Categories
equipment kendo

Mokumoku shugyo

I picked up my first nama-kiji dou in 2015, as a sort of present to myself. Up until that time – unbelievably – I’d never had a bamboo dou. There were a couple of reasons why I didn’t get one: the main one being economic, and the second that I thought that (somehow) a bamboo […]

Categories
dojo history kendo

Weekend musha-shugyo and research trip

Last weekend I took some time out of my super busy schedule to visit a kendo friend in Iwate prefecture, in the north of Japan’s main island. I’d been promising to go for years, but with this and that, I’d never managed to quite find the time and make good my promise. Realising I’d probably […]

Categories
kendo theory

Shugyo

For perhaps the fifth year (or maybe it’s the sixth) I find myself going through ramadan. Well, not exactly ramadan, as I am an atheist (though not irreligious), but I co-opt the month to do my own sort of spiritual and physical discipline (for the same reason I have tried Lent before). During this period […]

Categories
theory

The shugyo spiral

Just under six years ago I published an article entitled The Kendo Lifecycle. It was quite popular at the time and, based on my site stats, is still visited regularly by people from all corners of the Internet. As an extension to this I started, from about two or three years ago, to attempt and […]

Categories
dojo history kendo kenshi

Tokyo Musha-Shugyo

At the very end of July this year I took some time out of my normal schedule and headed to Tokyo for a Musha Shugyo, that is, I went on a “warriors pilgrimage,” with the aim of polishing my kendo. In the short time I was there (I stayed five nights in Tokyo) I visited […]

Categories
kendo

Seito-ha, nanken, and communication breakdown

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone about something and at some point realised that the person or people you are conversing with somehow doesn’t seem to get what you are attempting to communicate, no matter how simply or clearly you (think you) you are being? I am sure you have. Of course, […]

Categories
kendo

The Green Tree

Recently, a lot of kenshi from abroad have been coming through Osaka and getting in touch. When possible, I invite them to keiko at my workplace and sometimes to my small asageiko sessions as well as some other places depending. Work and life can be quite busy, so it’s not always possible to fit people […]

Categories
kendo

Kenshi24/7-ryu

After many years of consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that some people may find me hard to work with. This is (mostly!) due to the fact that I am a bit of a sceptic: for things that I am invested in – or that I find important – I tend NOT to take what […]

Categories
eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai (July 2023)

Today I held my first Eikenkai since February. Due to this-and-that a lot of regular members weren’t in attendance. Still, 15 people turned up for a just-over three hour session. Nationalities represented included Japan, China, America, Croatia, Ireland, Switzerland, Venezuela, Italy, Germany, and, of course, Scotland. The lack of locals made today’s session feel more […]

Categories
japanese kendo

Slow horse, fast horse

Just the other week a friend was visiting from Tokyo. She popped into the dojo for a couple of keiko, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. To my surprise she also brought with her a gift from my 2022 Kyoto Taikai partner: a tenugui. I of course knew that they were friends, […]