Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kurasawa Cup - Barcelona

This seminar used to be leaded by KURASAWA Teruhiko, 9-dan Kendo Hanshi and Shihan of the Nittaidai. He is still an active kendoka but due to his advanced age (past 90 years) he is now forbidden from long trips overseas. I had the pleasure of doing keiko with him on 2003 and 2004 and it was a very inspiring and unique experience. Unique as it is, I will probably never keiko a 9-dan sensei again. And most of the newbies in kendo will probably never even have that chance. Anyway, if you want to see some of his badass grandpa moves check out this video:

Since 2005 the seminar has been led by TAKIZAWA Kenji, 8-dan Kyoshi. It follows a similar pattern every year: Kihon-Suburi, Oikomi, Keiko, Kata, Bokuto ni Yoru, Shinpan-geiko, Shikake-Oji Waza and a special 1vs1vs1 kangeiko type of informal shiai. It is pretty varied and packed for just a weekend if you ask me, considering half of one of those days is taken up by the competition.

On saturday afternoon there's the shiai. It's a 3-member, gender mixed team competition. Nearly 40 teams from several countries joined the cup this year. My team (Kenwakai A) made it to the finals but we were unable to beat the newcomer champion in the end.

Oh well, learn from defeat as they say. I've studied my final match thoroughly and I think I know what I got wrong now, so hopefully it'll be fixed for the next match! This is the medal for this year. Last years looked more like a shuriken. True story.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 Wrap-Up

Highlight of the Seminars and Taikai I attended on 2010:

-Event: Kurasawa Cup (Barcelona)
Leader: Takizawa-sensei 8-dan
Result: 3rd Place Teams

-Event: Kendo Seminar (Madrid)
Leaders: MATSUNAGA, Masami: 8-dan (vicepresident  of ZNKR and FIK)
KONDO, Keisuke 8-dan
KAKEHASHI, Masaharu 8-dan
HIGASHI, Kazuyoshi 8-dan

-Event: Spain National Championships (Madrid)
Leader: Emilio Gomez 7-dan
Result: 1st Place Teams

-Event: University Open (Valencia)
Leader: Yano-sensei 8-dan (Waseda University’s coach)
Result:  3rd Place Teams

-Event: Kendo Visit (Madrid)
Leader: Marsten-sensei 7-dan

-Event: Kendo Campus (Valencia)
Leader: SUZUKI Yasunori Sensei Hanshi 8º Dan - Coach of the Japan National Team
Result: 2nd Place Teams, 3rd Place Individuals

-Event: Kendo Seminar (Madrid)
Leaders: Inoue-sensei 8-dan, Asami-sensei 8-dan, Lancini-sensei 7-dan

-Event: International Alessandria Trophy (Italy)
Leaders: Several
Result: None :/

-Event: Shinpan Seminar (Madrid)
Leader: TAKIZAWA-sensei 8-dan

-Event: Vitoria Trophy (Gasteiz)
Leaders: YODA-sensei 8-dan, HAYASHI-sensei 8-dan
Result: 1st Place Teams

-Event: Bilbao International Taikai (Bilbao)
Leader: TAHARA Hironori 8-dan hanshi
Result: 3rd Place Teams, Best 8 Individual

-Event: Nakakura Cup (Belgium)
Leader: HIRAKAWA Nobuo 8-dan
Result: Best 16 Individual

Bottomline: Looks like I helped my team (Kenwakai A) win some achievements this year, but I couldn't do much on individuals.... not good! 

Anyway, 2011... here we come!! :D

Saturday, January 8, 2011

No country for old "Men"

Been using the same Men(helmet) for about 10 years now... and it was second hand (i.e. old) when I bought it! Perhaps this bogu (armour) is older than me.... Oh well..... I guess I'll have to buy a new one.

Any recommendations?
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