Author: George

George is the founder and chief editor of kenshi247.net. For more information check out the About page.

Eikenkai April 2013

Yesterday morning around 25 kenshi gathered at Sumiyoshi Budokan (in central Osaka) for our usual fast-paced kihon keiko session. As always, the format was 45 minutes of basics, 30 minutes of waza practise, and 45 minutes of jigeiko. On top of that, we did some tachiai-geiko for members that are taking 6 and 7dan gradings this week. After keiko we walked through the beautiful Sumiyoshi-Taisha, spotting a traditional wedding ceremony en-route, before going to our usual restaurant for beer/food. Big congrats to one of our members, Akiko, who announced her engagement, and a big thanks to Rhett who – after …

Kendo Books

UPDATE: I’ve decided to renew this particular article every so often when new and interesting books become available. The original post was published in April 2013. Most recent updated January 2017. As I write this post at work, I have dozens of kendo books standing in the shelf on my desk: ones about learning the basics, others about how to get better at winning shiai, some general kendo history books, the occasional philosophical treatise, and even a couple of kendo-specific conditioning and training manuals. At home I have out-of-print books that were published in the 20s and 30s, and loads …

Shinai grip 竹刀の握り

Yesterday I popped into my sempai’s kendo shop in central Osaka to buy a shinai. Almost all my shinai have round handles, but sometimes I do use koban (oval-handled) shinai, so I picked one up. I took a snap and posted it on facebook to quickly see if kenshi247 readers also try koban shinai. Of course the answer was in the affermative. As I’ve mentioned before, I am really picky about shinai. This has led me, over the years, to experiment with different types of shinai, be that lengths, weights, brands, balance, handle length, and even handle shapes. I think …

Bunburyodo 文武両道

Bunburyodo is a term that I’m sure many if not all budo practitioners are familiar with. It’s a term used to describe someone who has become or is trying their best to become ‘accomplished in the both military and literary arts’ (martial arts and arts/sciences). The first recorded use of a similar term (「文事ある者は必ず武備あり」) is found in the ‘Records of the Grand Historian’ (史記), written in Han-era China around about BCE 109-91. When the Records came to Japan and how and when the term was was changed to ‘bunburyodo’ seems to be unknown, but various other synonymous kanji combinations have …

Mazeru – mix it up 交ぜる

Recently a long-time kendo friend living in the U.K. messaged me on facebook to tell me he was bored with kendo (again). The problem – as I put it to him – was that he has probably “little variation in his keiko” and that he is “constantly stuck with the same partners, doing the same thing.” He readily agreed to my analysis. When you combine this with the lack of a large kodansha base (whereby there are few senior people to learn under nor aim towards), then you can see where his boredom comes from and can easily understand the …