REFLECTIONS: 2016′ OUBUKAN SUMMER CAMP

July 26, 2017

Shoujin Kan members, lead by Kishikawa sensei, had the privilege to join the 2016’s Oubu-kan summer camp.
Through seminars which included Reiho, relationship and importance of kendo, study and work, everyone could understand deeply the kendo culture, philosophy and it’s benefits in daily life.
The improvement in basics and techniques were beyond everyone’s expectations, thanks to the unique teachings and kendo style of Sakuragi sensei, Harumi sensei and all Oubu-kan instructors’ and members’ touching dedicated assistance and friendship.
It was truly a worthwhile and unforgettable opportunity few people can experience, even in Japan.

All Shoujinkan members are extremely grateful to the great hospitality and friendship of Oubu-kan. Below the reflections of some of the members.
by Jason

            From 11th to 14th August 2016, a group of shoujinkan members attended a summer camp organized by Oubukan at Oita. I am not going to talk about what techniques we have learnt as I believe that other members will do so. Therefore, I am going to write on how the summer camp enhanced our understanding in terms of our dojo kun.

The 6 dojo kun are well embedded in every members’ mind. However, what are the real meanings behind them? Kishikawa sensei always remind us to think deeper into the meaning instead of repeating the dojo kun out of formalities. However, keiko time is limited, it is difficult for us to apply and understand the true meaning of our dojo kun. Through a series of seminars and practices during the summer camp, we all understand better the message behind them.

 

剣の道は、礼に始まり、礼に終わる。

            Everyone playing kendo should know the basic reiho, from the beginning till the end, everything is governed by a correct reiho. Before, the way I learned the reiho was by observing. Since I practiced kendo, I do the rei according to how the sempais did. I have never think about the why and how should be do the correct reiho.

            On the first day of the summer camp, we were fortunate enough to have Harumi Sakuragi sensei teaching us the theory and origin of the reiho. Before that seminar, I did not notice that the way I was doing the rei was wrong. Doing all the reiho is to show respect to kendo itself and to senseis and others. Doing them in a right way help expressing our respect and gratitude.

            We have also learned why the rei is done in such a way. It goes back to ancient samurai’s style in protecting themselves while greeting the others. Harumi sensei’s seminar allows us to rethink and recollect the reiho.

 

文武不歧の精神に基づき、勉強と剣の道に励みます。

            Most, if not all, people doing kendo have their own job, either as a businessman or a student. Therefore, it is important for us to develop a balanced life-style between practicing kendo and working.

            The summer camp consisted of a number of groups, including Japanese primary and secondary school students. The schedule of the camp is well arranged and organized so that they have a 2 to 3 hours study time every night after keiko and dinner. In addition, they were all well prepared with papers and pens for note-taking during the seminars.

 

正しい心、強い心を作ります。

            Sometimes after starting kendo, especially after a number of shiai, people may start thinking why am I that bad in kendo? Am I not suitable for this sport? Should I give up practicing? However, this is not the true meaning and heart to the practice of swordsmanship. During the summer camp, we have had the opportunity to attend a seminar conducted by Nomori sensei, who is a doctor. During his seminar, he shared with us how to do kendo with a correct heart and attitude, including how to train yourself even during unpleasant situations. We have to make ourselves stronger by not giving up.

 

強い立派な体と根性を鍛えます。

            During the camp, the schedule was arranged in a tough and demanding way. We have had 3 keiko per day and around 2.5 hours each. After the first day, most of us were suffering from severe foot and muscle pain. Especially after an extremely tough keiko on the second day, when we have done numerous suburi, waza, footwork and kirikaeshi. However, none of us have skipped a single training. We have trained ourselves to cope with the pain and the tiredness. As a result, we all improved in terms of waza and stamina.

 

 交剣知愛精神に基づき、皆と仲良くします。

            Everyone from Japan, including all sensei and sempais are very kind and nice to us. Apart from keiko, we enjoyed the “second dojo” every night. It is a good opportunity for us to interact with the others. Outside the dojo, we have the chance to drink and talk with the others apart from kendo. We treasure the friendship we have with people from Oubukan.

            Apart from new friends from Oubukan, the friendship between us, members from Shoujinkan is also deepened. During the summer camp, we stayed together as a group. We practice, eat and sleep together. Our tie would not have been that close had it not been for the camp.

 父母の恩は、山よりも高く、海よりも深し、父母への感謝をわすれません

            Lastly, we are reminded to honour our parents. At the dojo, there were some parents of the Japanese students helping out at the dojo. They spent lots of time in taking care of all the people in the dojo. It reminds us of how important are our parents in our daily lives.

            By way of summary, the Oita camp is a very fruitful and unforgettable one. The techniques and friendship we gained cannot be replaced. If there is a chance next year, I will definitely go again!

 

by Clare
 
People said kendo reflects your personality and attitude. In Oita, there’s an inspiring talk about how to strengthen your mind (心構え), about how to balance work/study and kendo, about how to face difficult times. If you able to uphold a positive attitude, you will be able to improve yourself both physically and mentally in 3 years. During practice, Sensei wanted us to try hard and give out all we have learnt. We were asked to strive for better, to be tough, to keep the high spirit even in doing loads of kirikaeshi. To believe in yourself that you must be able to do it. To have confidence. And most importantly, if there’s a difficult way and a easy way, always go for the hard one. In second dojo, Senpei taught us attitude towards practicing kendo again. What I remember the most is that, every time after talking about kendo, Sakuraki sensei will said ‘so as work! work is the same. Isn’t it?’ These teaching are all theory only before I come back Hong Kong. But after this trip when I return to work, I truly understand why people said how to do kendo can simply apply to how you work.
 

Let me share a bit about my personal story in order to illustrate what I have learnt in Japan better. It’s lucky that no longer after I know I hate sitting in office and replying emails, I got to know my best friend’s brother and started a tutorial center together. I felt anxious but at the same time excited to start my own business. I have lots of vision at the beginning. It started quite well, with my experienced partner’s guidance, I can earn my living right at the beginning. This industry has steady income compare to those selling products. It was so steady that I gradually became lazy and not stepping forward to making more professional notes or to take advance study, to develop the business. It just feel that there’s some problem but I couldn’t point it out before the trip.


New school term starts, there are new students but also old students leaving. Some students that I have been teaching a few years withdrew from class. It’s sad. I tried to reflect and figure out what’s the problem as I believe- If you are able to overcome the problem and do better next time, it’s just a lesson; but if you just complain and deny the problem, it’s a failure. After days of reflection, I suddenly realized that I was not devoting fully. I was doing easy teaching. I was not teaching in a high spirit. I unconsciously set myself a comfort zone. There’s still fear and lack of confidence deep in my mind. On one hand I believe I have the strong mind to face difficulties. While on the other hand, I’m actually not acting with confidence. Want to do easy things. Don’t want hard things. And Not trusting in myself that I can do better. After all, difficulties in life and work may not necessary appear as ‘difficulties’ but ‘steady’. When you are steady, you lost the fighting spirit. Days passed and I set myself a limit without even noticing. When I kind of reach or near the limit, I stop. I justify myself that I don’t have the resources, I don’t have a team like those famous tutors have to assist me. Thus, I’m working good enough already in this stage, which is totally wrong. At that moment, Sensei and senpai’s words come to my mind. I shouldn’t lost my passion, aggressiveness and excitement in work that easily. If I can be so obsessed with kendo, why can’t I put more passion in work? If I can’t do the same as kendo in work, it’s that I don’t do it but not I can’t do it. After all, it only depends on my attitude. Having what Sensei and senpai said in mind, I am now rejuvenated in work now!


Actually after settling my uncertainties at work. I realize my kendo has the same problem too. Sensei is sooooo right. You can do easy keiko, but if you do so, you will never improve to higher level! Chaos and disorder in mind being settled thanks to Kishikawa Sensei and Oubukan’s Minna’s teaching. It feels like I can go forward to actualize my vision and goal without worries now! I finally understand why sensei emphasis on work/study and kendo balance. When do kendo, practice wholeheartedly and forget about work. And vice versa.


Before, I used to think working is an output while learning (sports, art, whatever interests) is an input. I like my work but thought work had nothing to do with interest. As long as I find something that I can challenge like kendo, life is still kind of balanced. Yet after the camp, I have new idea. It’s not good enough to only enjoy kendo but not work. You can’t spilt up yourself into half. That’s schizophrenia. Lazy at work but full passion in kendo maybe ok but no matter you want it or not, work takes up a large part of life. So why don’t I uphold the fighting spirits in work too? I can benefit from that myself! I believe I may still face lost and difficult times in the future and I will have to tune myself again. But I will always remember to choose the hard way instead of easy. To work hard and enjoy both kendo and work would be my goal!
 
by Alan
 
This Gasshuku (Training Camp) was the first I had experienced in my life, so I was very excited. And I certainly wasn’t let down. During this Gasshuku, I managed to learn a lot, experience a lot, and make a lot of new friends. To put it simply, it was a fun experience that was made possible to the Senseis over at Oobukan, and at Shoujinkan. When we first arrived, the members from Japan took a lot of care for us, and I think we were able to deepen bonds this way. They even helped prepare our lunches on the first day! But as the days gradually progressed, the Hong Kong members learnt to be able to act independently. So I think that Shoujinkan members have learnt much more about Kendo in an international point of view.

Every night, we had a drinking party, in which everyone from Japan and Hong Kong had a lot of fun talking, eating, and drinking. (Of course, as a minor, I didn’t drink…). Everyone was able to have a lot of fun, and I think many new friendships were made during these few nights. It was very enjoyable, and I felt extremely welcomed by everyone. It was a very good example of the strong bonds that Kendo (and beer) can bring.

But not all we did during the Training Camp was fun and games. After all, you were supposed to train during a training camp. Again, the senior members from Japan taught us a lot of new things. Harumi sensei taught us the proper way to show respect in Kendo, in which I learnt a lot of new things such as ‘rei’, ‘seiza’, and even how to sit properly! (Actually, it’s not only Kendo. I think it’s a good life skill to get used to.) But I also felt that Nomori sensei’s inspirational talk on improving in Kendo was useful too. He made a clear point that people can change in 3 years. But more importantly (for me, at least), he showed us a graph correlation between Kendo and studying. I learnt a lot during the numerous seminars held.


The members attending the training camp came from all over Japan, and there were lots of different fighting styles. But Sakuragi sensei and Kishikawa sensei ensured that we could learn from each of the senior members. For that, I would like to thank the two senseis, but apart from them, I would also like to thank the senior members, who spent most of their free time teaching us. I think everyone in Hong Kong was able to learn a lot too. During this Gasshuku, everyone was able to have a chance to do some matches against the Oobukan members. Whilst the majority of our results were losses, I believe that we were able to do a good match against them. We were able to challenge them to a certain extent, and we were able to try our best. Even when we were tired, we managed to pull through, and bring the best out of ourselves. To me, this is more important than a simple win or loss. I was fortunate to be able to fight against a Saga Prefecture representative. I was also able to fight against a highschooler. It was a good experience in which I think I was able to learn more about the Japan kendo style.
Whilst I was a special case, I was able to have my birthday during the Gasshuku. I had never experienced a birthday outside of Hong Kong in a kendo-filled environment, but I wasn’t looking forward to it. In fact, you could say that I was nervous, because I had never experienced something like this. But luckily for me, everyone was quite nice to me about it. The Japanese members sang the birthday song during breakfast, and wished me a happy birthday. Some people even gave me presents! I was extremely happy by this, and I think that this is one of the many unforgettable memories that I made in Japan. The Training Camp was a very good experience in which I learnt a lot of things I never had before. I think that it was a worthwhile experience, and am glad to have had been there. If another chance such as this arises, I would like to join again.
 


by Victor

20168月11~14日夏季劍道練成合宿分享

今年,我很開心能夠參預在大分九重的4日3夜夏季劍道練成合宿,時間上已劃上句號,然而殘心長存,獲益良多。劍道不只一項運動,當中的,除了包含劍術之外,也有劍道的禮節,教人待人處事,也含有思考什麼是極意,以及思考人生意義等。在日本練習,更能夠驗到日本人的集体生活文化,以及認識很多新朋友。

 在當地900米以上的高山進行密集式劍道訓練,回憶當時的景像,一片綠悠悠的,空氣清新,雖然是炎熱的夏天,但會感覺涼快,並有一種古樸的感覺。以前去公園,行山或效外地方,我很快就全身癢,此時,強力無比膏就是最佳止癢的虊物了,這次令我感到意外是我不用塗強力無比膏,合宿有許多蜘蛛,難道就是蜘蛛默默地守護着?這就是大自然的美麗吧。與其說在此處劍道訓練,不如用修行一詞比較貼切些,為了學問或武術,像要閉關,在一個寧靜的地方修練,專心練習,不斷思考。

 

 

我領略到基本功是很重要的,基本功不夠扎實,就會成為進步的障礙,有一次由櫻木先生親自指導,感到受寵若驚,並帶有三分慚愧。櫻木先生指導怎樣揮竹刀,怎樣打面,打面姿勢,揮刀是否正中,還要在舉刀時拉開手肘,不要擋視線,打擊時要伸直雙手等,每一次打撃後要放鬆,才能為下一次的攻擊作好準備,至今仍歷歷在目。在練習打切返(KIRIKAESHI)時,以前很少注意到刃筋概念,現在開始注意此點,在切入的軌跡,沿路跋刀出來,否則會卡住。自以為自己學好基本功,其實許多細微的動作還有改進的空間,真是要好好反省。

 

 

合宿的最後一天,在大家一齊討論時,有一個小學生問我們為什麼學劍道,令我回憶當初為什麼想學劍道,無論是什麼都好,只要進步,強化自身,不要原地踏步,這才是不枉費別人所花的時間記得練習時,有十多個先生們,讓我們優先跟先生們一對一稽古練習,如果沒有把握機會,認真練習,就會孤負先生們的一番苦心。

 這幾天的生活,發現自已對日本合宿文化,出現鈍感,守時是非常重要的,經常按着時間表,爭分奪秒,練習後,趕去洗澡,然後趕去準備吃飯,就像稽古一様,身手要夠敏捷,快些就可以最一本(一分),慢了就有機會失去一本,經常都要え」,準備好自已,若不能做到,會帶給別人麻煩。還有要協助先生,前輩,後輩準備好膳食,感覺被人照顧及照顧別人同樣感到一份喜悅。不過,在經常被人照顧之下,總是被人當外人看待,感覺有點不自然,還是爭取不要讓別人把自己當作外人看待,主動幫忙,學習怎樣照顧身邊的人。

 

 

合宿之後,就參加初段考試,非常感謝先生的啟發,預期讓自己慢慢地準備好才考初段,為什麼不迫自已短時間去進步,以達到初段的資格。選擇走艱辛的道路,回報也是很大,成功的喜悅更大。當自已想得到什麼,心態是重要一環,其次是全力以赴。此外,也很感謝身邊每個人,尤其是在合宿期間,給我的啟發很大,如果沒有別人給我打面,我怎能打個好面呢?

 還是引經句作結吧日語有句話石の上にも三年,人不會一世是凡人的,只要努力,就會成功。

 

by Angela

On 11-14 August, Kishikawa-sensei took us to a Kendo summer camp in Oita, organized by his sensei in Japan, Sakuragi-sensei. I did not even want to go in the first place, because for me, Kendo in summer in Japan = heat and tiredness. But then the 4-day experience has been so enjoyable that we are all longing to go back. There are so many great memories to share, but I will try to sum up this camp with some words said by the wonderful senseis we met there.

 


“Whenever you are in the middle of a junction, always choose the harder path.”

Throughout the whole camp, Sakuragi-sensei always says, try hard if you want to achieve something; if you still can’t achieve it, it means you’re not trying hard enough.

This sounded so cruel at the beginning that the words kept ringing around my ears. I AM trying hard already. Compared to one or two years ago, I am taking Kendo more seriously and I am definitely trying (relatively) harder, but improvement just doesn’t come as easily as the way I wanted. Sometimes I feel so frustrated that I can’t help thinking, maybe I’m just not suitable for Kendo.

But then Sakuragi-sensei reassured us, you just need to try hard. Trying hard does not merely means practising recklessly, it is about understanding what practices are needed in order to achieve your goal. There is simply no short-cut to success. I want to believe that, after making all the hard turns and detours, there will be some beautiful views waiting for me.

One of the most precious gifts I got from this summer camp was all the ecouragement from the senseis. So I’m reminding myself now – whenever it is too hard to continue, just remember Sakuragi-sensei saying “you CAN do it” and “just believe in yourself” with a smiling face, I should be able to go so much further.

Receiving guidance from senseis


“What are you going to do when you’re scared? Are you going to simply take off your men and go?”

The keiko on the first two days of the camp was comparatively light, and sometimes even relaxed. The real challenge came on the third day. We did 350 kirikaeshi in the morning, had shiai and ji-keiko in the afternoon, at which I really felt that I have tried my very best. So when Kishikawa-sensei asked whether we wanted a soft or tough keiko, I actually thought I deserved a soft one. But I just couldn’t pull up the courage to say so, so I could only be worried, anxious and even annoyed about the frightening keiko awaiting us.

Before we began, Sakuragi-sensei asked us how we felt. Scared, one of us answered. That was when sensei asked – So what are you going to do when you’re scared? Are you going to simply take off your men and go? No, I told myself, I might have run away in other occasion, but not now, not when I’ve tried so hard in the past three days.

Kirikaeshi was, as expected, tough. But actually it wasn’t so hard when your motodachi was rooting for you, everyone was supporting each other, and most importantly, you told yourself to smile and keep fighting.

All the hard but fruitful practices


The 4-day experience has truly been unforgettable, just as the senseis wished for us. But the unforgettable part is not the number of kirikaeshi we did, or the near-tear tough keiko we experienced. What will forever leave in my mind are the encouragement, motivation and courage we received from all the loving senseis and sempais.

Once again, I would like to thank all the wonderful people we met from Oubukan and Kishikawa-sensei for taking us to such a meaningful trip.

 

2016 Hong Kong President Cup Champion!

September 22, 2016
13055388_586878681471470_369292335380621029_n
The 2016 Hong Kong President Cup Kendo Tournament was held on April 24th. 2016, at Lei Yue Mun Sports Centre. The tournament brought together over 30 teams representing all of the official kendo clubs in Hong Kong, being the most popular and attractive local kendo event.

 With outstanding technique and team strategy, our team arrived at the finals after intense fighting with other big clubs’ teams.

 With the highest fighting spirit, Shoujinkan faced HKKA team, composed of experienced and highly graduated athletes, in a series of historical and dramatic matches, coming to shine as the winner of the tournament.

Congratulations to all members of Shoujinkan, once again showing that there are no miracles, but with right orientation on how correct kendo should be, associated with the enthusiasm, dedication and encouragement of all teammates from our Dojo, there is no challenge too big to overcome. Great team spirit!

13100730_586878008138204_4744905715441473896_n


Hong Kong Junior members’ camp at Fukuoka University of Education

April 8, 2014

127

Hong Kong Junior delegation with senseis

Hong Kong Junior members, leaded by Kishikawa sensei 8th dan Kyoshi, joined the Kendo Winter Camp at Fukuoka University of Education in January/2014.

Being the first time such program aiming to boost the kendo development of junior members in Hong Kong, it was fully supported by LCSD and executed in a serious way by HKKA.

Through daily practice within Japanese university students, Junior members could experience, through daily and tough practice in Japan’s coldest season, how mind power and control was built in Kendo practice.

Below some reflection of our dojo members who joined this camp.

076

over 100 people joining morning keiko

Fukuoka training camp 23/1/2014-27/1/2014    by  Alan

In Fukuoka, it was very cold. So during Keiko, most of the Hong Kong players were half frozen to death. The first time, I did Keiko, I couldn’t hold my shinai properly and missed a lot of times. So once I got used to cold (took 2 days), I was really happy that I might get better and improve but the result was the same, I got beaten easily by the intensive Keiko. I learned a lot of things in Fukuoka in the 5 days I had. Some things, I can continue in Hong Kong, but others, it would be impossible.

The coaches there were very strict about body posture and was always trying to teach us (Junior Squad members) about it. For some reason, we always were always the ones that needed improvement-but I was glad because we could learn more-and since we were always the main people who had to be corrected, we learnt a lot. I was given advice on how to do a taiatari by some senseis and how to hit a proper hiki-waza by another sensei. Each sensei had their own advice for me so I learnt a lot.

The players at Japan were very nice and were very encouraging on keeping us on an endless battle with the senseis. Although I learned a lot I found it very tiring and couldn’t find too many positive thoughts about the students. After every Keiko, they would teach us things about the dojo philosophy. The senseis would teach us techniques and posture improvements but the students would teach us the dojo philosophy. The dojo philosophy was very different to Hong Kong so we learnt a lot.

The most important thing that I improved was willpower. Waking up at 4:00 in the morning is something that can easily strengthen your willpower. Also, I was able to withstand the freezing cold for 5 days so I think that it helped me strengthen my willpower also. Besides, even surviving the Keiko boosted my self-esteem by a lot so I was very happy. So after coming back from Japan, I think that my willpower is stronger than before by a lot.

Although I think that the most important thing I developed my willpower, I couldn’t have had done that without the other members in the Hong Kong Junior Squad. They helped me a lot during the trip. I mean, I wasn’t ready mentally. In fact, a lot of things there were things that I didn’t expect. And without the other members, I don’t think I would have had made it to day 3! So I am really grateful for everyone’s help. I have to thank them and the senpai for everything that happened (the safety stuff) so that everyone was happy and safe. (Especially me since I’m a kid)

 

There were many skills, techniques and advice that couldn’t be given in Hong Kong. That was why I was so happy when the sensei taught me and corrected me. I think I brought back a lot of knowledge from Japan back to Hong Kong and am very happy and willing to share it with everyone. I think that a lot of people will be able to be learn about kendo and its philosophy if they went to Japan.

029

special technical practice for HK Junior members

FUKUOKA KANGEIKO     by Bonnie

It took me some time to digest what had been happened during the kangeiko. Actually the kangeiko training started when I decided to join the camp. Knowing from some of the seniors, the Japanese university training was very tough. I worried that I could not bear the training; therefore, I started jogging around a month before going to Japan. Moreover, with intensity of the squad train, I was physically prepared for the kangeiko. The other challenge arrived when I received the schedule of the kangeiko. We needed to leave the hotel at 5:10am, and arrive the dojo at 5:30am. That means we needed to wake up at 4:30, which was 3:30am in Hong Kong time!! It was a big challenge for me. I tried to adjust my sleeping pattern 1 week before going to Japan. Ya… the kangeiko was tough and we had to wake up super early every morning, but we did not late for once and came back alive.

The kangeiko gave me a valuable experience. The university student let me experienced the right attitude of learning and great fighting spirit. The university student arrived at least 30 minutes before the practice started. We cleaned the dojo’s floor, setup sensei’s Bogu and be ready by 5:50am. During the practice, not even a second was waste. From moving one spot to another spot, we RUN not walk. Students put on their men under 30 seconds and then ran to sensei for practice immediately. Whenever they knew we were having doubt or difficulties, they helped us as once. Even though some of them were not able to communicate with us in English, they did not hold any hesitation to help. In the first practice, one of the students lead the warm up like what we did; however, their Kiai and spirit was totally different from us. They put out 100% of their Kiai. They gave me a feeling that they have decided to put 100% of their effort in the practice without holding back a tiny drop of their energy. They have showed me the right attitude that I should have in every practice and challenge. Whenever we decided to do something, we should use 100% of energy and effort in order not to waste any opportunity in our lives.

In the last practice, there was a birthday girl. Everyone gave her a special birthday “gift”. She was being pushed, thrown on the floor, and asked to do endless kirikaeshi and kakarekeiko. Everytime she fell down, she got back up immediately. She hit every hit with 100%, without resting, without walking, without waiting, without any break. She kept going and going to every sensei and senpai for 2 hours. I was impressed by her spirit! Beside the techniques, skill and physical strengths that I needed to learn from the university students, I needed to learn their fighting spirit. There was another student, who worked at the restaurant at night and came to the practice in the early morning. I should not complain about getting up early when we were enjoying the dinner and she was working. She showed to me that she did not make any excuse and came to practice on time with full spirit. This is the right attitude that I should learn. Facing challenges, it is very easy for us to make excuse and escape from it. However, in order to grow, to improve, we need to face the challenges.

Facing challenges is not easy. But team spirit gives us support and courage to face the challenges. In this kangeiko camp experience let me understand that team spirit does not only presented by cheering teammates during matches. Team spirit is the support and encouragement that given by the teammates during the tough practice. The junior squad members cheered each other up when we were dying during the practice. We reminded each other to have enough rest, food and water before each practice. We helped and supported each other in these few days. With all these positive energy, we dared to challenge ourselves and gave out all our effort and energy in this kangeiko. The great team spirit is one of the elements that made this kangeiko experience memorable.

114

farewell dinner with senseis


Making the grade : passing the 8th Dan Kendo Examination

January 2, 2014

The 25th issue of Kendo World Vol. 7.1 will be available soon, and will contain an exclusive interview with Roberto Kishikawa sensei, who passed the last 8 Dan examination in November 27, 2013.

Dr. Stephen R. Nagy interviewed Kishikawa sensei soon he arrived in Hong Kong, and will have a very close view of his experience and views in kendo.

Below the link to the synopsis of the coming soon Kendo World Vol.7.1.

http://www.kendo-world.com/wordpress/?p=1118

Making the grade: Roberto Kishikawa on passing the 8-Dan examination
Interview by Dr. Stephen R. Nagy
November 27, 2013, marks an important date for kendoka around the world. That early evening, Roberto Kishikawa, a Brazilian national and permanent resident of Hong Kong, was promoted to 8-dan by the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF). As the first, non-Japanese kendoka to pass the 8-dan grading in Japan, Kishikawa-sensei has excited and inspired the overseas kendo community to strive for the highest levels of kendo. This article is an interview with Kishikawa-sensei concerning his exam experience, views on kendo and journey to 8-dan.

kendo world Vol 7-1

 Hong Kong Kendo Association appraised the news with a stone and metal placard, by president Raymond Lai.

 1454599_682746721755557_1935690791_n

 placard

1463914_682746591755570_101877491_n

The news was shared in Brazil by newspapers Nippak, Sao Paulo and Nikkey.

http://www.nikkeyshimbun.com.br/2013/131211-72colonia.html

http://www.saopauloshimbun.com/index.php/conteudo/show/id/15878/cat/105

 

nippak 

It is expected that kendo magazines in Japan will cover the news in the next editions.

In our dojo, a big festivity was held with all members, who joined to celebrate sensei’s achievement, together with the 10th Anniversary of establishment of the Dojo.

8dan celebration cakes_shoujinkan

8dan celebration cake _shoujinkan

8dan celebration shoujinkan


2013 The Junior & Ladies & Novice Kendo Tournament

October 31, 2013

Achievements of ShoujinKan members

2013 The Junior & Ladies & Novice Kendo Tournament

4th junior taikai

Children category

1st. place :  Alan Kishikawa

2nd. place :  Kelly Kishikawa

3rd. place :  David Graham

Fighting Spirit :  Kelly Kishikawa , Xavier Nagy

Teenager Category

2nd. place  :  Edward Cheung

Ladies Category

1st. place :  Jackie Graham

3rd. place :  Bonnie Ng

Men Category

1st. place :  Masuto Shimazaki

Fighting Spirit : Pang Lumpy

alan junior 2013

by Bonnie

I am having difficulties in writing this report. Very soon after my first two matches with Jackie and Katie, I forgot what I have done in those two matches. I do not quite remember that I scored.

In the morning when I was checking who I were going to fight against. I found out that in order to move up to quarter final, I needed to win Jackie and Katie. I did not know that was a good thing or bad thing in fighting someone I always practice with. When I told Jackie about our matches, she gave me a big smile and told me that we just need to do our best.  After that I felt better and did not think too much about the matches because I have to get ready for the warm up. We did the warm up pattern so smoothly because we have tried the pattern for a few times. During the warm up, I noticed I was tensed because I was using my right arm and held the shinai very tight. My hit was not sharp and even missed. At that moment, I tried to control my body and focus on my body, feet and left arm. My hits became sharper and I gained back my confidence.

During the matches with Jackie and Katie, I was kept focus on my feet and left arm. I moved around because I was nerves. After that, it seemed that my body did the rest of the work. I did not remember how I scored the men, kote and dou on them. After the matches, I found out that I have to fight Jackie again in semi final. All I needed to do was to win 1 more match to enter the semi final.

In the next two matches, I was defeated by my own fear. In the quarter final, I felt that my feet were not moving, my hit was so slow. I tried to do was I confident with and I missed. I was moving back because I scared of losing. Finally, I scored 1 point and ended the match. I knew that I did terrible in that match. I carried the fear into the match with Jackie. I started to have some self- defeating thoughts. I was thinking that Jackie would know that I was going for dou, so I did not try to hit dou even if there were chances. At the end, I lost the match.

This taikai made me realized that it was impossible to win any match if I am already defeated by my fear. I should treat every match as the final match, concentrated on the opponent and do what I have been doing in the practice. Should not think about winning or losing. Just focus on ippon.

junior 2013 young members

by Ivy

Today is my third shiai. I watched my shiai video, the distance between me and my opponent is way too close.
Not only I cannot hit correctly, it also waste a lot of energy during tsubazeriai.
Moreover, I did not read my opponent and attack as if I’m doing a solo kendo.

Luckily, I’m still able to make a few ippon, but next time all the hits should be more accurate and efficient.
Also, I need to learn how to use my energy in the right way.
I watched a lot of shiai today, mentality plays an important role in shiai.
Regardless your physical condition, you can still fight differently.
Everyone will have an exhausted fight eventually, so, control myself and win myself.
I feel like kendo is always testing my mental limit.
Thank you sensei for the teaching and everyone from dojo for supporting us, leading the warm up, taking videos and encourage us during the shiai.
And also congratulations to all the excellent results from our dojo members!

I had a great day!

novice 2013

by Jackie

The ladies tournament on 6th October 2013 was my first tournament for a long time. So I was feeling a little nervous, but determined to do the best that I can.

Bonnie helped raise the spirit within us all by leading a very good warm up, after which, very quickly the tournament started. During practice I had been trying very hard to work on my posture, my footwork and trying to keep calm, yet very focused during Keiko. The biggest challenge for me is trying to keep calm.

The first fight was against Bonnie. We were both nervous. She won with a very good Do and Men. But once the first match was over, I started to feel very calm. The next two matches were over quickly, and again, Bonnie and I met in the semi-finals! The match was long, and by 3 min we were equal. So it went to Encho. Although this was a point to decide which of us was to go forward to the final, I found my focus very sharp, and was calm. Finally I managed a Men. I was through to the final.

My final match was also tough. I had to fight it immediately after the semi-final match. Again the same thing happened. By 3 min we were equal. Again it had to go to Encho. But suddenly at this point, I understood about calmness and focus. I looked at my opponent straight in the eye. I took a deep breath and felt it drop into my dantien. At this point, I felt very grounded, focused and calm. Suddenly while looking at her, I could sense her drop her guard, I went for men, and won the ladies tournament.

I was very happy. NOT because I had won, but because I felt I had achieved something more important, the fight with myself to try and remain calm. It was the goal that I had wanted to reach that day, whether I won or lost the tournament. I have looked back since, and for the first time since I started Kendo, felt that I learned so much from a tournament. It is very humbling to look back, and be able to see what I have learned and what I need to improve on. Sensei always teaches us that Kendo is more about the fight with ourselves, and our own challenges. I suddenly, REALLY understood that day what he meant.

My other challenge that day was to be a referee for the first time. During practice, I was trying very hard to remember the right calls, which flag should I raise, make sure I can see the other referees, judge the grade of the players, and watch the fighting, all at the same time! I was not very good, and I was making many mistakes.

On the day, I was paired with two senior referees, so I did not feel too bad. But I was still worried about doing the wrong thing, in front of everyone! I refereed in three matches. What struck me was how a good ippon was very obvious. As a referee it really made me think about my own ippon, and how I can change to make it more beautiful.

jackie ladies 2013

by Alan

The taikai was on the 6th of October. It was a very fun experience. I was very nervous the day before about the taikai. Unfortunately, I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep! I eventually slept and knew that tomorrow would be the tournament day.

When I woke up, I was feeling excited and nervous at the same time. More excited than nervous but yes, both. I jump out of bed which surprised my dad because I would usually pretend to sleep and hope that my father would forget to bring me to the Sunday squad training. But unfortunately, he never did. My dad let me take a shower and while I did, he woke up my sister who was happily sleeping on the soft comfy bed.  After I finished king my shower, my sister stumbled into the bathroom and took a long shower and nearly drowsed off. I then dressed into my hakama and keikogi. I quickly ate my breakfast and took a taxi to the tournament place.

When I entered the room and was immediately greeted by the members of shoujinkan. They started doing some warm-ups which was leaded by bonnie. Then we put on our men. At that point me and my sister who had arrived late were ready to start the warm-ups. The shoujinkan members did men uchis and kirikaishi. It was very tiring but did achieve its goal to get us ready for the taikai. Bonnie did a very good job of that.

Then, the only thing I needed was to get the shiai set of mind ready. To do that, the tournament gave us 30 minutes to get that ready. We could to do it with anyone we wanted. First I went for kishikawa sensei and then did with joseph. After that, we started the opening ceremony which was so boring that someone started to talk to me. The rules were repeated and repeated in many languages. Soon after that, was the junior with no bogu category. To follow that was the adult with no bogu category. Finally, the 6-12 bogu category started. I was in the first match and was glad that I did the warm-ups and keiko. I could hear the shoujinkan members cheering for me and was very happy and was filled energy. I went for a men and got it! I was so happy that I got it and was happy that the shoujinkan members were cheering for me, and went for men a couple of times. Then finally, I go it. I kept on getting men smoothly and then finally until the finals. Now that I think about it, I think it was because of what everyone had done to help me during my whole kendo life. My dad, shoujinkan, the HKKA team, my friends from other dojos and a lot of other people. Then at the finals, I was against my sister.

The first thing I thought was, “what’s going on”. The second was,”why am I doing this?” then before I could register another though, the match started. As the match started, I felt that something was weird. No one was cheering for me. They were all cheering for my sister! It makes sense but I suddenly felt tired. I did a couple of men again but none of them were able to score a point. Then finally, I got my energy ready again and then did a 100% energized men and got a point.

Then after that, when we started the second round I still did a lot of men, but surprisingly had no kote, which was one of my best strikes. I did a men that used a lot of energy and while I was finishing the hit, my sister jumped in front of me and I tripped over her. Unfortunately for her, that was the second time she fell. For me, the 1st. Soon after that, the timer signalled the end of the match.

I had won the match and was very happy. I think that the most happy thing about the taikai was that I was able to keep things under control. Also that everyone was cheering for me during most of the tournament.

I think that the fact that the shoujinkan members helped me throughout the taikai was the best thing.

junior 2013 final

by David

On the 6th October we had a children and ladies kendo tournament! YAY!

I didn’t feel nervous. I was excited. I was happy that I joined because I got to fight with new people, and show off my skills taught to us by Sensei.

Everyone thought my posture was like a man, I don’t think so. I don’t think my kiai was 100% because my voice was breaking *embarrassing*. I think in fights I could have done better because I feel I should have attacked more instead of defending all the time.

When I got my bronze medal I felt happy but there are many things that I can improve on like; posture, kiai, seme and attacking more.

I liked everyone’s support and I am grateful of that. I now feel I want to practice as much as possible and learn from as many people as possible but mainly from Sensei.

Thank you everyone!!

kids fight

by Kelly

On October 6th, I went to the kendo tournament. I won 2nd place. My brother won 1st place. I won fighting spirit too! But first, I had a fight at the beginning of the taikai.

First I fought joey. I won. Then I fought Rachel. She is a girl. I also won her! I had won 2 people because my team members were cheering for me! Yay!

Then I fought my friend Xavier and we got equal and got 1 extra minute. I heard my team members cheering and I felt happy. Then in the 1 minute, we got equal. We both tried our best. Then the judge gave me the point because I had more 1 point chances. I had won and I was happy.

Then I had to fight David. I won. So I was in the finals! I was so happy. But then I realized that I had to fight my brother.

I was correct. My brother was in the finals. As the fight started, I heard that everyone in the audience had started to cheer for me. My brother made me fall. But everyone was cheering so I got back up. Then he won a point. Then the 2nd round started. My brother made me fall again. I got back up and everyone was cheering for me again. Then the match had finished and I got 2nd place.

I was happy because everyone had cheered and helped me even if I didn’t win. I did my best so it was okay.

children 2013 junior

By Lumpy

A way to consolidate my “道”

6 October 2013 was a big day for me, not only was it my birthday, but also a milestone indicating my “道” in both Kendo and my own life.

It was my second time competing in the Novice Competition. In the first attempt, I practiced a lot on “基本” and practical skills. At that time, I thought it was sufficient to react to my opponents if I got these mastered. Obviously, one would not be able to master a skill in a short time, not to mention the possibility of perfecting it. I didn’t make it to the second round.

This time, I thought to myself: what does this competition mean to me? As an accountant, my time spent on practicing Kendo was getting less and less. It didn’t seem like I was going to win. However, I felt my devotion maturing. I would like to prove myself that Kendo is not something that assembles only sports, but an attitude to confront the reality. From the competition, the most important thing that I learnt is how to maintain a clear mind when facing different situations. Every move could be the last, and it hence should be perfected, leaving no regrets. Unfortunately, I still regretted. But I believe that will keep me improving.

To me, Kendo has a close relationship with my daily life. We learnt science in secondary schools, and if you are not a scientist, I guess you should have forgotten most of the elements in the periodic table. However, when coming across some phenomena, you may be able to recall what you learn and apply to solve problems. The ways to approach, to attack, to suppress the opponent or defend myself do not only present in Kendo but also in daily life when interacting with people. Similar to the above, keeping a clean mind and communicate in a good form is beneficial when dealing with clients.

“道”, many refer it to “road”, does not mean a single straight line from birth to death. It is formed by numerous streams of experiences and devotions, which shapes one’s life into never-drying river. Kendo is one of the main streams that construct my “道”.  I would like to thank Kishikawa Sensei for his guidance, and my dojo buddies for practicing and improving together.

junior 201 all3


56th Festival of Sports – Interport Kendo Tournament 2013

August 13, 2013

56 FOS team photo (2013)

Achievements of Shoujin Kan members during the
56th Festival of Sports – Interport Kendo Tournament 2013

Children category:
●1st place: Yuki Tsuchiya
●3rd place: Alan Kishikawa
●Fighting spirits: Kelly Kishikawa

Ladies unitl Shodan:
●1st place: Reika Tsuchiya
●Fighting spirits : Bonnie Ngan

Ladies 2-5 dan
●1st. place: Reika Tsuchiya
●3rd place: Joanna Chan

Men unitl 2 dan
●1st. place: Chun Yu MJ Lee

Men 3dan above
●1st. place: Joseph Chan

kid men

by Ivy

20130630 a super early morning for my second taikai.

First, I have to thank sensei and every person I met in kendo all the way from Australia to Hong Kong.

Every valuable lesson I learnt from every person make me still practicing kendo today and joining my second tournament.

During shiai, I have totally no idea how many seconds pass.

The moment before shiai is definitely stressful, but when it’s my turn it’s not that stressful maybe I’m not assessing my ability anymore as when I was an audience?

Sonkyo at the start of shiai usually clears my mind when I look at my opponent even though it’s the first time I met them.

I got a bit depressed when I am loosing two points in a role.

But I tell myself to focus on what I can do now since what happen in the past does not mean its going to happen now nor the future.

A lot of my hit didn’t score maybe because I’m not doing 100% enough.

Suddenly, I saw my opponent freeze, so this time I use a super 100% to hit because it’s a chance not to be missed.

Finally I scored an ippon.

The final hit make me realize whenever I think I’m working hard enough, I can work even harder.

Ippon is just so hard.

Throughout the day, watching others’ shiai makes me realize how much efforts and focus others put in to make a good shiai.

I will be better next time.

A lot of things for improvement: basic footwork and suburi, very important for keeping myself stable and for a quick hit (need a lot of practice).

Also, I need to learn to see through my opponent with a calm mind because I often find myself too rush to hit as if I’m not mentally prepared or when I am confused.

The recent kakari keiko practice also trains me to spot all the chances and adjust my hitting distance in a quick time.

FINALLY, congratulations for all the excellent results from everyone!!!!!

GANBATTE!!!!!

I am sure everyone learns a lot and enjoy themselves so much that day!

(So many happy pictures ~~~!!! ).

ken men

by Ken

30 June 2013, in the middle of summer, it is a hot sunny day, the skies are blue.

For the first time, I participated in a shodan – nidan level tournament. MJ and Gordon, both senpai’s with more experience than me were also participating. And so I felt no pressure to win but at the same time I had the desire to win and see how far I could advance.

Surprisingly, my first opponent was Gordon. I have had ji-keiko regularly with him and knew he was not an easy opponent. I begin our shiai by giving out my loudest and strongest kiai, so that I can inhale air into my hara and boost my energy level. Midway, I see Gordon moving closer and closer, he was trying to take the initiative and make the first strike. I quickly change my breathing from exhaling to inhaling and move in to strike before he does.

Men-ari, the umpire announces. I look at the raised flag, it is white. I have just won the first men in the exchange. I would later advance to the top 8 and lose in overtime during a lapse of concentration as fatigue set in.

My first ippon began with concentration and the last ippon against me was also due to a lack of concentration. This is an interesting insight for me.

Inexperienced or weak opponents can be defeated by strong spirit and physical roughness, like the cat hunting the pigeon, but when against a more experienced opponent, or an equal opponent in a locked stalemate, whoever has more energy and concentration at the end will be the one who delivers the final blow. Just like two cats fighting.

But without the above qualities, to overwhelm opponents with strong spirit or outlast the opponent with energy and concentration, it would be impossible to move to a higher level in kendo. There has yet to be a cat which can defeat a dog but not beat a pigeon.

reika kote

by Gordon

今回の大会は前回と同じくグループ戦で終わり、もちろん残念でしたが、一勝一負の成績は僅か合格とも言われます。

でも二人の精進館同士も優勝になって、とても嬉しいです。

香港の剣道大会は、常に三人グループの予選があります。予選の次はトーナメント戦に入ります。

予選はグループごとに一人しか出られません。三人グループだから一人は二試合をやります。

そのゆえ、一勝一分けさえトーナメントに進出できることはありません、一勝一負だから全然ダメです。

だから今度の大会の目標はグループ戦の二試合全勝し、トーナメント戦に進出を目指します。

sonkyo

by Lee

It was a very meaningful tournament of me because this is the first time I get the first place in the individual match.

And it realize what Sensei taught us. Concentration and high fighting spirit .

I can’t really remember how many over time match I did on that day. But my dojo mates just told me that it was a long match.. I didn’t care much about the time . Even so I didn’t know that I won the final at that time. It’s kinda stupid right ? Haha.

Well , it was not easy matches. Everyone wanted to win. They did whatever they can do . some of them even did some tricky things. I had to keep calm. Or I lose in the Shiai because of one mistake.

To get the first place in Hong Kong is not my ultimate target. But win myself with real kendo and spirit .

It s only a new start of my kendo because I got a lot of knowledge to learn and to realize in my kendo. I must work hard on physical training and prepare the mental for the coming challenge.

Keep train hard.

mj attack

by Bonnie

Around one month before the taikai, I started to jog. I worried that my physical condition was not good enough to keep me concentrated during the matches. Therefore, when I was jogging, I tried to keep my concentration on my breath and ignore the tiredness. During keiko and practice, I tried to make every hit Ippon. Making every hit ippon was very difficult, especially during keiko. During keiko, there are many things that I need to keep in mind, for example, keep feet moving, be aware of the distance, find and make chance to hit…etc. With too many things in my mind, I could not hit 100% confidently, especially on Men strike.

During the matches, I was so nervous. I worried that I could not do my best. I afraid to lose to my opponent; therefore, I tried to handle the match carefully. I tried not to hit without seeing chance. I hit a few times, but it was not accurate enough, then I started to lose my confident. I slow down my pace and concentrated to search for chances. Then, I scored a couple of Dous. When I saw one of the girls hitting a very beautiful Men, I knew that I did not have the confidence to hit Men. Therefore, in the future practice, I want to focus on improving my men strike.

I got defeated by Reika in a very fast match. Then, I watched her matches with other girls. I realized the differences between me and Reika was not only technique and skills, but the fighting spirit. She kept moving, attacking with 100 % of her spirit. She attacked without giving up until she scored. She was like a 100M runner, while I was like a jogger. Therefore, I understand that not only I need to improve my skill and technique, but also the confidence and fighting spirit.

After the matches, I also realized how much my kendo buddies were supporting me. They cheered up for me and were happy for my winning matches. I am so glad to have to practice and train with me. Without their support, I do not think I could keep my fighting spirit up.

party


1000 Kirikaeshi

November 20, 2012
by Jackie
Image
On wed 8th August 2012, Peter, MJ and Bonnie did 1000 kirikaeshi. It was great to see members of our dojo demonstrate courage, determination and spirit.
 
As I have said before, it is very easy to take the ‘easy way’ in life. But it takes courage to decide to try something that will push us to our limits both physically and mentally. By deciding to do the 1000 kirikaeshi, Peter, Mj and Bonnie demonstrated the courage
that they had, and in doing so will make them stronger.
 
 
For the members of the dojo who watched them, I hope that it will give them inspiration to challenge themselves. Every challenge big or small means that we have taken and accepted the next step towards improving.
 
I feel that the spirit within the dojo over the last few months has changed in a good way. I feel there is more of a ‘team’ atmosphere and a willingness to help each other.
This is a very good thing. It was great to see this on wed, when so many were supporting Peter, MJ and Bonnie.
 
Well done to the three of you! Lets try together to challenge ourselves and become strong together in both mind and body.
Lets hope that many more of the members are inspired and accept challenges that will help build a strong spirit.
Well done again!!