Category: equipment

Leather Tsuba (review #2) 革鍔

In December 2013 I wrote a review piece about a small one-craftsman-operated company that hand makes beautiful leather tsuba (for both bokuto and shinai). In the three plus years since then many people have stopped me and commented on the tsuba as they are so unique and well-crafted that they catch the eye immediately. Recently, I custom ordered another smaller-sized tsuba (I prefer using super small tsuba) and, as a bonus, I received another gorgeous wave decorated one as well. Looking at the pictures below, I’m sure you’ll agree they really are works of art. For more information please visit …

Shinai placement 竹刀の置き方

The following is a slightly revised and renewed essay from kenshi 24/7’s now unavailable mini-publication “Kenkyu and Kufu” originally published in 2014. Current publications can be viewed at kendo-book.com. If you watched the final of the All Japan Kendo Championships last November (2013) you might have watched the two finalists put on their bogu and stand up prior to the match. Did you notice that – soon to be 3rd time winner – Uchimura Ryoichi picked up his shinai with his right hand first before switching it to his left as he stood? Years ago I was told that the …

Practice bogu (KendoStar) 稽古用防具

Earlier this year I was delighted (jealous!) when my friend Andy decided to break free of the shackles of Japanese company life and go independent. Out of his new projects, his new online bogu company with a super cute name – KendoStar – is what interests me the most. The idea behind KendoStar is to provide Japanese-made bogu tailored specifically for the international kendo community (rather than for the domestic Japanese market). KendoStar’s flagship Kaisei model looks delicious but, since I don’t reaaaaaally need something of this quality at this time, I couldn’t justify picking up a set (maybe later!). …

Improving tsuki waza 突き技の向上

A couple of articles ago Stefan asked the following question in a comment: Hey George, where is the article on how to build a tsuki pad? In 2008 I published two articles detailing some DIY tsuki-pads I had made. The earliest of the pair was made over 10 years ago, way back in 2006, and both articles were eventually archived. The following article was inspired completely by Stefan’s comment. I hope it proves useful! I strongly advise against treating tsuki as a special technique that can only be learned once a certain level of ability is acquired (this is generally …

Old style 古めかしい

As long term readers of kenshi 24/7 may have noticed, this site strongly emphasises the traditional and historical aspects of kendo. I also find myself – both online as well as off – thinking about and having discussions about how kendo has evolved through the years, for both good and bad. Although there is a lot you can find on the site that is my own thinking or heavily influenced by the sensei and sempai that surround me, most of what is presented here is informed through historical analysis, in particular through lots and lots of reading. Over the years …