a MMB! Kendo Blog: FIK Asian Zone Shinpan Seminar

MMB! Kendo Blog

Sunday, March 25, 2007


忍耐 + 掌握人生
FIK Asian Zone Shinpan Seminar

It has been wonderfully busy for me in the recent weeks. I am totally enjoying my physiotherapy study at university. Although the study load is quite heavy (7 subjects this semester), I found all of them very interesting, and somehow, there are many parts of the course which I could relate to my own experience in kendo. I am loving my study.

Apart from studying, I have been trying to utilise my time as wisely as possible to accommodate kendo practice. Since coming back from Hong Kong, I have been burying myself to prepare for the 2007 FIK Shinpan Seminar in Sydney. So apart from the FIK Asian zone shinpan weekend which I also participated as a shiai-sha, I have only had 4 keiko in the past 3 weeks.

Here is a short report of the past 3 weeks...

I have been carrying on suriage-men and tsuki practice whenever situations permit.

Feedbacks from Kai: My tsuki is too easy to parry away at the moment. Technique is fine, but need a bit more speed if I want to land on target before my opponent can react. Similar to men cut, tsuki can be fast and light. Just remember the feeling of receiving those tsuki from Japanese Sensei - fast and light.

FIK Asian Zone Shinpan Seminar, Sydney

The FIK Asian Zone Shinpan Seminar was held in Sydney last weekend (17-18 March). About 40 participates from the Asian region attended, with over half coming from within various parts of Australia.

It was a rare opportunities to have lots of 8 Dan sensei visiting Sydney. Of the ~40 Sensei who attended, we had the following 8 Dan Sensei:
  • Hitoshi Murakami Sensei (Hanshi 8 Dan)
  • Eiji Taguchi (Hanshi 8 Dan)
  • Yuji Nakata (Hanshi 8 Dan)
  • Mitsuru Hamasaki (Kyoshi 8 Dan)
  • Noriyasu Mikise (Kyoshi 8 Dan)
  • Nobuhide Sato Sensei (Kyoshi 8 Dan)
  • Tsung-Shun Huang (Hanshi 8 Dan) from Taiwan
Purely awesome list. Plus the feedbacks they gave me after my shiai, doubly awesome! Sore wa saikou deshita!

There were plenty of shiai-practice opportunities for the local 1 to 4 dan kendoka during the 2-day seminar. I was one of them.

On the morning of the first day, the shinpan class was conducted in lecture fashion, and so, the shiai-sha had a long wait until mid-afternoon for action.

I played 2 matches on the first day. First against Kate Bulldog Sylvester. Second was with my obaachan Chiaki Kobayashi.

I lost both matches 2-0. However, I wasn't too concerned about the result, because I told myself that this would be a great opportunity to practice those new techniques that I have been trying to master in recent time. And I did it without fear. However, I think I was a bit too concerned about showing nice composed kamae, too worried about my form, which affected my shiai instinct.

At the end of the day, the shinpan participants and shiai-sha formed 4 parallel lines and had 6 mawari-keiko before lining up for the 7 and 8 Dan Sensei. I had keiko with Hyun-Jin Jin Sensei (Kyoshi 7 Dan) from Korea and Sato Sensei.

On the second day, I had a total of 7 shiai (2mins each) in the following order:
  • Me vs Shoko Bunder 0-2
  • Me vs Kate 1-0
  • Me vs Chiaki 1-0
  • Me vs Toshio Nishimoto 0-0
  • Me vs Shoko 2-0
  • Me vs Kate 1-0
  • Me vs Chiaki 0-2
I was keen to play shiai on the second day, and was moving around quite well. Even the Shinpaning Sensei said I have improved a lot from the previous day. Well, I think I am just in my right kind of mindset on Sunday. I wish I could improve at such a rate day by day like that!

I received a lot of feedbacks and advices on the second day from different Sensei from different countries and fellow shiai-sha.
  • Jin Sensei from Korea: use more wrist to flick the shinai in men-cut
  • Huang Sensei from Taiwan: in kote cut, right foot should step in the direction of opponent's right foot. Keep the body and shinai straight in the same direction during kote cut.
  • Taiwanese Sensei(s): Practice more shiai type of waza (tricks) for shiai-use.
  • Kate: make sure to push from the hip.
  • Shoko: I have been able to create fear during a tsuki attempt, thus making her cuts more hesitant. I should keep on practicing tsuki that way.
Also, during the dinner on Sunday, various Sensei from the Japanese delegation gave me advices on practicing tsuki. Hamasaki Sensei recommended me to practice tsuki with a table tennis ball hanging from a string. And make sure that each thrust to the ping-pong ball sends it directly backward, but not to the side.

I was also told by some 8 Dan Sensei not to practice tsuki for the moment, but to concentrate on men, kote and do cuts. Mmmm...

Anyway, the seminar ended with goudou-geiko in the similar fashion to the previous day, with 6 mawari-geiko following by keiko with 7 & 8 dan sensei. Due to the long queue and limited time, I had keiko with Murakami Sensei only.

After a short lunch break, a 5 & 6 dan kendo grading was held. Sano Sensei and Ben Kelly passed their 6 dan & 5 dan grading respectively. It's so exciting, I am so happy for them. Omedetou gozaimasu!!!


Thao, me, Nurlin

Shiai-sha group photo

with Murakami Sensei (Hanshi 8 Dan)

With Eda Chen, the superwoman HKKA secretary from Hong Kong

2 Comments:

  • Vivian, you are so dedicated! I'm impressed :-) It is plain to see that you live and breathe Kendo. Well done. My experience of martial arts is quite limited, but, I might have mentioned that I did Seido Karate for three years as a teenager. I still sometimes think I should go back there. Our instructor encouraged us to get in touch with what you call the "shiai instinct". I liked that -- and I'm glad you reminded me of it! Keep up the hard work.

    Haven't seen you around work much lately, are you still there?

    By Anonymous Cameron Wilding, at Monday, March 26, 2007 9:13:00 PM  

  • Oh Julian! I am so glad and surprised to hear from you! Thank you for your message. I hope you are all good and well.

    I left the bank on Valentine's Day. I sent out a level 21 & 22 wide email about 'Quitting for Love', but obviously it didn't reach you. V'day was my last day with the bank as I got accepted to study physiotherapy at University of Sydney.

    This is my 4th week in the course, and I am absolutely loving it.

    I may pop up to Friday afternoon drink sometime. Are you still on level 21?

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Tuesday, March 27, 2007 9:50:00 PM  

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