Skip to main content

Farewell to Sotaro

Wednesday 2nd November Keiko Reflection - Janet

Tonight’s keiko menu following warm-up, Suburi & Footwork drills consisted of:

Kihon- & Uchikomi-geiko:

1. Kirikaeshi

2. Big & Small Men

3. Big & Small Kote-Men

4. Do

5. Kote then Taiatari

Ji-geiko with Senpais & Sensei.

Then we finished off with one-on-one Ji-geiko (Uchikomi-geiko for Kyu grades) with Sotaro Senpai. It was a real privilege to hear feedbacks from Senpai’s point of view, sharing with us his thought process in order to achieve an Ippon. It was truely inspiring & we all learnt a lot. Hontoni arigatou gozaimashita/ 本当にありがとうございました🙏🙏🙏

Tonight we farewelled Sotaro Senpai who is a lovely young man hailed from Chiba prefecture, Japan, & just finished his high school studies in NZ, ready to start University back in Japan.

We have been very privileged to have Sotaro Senpai joining us at Waikato Kendo Club during his 1.5 years in NZ. “Friendship through Kendo” is the clubs motto, he will forever be a valued friend & a part of the WKC family. 

Through his Kendo, we all have been inspired & improved in some ways.

By doing Keiko with him, we’ve gained invaluable insight & brief glimpse of what true Japanese kendo is. 

Not only did we admire the amazing kendo flair, sense, techniques & speed that he possessed, but also his commendable character, attitude, humility & hard work, which truly embodies the vigorous spirit of a kendoka who constantly strive for self improvement.

We wish him all the best for his future endeavours & look forward to our kendo journey to cross paths again in the future🙏🙏🙏 

P.S. Think many of us are keen to visit Japan one day so those who are keen better brush up on our Japanese vocabulary & travel phrases while looking forward to a Japan reunion in the future😊

Many thanks to all the Senpais for sharing their insights into the correct timing of attacks & their thought processes during Seme & setting up opportunities to either initiate the attack (Sen-no-Sen) or to anticipate & counter (Go-no-Sen). 

We need to try not attack blindly without thinking (try to feel & test opponents intention by feeling their Shinai) but also not to be overcomed by the 4 poisons/ Shi-Kai/ 四戒: Surprise (Kyō/ 驚), Fear (Ku/ 懼), Doubt (Gi/ 疑), Confusion (Waku/ 惑)。

Thank you to Sam sensei for leading the Keiko tonight & Marleen sensei for teaching the Kohais who just joined from beginners class🙏🙏🙏


Popular posts from this blog

How do you practice seme?

Kobayashi Hideo Sensei – How to Seme (w/English CC)  小林英雄 先生 - 攻め方 How do you practice S eme ?   Very early on, I have heard of the “Three Opportunities to Strike”: strike when your opponent’s technique is about to start, strike when your opponent’s technique ends, and when the opponent is mentally and physically depleted. Since then, this line of thinking has given me a direction in how to train. In 2017, Utsunomiya sensei, 7-dan kyoshi, came to visit us and taught me the concept of “okori”. That reminds me of the conversation that happened 8 years before that in 2009 with Morioka sensei, also 7-dan kyoshi, who asked me: “What is the timing or reason of your strike?” I think most people are familiar with the idea that you should “ seme then strike ”. However, when do you strike after seme has been a source of struggle for most kenyu. That’s why when I saw the video from Kobayashi Hanshi where you seme for the purposes of creating “okori” , I felt this added a whole other d

Ji-ri-ichi - practice & theory combined into one 事理一致

Wednesday 19th April 2023 Keiko Reflection by Janet Tonight’s Keiko is a timely reminder of the importance of training in Ji-ri-ichi (事理一致, practice & theory combined into one). While we are constantly receiving knowledge & theory passively from Senseis, one must also be actively applying the theories learnt into action to make it their own through repeated practice.  We must also be proactive in our own learning by actively seeking more knowledge such as observing other kendokas keiko ( mitori-geiko ), reading books, asking questions when in doubt, & constantly reflect & ask ourselves why do we do this? what are we doing wrongly or correctly? This way we can better understand our bodies, the mechanics of each movements & the purpose behind each individual action, therefore maximise our learning outcome by improving productivity & quality of our practice or Keiko.  Remember Kendo is a martial art that descended from Japanese swordsmanship or Kenjutsu, so it’s no

Happy Rabbit Year 2023

We wish everyone have a Happy Rabbit Year Saturday 21 January 2023 Keiko Reflection - Janet As lunar new year of the rabbit arrives so is our Dojo welcoming new beginners to get a taste of what kendo is like. While the beginners learned brand new ideas, the senpais were reminded of the basic purpose of Kendo, which is self discipline, development & improvement of our body, mind, & spirit. Constantly striving for a more perfect & beautiful cut rather than being just a form of self defence or stick fighting. Ashi-sabaki or footwork ( Kouda sensei demonstration ) is very important in Kendo particularly Suriashi or sliding steps as it not only look more graceful & elegant, but also would reduce noise when moving on wooden floors & reduce likely injury from stepping onto hidden weapons or obstacles on the floor in medieval Japan. We were also reminded of the basic sequence of engagement during a kendo duel: 1. Holding good Kamae (on guard position, Kouda sensei demonst