eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai (Feb. 2024)

The first Eikenkai of 2024 was held last Saturday, the 17th of February, and was attended by something like 25 kenshi (a few folks arrived late from a different keikokai, and a couple had to leave slightly earlier, so I’m not sure of the precise number). I think about ten nationalities were represented (Scotland, France, Germany, Spain, Croatia, America, Chile, Venezuela, China, and Japan) including three people who will take part in this years World Kendo Championships. If I have missed anyone I apologise.

The format of keiko has changed slightly over the years as I have gotten older: the long-used 40-30-45 sessions (40 mins kihon, 30 mins waza, and 45 mins of jigeiko) has been replaced with an easier 60-40-60+ format (about one hour of kata, 40 mins of kihon, and an hour or so of jigeiko). As the kata section is a “extra” the sessions are, for most people, a little bit shorter and less physically intensive than before… maybe!

Vid screen grab showing the kihon section

The kihon section is rather orthodox – it starts with kirikaeshi before going through the basic kihon strikes, a little bit of oji-waza, and finishes with uchikomigeiko and kirikaeshi. Emphasis is on accuracy and body movement rather than on simply volume alone. The jigeiko section is much longer than we used to do before, mainly because once we made the switch from Sumiyoshi Budokan to my workplace in 2016/2017, we now have no time-limits when using the dojo.

After keiko was finished and we had changed, we took a short ride to Umeda and had some light beverages….

My daughter will enter primary school from April and am not sure how that will affect my schedule as yet, but I hope to be able to host the next Eikenkai on maybe the 29th of April (a national holiday). Well, either then or just after the Kyoto Taikai in early May. Hmmm, we shall see. Anyway, if you think you will be in town around about that time, please feel free to get in touch. Cheers!

By George

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