Categories
kendo shiai

Pandemic rule changes – mini analysis

While (most of) the rest of the world has been in various stages of lockdown and societies across the world have been facing existential difficulties, things have been going on more-or-less as normal here in Japan. Kendo has faced difficulties of course, for example, with many shiai (todays topic) being postponed or cancelled indefinitely. The […]

Categories
kendo

Hitorigeiko

With vaccinations rolling out in various parts of the world (not here in Japan though…) and rumour about kendo resuming in some places soon, I think it’s worth looking back and thinking how our non-dojo time was spent during the pandemic. Perhaps you did a lot of suburi? Maybe you took notes? Watched videos? No […]

Categories
gradings kendo

Point of view: female gradings

(Note that I added an UPDATE section at the end of the article) A number of years ago, while on a seminar in Edinburgh (actually, in the pub afterwards), a young female kenshi from Sweden asked me why there were no female kendo hachidan (they exist in iaido and jodo). I slowly quaffed my beer […]

Categories
miscellaneous

Chin up!

It has been just over a year now since my dojo closed. Not my work one, luckily, but my main adult one. Since coming to Japan, the majority of my keiko has revolved around the police. My first two years were spent at the main police dojo for a medium sized city in Hiroshima prefecture, […]

Categories
equipment kendo

What’s in my kendo bag

I read an anecdote many years ago (when, where, and by who by I can’t remember*) that has stuck with me over time. In it a kenshi tells the story about how they would often go to the Nippon Budokan for keiko, walking up a sloped path from the nearest station, Kudanshita. En-route sometimes they […]

Categories
history kendo kenshi

Shinbu-ken

About three and a half years ago I wrote about the sad fate of one of my dojo here in Osaka. It had been my “second home” for about 15 years, and 2020 would’ve been it’s 50th anniversary. As I wrote in the the linked article above, the disappearance of local dojo in Japan is […]

Categories
updates

2020 Review

Happy new year! Judging by the recent news it seems that the world is heading for more chaos in the months ahead than it faced over the last 10+ months. Perhaps more so outside of Japan than inside it… I hope I am wrong. Here we are working (and importantly, keiko-ing) away pretty much as […]

Categories
kendo theory

Imagining seme

Striking in kendo, for the experienced, is something that occurs at the end of a process, which is usually encompassed in the umbrella term “seme” : through pro-actively applying some sort of pressure on your opponent you “break” their posture (physical and/or mental) and defeat them. This is the theory of-course. The less experience someone […]

Categories
history kendo kenshi

Yagyu Kaido

“Known as the village of master swordsmen, Yagyu is the birthplace of Yagyu Shinkage School of swordsmanship… Long ago, Japan was a land engulfed in war where the principal objective was slaying ones’ enemies by sword. From this war-torn wold, the mast swordsman Yagyu Muneyoshi was born. He created the school of Yagyu Shinkage where […]

Categories
equipment kendo

Men mask

I have been wearing masks constantly for the last six months (since mid-March. I wear one in the supermarket, on the train to work, at my desk, in class, and, as you know, during keiko. My beard+the humid Japanese summer just makes things worse. But, as things stand at the moment, life might be this […]