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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🙏🙏🙏


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