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Kendo Journey: A "Travel Guide" from Shodan to Godan-and-a-Half

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Waikato Kendo Association Grading (2009)

Kendo Journey: A Travel Guide from Shodan to Godan-and-a-Half (中文
by Sam Tsai
December 27, 2017

Those that know me should know that back in 1998, Marleen and I moved to Hamilton, New Zealand and ended up being the only two people that practiced kendo within the 100 kilometers radius. In the following year, the stars were aligned as we formed the Waikato Kendo Association and I found myself shouldering the responsibility of being a kendo instructor.


Practicing kendo myself and teaching others how to do kendo are totally different things!
About half a year after we established the dojo, Hsu Heng-Hsiung sensei, coach of Team Taiwan, led a delegation of more than 20 kenshi to come visit us in New Zealand. About a year after their visit, I was in Taiwan visiting sensei. The first thing he said to me was, “Tell me, what are you having trouble teaching?”

I could not help myself but laugh out loud as I replied, “Coach you are wise and all knowing!”

Beyond the…

2017 Yamagami sensei Seminar - Jason

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2017 Yamagami Sensei Seminar Auckland Kendo Club

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Reflection on the seminar with Yamagami Sensei and the students. Jason Nguyen, 1st kyu, male.
Synchronise
At first I only found it interesting to see the three female students of Yamagami Sensei walking into the dojo in order, at the same pace and then sitting down at the same time. It was like a marching.
Then I had a chance to practice the basic waza in a synchonised group of two pairs. This is a great experience because not only I tried to focus on myself and my motodachi but I also observed what was going on with the other pair. It was not easy for me though but I understood the importance to improve my awareness of the surroundings and to synchronise.
Strategies in fighting
I learned the strategies: strike at the same time or just before the opponent makes their move; induce the opponent to make their move and then strike; block and strike. At my level I could not follow what is going on in the fighting because of very fast pace but I wi…