a MMB! Kendo Blog: Happy Kangeiko

MMB! Kendo Blog

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Happy Kangeiko

I just came back from the kangeiko - special winter early morning training from 5am - 7am at the International Budo University (IBU) this morning. I came back home feeling so good, the most enjoyable keiko since I arrived to Japan a month ago.

10 mins Kirikaeshi session

40 mins Kakari-geiko session

40 mins Kakari-geiko session

40 mins Kakari-geiko session

40 mins Kakari-geiko session

Since coming to Japan in early December, I have been going to various local kendo clubs in Chiba, to the Mistubishi Dojo in Tokyo (the slipperiest dojo in the world I believe - more like ice rink), the New Year Keiko in Kyoto and another training session in Kyoto. There are so many great Sensei and good players here. I have the most wonderful opportunity to keiko with Chiba Sensei, Sato Sensei (Chiba Sensei's Sensei), Nomasa Sensei at the Mitsubishi Dojo, plus a whole list of Kendo Greats, and many many strong players from different clubs. And honestly I have been struggling with my inexperience when facing Sensei with strong seme keiko after keiko. I tried to be composed from the start of every keiko, but it did not take long for me to get sucked into attacking, and in the end, the Sensei exhausted me in no time. Sometimes I wondered if I am worth 3 Dan or if my kendo has worsen. Even the high school kids seemed more energetic than me and have the stamina to go on for much longer. Honestly, I was quite lost... until this morning.

I am in action

When I played the girls from IBU (finally someone who were similar age, and girls too), it seems so much easier. I was feeling myself again, playing my own kendo against fast, young and energetic kendo. It was great fun. And I faired quite well too, taking both ippon at ippon-shobu against the two girls I played this morning. So, my kendo is still on par with the university kendo students. And I should have belief in myself, that I am improving, step by step, from the many keiko and advice I received from the many experienced, respectable Sensei I have met and will meet, continue to challenge myself against strong players, and become stronger.

Receiving advice from Mitsuru Yoshiyama Sensei
at the New Year Keiko at a local dojo in Kyoto on 1st Jan

Michael and me
at the New Year Keiko on 1st Jan

Michael, Yoshiyama Sensei, me, Alex
at the New Year Keiko on 1st Jan

Anyway, I am very much looking forward to this whole week of kangeiko at IBU. Next week, I will attend the kangeiko at a high school in the next town. I hope my kendo will improve and become stronger with each training.

Karaoke with Chiba Sensei - what a great singer!

It has been a while since I write my blog entry, so I have received a lot of advice since then and have put them in point forms.

  • Needs stronger tenouchi. Cuts are too light at the moment. -Yano Sensei
  • Try to close in the distance, seme in, and get a reaction from your opponent. If your opponent react, it is an opportunity to attack. If your opponent does not move, try seme more. - Yano Sensei
  • My kamae tends to lean forward. Try shifting weight back to left foot. - from a Sensei I keiko at Mirai HS, Kamogawa
  • Aim for one cut one kill, kote-men is weaker than going straight for men, or kote. - from a Sensei I keiko at Mirai HS, Kamogawa
  • This piece of advice was received 3 cuts into the keiko. (First men cut I did against this Sensei, I received a stab in the chest. Second cut I did, I got mukai tsuki. Third cut, my cutting intention was weaker than the first two.) It is a big taboo to be scared in Kendo. Don't be afraid. Keep coming. - from a Sensei I keiko at the New Year Keiko in Ogura, Kyoto.
  • Do not extend arms too far out during kamae -Yoshiyama Sensei

With the Kendo Research Group on Boxing Day
(front-left) Ozawa Sensei, Honda Sensei, Yazaki Sensei
(back-left) Me, Alex, Uehara Sensei, Sensei from Yamagata, Michael


  • So good to read you! Happy new year!

    I always think that kendo is like a wave, a radio wave. There are up moments...and down moments. I also believe that "down moments" come when one is trying new things. When one is focusing on certain things, sometimes "normal" things go wrong.

    So, don't panic, it happens to ALL of us.

    Well, hope to read more soon =D

    By Blogger Leon, at Tuesday, January 08, 2008 11:04:00 PM  

  • Vivian - Happy new year! Great to read your new update, many pics and videos. How long are you in Japan for?

    By Blogger Ivan, at Thursday, January 10, 2008 12:28:00 AM  

  • Happy New Year Leon!

    I can't believe you reply so quickly after my blog has been idling for so long.

    Each training session is better than the last since the New Year began. So I am trying to make this continue on. Hopefully, on to great things and results.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, January 10, 2008 12:14:00 PM  

  • Happy New Year, Ivan.

    I met Ozawa Sensei on Christmas day a few weeks ago. And we talked about you. ^_^ Ozawa Sensei remembers your travelling schedule very clearly. What a great sensei.

    I will be in Japan until 24th February, so I hope to absorb as much Japanese kendo good advice as possible.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, January 10, 2008 12:17:00 PM  

  • He remembered T_T..

    You are there for a looong time! (jealous jealous) Hope you have fun and good trainings, and more stories to share.

    By Blogger Ivan, at Thursday, January 10, 2008 7:05:00 PM  

  • Thank you Ivan. I am noting down all the advices that different Sensei has given me. I just finished my last day of kangeiko at IBU. It finished on a high note for me, so I am very happy.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Friday, January 11, 2008 3:01:00 PM  

  • Happy new year from Spain too, Vivian!
    Please add me to the list of jelous people :p

    About the training...uh, I´m now oficially scared. I mean...did you actually go through 40 min of kakari-geiko at the pace we can see at the videos? ´cause I´m quite positive I´m simple not able to endure that. o_o

    By Anonymous HandsomeW, at Saturday, January 12, 2008 1:53:00 PM  

  • List of jealous people updated.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, January 16, 2008 12:46:00 PM  

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