PRESS! Training this Saturday returns to the dojo. Please read...

The results of our email poll were in favour of a return to the dojo, but I think we can accommodate everyone.  Yes , training as normal this Saturday, in the dojo , for our last Saturday training of term. Start and finish times 10am to 12noon as usual. Yes , we will also have our very last training of term next Wednesday night 23rd June, also in the dojo . 6.30 to 8pm as usual. Yes , we will also have a Zoom training this Saturday for those who can't make it to the dojo. No, there will be no Zoom training next Wednesday night however. Zoom training this Saturday will be the usual meeting ID and it will be the first hour only, from 10am to 11am. Although there is a limit to 10 people inside at the moment, if we have more than ten we will have an overflow group training outside and we will rotate the two groups so that everyone gets to train inside equally. Our usual COVID measures apply: scan QR code masks at all times inside don't come to training if you feel unwell - get

2nd half of 2021 training dates | Tomoko's new bags

Thank you for your assistance in helping Sean compile the membership renewal application to the VKR. Next Saturday is our last Saturday training for the term and it will be on Zoom. As we move forward please check back in to this site and also TeamApp for updates on return to in-dojo training. I hope we will be able to start term 3 back face-to-face. Term 3 : 17 Jul to 11 Sep (9 weeks) Semester 2 Beginners' Course   : 7 Aug to 11 Sep (6 weeks) Victorian Kendo Championships weekend of   14-15 Aug (to be confirmed early July) Term 4:  9 Oct to 11 Dec (10 weeks)  Shochugeiko  11 or 18 Dec (date to be confirmed) The Training Dates page for 2021 been updated to show these dates. Tomoko's new bags Here is a new range of bags that Tomoko has designed for your consideration. She has also told me that she has completed the previous order and will bring them to training once we return to the dojo.

Zoom trainings Saturday 10.30 to 11.30am and Wednesday 5.30 to 6.00pm until further notice


Wed night (9/6) training cancelled | New restrictions easing: Saturday training to stay on Zoom this week | memberships reminder

It's late notice but I am cancelling tonight's online training due to weather, insufficient space in my home to run training and eye strain from too much screen time for me! Training this weekend (12/6) will stay online. Although schools are back, the Gov't is wary about gyms and indoor training. Outside groups are a maximum of ten so I think we can stay online for one more week. :fingerscrossedemoji: Sean will be sending out reminders about membership. Please respond if you haven't already. Recent beginners will have their names added to the club's nafudakake . (above)  

High school Kendo in Japan: To-o-gijuku High School

The Japanese experience of Kendo in school and university has always fascinated me. These four videos from Let'sKendo are really interesting. Probably only for the die-hard Kendo otaku amongst you all! The first three videos shows the regular training at To-O-Gijuku High School (東奧義塾高等学校) in Aomori Prefecture. It's fascinating to me to see their training space: the huge banners, trophies, soft arm chairs and heaters (probably for visiting old 8-dans in the colder months!), photos and calligraphy. From the amount of framed photos and certificates, I'm guessing this stadium doesn't get used for basketball all that much! What else is interesting to watch is their unique training routines. I've mentioned this in training recently, how many dojos have their own versions of kiri-kaeshi and so on. Their warm-ups are as much to do with fostering a unique identity as a club and as a team, as they are a physical preparation.  Note also how quickly and in unison the whole club

Extension of lockdown | memberships due | kirikaeshi | 20th anniversary

Lockdown We will be having another Zoom training this Saturday as a result of the lockdown extension. The time will be half and hour longer: 10.00 to 11.30am, using the same Zoom meeting room as usual. We will also be training next Wednesday via Zoom also. Let's hope that lockdown eases next week and doesn't get further extended! Memberships Sean will be in touch with members soon about process for joining or renewing with the VKR and AKR. Please keep an eye out for his email from "membership.nanseikan@gmail". Kirikaeshi As our newest members learned two weeks ago in the dojo, kirikaeshi is a universal warm-up drill in dojo everywhere. The standard format is 2 sets of sayu-men (diagonal men strikes) moving forward and backwards intersperse with three straight men strikes against your partner who either receives on their men or blocks with their sword.  As we learned the format is most commonly nine sayu-men: four forwards and five backwards. But sometimes different do

Training cancelled tomorrow - Zoom training instead

Of course tomorrow's training has to be cancelled due to the snap lockdown no. 4. I'm confident that this will be only a one-week hiatus. So for tomorrow only we will go back to a Zoom training format. The meeting ID is the same as last year. I will TeamApp the meeting ID to club members again. If you do not have TeamApp please email me directly. Training will go from 10.30 to 11.30am. Wednesday night training will be from 6.30 to 7pm. See you then and remember, we've done this before, we'll get through it! ____________________________________________________________________________ Below please find a message from VKR President Michael Dunn to all clubs Dear all,    As you are no doubt aware, the Victorian Government has announced a 7 day lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic effective 11.59pm tonight. In line with Government restrictions, all Clubs should cease in-person training until the lockdown has been lifted and guidelines permit a return to training.    The VKR