Categories
history kendo theory

Suburi: a brief discussion

A few months ago I was sitting down in an izakaya with Yano sensei discussing the upcoming Edinburgh Kendo Seminar. Over food and beer we discussed this and that, including of-course lots of kendo related things. During the conversation, in a rather off-hand manner, Yano sensei asked (because he knows I am a kendo history […]

Categories
kendo seminar

Edinburgh Kendo Seminar (2018)

After almost two weeks in Scotland for the 2018 Edinburgh Kendo Seminar I am finally back in Japan… and boy is it scorching hot here in Osaka. Upon arriving in Scotland I was told that the U.K. was in the middle of a heat wave, but compared to Japan it was weather-heaven, rain and all! […]

Categories
kendo kenshi

Become a fool

一、悪いことをしない (Don’t do anything bad) 一、勉強する (Study) 一、親に孝行する (Be dutiful to your parents) 一、国を愛する (Love your country) 一、善いことをする (Do good deeds) The above is the inscription on the gravestone of Ogi Manboku (1897-1993, hanshi kyudan). Ogi was an early graduate of the koshukai (part-time) program at Busen (1916), and counted some of the most renowned […]

Categories
kendo shiai

Re-imagining shiai

Recently I wrote two articles that took a critical look at the current kendo style and the (obviously directly related) problems with modern shiai. Engendering positive kendo Zanshin confusion, sutemi, and hikiage Of course, I am not the only person who looks at and thinks about the current kendo situation. In most cases, however, any […]

Categories
kendo media

Kendo Tokuren

I recently received a question about kendo tokuren and decided to do this short article explaining what I can about the system. As the information isn’t generally available, I can only give a brief/rough outline about how the system works based on what I know about things here in Osaka, or what I have inferred […]

Categories
equipment kendo

Bokuto mania

I love bokuto and own more than a few… maybe about 20 in total nowadays. For the first few years of my kendo career I had a single kendo odachi and kodachi pair, but over time, as I got more into classical swordsmanship and the history of kendo, I started to collect bokuto from different […]

Categories
kendo theory

Maai is willpower

The ability to read and utilise distance in kendo is paramount. In Japanese this is referred to “Maai” (間合) and “Ma” (間) – “physical distance” and “interval.” Some people use the terms interchangeably or overlapping – though they really are different words, they definitely overlap (a kind of “spatial relativity” as it were) . At […]

Categories
kendo kyototaikai media

Kyoto Taikai 2018

The top event in the Japanese kendo calendar – the Kyoto Taikai – has finished once again. This was the 14th straight-year I’ve attended but even though the format never changes, it doesn’t get old. Unfortunately this year, due to non-kendo related responsibilities, I was only on the ground for a one full day and […]

Categories
kendo shiai

All Japan Prefectural Championships 2018

This year, as usual, the Osaka prefectural gym was the venue for the All Japan Prefectural Championships (mens). What was different from last year is that I am now in possession of a seven month old daughter, which meant I was only able to watch a couple of hours of the competition before heading back […]

Categories
dojo kendo media

Butokuden godogeiko

Yesterday I joined a 120-person keiko at the Mecca of kendo, the Butokuden (this ancient article needs updating!). The Butokuden was the HQ dojo for the Dai-Nippon Butokukai, the most influential organisation in kendo’s history, and the father of today’s All Japan Kendo Association.