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Showing posts from April, 2013

Japan Week 2013

Japan Week is a yearly even that goes on in our little town; a celebration of Japanese culture throughout the city.  Naturally our dojo is a big part of this event, and the past couple of years we've organized a dinner to celebrate and introduce people to a bit of the culture first-hand.  We used last year as a template and set out to improve upon that dinner, and I'd say that we succeeded.  I hope that our guests felt the same way!

The Wave, a local Japanese restaurant/sushi bar catered the event again, and once again the food was outstanding.  This year we decided to get some servers to help with the food, which made a huge difference. Everyone got their fill, even their seconds and thirds, and we still had plenty of food left over.  During the dinner Spokane Taiko performed and they sounded amazing.  I also think they picked up a few new recruits.  The iaido group also put on a demo, showing the crowd the elegance and grace of drawing, cutting, and sheathing a sword.

Aft…

UW Invitational Taikai 2013

The 37th Annual UW Invitational Taikai was held this past weekend, and what a memorable event it was.  Not only for the taikai itself, which brought together kenshi from all over the Pacific Northwest and Canada (even a couple of competitors from Hawaii), but also for some of the "natural disasters" that occurred during the tournament.  I'll get to those later.

We headed over on Friday and the first noticeable thing to me was the absence of Sinclair Sensei.  He was in Boise for karate training and unfortunately could not be with us at this tournament.  But Wendy Sinclair Sensei did a great job of taking care of us and making sure everything was taken care of before, during, and after the trip.  Ten of us headed over to compete, and we spanned the 1-3 kyu, 1-2 dan, and 3 dan divisions.  We were also able to field two teams for the team division.  I found myself on the A team, and was placed as sempo (1st position).  While not a normal position for me I was ready to take …

Cornerstones

I heard a saying a while ago, and I've talked about it here before, but it's something that deserves bringing up every now and again.  "Kendo is eighty percent footwork, and twenty percent swordwork."  Along with basics, this has always been a key focus for me and even though I don't have the prettiest footwork or body carriage right now I do my best to work on it and make it the best that I can.  I hold onto the belief that you can have the most beautiful and effective sword strikes in the world, but if you don't have the footwork to get you to the target then it won't mean a thing.

We've been focusing a lot on footwork lately, doing some old and new drills and even doing some ladder drills, which have proven to be interesting and very entertaining.  The main focus has been on short, quick steps.  We're not trying to cover a long distance with each step and getting from one end of the dojo to the other the fastest isn't the point.  Each step…