a MMB! Kendo Blog: Melbourne Kendo Seminar

MMB! Kendo Blog

Monday, August 08, 2005


忍耐 + 掌握人生
Melbourne Kendo Seminar

The Kendo Weekend Seminar down in Melbourne was absolutely awesome. 3 great Japanese sensei conducted the seminar, and they were:

  • Chiba Masashi sensei, Kendo Hanshi 8th Dan
  • Hoshina Hiroko sensei, Kendo Renshi 7th Dan
  • Suzuki Aki sensei, Kendo 6th Dan
I participated in the Saturday's Kihon Keiko session in the morning, and the Women Kendo Seminar on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, as well as the Nippon Kata session and the Uchikomi and Waza session in Sunday afternoon.

There were an enormous amout of new things I learnt during the 2-day seminar. To make it easy for me to review in the future, I will cover them in point-form.

Kihon Keiko / Women Seminar

  • The up-swing and down-swing should be executed in one smooth movement, with
  • The shinai's down-swing immediately before impact should travel faster by the use of wrist.
  • Should aim to execute every men cut with the intent to cut through the opponent. So during suburi, the completed men cut should stop at chest height.
  • With the correct arm-wrist joint coordination, a powerful cut can be geneated with extremely small movement. The idea is like the Bruce Lee's one-inch punch.
  • Hoshina sensei pointed out that our footwork is an area that we should put effort in improving. She has introduced us to a 20-step footwork exercise routine:
    1. Mai
    2. Ato
    3. Migi
    4. Hidari
    5. Diagonal Front-Right
    6. Back to Center
    7. Diagonal Front-Left
    8. Back to Center
    9. Diaognal Back-Right
    10. Back to Center
    11. Diagonal Back-Left
    12. Back to Center
    13. Okuri-ashi to the Front-Right
    14. Back to Center
    15. Okuri-ashi to the Front-Left
    16. Back to Center
    17. Okuri-ashi to the Rear-Right
    18. Back to Center
    19. Okuri-ashi to the Rear-Left
    20. Back to Center
  • In executing fumikomi, lift the right foot using the right thigh muscles, and
  • The right foot fumikomi should pull the left foot up instantly. This will prevent the "flying left leg" syndrome so apparent in my kendo. Left foot should be always in touch with ground.
  • No lazy walking footwork after executing a cut.
  • After following through the cut, turn sharply and be ready for your opponent.
  • Hoshina sensei introduced us to a new training method to take advantage of opponent's lasped zanshin after cutting. Motodachi will commit to a men cut while the student will deflect the cut. The Motodachi will pass through the student after making the blocked cut. As soon as Motodachi turns around, the student will take advantage of the lapsed defence moment and cut the men.
  • Chiba sensei introduced us to a new reflex training. In this exercise, we formed a group of 9. Four people lining up on both side of the dojo facing each other, with one person doing the reflex training in the middle of the 8 people. One side would cut men on the person doing the reflex training, while the other side would cut kote. The person doing the reflex training will need to counter-attack to the men / kote cut by executing oji waza. After reacting to one cut, the practicing person will quickly turn around to face the other side. This reflex training keeps going until the practicing person has gone through all the people. It's important that the practicing person goes back to chudan no kamae before the motodachi should go in to cut men / kote.

Nippon Kata

  • Yonhonme - The wakigamae's kensen should be lower than the gedan's kensen.
  • Gohonme - the impact point of the simultaneous strike attempts should be in the middle part of bokken. Kensen should be at head height. (Common mistake is the impact point stopping too high above the head level.)
  • Nanahonme - both motodachi and shidachi make a simultaneous thrust out to the opponent's chest.
  • Nanahonme - the do cut should be a small in-front-of-the-body swing, instead of a full, above-the-head swing.

My jigeiko with Sensei

I was fortunate enough to play all 3 visiting sensei and Nagae sensei during the 2 days. Although each jigeiko was short, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Of all the jigeiko, I especially enjoyed the jigeiko with Suzuki Aki sensei. She is the most awesome female kendoka I have ever played. With a tiny and extremely slim built, I was bewildered by the amount of energy in her kendo. As you could imagine, there were 10 people lining up to play her at all time, and she played each one of them like it was her first jigeiko. There was no waiting kendo. She was actually the side who explored opportunities and went for the kill first. And each cut was done in explosive speed and power. It was absolutely awesome to watch her play and actually played against her. She played so differently to the way how the other sensei played. With what I saw and experienced, it's little wonder why she is already 6th Dan at a tender age of 33.

Together with Miyazaki Masahiro, Suzuki Aki sensei and Miyazaki are my Super Kendo Idols!!!

After the training, I went to thank each of the sensei for the training and the jigeiko. Hoshina sensei said my kendo was good and told me to 'gambade". Ah, it's so good to hear that from the sensei. ^_^

Kate told me that all of the visiting sensei will come again next year to hold a seminar just before the World Championships. Woohooo!!! Definitely something to look forward to.



Chiba Masashi sensei, Kendo Hanshi 8th Dan - he is a very nice, very approachable, funny and animated sensei.


Hoshina Kumiko sensei, Kendo Renshi 7th Dan - the head women instructor in the seminar.


Suzuki Aki sensei, Kendo 6th Dan - she is my female Kendo idol. Her kendo is absolutely awesome! Where does she find all her energy from?


What the!?


Stack on!


Different shades of colour on my right forearm. This bruise was amazingly inflicted by just one super-hard hitter in the weekend.


Electro Cardio Graph - 47 BPM

On a completely different note. I discovered that I have an extremely low blood pressure (47/90mmHg) and heart beat per second (47 bpm) after Nickle - my massage therapist, found that the colour of my palm does not look too good. Nickle said that the colour of my palm looked exactly like some of his clients who have got heart problems. *Gulp*

So after I have done a few blood pressure and heart beat tests at home, I went to see my family doctor who recommended me to do an Electro Cardio Graph test. The test results go like this:

=================================
ECG REPORT

  • Sinus Bradycardia 47 BPM
  • Non specific widespread ST elevation of possible significance
  • Most likely normal variant

Reported by: Dr. P. Hansen (Senior Cardiologist)

=================================

My family doctor looked at the report and said that the low heart beat rate is most likely caused by doing too much exercise, but the second point about ST elevation needs further investigation.

So yeah, I am going to meet a Cardiologist in September to do further testing and make sure things are okay.

Anyway, I found this article "ECG Findings in Active Patients" quite interesting.

18 Comments:

  • Wow! Sounds like you had a great weekend in Melbourne.

    A 6th Dan at 33...amazing stuff indeed.

    I wonder if SKC can organise some visiting Sensei of that calibre?

    :-)

    By Blogger Mick, at Tuesday, August 09, 2005 11:54:00 AM  

  • Chiba sensei said he also wants to visit Sydney next year after the Melbourne trip.

    Yeah, Suzuki sensei is amazing, isn't she? So young, yet so good!

    To be able to hold a successful seminar in Sydney, we will need to have a lot of dedicated kendoka who are willing to give time to prepare the event.

    The Melbourne people, especially Hayami, Kate and Claire had done a tremendous amount of hardwork to bring the sensei over and hold a successful seminar.

    I am really not sure if we have people as dedicated as them.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Tuesday, August 09, 2005 12:16:00 PM  

  • I wish I was there!! :S

    By Blogger Eddie 哥哥, at Tuesday, August 09, 2005 1:04:00 PM  

  • Hey Eddie,

    They are coming back again next year. YAY!!! No serious kendoka should miss the great seminar opportunity.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Tuesday, August 09, 2005 1:11:00 PM  

  • Vivian:
    >.<.. you are so lucky you got to play with both the female sensei... I am distraught about missing out both times.

    I think the only comment we could make is 'awesome' on Suzuki sensei, she is beyond words.

    I wish we had enough female players in NSW to hold a women's seminar here. The weekend was good, although I have to say your dan grades got the better deal.

    By Blogger Quoth the raven, at Tuesday, August 09, 2005 4:56:00 PM  

  • Hey Sussan,

    I agree too that the Yudansha got a better deal in the weekend. It's a pity that you couldn't play the visiting female sensei. Hopefully at next year's visit, you will be able to play them. (Yes, I know it's a long long wait.)

    Ah, we need to attract more girls to join kendo. Maybe we should stop posting those bruising photos. :P

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Tuesday, August 09, 2005 9:28:00 PM  

  • Nice arm :-)

    What is it with Kendo chicks showing off their bruises? :-)

    By Blogger Mick, at Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:38:00 AM  

  • Well, Andrew started the trend of posting injury photos. Then Sussan followed suit.

    I just couldn't help myself when I looked at this bruise on my arm. It's not the bruise itself that's amazing. It's the fact that it was created in one kote chop that makes it a Classic!

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, August 10, 2005 9:42:00 AM  

  • Well, Andrew started the trend of posting injury photos. Then Sussan followed suit.

    I just couldn't help myself when I looked at this bruise on my arm. It's not the bruise itself that's amazing. It's the fact that it was created in one kote chop that makes it a Classic!

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, August 10, 2005 9:42:00 AM  

  • Lol... I started posting injury photos on my lj first to scare my non-kendo friends XD...

    There's nothing wrong with showing off all your bruises ^^;;;... kind of like battle scars... and if girls are going to be scared off kendo by looking at the pictures of bruises I don't really think they'll stick around with kendo for too long -__-V.

    Viv your bruise look particularly nasty. These days I bruise a lot less but they all tend to be more serious muscle bruises -_-V

    By Blogger Quoth the raven, at Wednesday, August 10, 2005 11:52:00 AM  

  • That's true. If the girl can't handle an ocassional bruise, then I don't think she could stay in Kendo for too long.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, August 10, 2005 2:17:00 PM  

  • So will you be taking the beginners class tonite? BAHAHAHAHAHA

    I'm sure we could arrange more bruises for your collection :-)

    By Blogger Mick, at Wednesday, August 10, 2005 2:35:00 PM  

  • by the way i think your massage therapist is a liar and they should stick to massaging haha

    By Blogger Eddie 哥哥, at Thursday, August 11, 2005 10:14:00 AM  

  • Haha, Mick. You are lucky I didn't read the message before last night's training. I'd have cut you with the bokken. Bwahahaha.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:05:00 PM  

  • Nickle is the most trustful and experienced masseur I have ever had. You could tell instantly from his very first press on my back that he knows what he is doing, and know his client's problems just like magic. You should try!

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:07:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Mick, at Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:39:00 PM  

  • Do you learn massage as well in your physio course?

    If so, you could make a mint doing massages after training :-)


    hahahaha

    By Blogger Mick, at Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:41:00 PM  

  • I guess I will need to learn some masssage techniques in the proper USyd physio course.

    I actually have learnt swedish massage myself, and ppl are always so happy to be my guinea pigs. haha. Though to earn a mint, I think I will need to get a proper massage table first.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, August 11, 2005 2:42:00 PM  

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