Year: 2015

Sensei 先生

One of my main sensei is in his mid 70s. During keiko I attack him as best as I can but he still hits me and pushes me back. My heart rate rises quickly and I feel myself on the back foot at all times. He just keeps coming… like a Terminator! He’s in the dojo almost every time and he pushes everyone to do their best kendo. He has my utmost respect. Recently, however, during post-keiko beers, some of my sempai have been wondering exactly how long he has left at this pace. I had never thought about that …

Duty of care 注意義務

Judging the outcome of shiai and handing down a decision may at first appear a simple task but, in fact, it is far from it. It would be more accurate to say that it is one of the most difficult of tasks. Perfect refereeing can be achieved only by the Gods alone – it is unnatural for one man to pass judgement upon another; thus, we cannot hope for faultless and perfect refereeing. – Noma Hisashi, The Kendo Reader (1939) A couple of weekends ago – for the first time in years and years – I attended a kendo seminar. …

Book collection 剣道書集(一部)

On the rare occasion I actually get some time to myself I like to engage in my hobby… no, not kendo, but rummaging around second-hand book shops for kendo and kendo related books. In particular I enjoy getting my hands on pre-WW2 books/manuals, or autobiographies/first-hand biographies of kenshi that lived during that period. Over the last few years libraries and universities across Japan have started to slowly digitise their old catalogue, so you can actually find many older books online for free. Personally however, I much prefer to get my hands on a physical copy – preferably an original rather …

Victory and defeat: 15 points 勝敗

Along with Naito Takaharu, Takano Sasaburo (1862-1950) is rightly considered one of the fathers of modern kendo. There are many reasons why he can be considered so (see a full bio of Sasaburo here) but the one of interest to us today was the publication of the highly influential kendo manual (sometimes referred to as the “bible” of kendo) simply titled “Kendo” by Sasaburo in 1915. “Kendo,” based on years of research and almost certainly influenced by Kano Jigoro (who Sasaburo worked under), discussed kendo in a more logical manner than kendo books up until that time had, in particular …

Eikenkai September 2015 英剣会

Eikenkai is a kenshi 24/7 led kihon-heavy keiko session that takes place usually every couple of months in central Osaka. Only two weeks after our last keiko, yesterday (Sunday the 13th of September) 24 kenshi got together at Sumiyoshi Budokan for our trademark session. Thankfully the Japanese hot and sultry summer weather is starting to disappear, so lasting the entire practise is becoming (slightly!) easier. Still, we managed to work up a sweat the usual way: 40 minutes of kihon, 30 minutes of waza, and about an hour of jigeiko. Our next session will 29th of September. If you are …