As some people who read the kenshi247 Facebook page know, yours truly was in a traffic accident and and hospitalised (initially) for a month: cycling on the way home from work on the 8th of September I was hit from behind by a car, resulting in a compression fracture of the vertebrae, i.e. what’s sometimes referred to as a “broken back.”

Sounds terrible, I know, but I was relatively lucky: only a single bone was fractured and I suffered nothing else other than a few scrapes and bruises. I had a cast around my back-abdomen/chest area for 10 days, and am currently consigned to wearing a corset/brace for the next couple of months or so. I can walk fine and – given time – I’m expected to make a full recovery. The fact that I’m in pretty good shape due to kendo probably helps to speed this up. Not so bad, considering. I don’t want to think about what could have happened had the accident been worse.

It’s been exactly 3 weeks since the accident and it looks like I’ll be allowed to leave a couple of days short of a month. The first few days where painful and full of worry, I panicked that I may not be able to do kendo again. In fact one of the nurses said it would be impossible… which I admit scared the life out of me for a minute or so before I thought “I’ll show you!” At any rate, I plan to be back in the dojo asap, for kengaku at first, then with my men on and scrapping by the start of next year.

During the first 2 weeks so many people came to visit me that I was a bit overwhelmed: over 60. I got so much food that I had to refuse the hospital meals (thank god!) in an effort to eat what I was given. The fact that I am vegetarian (and have been for 20 years) threw the kitchen staff into turmoil resulting in random (almost always non-veggie) dishes. Had my friends not given me food I would have probably starved! If your vegetarian and living in Japan don’t get hit by a car.

Most of the people that came were kendo people of course, from my students to hachidan sensei. In fact, one of those sensei suddenly arrived to find me lying on top of my bed in only my cast and pants (I mean “pants” in the British sense)… it was hot after all!!!

Obviously I’ve had a lot of free time to contemplate the accident and to think about kendo. Up until now, kendo has just been another part of my life, something I take for granted. Occasionally I have pondered over the fact that I am lucky in my kendo situation/environment – usually when I a starry-eyed visitor from abroad comes – but I never *really* thought about about exactly how lucky I am just to be able to do kendo.

Serious kendo study requires that you are in pretty good health (especially if your keiko volume is high), are relatively well-off, and have the time to spare… things that maybe some of us take for granted. I know I did. Had I been born under different circumstances perhaps kendo would have been impossible or just some sort of silly fantasy. Something to ponder.

The sheer amount of kendo friends, sempai, and sensei that visited me has reinforced what I’ve long believed to be one of the main outcomes of a successful pursuit of kendo: the forging of trusted relationships, the creation of an extended social circle, and a feeling of belonging. In that way I gained a lot of confidence in my kendo life just lying on my hospital bed.

Apologies for the chatty, attention-grabbing over-sentimental blog-like post: I’ll shut up now and hopefully start work on some real content for the site soon.

By George

George is the founder and chief editor of
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25 replies on “Hospital”

George, I am not surprized to hear how far reaching your support network is at all. You have achieved some amazing things and done so much for others, I have no doubt that you will continue to do so for many years to come. What’s amazing is that you continue to inspire people, even from your hospital bed!

Good luck in making a full recovery and I hope to be facing you in bougu again someday soon!!!

Take care!! Greetings from Mexico. Hoping prompt and nice recovery. Good vibes sent to you!!

Best Regards
I Gamino
Mรฉxico City

I know more or less how you feel, my country isn’t the safest one, or the more economically stable, We are lucky, since the first day I was thankful to be able to practice kendo and even more now with such good friends and senseis around. I can’t imagine my life without it, is like you said some time ago, a second home, for some of us the only one.

This are very good post, some times is good to know how the editor feels. hahaha

Best wishes.

I’m glad that you’re well, and as frustrated as you may be at the moment you’ll eventually get to return to keiko again. It’s just a matter of time, right =)? Hang in there. Knowing you, you’d probably find another way to improve your game.

I’m sure that a lot of people that read your enjoy your articles and appreciate your contribution to english – speaking kendo would have liked to pay you a visit in the hospital but the plane ticket is $1200 and I’m sure you would rather meet us for kendo than for bed side small talk so we’ll be saving for when you are in good health ๐Ÿ™‚ I had a bad (soccer) accident a couple of years ago and I panicked many times during recovery…got my strength from my friends my phisio and a blog ๐Ÿ™‚


Best regards,

Hope you get better soon. Today I saw a car hit strongly an old woman when taking my son to school, I’m still choked. This make me think how fragile we are. I agree with how lucky we are to just practice kendo, and we have to sacrifice ourselves to do it.

Best Regards,

Guilherme Nanini

Curitiba, Brasil

Dear George,

I wish you a very quick recovery. It is sad to hear that you’ve been in a traffic acciddent but you are lucky indeed.

Best wishes.


When you are forced to realize just how lucky you are to have or to be able to do something (like Kendo, or walking, or driving, or anything!) it makes you appreciate it all the more. Especially so when you are threatened with it being taken away permanently.

This, unfortunately, is only really understood by those who have been or are in that situation. I happen to be one of them.

I understand your thoughts completely; the shock of “oh my gosh! No more Kendo?!” followed by “I’ll show you!”, etc… I’ve had (quite literally!) those exact moments myself.

But take heart in the fact that it seems you will make a wonderful recovery and you have the drive to do so, which is also an important factor. Good luck!

Hey George, hope you get better soon and are able to get back to Kendo! Don’t rush it too much though, don’t wanna permanently injure yourself!!



I also think that vegetarian is hard to live in Japanese hospital, but don’t worry.

In Japan we have a lot of speces of weeds which can eat, for example Yomogi. So if you have some free time, why don’t you look for some weeds to eat?




@Ryunosuke: ๆข…ใกใ‚ƒใ‚“ใ€ใ‚ใ–ใ‚ใ–ๆ›ธใ่พผใฟใ—ใฆใใ‚Œใฆๆœ‰้›ฃใ†ใญใ€‚็›ธๅค‰ใ‚ใ‚‰ใšๅ‹‰ๅผทใ‚ตใƒœใ‚Šใ€‚ใ€‚ใ€‚๏ผ

Best wishes from Indiana. I heard from Smith-sensei what happened and was thrown into a hysterical frenzy over what I would read while you recovered.

Take care!

I dont think you quite need to be in a frenzy!!!!!! I’m out of hospital now and have a few days before I have to start work again…. so lets see if I can do a small translation or something in the meantime….

Hi George,

How are things going now? Are you making any progress yet? Getting better or still a ways to go?

Hi Andy,

Thanks for asking.

I started rehabilitation last week. Back is still in pain at times, so there is no chance of me beginning kendo anytime soon… maybe January or February? I have no idea.

Its given me time to work on some (top-secret) kenshi247 projects…. thus the slow down in articles here for the time being. Keep watching this space!

– George

Hey George
Hope the recovery is going well and hope to hear abt your return to keiko soon
Cheers old boy

Hi George,

Just wondering how things are going now? Are you ready for your next shinsa yet? ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you still teaching the HS kids etc?

Hey Andy,

Thanks for asking (and sorry for the late reply) – my back is 100% ok !!! I just back up to speed around May (i.e. 3 keikos/day) then (starting mid-June) developed an achilles problem. Very frustrating to say the least. Not ready for my next shinsa by a long shot!!

– George

The new format is great. The articles [and comments] are interesting and thought provoking. I am new to Kendo/Iaido in San Antonio TX, but have 36 years in the arts with Karate, Aikido, and now Kendo/Iaido. Sorry to hear about the accident and time in hospital, but grateful that you are on the mend and will be back. Bummer about the achilles problem, but the short term injury/aggrivations are nothing more than a speedbump in our martial carreer. Being an aikidoist for 30+ years, my rear foot is permanently fixed at a 45 degree angle. So Kendo, with its straight-on approach has been, shall we say, challenging. I continue fighting the blisters and bumbs in the left foot, but heck, I will get through it and continue to have a blast in Kendo.
Keep the articles coming. I will have to check out your facebook page, but, at work, we are blocked, and being an IT guy, the last thing I want to do when I get home is get on the computer. I do promise to check out your page [eventually].

Bob S.

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