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Showing posts from 2023

The Stressful Experience Enjoyed - Daniel W

The days leading up to our Kendo grading had started becoming a little stressful I have to admit. Despite our sensei telling us not to worry it was very difficult to push the doubts out of my mind. Even the minutes leading up to our grading were spent clarifying certain techniques or movements. I was confident in my ability to correctly perform the required Kihon-dosa but I lacked confidence in understanding a new language and was afraid I would incorrectly interpret an instruction. It was a great start to the afternoon as I got to watch my 2 children perform their grading. I was very happy to see that our efforts at practicing everyday (despite their objections) had paid off. As our group (group 2) was called up my anxieties were at their highest yet the moment sensei instructed Tai-to (placing your shinai at our left waist) all that anxiety simply melted away. All of a sudden I was in a very familiar space. Everything that was asked of me in the grading I had done many many times b

Experiencing Jōdan-no-Kamae & Gyaku-Dō

Wednesday 31st May 2023 Keiko Reflection - Janet Tonight’s Keiko was planned by Marleen sensei & led by Senpais Leo & Joyce.  We had a rare opportunity to watch & learn some wazas/ techniques first hand from both senpais particularly on their specialties: Jōdan-no-Kamae & Gyaku-Dō. The upper-level posture or stance ( Jōdan-no-Kamae ) which Leo Senpai uses, is the Hidari (left) Jōdan , where the left foot is in front of the right foot, so essentially the foot positions are reversed from normal Chudan position.  Using the posterior right foot to push off when going forwards & the anterior left foot to push off when going backwards.  Otherwise all other elements of footwork remains the same, like heels off the ground using Suriashi sliding steps, maintain inner parallel & the distance between both feet, right foot not overtaking left foot, using the left foot for fumikomi & right foot quickly follow up after strike to run through with Zanshin…etc.  When steppin

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

Having good and strong Kiai is essential

Wednesday 12th April 2023 Keiko Reflection by Janet Following several weeks of absence from Keiko while travelling overseas, it was great to return to keiko tonight. Thank you to both sensei, senpais & everyone who turned up for a great Keiko 🙏🙏🙏 I could tell my body had lost some muscle tone as well as muscle memory, which will need more time & practice to regain & re-adjust. As always Sam & Marleen sensei have thoughtfully adjusted the Keiko menu to suit the needs of every member that are present in order to accomodate every skill level from those who just started kendo to those that had a break from kendo as well as the senior Dan grades to maximise the learning outcome for everyone.  It was designed to help us systematically learn & rebuild our fundamental Kihon skills (such as footwork Suriashi, Fumikomi, Tenouchi, Big & Small Men, Kote Taiatari, Kiai) as well as reconditioning our bodies to minimise injuries, before progressively introduce more in-depth

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

Shikai of Kendo: Surprise, Fear, Doubt & Confusion

Welcome Andy York back to home 💕 Fear, one of the Four Poisons, needs to be overcame to do Kendo correctly. 💪 Wednesday 18th January 2023 Keiko Reflection - Janet Tonight we had another productive Keiko during this hot & humid summer night. Thank you to both Senseis for leading the warm up & Keiko & for all the Senpai & Kyu grades that turned up to keiko tonight🙏🙏🙏 We especially welcome back Andy Senpai who started his kendo journey right here at WKC many years ago & continued his training while overseas with various Senseis at different dojos bringing a wealth of experience back with him to share. Tonight’s focus was on Kihon training, particularly Gohon waza & Kirikaeshi. The emphasis was on proper full shoulder rotation & for Kyu grades to focus on doing Big cuts. We then take turns to have Ji-geiko with each other followed by Kakari-geiko with Sam sensei. To finish off, Kyu grades watched the Dan grades doing mock Shinsa/ grading . We learnt a lot t

Strong Body, Strong Mind & Strong Spirit

So proud of you for the milestones: Milestone 1: whole dojo kirikaeshi 👍 Milestone 2: full Go-hon waza 💪 Saturday 14th January 2023 Keiko reflection - Janet Todays Keiko emphasis was on developing a strong body, mind & spirit. Learning to feel every inch of our bodies to better perform the correct movements through repeated Kihon & Kata training to enable us to perform minimalistic & elegant movements by engaging our core, straighten body posture with stable smooth footwork, full rotation of our shoulders to generate power & produce good Kiai & strikes. Todays Kata training, we went through Bokuto ni yoru Kendo Kihon Waza Keikohou : 1. Kihon Ichi : Ippon uchi/ Single cuts (Men, Kote, Dō, Tsuki) 2. Kihon Ni : Nidan Waza/ Two continuous cuts (Kote-Men) 3. Kihon San : Harai Waza/ Using Omote or left side of Shinai to sweep opponents Shinai away from centre (Harai-Men) 4. Kihon Yon : Hiki Waza/ Techniques performed going backwards usually from Tsuba-Zeriai position (M

Turning Pressure into Motivation

Saturday 7th January 2023 Keiko Reflection - Janet As the new year begins, it signals a new beginning for us to have new resolutions or goals to aspire to. Don’t be scared from pressures of grading or just life in general & try turning these challenges into healthy motivations & positive drivers for change & opportunities for bettering ourselves by having better awareness of oneself to actively reflect upon to improve constantly. This way it will certainly make our otherwise dull repetitive everyday lives more interesting & meaningful. The first half of the Keiko today consisted of Bokuto Keikohou   (AJKF) & Nihon Kendo Kata   (AJKF)   number 1 & 2. We also had the privilege to observe Leo & Joyce senpais demonstrating all Katas. In total there are 10 Katas & 9 Bokuto Keikohou techniques we will eventually learn throughout the course of our kendo journey. So make sure we come to Keiko regularly & make the most of the opportunities to learn from Sens