Today I held my first Eikenkai since February. Due to this-and-that a lot of regular members weren’t in attendance. Still, 15 people turned up for a just-over three hour session. Nationalities represented included Japan, China, America, Croatia, Ireland, Switzerland, Venezuela, Italy, Germany, and, of course, Scotland. The lack of locals made today’s session feel more cosmopolitan than usual. Current national team members from Croatia, Ireland, Switzerland, and Venezuela attended, as well as ex-members from the U.K. and Italy.
Today’s session was split into four sections: kata (koryu kenjutsu), kihon, jigeiko, and post-keiko keiko. For the kata section I did an introductory session of one of the koryu I do to those that were interested. We spent an hour going over some of the basics and trying about four kata.
It was blistering hot and extremely humid today, so my keikogi was already soaking before starting the 40 min kihon session, which consisted of the usual orthodox set up: kirikaeshi > men > kote > kote-men > dou > tsuki > oji-waza > uchikomi > kirikaeshi. You can never do enough kihon.
After a short break we moved on to a long jigeiko session. I think I was on my feet for about 50mins non-stop. I lied – I took my men off for 5 minutes towards the end to get some water and to take a handful of snaps. Of-course, I put it back on again for more keiko.
After we finished and chatted to those we keiko-ed with, a small handful of us put our men-on again and did some more. Whether it rains or snows, is hot, humid, or cold, shugyo never stops!
Here are the handful of snaps I took during my 5 minute break:
During a break I poked my head in the changing rooms and was surprised to see the best kendo-related t-shirt I have ever seen in my life hanging there. Behold:
Isn’t this amazing? My friends mother-in-law hand-painted the image on the t-shirt for him… if he wasn’t three sizes bigger than me, I would have stolen it!