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Showing posts from April, 2016

UW Taikai 2016

The 40th Annual UW Taikai.  Forty years of competition at the University of Washington.  I've competed in five previous tournaments here and always had a challenging (although fulfilling) time.  This tournament would be no exception.

My division started in the afternoon, so after warming up in the morning I was able to cheer on my teammates in the Women's and 1-2 Dan divisions before going out and fighting my own battles.  There seemed to a lot of drops and changes to the line-up this year, so I ended up fighting C. Marsten in my first match.  I'd fought him before at the Kent Taikai a few months prior so I knew I could win if I fought smart enough.  But even with that past experience I knew I was in for a tough fight.  H is definitely a force to be reckoned with and would take advantage of anything I gave him.  It's funny, too, since we'd already been on the court together that day, as shinpan (judges).  Now instead of working together we'd be fighting each o…

California (Kendo) Love

California!  Last week I had the chance to travel to Los Angeles for business, and while there I, of course, took advantage of the excellent kendo culture and training.  This was my first trip to the area and I didn't actually know anyone down there, but I took a chance and visited both Butokuden with Ariga Sensei and Gardena Kendo Club, with Mamiya Sensei.  Both were very welcoming of me joining their training, and both gave me a good look into SoCal kendo and some ideas and advice to take home and work into my own training.

Tuesday night was training at Butokuden.  Bad news was that Ariga Sensei couldn't be there himself as he left that day for the European Kendo Championships.  Good news was that they were celebrating a new member and were having a potluck after practice, so I came at a good time!  The dojo itself was very nice, having been built right next to the E-Bogu warehouse.  The floor was very nice, and plenty of room for movement, although I'd say that the tot…