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Showing posts from 2007

Kendo in every day life - Ian

Hi all.

If you didn't know I am in China for a Year, not doing Kendo but studying Chinese. Being in a completely different culture is not easy at times. Life is supposed to be a little challenging otherwise why get out of bed in the mornings but being here definately has its challenges. The language, food, customs to name but a few. There have been times when it has been mentally challenging and I draw on my experiences as a Kendo player during these times. I think if the mind is strong enough to get through 1000 subari then anything else shouldn't really be a problem.

So don't just think of Kendo as something you do on a Saturday or Tuesday at training but as a preparation for what may come in your life. With a strong mind many obsticles and challenges can be overcome.

Think postive and reap the rewards.

Ian (Bo Yan 包研 )
13 March 2007


The following up posts is here at our forum!

FW: February camp in Dunedin

Hello all,

please find below the details for the upcoming camp to be held in Dunedin (and a bit in Christchurch) in Jan/Feb 2008.

Visit to New Zealand of Tokyo Sensei led by Umetsu Sensei (8th dan).

Following on from their popular visit to the 2004 Hutt Winter Camp, a group of five Kendo practitioners will be visiting the South Island in Jan/Feb next year. Led by Umetsu Sensei there are also Higashiyama S (7th dan), Hayashi and Sato S (6th dan) and Mrs Tahara (5th dan). They will be attending a special practice in Christchurch on Wed Jan 30 to which NZ Kendoka are invited. Umetsu and Higashiyama S are both instructors of the Tokyo Police. They have trained Kendoka in foreign countries in the past and are fabulous instructors.

They will then travel to Dunedin and instruct a seminar at Kings High School from 7 - 9 onFriday night 1 Feb (exact time to confirm), 9 - 5 on Saturday Feb 2 and 9 - 3pm Sunday Feb 3. A dinner will be held on Saturday night. This event is hosted by the Invercargill C…

Jeff's reply to Benji's Thoughts

Hi Benjamin,

I have been wanting to reply your mail after I read it, but I have been pretty busy this week. Apologies.

In Kendo training, we have always been asked to feel ourselves: whether we are using too much right hand; or our shoulders are too tense; or not band our kneels too much, etc.

In the beginning stage, it would be difficult for beginners to do the movement right since they don't even realize they are using too much right hand or can't really feel how much we have banded our kneels.

Therefore, realization is important. Realize your own feelings such as frustration, fear or pressure. And this would open the door to another stage of your own development.

Usually, we get used to be ourselves, therefore we don't realize the things we did are wrong. Such as a lack confidence person might not even know he/she is lack confidence; on the other hand, a big-head person might not know he/she is too self centered. If we don't know what our problems are, there is no way we…

Some thoughts about the training last night - DABAO

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Hello everyone,

This is my first time to write a group mail, so exciting!

I really really enjoy the training last night, it was great! it was my first time using a "stick" to fight someone legally in this country! :)

It also was my first time to fight (keiko) with senior people from dojo, I really appreciate for their selfless help! My first fight was with Terry senpai, he was really fast! and he gave me a really tough training. (thank you very much, Terry).

After the first fight, I thought I really ran out my energy and I said to Marleen "now, I know why you always tell us Kendo is so hard!" I think we can obviously improve our physical and psychological energy via the kendo training. Last night I only did two fights, but I believe after several this kind of training, I can do more fights than before.

Here, I should say thank you to everyone in dojo ! Thank you very much for "fighting"with me.

Tian /(DABAO)

p.s. FAREWELL Benjamin! I think we will see each othe…

Thoughts - Benjamen

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06 Nov 2007

Thoughts.


I don’t remember the last time I cried. Probably when I was young, whenmy mother left to go overseas or something like that. Well, yesterday I got pretty emotionally choked up: but out of happiness and understanding, not sadness or anger. As Omar put it – I was shell-shocked, after Jeffrey taught me what was probably the most important lesson of my kendo life.


Let me explain. I am not an angry person. Generally, if someone annoys me, or makes me angry, I just walk away and get over it. Even when I wasa stupid young kid in high school, and we had fights on the field after class (as stupid kids tend to do), I was never angry, and always made sure the other person was alright.


I can’t really recreate in writing how I felt yesterday fighting Jeffrey. Perhaps the best way to put it would be to say it felt, for thefirst time, as if it was real. The normally polite and calm Jeffrey was suddenly fighting, or so it seemed to me, as if he wanted to kill. Trust me: there is a h…

Some training thoughts - Darrin

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007I thought I'd share some thoughts I have following last night's training... Sensei commented on my showing good spirit. My comment on this is that I actually find this not so hard; my skill level is still in the very beginner stages but I figure that I can still take the attitude that I am going to put everything on the line for this one cut. I got this message on the first day of the national camp when our Japanese Sensei said that with everything that we do in our training we should have the attitude that we are putting our lives on the line. I think that as we get older we become more and more faced with our mortality and I am recently coming to realise, I mean actually know for sure, that my life could be over at any moment; therefore, my life is on the line every living minute of the day. So, when I come to kendo training and try to take this attitude of putting my life on the line, it is maybe the one moment when I am actually saying I might di…

Early Kendo video clip

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This is an excerpt from an old TV show called "You Asked For It." This portion shows what Kendo is. .... Interesting is that this was back when sweeping was allowed in Kendo.


I found this interesting Kendo video clip at YouTube and hope to share it with you.
~ Sam

Update from Katsu

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Tokyo University!!!

Wow, Katsu ...

Well done. We are all proud with you!

----- Original Message -----
From: Katsuaki Jimbo
To: Marleen Charng ; Sam Tsai
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2007 10:51 AM
Subject: Its been long time from Katsu

Hello, Marleen and Sam.

Katsu here. Its been long time since I left waikato, sorry for not telling anythig. I have been very busy, I had to work everyday and also need to study for the exams.

Fortunately, I passed the entrance exams!!!!! I will study at Tokyo Univiersity from Octorber. I will continue studying environmental studies.

One of the reason I passed was that I could keep my mind stable trought writing exams and interview. This stable mind is from Kendo I guess.

So thank you thank you very much for everything you did for me.

I guess our club member really enjoyed the summer camp which I watched the pictures. So many kendo people in our dojo, I can feel the good atmospere, tension and enthudism.

I have no time to practice kendo right now, but I will start aga…

Grading 2007-09-04

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On behalf of Waikato Kendo Club, I would like to congratulate:
- Tian Li
- Wen Luo
- Annie Ko
- Gray Chapman
who have achieved 8th Kyu in Kendo;

- George Liu
- Kevin Peng
- Sang Won Kim
- James Nam
who have achieved 6th Kyu in Kendo;

- William Kim
- Clment Guo
- Robin Kim
- Omar Soemadipradja
who have achieved 5th Kyu in Kendo;

- Nicolus Stuyck
- Angus Gray
who have achieved 4th Kyu in Kendo;

and

- Joshua Mo
- Christopher Mo
- Andrew Fraser
- Fumiko Akiyama
- James Lee
- Min Gi Kim
- Ari Nuttale-Parton
who have achieved 3rd Kyu in Kendo.

Well done, all of you! That was a great grading and I am pleased to be part of your achievement.

Getting higher grade also means more responsibility (such as taking care of other beginners and be a better moto-dachi) and more harder training.

Anyway, please enjoy the photos (Thanks to DoHuan) and see you on Saturday. 100 Photos are available HERE!

Marleen - Be a contributer or just a consumer

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The main purpose for me to push you participating in the 2007 NZKF National Seminar (Winter Camp) is not for your techniques only. Because we are not able to upgrade our kendo level in two days camp. What I want to show you is a great sensei -- Inoue sensei.

I want you to know, to learn from a great contributer in Kendo, to set him as your own role model. Because all your life, you might not have the same oppertunity to see and listen to such a great person who contributes his whole life time in Kendo and makes big contribution to the society and others.

My thinking can be traced back to my own experiences via my three Te-nugui that I am using... The blue one is from Chu sensei (Hanshi Hachi Dan) around 20 years ago, the red one is from Mihula sensei (Hanshi Hachi Dan) around 15 years ago, and the green-blue one is from Sam.

Chu sensei has past away more than 10 years. Mihula sensei past away around two years ago. Whenever I use my blue tenugui, I think of Chu sensei. How he taught me …

James - reflections from the National Camp

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The reflection from the camp is below... Something I learnt that is really pleasing is the new kata. I have learnt the movement of some the 4th kata and learnt more about 'hatso'. Innoue Sensei also taught me how to bow properly. It was embarrasing learning how to bow but still it was worth it. The mental aspect I learnt is the feeling you should have during the continuous men cuts with 1 breath. Now I get the feeling that is really going for a target and have something to achieve ... And these are the most important things I learnt ...
James

Henry - reflections from the National Camp

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Dear Sam, Marleen and everybody,
Here are some reflections that I have after our Yearly National Camp I want to share with everybody. Technical aspect:The most important thing I have learnt this time is from Kata No. 2 and No.3.When we face to our opponent, Shinai needs to be kept on the centre line. Slightly push each other away could make the situation change. You could push your Shinai into opponents' centre line or push too hard and expose your hand. Philosophical aspect:Inoui Sensei made a comment about my ties behind Men wasn't even and tidy. That represent I won't have a good Zanshin. Somehow it make sense to me later (not at the first place). Inoui Sensei also asked everybody "what is the most treasured thing for ourselves ?" "Your life" that was what he revealed.I believed that he wanted to tell us the real meaning of "Bou Do" (or we can say Kendo Martial Art) isn't about killing or hurting each other. It is about arming yourself …

Leo - what I have learned from the camp

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During this camp I learn a lot from Inoue sensei.
First of all sensei teach us how to control our breath, to do continues cutting without changing your breath, though I didn't do it right at the first time but later on I start to get the idea and doing 15 men cut with 1 breath is really hard. Very impress with that Japanese girl who did the demonstration for us on that day, I believe she did 20 cuts in one breath!!!
Another thing that I learn is never use a new shinai during the camp you will get blister very easily, because the new shinai handle is too rough against your skin. I also learn how to do all five kamaie more properly now, didn't really know who to hold wakigamae properly before. Sensei also told as lot of philosophical thing including the meaning of each kata up to kata four, and how the ultimate goal or the highest level of kendo is to avoid conflict with others as much as possible. We can learn the meaning of life through kendo.
During my grading this time, I di…

Andrew - Breathing and the No-Bogu-Keiko

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Hi Sam, I did try to do my "homework" last week but have found it difficult to write, i think I needed some time to digest it all (the camp).
A few things stick in my mind from the weekend.
Number one -Inoue sensei. Like most advanced masters I have seen he has a very deep understanding about - everything, I feel grateful to attend a camp which such a teacher. I have been pondering over the breathing exercises - these were difficult, they developed not only lung capacity but strength of mind, (willpower),i also feel that working on breath control like this reminded me of breathing practices of Zen meditation and the ability to fill the hara with ki to bring the mind to a steady state. Breathing is the original kihon. When we are born it is the first and when we die it is the last.
Kendo is indeed difficult in that it is not only a moving meditation like for example tai chi but it is one where we do give everything physically and yet need to remain centred. Staying mindful is h…

Clement - Thanks to Wells Sensei

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Clement - The 2007 NZKF National Seminar

The biggest thing I've learnt from the kendo camp is not how to defeat your opponent faster, what tricks you can use to win, it is PATIENCE and getting back to BASICS.

My initial expectations for the camp was continuous fighting, developing and honing my fighting skills to be better at my shiais. But the more I learn, the more I realise, how much I don't know.

When I practised with the sensei's, when I was practising kata, I was nervous, I was scared to death. Afraid I might be looked down on others, as if there was an expectation to participate in the camp.

The senseis saw this immediately, saying how I was always very jittery, jumpy, like an ant in my pants. But one sensei reached out to me, he was Wells Sensei, he helped me and I can never thank him enough.

I was on the floor, sweating and panting after facing him, he completely obliterated me...he was too fast, too powerful, too good.

then he said: "Stand up, hold your ground, be…

Kevin - Self reflection and learning review from the 2007 NZKF Seminar

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Kendo camp- Self reflection and learning review

First of all, I have to say: dear Sam and Marleen Sensei, I think your club rocks! I truly appreciate this opportunity and I am glad I am part of this wonderful Kendo family.

Now, without further a do, the followings are some of my reflections and learning reviews.

General practice: Some practices in the camp are new to me.
1. Jumping suburi with inter-changing foot steps: I find this quite interesting. In terms of how useful this is I've no idea.

2. Kiai/breath holding:

i. One breath loud Ki-ai competition: I suppose the training is good for endurance and extending the kia. Also as many people know, competition among peers leads to better training result. So I think this exercise is quite cool. I find myself often lack of kia sometimes and I think by doing this exercise will increase the strength of the kia of the individual as well as of the group.

ii. One breathe ki-ai with continuous hit (same strength) and in the last breath end with a…

Darrin - Camp

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Hi Sam

In reply to your homework email...

Leading up to the camp I had been focussing on trying to 'fix' some of my kendo problems and I was doing extra cardio work to improve my fitness/stamina. Two days before the camp I got a cold - a bad one! Oh man, I was so frustrated!

I atttended the camp on Saturday and to be honest it was a long day for me because I had a headache and wasn't feeling too great. However I still really enjoyed the training.

I found the spiritual aspects of kata really helpful with having the appropriate attitude when approaching kata.

I found the breathing training really helpful although pretty hard work.

It was really useful for me as I have been thinking a lot lately about my breathing and how I use up all my breath on one kiai.

I also found that the focus on training with the attitude that your life is on the line every time was really good and should help me to improve my sanshin.

The kirikaishi training was cool too! It was really hard work when you an…

Video: Kendo's bogu manufacturing

These two video clips might help you appreciate more about your Kendo Bogu!Part 1:



Part 2:





Or try these two URLs:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1Xege-59rgPart 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJE5TxdKpsc

Benjamin - A great lesson in humility and understanding

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Photo shown at Waikato Times 13 August 2007, p.3.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Benjamin
Date: 14-Aug-2007
Subject: A great lesson in humility and understanding

Hello Marleen and Sam

I would like to say a big thank you for organising the camp. It was agreat experience, and I am sure I will remember it for the rest of my life. I believe everyone was impressed with how well managed it was, andhow everything went so smoothly. I really enjoyed it, and, because I'm acomplete beginner, being around all those kendo-ka made me want to work really hard to become like them.

Aside from all the great knowledge Inoue sensei shared with us, Ibelieve the most important thing I learnt this weekend was humility.

Before I put on bogu I watched everyone fight, and I watched many videos of fights from all over the world, and I thought that it must not be so hard, and that once I put on bogu I could fight too. Now I have realizedthe horrible mistake in my thinking. Kendo is hard. Very very ve…

Robin's advice to his son Daniel about Kendo

2007/08/04 21:39

This afternoon, after the normal training session. Robin and i had a littel conversation.

He told me that Daniel thinks coming back to Kendo recently. However, he told him that if he wants to coming back because of other reason rather than for Kendo self. He'd better not.

But if he really made his mind to come back, he can come back after the Winter Camp.

I feel this is a right Kendo mind.
You attend Kendo training/ journey just because Kendo self rather than you got trouble from other place/sport.

Actually, Robin eagers his son back to Kendo for quite a while but he still hold quite clear mind to give his son a good advice. This must be a very difficult situation to him, I deeply believe.

I admire his parenting very much.


~ By Marleen

Kendo is a kind of life style

I feel kind of lost if I couldn't participating in Kendo training


My term 2 Beginners Class student Douglas told me that he has practice at home everyday since he started Kendo journey. He makes Kendo become his life style.

It's actually not easy for any kendo beginners.

Back to myself.
Since there are too many things need to be done befor the Winter Camp, just right next weekend. Therefore, I didn't have oppertunity to get change and train this afternoon as my initial plan. I don't feel good without training today because it becomes my habit.

It doesn't mean that my fitness is good enough now to get all the training done. Afetr 5 years semi-rest from Kendo, I actually don't have enough strength to perform as I was. However, via the feeling not being trained, I realized that I have gained my old life style back.

As Hsu sensi points out: Marleen, you have gotten Kendo cancer.
Yap, it's true.

~ By Marleen

Training on 04 Aug 2007

Just a quick note for today's training. As I always feel, if we don't write it down, we will forget it soon. Actually I planned to blog all my training after I came back to NZ this year. However, I just found time to do it today ...

Omar is take good note for our training for the training on Tuesday 31 July:
http://waikatokendoka.blogspot.com/2007/08/training-session-tuesday-31-july-2007.html

For those who could not come today, it was palnned for the Kata section. We started from 3pm for the beginner class. There is no point for them to do Kata yet as they just started Kendo for about 3 or 4 weeks.

I have been teaching Beginner class for several years now. From all the beginners' eyes, I have been encouraged a lot by them. I might be an instructor for the class but I also learn a lot from them. I would like to thank agian to all the beginners I have taught. It is you who make me a beeter instructor. Of course, I will keep lifting up my own Kendo level and please let's do i…

Grading results on 21 April 2007

Here are the results for those who participated in the grading on 21st April hosted by Stevenson sensei (6th Dan) from Auckland Kendo Club, NZKF.

6th Kyu
Nicolas Stuyck
Michael Taiopa

5th Kyu
James Lee
Min-Seong Kim
Min-Gi Kim
Christopher Mo
Joshua Mo
Ari Nuttall-Parton
Jack Huang
Wen-Bin Zhang (Ken)
Jei-Chen

4th Kyu
Ta-Wei Chen (David)
Andrew Fraser
Darrin Meynell

1st Kyu
Ruby Huang

First of all, congratulations to all of you.

The second, we will have another grading on 12th May along with our Beginners Cup for who couldn't make it this time. Hope you seize the time to every training from now on.

Again, your success on Kendo journey depends on how much efforts that you have put in.Let's work together to achieve another level on August National Camp.

The photos are available HERE (Thanks to Leo).

Kind regards
Marleen ^-^