2023 Review

Whew. After a hectic year of kendo I finally finished my last two keiko sessions of the year today. Today’s first keiko was in the morning, one of my asageiko sessions which I outlined in the first post of the year, and the second was an open keiko held by a friend in the Butokuden. I was already knackered from the day before as my club’s last shiai of the year was held very far away, and I only got back home late. Anyway, I somehow made my way to the end. I am sitting writing this post with a (well deserved) beer in my hand!

2023’s last shiai (27th Dec) :

2023’s last keiko (28th Dec):


As far as kendo years go, I guess it has been a good one: normality has returned, the Kyoto Taikai is basically back to normal (I guess next year it will be back 100%), I finally restarted the Edinburgh Kendo Summer Seminar, and my Eikenkai sessions have been more frequent.

Over the course of three articles this year I discussed the future of kendo in Japan: Free fall, Adapt and Reshape, and Lecture: further enrichment of budo classes in school physical education. If you didn’t realise there was a mini-theme in my writing this year, please re-read. Of course, you might think that this doesn’t directly affect you if you live outside of Japan, but I guarantee it will eventually (if not you, then your students).

Although my two most popular posts of the year were about gradings in one way or another, my favourite posts were a little bit more personal: Slow horse, fast horse and kenshi24/7-ryu.

The best gear I got my hands on this year was KendoStar’s Vanguard Myrmidon. I mentioned them almost at the very end of the summer seminar post, but I think I did them a disservice – they should’ve had an article of their own. At the moment, they are my go-to kote, and I wore them at both of my final sessions today.

With Japan finally opening up, I had loooooooads of visitors over this year. I can’t actually remember how many or from where! Kenshi from at least Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Canada… visited me for keiko. I know there were many more (the U.K., China, Chile….). Thanks for coming and I hope to see you all again.

My favourite media from posts during the year are:

I uploaded loads of pics to instagram, and some vid as well:

And don’t forget the two Edinburgh Summer Kendo Seminar vids on YouTube:

Aaaand, I think that’s that for this year. Again, as always, thanks for following kenshi 24/7 and I hope to write more next year as well as get a chance to meet more readers. Cheers!

By George

George is the founder and chief editor of
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