Yesterday, for the first time this year, I held an Eikenkai session at my work dojo. Twenty-one friends gathered together representing something like ten countries (Japan, China, Scotland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Croatia, America, and New Zealand) for a spirited morning of keiko. A couple of us arrived at the dojo at 7:30am-ish to practice […]
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Kendo Coaching (decade)
Ten years ago today, I self-published “Kendo Coaching Tips and Drills.” At that time it was the only English language kendo instruction manual that didn’t focus on basic stuff like how to fold your hakama or the names of the parts of shinai*. Instead it introduced footwork and wrist drills, gave ideas for basics and […]
In 2017 I (very happily) shared the news that I was given a ukiyo-e (nishiki-e) of a famous (and extremely historical) kendo scene from 1873. Almost exactly a year after, I detailed my totally random find of another ukiyo-e from the same period and the trials and tribulation I went through to get my hands […]
When I arrived in Japan permanently in late July 2003 (of course, that wasn’t the plan at that time…) it was to a small island in Hiroshima prefecture. Before arriving I knew that there was a shonen kendo club based in the local junior high school, but I didn’t really know what to expect. I […]
In November 2015, a year after he passed away, I wrote about a particular sensei who had inspired me (“T-sensei” I called him). Although eight years have elapsed since he passed away, I know that his teachings are still alive within me. Just recently, for example, I instructed my students to – when doing a […]
I’ve been practicing kendo for, what, about 30 years now. Or nearly that, I’m not exactly sure. In that space of time I have collected so many kendo-related bits and bobs that I have lost count. Well, after moving to Japan that is – before that (20 years+ ago) there wasn’t really anything kendo-related to […]
Rule change: Tsubazeria version 2.1
The rules changes had been in essentially an experimental stage since Autumn 2020 and now – after using them at various shiai over the past year – there has been a slight massaging of them. The information about the change started to disseminate to local federations about six weeks ago or so but the ZNKR […]
Kyoto Taikai 2022
Finally, it’s back! The Kyoto Taikai has been held every year since 1895 except in cases of Tenran-jiai, war, occupation, or – as in our current situation – pandemic. The first three taikai were held in a makeshift tent in the grounds of Heian-Jingu* before being moved to the Butokuden after its completion in 1899. […]
Seeking the true way
I think it was about seven years ago but it might have easily been eight or six, a graduate from my kendo club came to my school with a gift. It was an older gentleman, someone who had graduated decades before I arrived, so not one of my direct students. I wasn’t around when he […]
I have large stack of unread, or partly-read, kendo books in my closet. I pick them up from time to time and flick through them. Also in the stack is, I must admit, books I read (some only sort-of) but decided they didn’t contain much useful information. All my really good kendo books don’t live […]