|In a Taoist temple in Shin-Ju|
From what I have seen and heard, the kendo styles in Taiwan is diverse to say at best, chaotic at worse. I have been very impressed by many young kendoka in their 20s doing strong kendo with good postures and basics, but have seen also high grade Sensei with loose centre and basics. The people here attribute the differences to the differences in "style". But I think (or educated to think) that kendo without a strong centre is simply bad kendo. So this is one aspect of Taiwanese kendo for me hard to accept. Another aspect is the ugly politics in kendo here. Uhh.. I don't even want to get into to it.
|A feast from the host in Shin-Ju|
In Jia-Yi, I practised with Chia-An Liu Sensei, 8th Dan Kyoshi. His kendo is indeed very strong and I tried very hard to break his centre. Once I fell onto the floor backwards due to his pushing and my loss of balance during taiatari. Bloody hurt, but I went on.
His young students are very well trained indeed - fast with correct movements - which made me believe that he is a good Sensei. This reflects how important it is for a student to do his best in order to bring a good reputation to his teacher. Before I went on this trip with Ozawa Sensei I knew I had this responsibility. It was a heavy one, but I felt I had to do it and do it with dedication. Especially not to shame his name and the name of Kobukan. Fortunately, the feedbacks from the others were mostly positive.
|Liu Sensei's Dojo in Jia-Yi|
Oh, I forgot to mention that another thing I dislike in Taiwan is the drinking culture.. They make you down glasses (about 10 cl, two shots) of whisky or other kinds of strong liquor, as a gesture of friendliness... This happened with us at almost every dinner after the training.