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!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Île-de-France (Paris Region) Championship

Last weekend I went to see the Île-de-France kendo championship. It was a nice overview of some of the finest kendo in France. But of course there are plenty of goood kendoka from elsewhere in France. Due to a friend's visit I missed the finals of the senior individual matches (also a misunderstanding of the program). I watched however the 1-2 dan division, junior division, women division, and the team matches.

I was most impressed by the junior division (less than 18). There were a handful of very good young kenshi's. Amongst them, Nakayashi Koichi (Budo XI) and Simone Cohen (IBK) obviously stood out. They met each other in the semifinal, which lasted for 20 mins or so without any scores. In the end, while they both had hanzoku, Nakayashi stepped outside the court and lost the match. It was rather dramatic, because the tension was being built higher and higher. There wasn't any moment when I felt bored. When it ended this way, there was a loud sigh by everyone watching. It was utterly mesmerising. I post here a video of them fighting in the French Championship last year. It gives you an idea of what it was like.

Nakayashi (red) - Cohen (white)

On the second day after the team event, there was an open practise with the students of Kokushikan University in Tokyo, that has one of the strongest student kendo. This time about 15 students travelled with their teacher, who was invited to oversee this championship. It was such a great SHAME that my foot injury kept me from joining. Otherwise it would have been such a good experience! T_T...

This is, in fact, my last weekend in Paris. Since my foot injury I haven't been able to get back into bogu. The broken toe has heal to perhaps 95%. I would have started training if it was just the toe. However, a few weeks of walking crooked has caused the ligament and muscles about my ankle to be very weak and sore, with the symptoms of a foot sprain. I hope in a week I'll be able to start practising. Meanwhile, I have increased the frequency of suburi at home.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Watching practice

The first thing was the smell of bogu coming to my face. I felt a combination of discomfort and joy. After three weeks of absence I went back to the dojo and watched the training, which was again lead by Wakimoto Sensei. This time I took the full advantage of being an audience, and took some videos to share with you all. For the first time in the trainings lead by him, there was 30 mins jigeiko. The dojo was crowded as usual so it seemed difficult for everyone to execute a proper Zanshin.

Sensei stressed again big and firm men-cuts, and the coordination of the feet with the cut. After zanshin and turning around, the right foot should be immediately light so that it's possible to launch a strike again.

In the kihon practice, we started with kirikaeshi with a pause between each men-cut. The other exercises included:
  • Motodachi seme, and kakarite strikes men.
  • Motodachi strikes kote, and kakarite executes a nuki-men by raising his arm high up. Like in the first Kata.
Now a couple of videos:

Jigeiko between Labru Sensei (6th Dan) and a young (perhaps 2th Dan) kendoka. The posture of Labru Sensei is certainly one to learn from!

Jigeiko of Wakimoto Sensei with members and at the end is a short practice between Yoshimura Sensei with another member.