Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Dates For Your Diary

Crack open the new 2010 diary Auntie got your for Christmas as here are some new dates for January to jot down.

Wednesday 6th and 13th January are both Winter Kangeiko practices. These are used to shift some of that festive flab. So please come in comfortable clothes, no need for bogu, and any suburi bokkens you may have. Expect to work hard but have fun, hopefully no balloon balancing this year!

Kata returns on Monday 4th January in Crosby. Start the year with a New years Resolution to turn up and take part [sadly I have a prior engagement but I recommend you do as I say, not as I do]. Just so you know kata sessions tend to be more than just kata, there is a lot more explanation of how and why things work. You tend to get a lot more verbal instuction than on a Wednesday night so you can learn a great deal that may be missed through action alone.

Our first beginners night of 2010 is Wednesday 27th January so please be prompt and no later than 7:10pm in the dojo. There's a lot to explain and get through before class can start and latecomers will have to face the shame of coming in on their own.

Lastly, a reminder that you should have renewed your BKA membership. There's an online option that's about as idiot-proof as you can get at http://kendo.org.uk/ Don't forget. Your liability insurance will be compromised without your BKA membership.

Have a good New Year!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The importance of doing kata

News from the BKA has it that after the next grading at Mumeishi Kata requirements will change.
Essentially it will affect all those attempting 1st Dan and above and really means that kendoka will be required to learn more of the later katas than before. This is more in line with European Kendo Federation grading requirements.

But what does this mean? Well it means that we will be learning all of the katas, not just the ones needed to get you through your next shinsa. Of course the only way to get to those later katas -Ropponme, Nanahonme and the Kodachi katas is to have thoroughly grasped the earlier ones. To do that you have to actually come to the kata lessons.

At Liverpool Kendo Club we practice, on average, twice a month for two hours each session. Very few clubs nationwide will devote so much time to kata and certainly not in such detail. Additionally for club members this lesson is FREE! The cost of practice is included in your monthly fees so the only thing stopping you going is getting there. Information on the practices are updated regularly on the club calendar, with the location on the map.

If this was not enough to convince you of the importance of kata just remember it was only through kata that 'Daniel-san' wins in Karate Kid 3. Go on, do it for Mr Miyagi! ;)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Kata back at Crosby

Kata is on again at Crosby 7:30pm start at Chesterfield High School. More information available on the training calendar. See you there.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Monday Night Kata Is Cancelled

Just to make everyone absolutely aware kata on Monday night is cancelled. Unfortunately there won't be anyone available to open the school. Mike will keep us informed about future lessons. Meanwhile if everyone can subscribe to the club's RSS calendar at

all future training dates will be updated there, as well as in the news, which you can also subscribe to in your RSS reader.

Northern Goodness

Members of the Liverpool Kendo Club sallied forth to do battle once again in the first ever Northern Open Kendo Championships held in Newcastle on the 25th of July. Joe Wilmott, Daniel Antoni and 'prodigal son' Chris Keegan restored some of our honour following the recent Bowden Taikai.

All three members of the three man team managed to win their first matches 2:0 [our most successful result ever]. In the second matches Joe Wilmott survived the full match unscathed resulting in hiki-wake [a draw] whilst Daniel and Chris lost their matches. Despite these results they made it out of the pools and into the second round.

Sadly the second round proved their undoing and they all lost their matches 2:0. The only consolation being the winning team went on to reach joint third place. Well done to the three guys who put their kendo on the line to show what we can do and better luck next year.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Beginners Night's All Right For Fighting.

Our next Beginners Night is next Wednesday 29th July. Please ensure you come as early as possible to the dojo, all beginners to arrive by 7:15pm. Don't forget, loose pants, preferably those that you can turn up without them falling down, shorts or 3/4 length trousers.

Current members, if you can remember to bring a spare shinai to share just in case we're blessed with record numbers of eager new participants.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Stoke Seminar and Grading Roundup

It was a small contingent from Liverpool that made it down to 'the Potteries' in Stoke for the annual seminar and grading. The seminar on the Saturday focused a great deal on seme and how to get your opponent to do what you wanted to do. Sensei John Howell's likened it to a chess game. The afternoon was taken up with shimpan practice. Mike Carter called a particularly good kote, it was a shame the other judges missed it. This was then followed by a detailed look at oji-waza.

The grading on the Sunday was a particularly long and hard affair. There were 25 ikkyu grading, 12 shodan, 8 nidan and 15 sandan. Everyone performed their shinai grading before any kata's were taken. Sadly both Mike and Oscar did not get through to the kata stage for sandan. In particular Oscar's trademark kaeshi-do's drew a few gasps of appreciation from the spectator's but it was not to be.

Dave Weston managed to make it second time lucky and defied the odd's to achieve nidan. If there was any indication of how tough the grading was the fact there was a 75% failure rate in the nidan section is evidence enough. A tense moment followed the kata as Dave was pulled aside to be instructed on the correct grip for waki-gamae, and then it was all done.

Also of note was occasional visitors from Do-Shin-Ken-Yu-Kai York, Mark Welsh who passed his ikkyu and also the help and support of Kobudokan's Andy Fisher who was paired with Dave for kata practice on the Sunday. Congratulations and thanks to them.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Technology... baa humbug.

Back in the day you could quite easily get away with corrupt floppy discs and eventually CD-Rs and even DVDs. Since solid state came along most of them are pretty much fool-proof. That is until this week when my 8GB SD card seemed to disintegrate.

This means anyone expecting video footage of their practice last week, well I'm afraid it's escaped back to the Matrix. We'll do it again some other time no doubt, so meanwhile you'll have to remember sensei's advice

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Another year, another Bowden 'attempt'

Team Liverpool travelled to deepest darkest Reading to take part in the 2009 Sir Frank Bowden Kendo Taikai. Despite Dave initially being asked to randomly choose the initial competition bouts they went with a pool system. Our pool meant we would have two matches each and face Mumeishi A team and then Hizen C team.

The 2009 Liverpool team was:
  1. Senpo - Dave Weston
  2. Jiho - Daniel Antoni
  3. Chuken - Mike Carter
  4. Fukusho - Joe Willmott
  5. Taisho - Oscar Carter
First up Dave survived the first 3 minute encounter to Aziz, unfortunately losing to a Men cut. Second Daniel in his first ever shiai faced a 4th Dan and also lasted the entire match only losing one point for two hansoku, where he stepped out of the shiai-jo twice.
Mike was up next and his opponent took one men cut and then a hiki-men on our chuken. 
Joe had a difficult time losing to two men cuts and was mightily displeased with himself but desperate to do well in his next fence.
Oscar brought up the rear and started strong but lost to one kote but surviving the 3 minutes.

The second line up against Hizen C and Dave once again got caught out with a men cut and in a similar scenario to Daniel's he misjudged the boundary of the shiai-jo twice and lost a point due to the two hansoku. The match had overrun it's 3 minutes by this time but it was still a disappointing exit. Our shiai virgin Daniel stepped up once again and acquitted himself spectacularly. He managed another 3 minutes this time without conceding a point.
Mike was up next and once again got caught by hiki-men and then a men cut.
Joe battled valiantly this time, desperate not to prove himself but his opponent caught him quite a tai-atari that practically took him off his feet. He caught his balance on one leg but whilst he struggled to regain posture the Hizen Fukusho seized the open men cut. Aftre the ippon Joe continued with spirit but got caught out with one of his own favorite waza kote-nuki-men near the full-time mark.
Lastly Oscar managed to get in a few do cuts and kaeshi-do's but with no score until the match was paused. From the reset the Hizen Taisho shot out of the blocks to seize a men.

Overall it was a deeply challenging Bowden with far more questions about our efforts than previous years. The results seem quite disheartening but I think we acquitted ourselves well in the face of such strong opposition, that contained considerably higher grades and GB squad members. Videos and photos will follow in the gallery and hopefully we will be able to assess where we can improve for next time.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Because Joe asked for it...

...over at the Liverpool Kendo Club Shop there is now a jacket, ideal for the summer? I've also done a white t-shirt for those that stock up on Daz and it turns out to be the cheapest thing they do with both back print and front print.

Check them out if they're your bag, and a reminder we make no profit from these items they're just there so you can display your love of Liverpudlian Kendo!

Friday, 1 May 2009

No kata Monday!

As the title says there is no kata on Monday, it being a bank holiday and all. You should know this anyway if you've signed up to the calendar as an rss feed, if not, why not?

Additionally, when we work out when the next beginners night will be happening we will update the calendar, news, forum and beginners pages on the website to let you all know.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Just a reminder that Dave [Weston] has a variety of kendo DVD's that are available to club members. Anyone wishing to see
  • 13th World Kendo Championships
  • 54th All Japan Kendo Championships
  • High School Kendo Championship
  • High School Kendo training regimen
  • 100 Men cuts [with slow motion so you can see how they did it!]
  • Mr Ozawa's visit 2009
Then pass him a couple of DVD's and a preference and he'll see what he can do.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Calling all dan grades.

Sensei would like a quiet word before practice on Wednesday. Please be available as soon as possible.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Glasgow grading.

News hot off the text is that Ben Hughes has passed his Shodan at the Glasgow grading today. Also Liverpool Old-Boy Chris Carey also hit the first dan mark. Congratulations to both.

Unfortunately Rob was unsuccessful, better luck next time.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Kobudokan venue change

For those that may be interested in visiting some of the other clubs in the north-west it appears that Stockport based Kobudokan Kendo Club has a new venue. Somehow they managed to move inside the M60 and are now based at
The Dance Hall,
Didsbury Sports Campus of Manchester University,
Wilmslow Road,
M20 2RR

They practice Mondays 8:30 - 10:00 pm so every other Monday we're not doing kata you could visit the club which is now the haunt for GB Team Captain Andy Fisher no less.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Beginners night's all right for fighting.

A record 21 beginners braved the fog to try out kendo and with a bit of luck we'll see some if not all [now wouldn't that be amazing!] of you next week. For those that are excited enough to return don't forget to subscribe to both the RSS feeds to this news page and the google calendar on the training page. This way you will be kept up-to-date on all the latest news and when practice, including kata nights takes place.

Also if your totally smitten by kendo then sign up our forum and we'll try to answer any kendo questions you may have. Once again congratulations on making the effort to come along and we'll see you next week for more of the same.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Gender realignment

For the foreseeable future we will be swapping changing rooms. Gents will be changing in the ladies and ladies will be changing in the gents. It's all to do with size, as is often the case, but the ladies changing room is bigger and with more men in the club it will speed up changing to have more space. This will be of particular benefit when there are visitors.

Sorry for the confusion but please as a courtesy try to remember and possibly give a call or knock just in case this news doesn't filter through.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Back to the grind!

Now 'winter training' and it's fun and pulled muscles are out of the way it's back to normal practice, with full armour, kihon and ji-geiko.

If we can start as we mean to go on and try to be on time and ready to practice, with minimum chatter we will all learn more and get more out of the training. If you need any questions answered or wish to discuss anything about kendo or the club then sign up for our message board and we'll help you out.

This year we will be visited by a number of high grade sensei so we must show we are improving not just our kendo but our dojo etiquette as well. The next beginner's night is scheduled for Wednesday 28th January so we will also need to set a good example to them.

A reminder, there is still chance to apply to grade in Glasgow, 20th - 22nd February. Grading applications must be sent before the 21st January and you will have to discuss it with Billy on his return. All the information is on the British Kendo Association website.