Author: George

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Embu 演武

The window for applying for this years Kyoto Taikai has finished. I have been attending now for over 15 years, taking pictures and cataloguing my experiences here on kenshi 24/7. Unexpectedly, my first experience of actual participation was in the koryu section, not the kendo one… way back in 2009 I think it was.

Kote review (Bushizo) 小手

A couple of months ago, completely out of the blue, I was contacted by a representative of Bushizo, a relatively new online kendo equipment reseller based in Tokyo, and asked whether I would like to review their own brand of kote, called ARM. I had seen the press release about the kote before, and had looked at their website, but it didn’t look like something that was suitable for me or the type of keiko I do. I said I’d accept a set (disclaimer: it was a freebie) if they were happy with me writing an honest review, which they …

Learning jodan through teaching it 教うるは学ぶの半ば

About 10 years ago a student of mine – a tall 15 year old girl who had only started kendo seven months earlier) – approached me in the dojo and suddenly said “please teach me jodan.” Not having thought too deeply about it before but knowing that I wanted to learn myself at some point I replied: “Um, ok. Let’s work something out.” The inspiration behind her sudden request had been the wining of the All Japan Championships (mens) by a young jodan-wielding policeman from Kanagawa prefecture a few days earlier (this was early Nov. 2008). It had been the …

Osaka Kangeiko 2019 寒稽古

Happy new year! As is the norm here in Japan, the year-end/year-start season is a busy kendo one. Amazingly I actually did end up having a handful of non-kendo days over the period (family time), but I managed to make up for the missed keiko days by cramming multiple sessions in a very short time – five in the last two days alone! This year, as normal, I attended both days of the Osaka kendo associations kangeiko (usually it is a three day event). On the first day I participated as a motodachi for pretty much all of it, but …