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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 endurance and my overall kendo.  And we did A LOT of footwork drills to start!  It was good, though, and I noticed that all of their members had really nice footwork and movement during the drills.

After donning our men and kote we moved in striking drills, starting with kirikaeshi and then moving through the various targets and drills including men, kote and do, as well as kote-men.  Most of their members have been training for a year at most, but it was great to see such eagerness and enthusiasm and it pushed me to do my best, as well.  And my friend Maina was surprisingly fast; faster than I remember her being years ago when we fought at Highline.  After striking drills we took a quick break to grab some water and for people to catch their breath.

Jigeiko was up next, and we had a bit of extended time so everyone could get a round with everyone else.  I tried to keep my rounds with their students just hard enough to push, but not to overwhelm, but it seemed that every time I stepped it up a little bit they were all ready to go a little more with me, which was really fulfilling on my end.  Again, they were all eager to learn and to exchange blows with all of us.  When I came to Maina, I don't know if I actually even touched her or not.  Her kendo is very nice and so strong.  I did my best, though, and maybe I got a good attack or two in there, but for the most part it was a battle of pressure and skill with her.  I also had the opportunity to do jigeiko with all of our members that came on the trip, as well, and during those times I tried to exhibit the best kendo that I could, just in case anyone was watching. 

After jigeiko we bowed out and said our parts.  I commended everyone on their spirit and on their footwork, and my sensei and I extended invitations to everyone to come train at our dojo if they ever get a chance.  I hope that this is the beginning of a good friendship between our dojos, and I'm excited to see them all in another year, or two, or three, and see what kind of growth they've made individually and as a dojo!

Photo by A. Melton


  1. Thank you for sharing the link Sensei, we hope to visit you guys in Spokane soon!!!


    1. I'm glad we had a chance to visit! It was very fun for us, and please come visit when you can. Our dojo is always open to visitors!


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