a MMB! Kendo Blog: Kendo into Year 2007

MMB! Kendo Blog

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Kendo into Year 2007

One year has zoomed past so quickly, and what an exciting tremendous kendo year. After the whirlwind tour of the World Championships and the relaxing and rejuvenating holiday in Japan the past month, it is time to settle down and look ahead into what Year 2007 could bring.

At the beginning of Year 2006, I have wrote down a list of New Year Kendo Resolution - goals that I strive to achieve. The 2006 goals were fairly shiai-oriented as it was an important kendo competition year with the World Championships at the end of the year.

I would say that I have achieved or close to achieving all the goals in Year 2006. It was nice to train in the past year with a clear goal in mind, and it has definitely helped motivates me to be even more passionate about improving my kendo.

With the completion of the 13WKC campaign, I have decided to concentrate on doing good correct kendo, and fixing up any bad habits that I didn't have the time to change in the shiai-focused Year 2006.

So here is my list of kendo goals for 2007...

Kendo Goals for 2007:

  • Straight, correct kendo
  • Better understanding of timing / rhythm
  • Explore seme & opponent's reactions
  • Expand waza repertoire

Great start to the Year. I began Year 2007 doing Kendo. Yes, that's right! Toshigoshi-shinen keiko (or New Year midnight keiko) in Japan.

Post-WKC Review
I am still compiling a post-WKC review, which I am looking forward to share with you in the weeks to come.

Post-WKC Japan
For the trip in Japan after the WKC, however, I am ready to tell you now. Here are the things I did after the WKC up till I came back to Sydney last week.

I had a wonderfully relaxing 3.5 weeks holiday in Japan, and did some keiko at the following dojos,

  • Mirai High School, Kamogawa, Chiba
  • Katsuura, Chiba
  • Toshigoshi-shinen keiko, Kamogawa, Chiba
  • Tajima Sensei's High School dojo, Tokyo

It was great to keiko with some of the IBU bekkasei in Katsuura, experience the hard-core traditional Japanese toshigoshi-shinen keiko, meet the Sensei who came to Founders Cup 2006, and see my Nittaidai homestay buddy Mikiko.

Toshigoshi-shinen Keiko
At 10pm on New Year's Eve, Michael and I met up with 3 bekkasei from IBU and drove all the way to Kamogawa for the new year keiko. The keiko started at 11pm. About 40 locals attended. After some warm-up and one set of kirikaeshi, it was free jigeiko for the rest of the night. I had 3 keiko before the break at 11.55pm. First was with a senior high school girl. Then, I keiko with Carlos from McGill University, Canada, who is doing the 1-year bekkasei program at IBU. My last keiko of 2006 was with Michael. What a great way to wrap up the fantastic Year 2006!

At 11.55pm, we lined up and took our kote/men off for mokuso and a nice speech by a respected Sensei in the area. After about 10 minutes, we put on our kote / men again, and resumed jigeiko once again. I had the opportunities to play 2 more jigeiko until the 12.30am finish.

Afterwards, Michael drove us to Tanjou Temple for the first pray in the new year.

There are also various other memorable things I did in Japan.

One was travelling with the Shinpan Research Study Group to Yamagata on Christmas Day and join the group as an observer, and also enjoy the onsen in Niigata.

I also had the chance to meet up with my old friends and Sensei, such as my Nittaidai homestay buddy Mikiko Hanyu, and some of the Sensei who visited Sydney during the Founders Cup 2006.

Without writing too much, I will let the photos do the talking.

Yamamoto Tonkatsu, Katsuura, Chiba

The 3 attacking opportunity methods

The 3 attacking opportunities

Kendo from the eye of Kumakiri Sensei...

At Yamagata with two Czech Republic team members (back row), and Uehara Sensei, Ozawa Sensei (front row)

Onjuku, Chiba

Onjuku, Chiba

With Miho Maki Sensei in Onjuku

Miho, Michael and myself

Meeting my Nittaidai buddy, Mikiko Hanyu in Tokyo

Miki and me with lots of yummy food and sake

At Tanjou Temple on New Year's morning with Michael and IBU bekkasei

Applying indigo-dye to my men

Re-enacting Yuko's cunning fake-men to kote cut on me

Exchanging zekken with Yuko

After-keiko photo with Tanaka Sensei, Tajima Sensei, and Yuko (front row)

With Yuko at the dinner after the keiko

My favourite nabeyaki udon restaurant up the Katsuura hill

My favourite nabeyaki udon restaurant


That is how my favourite nabeyaki udon looks like


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