About this blog..

This is a blog that I started in April 2006, just after I first put on my bogu (kendo armour). It collects the advices given by more experienced kendo practitioners as well as those from my own experiences. Both technical and the mental aspects of kendo are written in the blog. I hope someone will find them useful or interesting at least!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Shyugyo 5 - beauty of the kata

Kata and form is an emphasis of Kobukan. Every Thursday evening is the kata practice. The younger members work on Nihon kendo kata, and the more senior members who have mastered it to a certain degree work on Itto-ryu Mizoguchi-ha kenjutsu. The Mizoguchi school was brought to Kobukan by the late Ando Konzo sensei (8th Dan Hanshi). He looked at all the schools of kenjutsu of Japan and preferred this particular school. He went to the soke (the head of school) and learned directly from him in only one week. At the end of the week, seeing that Ando-Sensei had mastered the technique, the soke gave him the permission to teach the kata elsewhere. This is the origin of Mizoguchi-ha kenjutsu in Kobukan.

Yesterday I practised the first three forms of kendo kata with a sensei. He told me many fine points of kata - how to show the kisei. This completely opened my eyes. I used to think that kata is just like a sequence of movements that catalogs the techniques of kendo. So it wouldn't matter if you learned it while in bogu or not. For most people, it is just a formality to past the exams. But I realised that there are much more to the kata. Every little movement counts. It is amazing to see that even 7th Dan sensei's are still trying to refine their techniques.

I learned the 4th Kata from Hayami (4th Dan, currently Australian team member). I remembered all the sequence, but I need to practise it many more times with different people to get the details correct.

One mistake I tend to make is not cutting farther enough. I halt my bokken too early.

After the training, we went to a restaurant nearby specialised in Okonomiyaki. Here is a video!

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