Happy 2014! As you may have noticed, kenshi247.net has undergone a complete renewal mainly with the aim of making things more minimal. As part of this reworking I decided to remove pretty much all of the pre-2013 articles. Don’t worry – the content hasn’t been deleted – it’s simply been archived at the moment, and I’m sure will pop up in a different format in the future.
Whilst doing this cleanup I started thinking a lot about not only what I had achieved with the site since it started back in 2008, but also about the success of the keikokai I began pretty much in tandem with the site: Eikenkai.
The history of Eikenkai is basically split into 3 periods:
1. Pre-Eikenkai period: 2006+
2. Official start of Eikenkai: 2008/2009
3. Finding a permanent base at Sumiyoshi Budokan: 2010+
Basically, the idea about starting my own kihon-based keikokai started in around 2006, when I began to be involved in a couple of friendly, non ‘official’ gatherings outside of my official dojo. These gatherings were more informal and, more-often-than-not, involved more kihon practise than I found in my dojo. However, I wanted to do something more than just a loose gathering of friends for a bash. Slowly I began to co-opt one of my sempai’s informal gatherings. It took a while, but eventually more of my friends than his were coming! Eventually I just said “I want to change the format” and went ahead and did so. The name change came a little later.
At this point we were still using public dojo on a lottery basis – we were never sure which space we could rent. After some hunting around and string pulling we were able finally to get a dojo we could pre-book on a yearly basis starting in 2010. Bar building our own dojo, this is the best situation we can hope for.
Since the initial inception already 8 years have passed!! The format of the keikokai is set, we have a proper home, have a strong core member base, and some of our members have become or are on the cusp of becoming kodansha. I can’t be sure, but I suspect that in the long term, the connections and friendships made at Eikenkai (not to mention all that kirikaeshi!) will have a deeper impact for me than the running of kenshi247.net itself.
At any rate, here’s to more Eikenkai in 2014 – happy new year!!
Eikenkai: 1-picture-per-year, 2006-2013: