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A brief reply to Benji's dojo experience

A brief reply to Benji's dojo experience in Japan.

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Hi Benji,

I don't think those teachers are "just being polite" to you as they don't need to do so.

My thinking is that they do feel you have good kihon (basics) and good attitudes in Kendo. Of coures, there are still many things you need to learn! But this does not mean you are "not good".

If you are still in Waikato, Marleen and I will still keep teaching you those "many things". Remember, there is no graduation in Kendo. You might be graduated from Waikato University but not Waikato "Kendo" school yet. In terms of Kendo journey, you are just "transferring" to another school. :)

I am very proud of you and your performance in Japan. The best thing I feel is that there is another group of Kendo teachers would like to teach and guide you for your future Kendo journey. And, I also think this is the value of what Marleen and I are doing in Waikato Kendo Club:

To give our stud…

Japan 2-practice from Benjamin

Hello,

Last night I went to the dojo I wrote about to you in the last email,the one which impressed me so much. But before I write what happened there I'll let you know about a third dojo.

Kotomi, my girlfriend, had been trying, unsuccessfully, to contact a certain dojo which was a few minutes by bike from our house. There was only an address and phone number listed in the phone book, and this was never answered. She decided to look up the address on google earth to find out exactly where it is (Japanese addresses are notoriously hard tofigure out). She found it and we went there by bike to see if anyone could tell us more. After asking some people we located it, and looking inside we saw rows of desks on a wooden floor. An old man was sitting outside and we talked to him. He told us that this was something like a community hall, and that he used to teach at the primary school in this area, and now teaches in this hall. We asked him about kendo and he told us that they move the desk…

Japan 2 -- from Benjamin

Hello again,

Today we went to visit another dojo.

It's quite funny how we found it:my girlfriend was looking for a spare part for her mum's sewing machinein a little shop down the road from our house. While the owner, an oldman, was out the back of the shop looking for the part she happened tosee the kanji for 'ken' on a letter partially hidden in a stack of paper. When the owner came back she politely asked him if he practised kendo, and he said he used to, and that the letter was from the kendofederation. She asked him if there was a dojo around here (noda city)and he said there was one just a few minutes from here.

This was strange because we had been looking for a close dojo (in this area) for the last few weeks in phone books and internet listings without finding any. He gave us directions and said they would be training tonight and that we should go and look.

It's actually quite an amazing dojo, very old, and quite small, withvery thin wooden walls (it's seri…

training on 25th March 08

Waikato Kendo Club
Tuesday 25th Mar. 2008
6.10 – 9.00pm

A. Management

1. Instructors’ Seminar short oral Report and shiai streitage sharing.
2. NZKF Champs follow up.

B. Training

I. Warm up time
Jumping suburi 60 origional + 10 x 3

II. Kihon training focus –
1. Meaning of being a Mototachi – responsibilities
2. Individual -- feeling about your Kensen3. Individual -- Manage distance from extend your arms + small foot step.
4. Individual -- For KM strike, please DO strike along with your central line, not worry whether you got the point or not. CENTRE and DISTANCE CONTROL is more important at this stage.
a. Kirikaishi x 5
b. Big seme M 3 x 5
c. Small seme M 3 x 5
d. Small seme M 3 x 5 (mototachi follow up)
e. BIG Kote-M 3 x 5
f. Small Kote-M 3 x 5
g. Small M 3 x 5 (mototachi strike M after receiving seme)
@ 5 minutes break

III. Stage two -- Kakari-geiko (15 x 9)
3 people in a group, each group with a senior.
IV. Cool down – Clement takes charge

Eiga Naoki documentary

Training programme for 22nd March 08

Waikato Kendo Club
Saturday 22nd Mar. 2008
3.10 – 6.00pm

A. Management

1. Do not hand in any payment today because office box is not here.

B. Training

I. Warm up time
Jumping suburi 60 origional + 10 x 3

II. Kihon training focus –
Feeling about your Kensen
Manage distance from extend your arms + small foot step.
For KM, please DO strike along with your central line;
not worry whether you got the point or not.
CENTRE and DISTANCE CONTROL is more important at this stage.

a. Kirikaishi x 5
b. Big semei (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 5 x 5
c. Small semei (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 5 x 5
d. BIG Kote-M 3 x 5
e. Small Kote-M 3 x 5
@ 10 minutes break

III. Stage two -- Kakari-geiko (one side each 15 x 6)

Reference -- Big M – KM – KM+ Hiki D – KM – M Hiki M – KM Hiki D – M – Big M

IV. Cool down – Awatea takes charge

V. Afterward – Any feed back to Darrin?

Few Thoughts after the shiai keiko on March 15 - Dabao in Chinese

18.03.2008

老师们, 我继续用中文表达我打剑的感受,因为中文能更好的表达我的想法。

通过上周六的小比赛,我感觉自己有少许进步了。特别是在KIAI方面,能冷静的发出"怒吼"了。能做出点RANXIN的感觉了。

比赛的对手是老骆,他的气势很强,我一直很"郁闷"和他对决,但是偏偏每次都遇到他(所以我还是很郁闷,哈哈。。。)。

所以在比赛前,我让自己COOL DOWN,把老骆想象成我自己,那么我就不会惧怕他那强有力的气势。我就想像对手就是我自己,我要打倒的就是我自己,所以这次表现比前两次比赛好很多。

真正的对手是自己本身,不是其他人。这是我这次比赛的心得

Marleen's translation: The real opponent is ourself rather than others. This is what I thought about after 15th Shiai.

至于动作,技巧方面,那是需要通过艰苦的大强度的训练才能提高的。老人说水到渠成,所以我会继续努力训练。

我给比我训练刻苦的同学们一句谏言:"不要太着急练成 '绝世武功',云在天空,水在瓶;一切顺其自然,我们练的就是云水剑

Marleen's translation: Do not hurry to achieve the invencible waza. Through daily training regularly training/ practice, we will achieve the higher level naturally.

不是吗?" 哈哈。。。。欢迎大家指正。

大宝

Training on 18th March 08

Waikato Kendo Club
Tuesday 18th Mar. 2008
6.20 – 9.00pm

A. Management

1. Distributing shinai order to Robin P. and Douglas F.
2. The importance of Not be late for any training session.
3. Publishing NZKF Open information.
4. Hand Saturday’s training to senior – Darrin M. and Andrew F.
5. Hand 15th 03 Team Shiai training DVD 5 copies to Awatea.
6. Display Entertain Book order from.
7. Vote 'training treasurer' -- Ann Chuang

B. Training

I. Warm up time.
Jumping suburi 50 origional + 10 x 3

II. Kihon training focus –
Feeling about your Kensen
Manage distance from extend your arms + small foot step.


1. Kirikaishi x 3
2. Big semei (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 3 x 10
3. Small semei (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 3 x 5
4. I-M few times
5. I- KM few times

@ 1…

Few Thoughts after the shiai keiko on March 15 - Darrin

Hi Marleen

I'm emailing you from work with my homework that you gave us on Saturday.

It was very good to get back to training although I started to feel quite sick again with all the running around, so I guess my cold is still lingering. However, I feel that it is time to just get on with things and it will pass.

When I read about the shiai on the training notice I thought "oh no, I haven't been training for a few weeks so I won't have improved".

The shiai for me is a real mental process where I am building up a feeling of intending to defeat my opponent and I tell myself that I am the champion, before we even start.

During the shiai I was not aware really about my technique and really didn't bother worrying about it - this is what the kihon if for to me and my technique and skill level will be a reflection of my training level. Rather, my focus was on finding opportunities to 'cut' my opponent. Actually, it seemed to me that my opponent was very open and …

RE: Benjamin's experience with first dojo in Japan

Marleen's reply to Benjamin's dojo experience in Japan:

Dear Benjamin,

It's an enjoyment to read your experiences in JP Dojo.
Don't worry about the length of your email.

I like your observation and thoughts.

No wonder you won the first prize in your department. Lizel told me. Her daughter used to be Joyce's classmate. They are still playing together.

If you don't mind, I would like to ask Sam post your "JP Kendo experiences" in our training blog in a serious to share your old mates. You actually are more like a journalist to us now.

Please be our eyes to see JP Dojo.

Also, please give a BIG kiss and THANKS to your girl friend. Thanks her to take care of you in JP for us.

Wish you all the best

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Benjamin's 2nd mail

Yes, please go ahead if you want to post it somewhere. I will try to upload some videos too, so that you can see what I meant in the text.

Also, I wish to emphasise again that I feel really good about how and wha…

Benjamin's experience with first dojo in Japan

Hello

I've been in Japan for a few days now, and have gotten settled in well enough. It always takes some time to get accustomed to a different culture. My girlfriend helped me make up a list of possible dojos to visit in the hope that I can do kendo at one of them for the next 6 months. Today we went to the first one on the list, and the experience dramatically changed my view of kendo.

When we arrived we were welcomed by the sensei (we called before we went there) and he talked to us about the dojo. This was when we learnt that they did not practice the modern form of kendo, but the old, pre-war kendo. I believe it is called Itto-ryu. Well, I thought it would be interesting. The sensei emphasised that they practice for "real combat" in the sense that they could pick up a real katana and win. I thought this was interesting because just minutes before that he said they do not hold competitions. He also pointed out that they use shorter shinai than mine (39), because it rep…

Few Thoughts after the shiai keiko on March 15 - Clement

Dear Marleen,

I've finally learnt what it is like to be in a team shiai, to work as a team. The pressure and stress was new to me, and it was a great experience.

To be honest, I can't remember what actually happened between me and Ms Fumiko san. Maybe because the first few shiais went so fast I did not have the time to think. But afterwards, I learn about the importance of cheering.

Shouting words of support was never easy to me, but I realised that you do so to raise the teams spirit.

You cheer on your team so they have the extra drive to defeat the opponents. So even though you may not be fighting alongside your team mates, your kiai will.

And like Terry senpai once said, "Kiai is half the battle".

Clement (^ ^;)

Few Thoughts after the shiai keiko on March 15 - Clark

Dear Sensei,

I want to thank you for giving us such good practicing firstly.

In the shiai, I fighted with Dabao. The main difference between this shiai keiko and the competiton in beginner cup is that all of us tried to use more real kendo techniques in the competition than before. Before the start, I thought about so many plans to fight by using the skills I learned in last month, especially the Kote-men cut and small men cut. And, in the process, I also tried my best. However, I could not work those skills out correctly. In my opinion, the main reason is that I am lack of more hard training and I have not comprehensively learned those skills yet.

After that, because of my bloody dissertation, I could not fully focus on my kendo training in these days, sorry about that.

Finally, Dabao is really stronger and better than what he was in the Beginner Cup and Good Will Cup. In the following days, I will study more about our senpais' training and competition to learn how to cut correctly i…

Few Thoughts after the shiai keiko on March 15 - Robin

Dear Marleen,

Just a few random thoughts about my shiai with Leo today.

Shiai….Me -Vs - Leo

How shall I fight Leo? … Shall I play safe try for a draw? Or should I try and win? I don’t even have to think about it really I’m going to beat him!

I didn’t have long to work out what to do and I haven’t seen him fight for some time but as I am putting on my men I think back to the last time we did Ji-gieko together and quickly work out my plan.

What was my plan? Well I was hoping to get kote or debana kote…. Apply a little pressure and hope he tries for men then get his kote … If he doesn’t go for it then I go for kote or maybe men.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some and today I lost! Congratulations Leo.

Was it a bad plan? No, I still think it was a good plan but perhaps I didn’t execute it as well as I could have. Perhaps I should have had a little more patience.

I’ll have to watch him (and Amigo, Do-Hun and Ruby) more closely in the next few weeks and work out a better plan(s)… Next time I will…

Training on 15th march with Team shiai keiko

Waikato Kendo Club
Saturday 15th Mar. 2008
3.10 – 6.00pm

A.Management

1. Formal thanks to helpers of Thursday’s 1st beginners’ class programme: Robin P., Omar, Awatea, Clement, Clark, Tian Li.
2. Cheques giving to Awatea and Clement for opening saving account toward International Kendo Champs.
3. Prize giving to Joshua for he made great efforts of loud kiai on Tuesday’s training session.

B. Training

I. Warm up time
Jumping suburi 50 origional + 10 x 3
Variety Suburi Focus -- te-no-uchi (手 の內)

II. Team shiai -- Each game with two minutes and Ippon only.
Each team make order by grade from lowest to highest. For the senior grade people can be referee.

Each team captain takes care of their own warm up for 10 minutes.

The winning team will be award with 6 litters juice. The losing team will be given lollies for their efforts.

## Each game will be videoed for coach/learners to check individual’s improvement.

III. Kihon training focus – feeling about your Kensen.

i. Kirikaishi x 2
ii. Big semei (Kensen push t…

08A Beginners Class 1st session

Waikato Kendo Club
Thursday 13th Mar. 2008
6.10 – 7.30pm First session of 08A

A. Management

1. Spread information sheets –
 Enrolment form/
 Kendo Q & A/
 08 WKC Year plan

B. First session

I. Introducing the Club & Coach, coaching assistants

1. Waikato Kendo association
2. Achievement of our Dojo (Association).
3. Chief Instructors – Marleen & Sam
4. Today’s helpers – Robin P., Awatea, Clement, Omar, Clark, Tian
5. Today’s programme.

II. Conversation Given by Robin P. (Kendo 1st Dan)
Topic: Kendo Etiquettes

III. Demonstration by Omar, Awatea & Clement

C. A fun challenge to our "ONE year old" Kendoka.

D. Afterwards…

A very BIG thanks to Robin P., Awatea, Clement, Omar, Clark, Tian for they show a team work spirit of the Club. Special thanks to Daniel P. for his help of taking care of Joyce.

Ebihara sensei: Kendo is the perfection of doing things

Strongly recommended for all Kendo lovers for the video clip, a short lesson from Ebihara sensei, Ken-Zen Dojo, New York.

..
The video is about 6:23.

You will be touched like me!

There is a translation in Chinese done by a Hong Kong Kendo friend. If you hope to read the translation, please visit his blog (the URL is here).

Training on 11th March 08

Waikato Kendo Club
Tuesday 11th Mar. 2008
6.20 – 9.00pm

A. Management

1. Distributing Auto payment form for people who need it.
2. Organising Thursday’s 1st beginners’ class programme.

B. Training

I. Warm up time
Jumping suburi 40 origional + 10 x 3
Variated Suburi Focus -- te-no-uchi(手 の內)

II. Kihon training focus – feeling about your Kensen.
i. Kirikaishi x 3
ii. Big semei M 3 x 5
iii. Big semei (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 3 x N
iv. Small semei (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 3 x N
v. I-M few times

III. Stage One -- Kakari-geiko with set movement
# Big M – KM – KM+ Hiki D – KM – M Hiki M – KM Hiki D – M – Big M
** 5 minutes break

IV. Cool down.

C.Very Important

The main theme for the training is te-no-uchi(手 の內)
- The overall use of the hands when striking or responding, including
* the way of gripping the shinai,
* the tightening/loosening of the grip and
* the adjusting of the balance between the two hands.

Te-no-uchi is very important "everywhere" in Kendo because we are holding s…

Training on 8th March

Waikato Kendo Club
Saturday 8th Mar. 2008
3.20 – 6.00pm

A. Management
1. Collecting/ Distributing Club Do for people with Do paint damaged.
2. Marleen has to leave early

B. Training

I. Warm up time

Jumping suburi 30 origional + 10 x 3
Vitiated Suburi Focus -- te-no-uchi (手 の內)

II. Kihon training focus – feeling about your Kensen.

i. Kirikaishi x 3
ii. Big seme M 3 x 5
iii. Big seme (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 3 x 5
iv. Small seme (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 3 x 5
v. Ai-M few times

III. Kakari-geiko (Stage One) - with set movement

# Big M – KM – KM+ Hiki D – KM – M Hiki M – KM Hiki D – M – Big M

** 5 minutes break

IV. Cool down.


C. Closing Summary –

The main theme for the training is te-no-uchi (手 の內)
- The overall use of the hands when striking or responding, including
* the way of gripping the shinai,
* the tightening/loosening of the grip and
* the adjusting of the balance between the two hands.

Te-no-uchi is very important "everywhere" in Kendo because we are holding shinai all the…

Message from Walter

Message from Walter - commenting on "Another Clip found by Robin"

+ + + + + + + +
Aha! Now that I have found out how to post comments, here is what I wanted to say originally:

It is great to read everyone's thoughts here. It is clear the WKC has many highly motivated students. I can also see that people are really thinking about their kendo from the physical, mental and spiritual angles.

This indicates that the club has very good students and also very good teachers! (I knew this already, but it is nice to have confirmation :) ).

I really enjoy training at Rembuden but reading this blog made me want to at least visit my old club and see how everything is going. I need some money first, of course.... :)

I will see many of you in May for the National Champs in Auckland, Im sure.

-Walter.

PS: It was great to read everyone's reflections on last year's national camp. 2008's will be here in Wellington in August (exact date not yet confirmed), so I hope as many people as po…

Training on 6th March 2008

Waikato Kendo Club
Thursday 6th Mar. 2008
6.10 – 7.30pm

A. Management
1. FF children’s day on 8th March 08 volunteers wanted.
Location: the Enderley Park Community Centre

B. Training

I. Warm up time
Jumping suburi 30 origional + 10 x 3

II. Kihon training
i. Kirikaishi x 3
ii. Big seme M 5 x 3
iii. Big seme (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 5 x 5
iv. Small seme (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 5 x 5

III. Cool down.

Another clip found by Robin P.

Dear Teams,

Below is another clip about cuting small men which found by Robin P..
Please enjoy the movie.



http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1780273/5900355 (cutting small men)


In fact, that's my sensei -- Dr. Hsu. the Vice President of Republic of China Kendo Association, 7th Dan.

He was the National Coach for TW national representitives for 8th, 9th, 10th and 13th World Champs. All achieved the 3rd position (males team). :)

He is the first and ever to lead TW team to get so many times award in the World Champs, after a generation gap. Now you know where I came from :)
And what I am looking for :)

This movie is for the preparation of 8th World Champ.

He uses both languages -- Chinese/ Twainese :)

That year, I was preparing for my graduated school entrance exam :)

If you can read Chinese, below is my sensei's blog in Yahoo.

http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/kendo-one/

Cheers
Marleen

Training on 4th March 2008

Waikato Kendo Club
Tuesday 4th Mar. 2008
6.10 – 9.00pm Memo—Kata + Normal training

A. Management
1. FF children’s day on 8th March 08 volunteers wanted.
2. Story of Visa expired/ over stay sharing.

B. Training

I. Warm up time
Suburi with Bokuto.

II. Kata practice – focus on breath control (till 8.15pm)

III. Kihon training
i. Kirikaishi x 3
ii. Big semei M 5 x 3
iii. Big K-M 5 x 3
iv. Big semei (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 5 x 3
v. Small semei (Kensen push to opponent’s tsuba) M 5 x 3

IV. Cool down.

Training on 1st march 2008

Waikato Kendo Club
Saturday 1st Mar. 2008
3.10 – 6.00pm Memo—Marleen is not home.

A. Management
1. Reminding FF children’s day transport.

B. Training

I. Warm up time
Jumping suburi 20 + Fast jumping suburi 10 x 3

1. Kirikaishi x 5
2. Big semei M 5 x 5
3. Big K-M 5 x 5
4. Small semei M 3 x 3
5. Small semei KM 3 x 3
6. Big K-M Hiki D 3 x 3
7. Big M Hiki M 3 x 3
** 5 minutes break.

II. Stage One -- Kakari-geiko with set movement (All Big Strike)

1. Start with Big M strike, Finished with big M strike as well.
2. Variation between KM/ KM hiki M/ KM hiki D/ M hiki M/ M hiki D

III. Cool down.
C. Afterward note…

According to Robin P.:
Leo hosted a very good training session. Everyone had good fun with shiai keiko after completed the training programme.

Training on 28th Feb 2008

Waikato Kendo Club
Thursday 28th Feb. 2008
6.10 – 7.30pm

A. Management
1. Organising Sat. (1st Mar.) assist instructor for Marleen won’t be home.
2. Organising FF children’s day transport.

B. Training

I. Warm up time

Jumping suburi 20 + Fast jumping suburi 10 x 3
1. Kirikaishi x 3
2. Big semei M 5 x 4
3. Big K-M 5 x 4
4. Small semei M 3 x 3
5. Big K-M Hiki D 3 x 3
6. Big M Hiki M 3 x 3
** 5 minutes break.

II. Stage One -- Kakari-geiko with set movement (All Big Strike)

1. Start with Big M strike, Finished with big M strike as well.
2. Variation between KM/ KM hiki M/ KM hiki D/ M hiki M/ M hiki D

III. Cool down.

C. Afterward note…