Saturday, May 26, 2007

SMH Article

Two weeks ago, a journo from the Sydney Morning Herald visited the club and participated in the Wednesday night beginners class.

The article describing his Kendo experience was released in last weeks Radar section. For those of you who didn't see the article, here's the link to it!



Saturday, May 12, 2007

10th Korean Kumdo Championship Results

The Korean Kumdo Championship has been held another year.

Congratulations to:
Jayson Chaplin, Taek Yang, Andrew Van Hamond, Toshio Nishimoto and
Takashi Itakura, - Dan Team Champions
Vivian Yung - Women's Champion
Kenji Tagawa - Under 13 Champion
Takashi Itakura and Taek Yang - 3rd in the Dan Individuals
And to everyone who competed on the day.

A great effort from everyone!

Here are some photos.

Friday, May 04, 2007

So you want to train in Japan

As many of you know, I was fortunate to spend 2 ½ weeks in the Kansai region of Japan recently.

Japan is a fascinating country, mixture of ancient and the modern, with what seems to be a never ending stream of people travelling from one location to another.

Aside from the cultural highlights, I was able to play Kendo whilst in Osaka at the Yoseikai Kendo Club. Yoseikai Kendo Club is located in Namba, which is about a 5 minute subway trip from Osaka CBD.

The club has approximately 70 members and training regularly consists of appx 40 people. Their head instructor is Furiya shihan, 8th dan hanshi.

One of the things that really struck me was been told that none of the 8 Motodachis’ where under 4th dan when I trained there!

So what was it like? In many ways it was similar to Monday night’s training at Five Dock. Students arrive and are expected to do their own warm up and be ready to commence keiko at 7.30 pm. The program is essentially the same for a given practice night, hence there was little said from the commencement to the end of training – good for regulars, something that thankfully I was advised of prior to training commencing, otherwise I shudder to think how confused I could have been!

The program was as follows -
1: Kirikaeshi – 5 sets
2: Kihon Men – 5 sets
3: Kihon Kote, Men – 5 sets
4: Kakarigecko
5: Jigeiko
6: Kirikaeshi – 1 set to finish training

All of this was completed in 90 minutes, at a very high intensity level. I was extremely lucky to practice with 3 of the sensei and was truly amazed at how they played Kendo.

Even in Kakarigecko, if they were not happy with the students’ technique or posture they would immediately counter their strike. I think this probably gets to the heart of Japanese training, that is excellent technique!

Besides above, there were a couple of other things that really stood out –

1: Seme – the pressure applied was relentless.

2: Opponents probe, probe and then – bam! No unnecessary expending of energy until they are ready to execute their attack.

3: Every cut is fully committed from the time they commence their attack until their Kiai finishes (which does seem to be infinite!)

As a footnote, I also played Kendo in Cairns on my way back to Sydney. It’s a small club, but a dedicated group of Kendoka’s. Katsumi sensei asked me to extend an invitation for any SKC members to come to Cairns and join their training.

All of the Sensei I met, freely offered advice at the end of training to help improve my kendo. Considering they didn’t know me at all, I thought it was extremely generous of them and showed what the spirit of Kendo is all about!

If anyone’s interested in practicing in either Osaka or Cairns please let me know and I’ll provide you with the appropriate contact details.


Thoughts from the Invisible Man!

Hi folks,
Sorry you haven't seen me in ages but it's been a combination of the dodgy shoulder (yawn, yes it's still giving me grief) and some interstate traveling. Meanwhile, my gut is expanding and i get a rush of envy every time a club email arrives talking about the coming competitions!

I'm hoping to get back to training soon - maybe even next week - and really looking forward to seeing everyone again. I hope your training is going well and that you are taking care of injuries promptly!

Good luck in the kumdo comp,