Looking forward これから

So, the start of 2018 ushers in the end of kenshi 24/7’s tenth year online. Unbelievably I’ve been writing this site since 2008 (which itself was an extension of a private kendo blog which began in 2003). I can’t remember exactly when the first post went up as I’ve deleted, archived, or otherwise removed or re-jigged quite a few posts over the years, but it was early-ish in 2008. At any rate, it feels like I’ve been running kenshi247.net for twenty years not ten!

Over the last decade I’ve translated countless pieces from Japanese to English, published a number of kendo books, and introduced famous kendo people, places, dojo, books, events, happenings, and concepts that were not commonly known outside of the Japanese speaking kendo community (some even little known within it). In these respects, I feel pretty confident that the site has been a success.

Personally, in these last ten years I feel I’ve progressed a lot both as a practitioner and a teacher, in practical technical execution as well as in the study and understanding of theoretical aspects. This has often been aided, and sometimes even fuelled by providing content for kenshi 24/7 and through the people I have met because of it.

My position as a public high school kendo teacher over the same time-span has afforded me great freedom to really see how kendo develops in the trenches, as it were, and living in Japan has given me the chance to study under some top teachers. Both of these, by the way, have also allowed me to see and experience first-hand some not-so-great stuff as well…

So, “what’s next?” What are my kendo goals for the next ten years? And what should I do with kenshi247.net from now on? The two are deeply intertwined.

Kendo-wise there is always the next grading to aim towards, the next batch of students to instruct, and the annual Kyoto Taikai to take part in, so things will more than likely take care of themselves. As a bonus, my dabbling in jodan has started to become a little bit more serious. So, kendo-wise, I have a number of solid objectives to work towards.

Then there is the Edinburgh Kendo Seminar which, as I mentioned in the last post, Edinburgh Kendo Club and I are making official this year. Running an annual seminar in Edinburgh taught by police kendo professionals has been an aim of mine for a long time, and I am happy it’s finally coming to fruition. This, I hope, will turn out to be a long-term project that will continue even after I am long dead-and-buried.

But what of kenshi247.net? After a decade of posting is it finally time to draw a line on the website? Should I set it up as an archive and move on to something new, or should I continue on as is.. perhaps taking it in a different direction?

Continuing as is will neccessitate a slower posting rate as my job is extremely busy (hence the reduction of posts over the last two years) and I’ve a tiny wee daughter to take care of. If I go in a different direction, exactly which one do I go in? More media-based (pictures and vid), or perhaps more bloggy (e.g. more discussions about life in Japan)? Or maybe I just draw the line, archive the site, and start something new? I must admit that the last option is quite tempting.

Hmmm…


If you have an opinion on the matter, please let me know! You can comment on the site, on facebook, or email/message me directly if you prefer. Any and all comments welcome.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the last decade! Cheers,
– George

Support kenshi 24/7 on Patreon!

18 comments

  1. Markus Ojala
    January 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Hi, Thanks for the stellar work! I’ve been reading this website as long as you have published it and noticed that in the previous shake ups you’ve either deleted / edited old posts. Hopefully you will be able to keep up hosting the website as an archive as there is quite a lot of interesting things here, both in the articles themselves and in the comments, if you decide to pull the plug.

  2. PS
    January 2, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Media-based + Bloggy! A kendo version of what this Canadian couple living in Japan is doing would be awesome: https://www.youtube.com/user/simonandmartina

  3. George
    January 2, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for your support Markus!

    Yeah, I’ve been through a couple of mini shake ups before, but I always come back! Ten years is a convenient mark to draw a line under things… if thats what I decide to do. Even if I do that, I will of course keep the domain running and the site up. And, of course, kendo never stops!!!!!!

  4. George
    January 2, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    @ps – that looks like too much hard work! Besides, I’ve been in Japan waaaaaaay too long to find most, um, Japanesey-things interesting any more. They are just “normal” nowadays. Maybe 12 years ago I might have tried to do something like this (and made a living through it) but today? Nah

  5. Daniel Mulcahy
    January 2, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Hi George,

    If you do decide to unplug the blog, I would definitely advocate archiving your work for future generations of kendoka. This site has been a significant resource for the English-speaking kendo community, and it should stay that way. Personally, I would read or watch whatever you post.
    As a change of tack you might consider more video of your kendo process. The trailer for this year’s Edinburgh seminar and your previous promotion for the Kendo Coaching Manual (and not least the occasion you experimented with the POV Kendo Kamera!) show that you have the eye to make top quality video content, not only of other players, but of yourself.
    No matter what you decide, best of luck with it, and with your family life. I hope to train with you soon!

    Yours,

    Daniel

  6. John Doherty
    January 3, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Having stepped away from my blog, I’ve seen how hard it is to step back. I think you have a richer content base to work from though, so I don’t think it will be as difficult.

    My blog and my kendo have both suffered a lot since I left Japan. Injury, work, life choices have all played a part. Though it was ironically the burn out I experienced through not balancing kendo with life while I was over there, that has me a bit jaded the past few years. I dread to think what will happen should I add a bundle of joy of my own any time soon.

    I think ultimately, it is up to you what to do. Video content would likely be well received, but will take a lot more time and effort to produce. Translations are a great source to the community of otherwise inaccessible content so I think that would be missed sorely by your followers.

  7. Jim Gucciardo
    January 3, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Bravo George. Thank you for all your consistent work, effort and generosity. I wish you all the best in this new year, and do hope I get to see you in 2018. Peace- Jim

  8. George
    January 4, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Sorry for not replying earlier … I have been busy with too much kendo (as always)!

    @Daniel: thanks for your kind comments. If you remember the Kendo Kamera vid you must indeed be a long-time reader. That was back in the days when GoPro and Contour were fighting it out for the action camera market. Video … I don’t think I do have a knack for it, plus its quite time consuming to create… but I may try to put bits n pieces together.

    As for keiko – get in touch if you ever come to Osaka or, alternatively, come to Edinburgh in July!

    @John: yeah, stepping back will be hard. Still, I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do from now on. I have a book that I want to write – its all researched and everything – I just don’t have the time to write it.

    @Jim: thanks man! Hope to see you soon.

  9. Howard Babus
    January 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I greatly appreciate what you write, since I do not live in Japan, just in Santa Barbara, and as head instructor of our small dojo and on the board for SCKF. Please keep writing. Your perspective and impressions add to my understanding of kendo, especially since I am not Japanese by birth, culture or marriage.

  10. kenshi 24/7
    January 5, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    I would love to live in Santa Barbara!

    Thanks for your comments Howard. I’m not Japanese either!

  11. Igori
    January 11, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Hi George,

    Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu.

    Thank you very much for your great work. Your website really cool. Do you plan continue translations some articles about kenjutsu? For example would be interesting read chapter about kendo from Itto ryu gokui of Sasamori Junzo.

  12. George
    January 11, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Igori,

    Happy new year! Thanks for the kind words about the site.

    I won’t do kenjutsu stuff I’m afraid (or Iaido), because I’ve had some bad experiences when I interacted with that community. Sorry. It’s such a shame as well …

  13. jkh
    January 11, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    As someone wrote, “I would read or watch whatever you post.” however I find your blog absolutely unique and I prefer it stayed to be such. I don’t know any other place where you can find so many references to kendo history. You also very careful in posting your personal thoughts or tips.I understand you may feel bored, tired, unappreciated and so on. With time it is also more and more difficult to find a new valuable content to publish. Your deed lasts for long and it is natural that you may think that it is time for some change. However you are not bound to frequent posts, especially when you are tired father, but please post as soon as possible, whenever you find something valuable. As to the future direction just make valuable posts as so far and don’t worry whether they should be more media or more bloggy. We will be happy to observe development of your blog and your life as it will be.

  14. George
    January 11, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks for your kind words… I’m really not sure how to reply!!!

  15. Gabriel
    January 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Hi George,

    The amount of knowledge your publish here was and still is a big help to the local kendo association I attend to.
    As a brazilian kenshi I have to say that, not having many high grade sensei in my city, your blog was of fundamental importance to our development.
    As somebody said, whatever direction It takes, I’ll read or whatch whatever you post too, so please don’t stop !

    Thank you very much !!

  16. George
    January 15, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for your kind words of support Gabriel!

  17. Alexis Jolis Desautels
    January 23, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Yup…Pretty much everything that was said here…I’d simply add, as a bonus tought, that the very fact that you would create an entry where you reflect on these things and share with us is the proof that this window into your Kendo world MUST endure, in whichever format, frequency or content. I beleive your readers have no preference or regard to those points but moreso will simply follow you on that path, regardless. Thanks again for all of it and Godspeed! 🙂

  18. George
    January 26, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Thanks Alexis!

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