Year: 2013

Rule changes for the better

In 2009 I wrote a post called TSUBAZERIA RULE CHANGES IN HIGH SCHOOL KENDO that looked at new rules that were being implemented for high school kendo competitions here in Japan. Just over 4 years later and I can say without a doubt that the flow of shiai has improved drastically due to this simple change: there is less time wasting in tsubazeriai and students kendo has become a lot more positive and forward-attacking than it was before. There’s probably not been enough time since the rule implementation for a larger change in shiai flow to occur in university and …

The Sword of the Samurai in the Hands of Americans

The Japanese Fencing Club

“Another new fad has come to New York – Japanese fencing. If you hear the clash of armor and clang of steel as you saunter through the brown stone districts uptown it’s wealthy young men taking lessons in palace stables and studios where the famous two handed swords to the samurai are at work. The weapon always has been described as formidable in the hands of an expert. The word “samurai” means knight, and for three thousand years he has been the ideal swordsman of Japan – always using the terrible two handed blade of his fathers.” I get an awful lot of …

Eikenkai December 2013

Yesterday the last Eikenkai session of the year was held in the usual place: Sumiyoshi Budokan. Although it was a little bit chilly, the weather was fantastic, so spirits were high and the practise was dynamic! In attendance were 17 kenshi, mostly from around the Kansai area but we were visited by two friends from Nagoya as well. Keiko was the usual pattern: 45 minutes of kihon, 30 minutes of waza practise, and about 45 minutes of jigeiko. After keiko we changed and retired to the local okonimyaki restaurant for food, beers, and chat. The next session will be on …

Leather Tsuba 皮鍔

A few months ago I was roaming around the internet looking for some interesting stuff and by accident I landed on the facebook page of a gentleman that hand makes tsuba – mainly for bokuto, but also for shinai. I love this sort of handmade product and posted a link on the kenshi 24/7 page. Immediately people began to like the link so I knew that I was not alone in enjoying such craftsmanship. Fast forward a couple of months and I found myself looking at the page a few more times and getting more intrigued by the tsuba. I …

Applied theory

In the last post on the site I discussed about what the term ji-ri-itchi means to me personally on a more macro level, and now I want to discuss a particular example of a theory applied to physical practise. Ken-chu-tai, tai-chu-ken AFAIK the first reference to the teaching of Ken-Tai appears in Yagyu-shinkage ryu’s Hyoho Kadensho, written by Yagyu Munenori in 1632 (it also appears in Hozo-in ryu and Itto-ryu documents, and probably more traditions as well). Ken-tai and variants of it (e.g. Kobo-fuki, Do-sei-ichinyo, etc) are usually rendered into English as “defense within attack, attack within defense” or more …