Categories
kendo media

Kendo Tokuren

I recently received a question about kendo tokuren and decided to do this short article explaining what I can about the system. As the information isn’t generally available, I can only give a brief/rough outline about how the system works based on what I know about things here in Osaka, or what I have inferred […]

Categories
equipment kendo

Bokuto mania

I love bokuto and own more than a few… maybe about 20 in total nowadays. For the first few years of my kendo career I had a single kendo odachi and kodachi pair, but over time, as I got more into classical swordsmanship and the history of kendo, I started to collect bokuto from different […]

Categories
kendo theory

Maai is willpower

The ability to read and utilise distance in kendo is paramount. In Japanese this is referred to “Maai” (間合) and “Ma” (間) – “physical distance” and “interval.” Some people use the terms interchangeably or overlapping – though they really are different words, they definitely overlap (a kind of “spatial relativity” as it were) . At […]

Categories
kendo kyototaikai media

Kyoto Taikai 2018

The top event in the Japanese kendo calendar – the Kyoto Taikai – has finished once again. This was the 14th straight-year I’ve attended but even though the format never changes, it doesn’t get old. Unfortunately this year, due to non-kendo related responsibilities, I was only on the ground for a one full day and […]

Categories
kendo shiai

All Japan Prefectural Championships 2018

This year, as usual, the Osaka prefectural gym was the venue for the All Japan Prefectural Championships (mens). What was different from last year is that I am now in possession of a seven month old daughter, which meant I was only able to watch a couple of hours of the competition before heading back […]

Categories
dojo kendo media

Butokuden godogeiko

Yesterday I joined a 120-person keiko at the Mecca of kendo, the Butokuden (this ancient article needs updating!). The Butokuden was the HQ dojo for the Dai-Nippon Butokukai, the most influential organisation in kendo’s history, and the father of today’s All Japan Kendo Association.

Categories
equipment kendo

Rule revisions for safety and fairness

A few days ago (on the 19th of March to be exact) the ZNKR released a memo regarding changes in stipulations regarding kendo equipment. As it was only written in Japanese, today I’ve decided to briefly translate it so you can know what’s going on. Although the proposed changes are only concerned with Japan, it […]

Categories
media shiai

University Invitational Shiai

Today’s mini-post is another media one with pics from a couple of University Invitational Shiai that my students and I attended over the last couple of weeks. March is always a busy month shiai-wise (we still have one more next week and another was cancelled) but, as I’ve mentioned before, these university invitationals are my […]

Categories
kendo theory

Engendering positive kendo

Introduction In a recent opinion piece posted on the Tokyo Kendo Associations website, Morshima Tateo sensei re-iterated his desire for kendo to return to its historically attack-centric style rather than the “win-at-all-costs” defensive style that is often seen nowadays. Although winning-at-all-costs and defending may seem contradictory it actually isn’t: winning is predicated on not-losing, and […]

Categories
eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai (Feb. 2018)

Yesterday, for the first time in half-a-year I held an Eikenkai session. For the last 10 years or so we’ve been going at a pace of one session every couple of months, but with work and baby making life hectic, it has been difficult to get the time.