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Showing posts from April, 2018

PNKF Shinpan Seminar

Last weekend one of my dojo mates and I drove across the state to attend the PNKF Shinpan Seminar, hosted by the Bellevue Kendo Club in Bellevue, WA.  Let me tell you, if you've never driven 10 hours in a day, and attended a 5-hour seminar on top of that, you aren't living.  Or, perhaps, you're living more than I did that day!  I was a zombie when I got home, but we had a successful trip over and back, complete with our routine stop for sushi on the way out.

There were a few main concepts that were covered during the seminar.  First off, almost all of the matches that we practiced with were either junior kids (10 and under) or high school kids.  The reason for this is because these are, a lot of times, the hardest matches to judge correctly.  A pair of ideas introduced to us were ichidori and sakidori.  I don't know if these are kendo-specific terms or not, but in the context of our seminar they helped us to understand what was being presented.  Apologies for my defini…

UW Taikai 2018

Last weekend was the 42nd Annual UW Taikai, held each year in Seattle, WA.  Thinking back, I believe this is just one of two taikai that I've competed at every year since I started at it, with the Kent Taikai in December being the other one.  This year was a bit special for me, as it was my first  time in the 4Dan+ division.  I'd be fighting the top-ranked people around, including many regional and national team members.  It made me both excited and anxious to think about it, as the level of competition for me was about to jump drastically from what I'd been used to before.

Our trip started on Friday, as we took our trip across the mountains and the state to Seattle.  We had our usual fun along the way, including celebrating our sensei's 70th birthday.  J Marsten Sensei was hosting a special kodachi kata seminar that evening, though, so we hurried to try and make it to that.  We pulled up to the dojo with just enough time to get dressed and out on the floor to go over …

Palouse Kendo Club

This Sunday a few of my dojo mates and I traveled to Moscow, ID to visit the Palouse Kendo Club, a relatively new club to the area that was started by my friend Maina.  The club has been active for a little over a year, if memory serves me right, and we'd always talked about having visitors to the club, but we were finally able to put it together and schedule it.  Six of us traveled over, ranging from 3 kyu up to, well, me! 

We pulled up to the dojo about 20 minutes before training was scheduled to start, and after greeting my friend and getting a quick tour, we were suited up and ready to go.  All in all, they had six people that showed up to train with us, and we trained for a good two and a half hours.  We started with warmups and suburi, then moved straight into footwork drills.  I have to make a confession:  I don't particularly like footwork drills.  I don't like running, either, but I do both because I know that they're both good for me and will improve my endur…