The Japanese word “KEIKO” (稽古) is derived from the above passage from the Kojiki. Literally it means to think (KEI 稽) about the past (KO 古), in other words, “to reflect on past experience(s).”
Phew, so another year is coming to an end. This has been, in both good and bad ways, quite a tumultuous year for yours truly. Luckily there was a lot more of the former than the latter.
In the first few months I got some new bogu parts, read some cool kendo books, and attended the Kyoto Taikai. During the middle of the year I introduced a DVD that I had provided the subtitles for, went on a mini Musha-shugyo, and practised in the rarely-used-for-kendo Wakayama Butokuden (built in 1905). During the summer holidays I ran a high school kendo gasshuku before heading over to Scotland to teach a seminar there. I got some new kit again as well as some kendo art, before being blessed with a beautiful baby daughter. If all this seems great, it was, but I was also sad to see one of my favourite dojo being dismantled. I’ve also put on about 3kgs…
I didn’t actually realise my year was so action-packed until I wrote that paragraph!!
The single largest thing for me this year was that Edinburgh Kendo Club and myself decided to make my mini-kendo seminars more official. Until this year they have been in-house, mostly private affairs for kendoka based in Scotland plus friends, but from next year (July 2018) I will be finally be doing something that I have talked about for years: bringing a professional police kendo hachidan to Europe for a weekend seminar. Edinburgh Kendo Club and myself will release information very soon, but it will be a seminar open-to-all. The dates I can tell you now : the 28th and 29th of July (there will also be keiko on the evening of the 27th at Edinburgh Kendo Club). I hope to meet and cross shinai (and perhaps have a wee beer) with some of my European kenshi 24/7 readers soon!
Oh, and by the way, 2018 will be kenshi 24/7’s TENTH year online! A whole decade. Wow…
Thanks to everyone for supporting the site over all this time, whether you’re a new reader, a casual one, or a rabid fan, thanks! You can continue to help by sharing articles, picking up a publication (or telling your friends how cool the books are), supporting via Patreon, buying a DVD that I subtitled, or attending the soon-to-be-announced kendo seminar in Edinburgh in July 2018.
Cheers, and happy holidays!
My favourite posts from 2017
- Nito-ryu kendo – a brief discussion
- Kensei Naito Takaharu
- Quality kenshi
- Teaching beginners
- Farewell – the sad demise of local dojo
Fave pics and vids from 2017: