Year: 2016

Hasuji, shinogi, harai, and suriage 刃筋・鎬・払い・擦り上げ

The following are two slightly revised and renewed essays from kenshi 24/7’s now unavailable mini-publication “Kenkyu and Kufu” originally published in 2014. Mini essay 1: hasuji and shinogi Ever since shinai kendo appeared in the mid-18th century there have been complaints from the more traditional swordsmen, those who practised armour-less and with only bokuto or perhaps habiki (blunt swords). Their concerns increased in urgency as the popularity of shinai kendo began to effect how shinai kendo was performed and why people took it up (not to mention it’s democratisation = the who). For those interested in the serious study of …

Hasegawa hanshi’s tai-atari and kakarigeiko 長谷川壽範士の体当たり・掛かり稽古

Recently I was handed a condensed paper booklet of the kendo teachings of Hasegawa sensei, hanshi kyudan. The contents seemed to be a republishing of some earlier material (originally from perhaps the 50s or 60s?) on the 13th anniversary of his death. Leafing through the material I decided to translate a couple of small portions of the text, mainly as a pretext to introduce, via short bio, this forgotten kenshi to everyone. Sadly, there are many many many sensei with similar backgrounds that have already faded from memory. A short bio of Hasegawa Hisashi sensei Born in Niigata prefecture in …

Eikenkai June 2016 英剣会

It’s been raining relentlessly over the last while here in Osaka, and there is more forecast this coming week, but today – and only for today – the weather was absolutely beautiful!!! Obviously the kendo gods smile on Eikenkai!! Today’s session was held at my (George’s) work dojo and as such was deliberately a bit smaller than usual. Still, the makeup of the kenshi was between 2nd and 7dan representing five countries and a variety of professions. Before and after our usual 40-30-40 session (kihon/waza/jigeiko) some people practised kendo-no-kata as well as some koryu (the benefit of using my own …

All Japan High School Championships (preliminaries) インターハイ予選会

A couple of posts ago I talked about renshu-jiai, or practise competition, what they are and what sort of benefits can be had from doing them. Since making that post I’ve spent three whole days (two Saturdays and one Sunday) at shiai with my students while they competed in the Osaka preliminaries of the All Japan high school kendo championships. This shiai takes three days because of the sheer amount of competitors: the first Saturday was the individual competition (boys and girls), then the following weekend was the boys and girls team competitions, each taking an entire day. Even though …

Practice bogu (KendoStar) 稽古用防具

Earlier this year I was delighted (jealous!) when my friend Andy decided to break free of the shackles of Japanese company life and go independent. Out of his new projects, his new online bogu company with a super cute name – KendoStar – is what interests me the most. The idea behind KendoStar is to provide Japanese-made bogu tailored specifically for the international kendo community (rather than for the domestic Japanese market). KendoStar’s flagship Kaisei model looks delicious but, since I don’t reaaaaaally need something of this quality at this time, I couldn’t justify picking up a set (maybe later!). …