Friday, 26 November 2010

The Event - 2nd and 3rd April 2011

Some may not know this but I was asked to be Events Officer for the club. Not really along the lines of the Christmas meal coming up [that's Joe's baby], more towards organising an Event for the club and other BKA members to take part in, a BKA weekend seminar for instance.

Now this may be a little premature but I've gone public with a date for our event, which is particularly brave considering we don't have a venue, funds or high grade Sensei to take the seminar, but those are just minor details... ;)

Anyway, as the headline suggests the Liverpool Kendo Seminar will take place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd April 2011. Put it in your diaries and use it as a goal to aim for because hopefully we'll get a big turn out and we can put our dojo and all the other North West kendo clubs on the map and show what we're capable of.

There's still a lot to do and organise, if you think you can help in any way let me know. Things will become a lot clearer over the next few weeks and we can get most of the organisation started. Now that I've announced it on the BKA forum I'm cacking it a bit because failure's not an option but the rewards will be great for all of us, who knows what we may do if this succeeds (!) so your support is appreciated.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Giri 義理

According to wikipedia 'Giri 義理 is a Japanese value roughly corresponding to "duty", "obligation", or even "burden of obligation" in English. It is defined as "to serve one's superiors with a self-sacrificing devotion" by Namiko Abe.'

Joining a kendo club is very different to joining your local gym. We all come together to take part in an activity that is supposed to hone the mind, body and spirit, without this in mind we're just folks in a dance hall hitting each other with sticks. It's the duty of all to come with the intent to improve themselves, for those with experience to pass on that experience and help those newer to the art to advance. For those that are just beginning it's important to take on board the lessons and advice given and do your best to improve. It's often said that the most important people in a club are not necessarily the ones who are the best, it's the ones who come week in, week out regardless of their ability but in an effort to get better and support the club.

Another example of Giri 義理 exhibited by the club is how we 'subsidise' the members. Either through the additional 2 kata lessons a month, entrance fees for team competitions or more simply [but no less important] the use of club armour. We appreciate that kendo bogu is expensive and not everyone can invest in armour from day one, nor would we wish them to. Sometimes the getting into armour changes your view on kendo, some people enjoy it more, some people discover it is not what they thought it was after all. So having armour to loan to beginners is an important obligation that Liverpool Kendo Club is proud to perform.

We do not ask for payment or even a deposit, this again is our understanding that if we loan armour to you you will look after it and come to practice to make good use out of it, that is your obligation. If club armour is not being used but is in the possession of a member it stops another beginner, who is ready and willing to make the best use of it, from progressing. For all the beginners who have stuck it out since September we are extremely grateful for your continued efforts and hard work. We've seen considerable improvements and we hope you are feeling a sense of belonging within the club. For this reason we will be looking hard at who has club armour and how much commitment they have shown so we can ensure we have available kit for you once you are ready to take it up. In the mean time I suggest you speak to Sensei next week about whether he thinks you are ready to ask Santa to bring you hakama and keiko-gi.

Don't forget Joe is organising a Christmas meal at Etsu on Friday 10th December. I never usually go to these things but this year I'm making an exception so check out the details on the forum. Practice hard, play hard as they say.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Mumeishi 2's!?

Due to organisational difficulties it has not been possible for us to find 3 available members to travel to London to make a team. However, the club will be represented in some form as both Joe and Anthony are preparing to join the Kobudokan team from Manchester.

Although it would be nice to have seen Liverpool in full force at Mumeishi it is another example of how, as a club, we are getting out and about and supporting our North-West neighbours. Hopefully you'll have a good weekend, good luck with the competition and we'll expect a full report when Joe gets back from "t'big smoke".

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Merchandise voucher

Just decided to check if Spreadshirt had any vouchers to help everyone get money off some Liverpool Kendo Club merchandise and they do, only the offer ends on the 14th November!

Free shipping on all orders!

Use voucher code SHOPEARLYUK when checking out.
Valid 01 - 14 November.

Voucher code:
Click below to go to the shop

I'll try and keep an eye on this because there may be more offers leading up to Christmas. If there is anything folks would like added to the range of items let me know on the forum. And just to reiterate, no commission is made by the club or individual on these items. They're purely to promote the club in the wider world

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Organisational tools

If there's one thing the club has fallen short in success over the years it's organising things. When it comes to competitions and gradings I can recall being sat at the Egg on the morning of a Bowden trying to find out who's going and how we're getting there. It makes any attendance at a competition that much more difficult and remarkable that we competed at all!

Joe has had quite a problem organising the team for the Mumeishi 3's and it would really benefit us all if everyone could get on board with all the facilities put in place to get information and keep in touch with those 'in the know'.

The technology exists for us all to keep up-to-date with what the club is doing and there are very few barriers to contacting one member or another. Hopefully you will all be checking the website for this news page [or you won't be reading this] or you can subscribe to the RSS feed [in iGoogle, Livemail or other reader] using this link:

Additionally you can plug the Liverpool Kendo Calendar into your RSS reader and sign up for the message board. The forum is an ideal place if you need any questions answered or wish to discuss anything about kendo or the club. By using the forum this way we'll all chat less at the beginning and end of practice and get more out of the training. It was noticeable that we were quite late in leaving on Wednesday so we really need to start using the 'extra-curricular' options to chat as opposed to in the dojo.

Lastly if all these are too much for you but you're still an avid fan of Facebook then don't forget we also have a Facebook group that will pull in this information as well, so join the group at least. Thanks for your help in this, hopefully we'll be able to organise our next event without too much hassle.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Gender realignment

With a number of ladies now training at the club I thought it important to point out to those not aware that we swapped changing rooms. Gents change in the ladies and ladies change 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 speeds up changing to have more space. This is 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.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Mumeishi 3's

Joe mentioned the Mumeishi 3's Competition last night, here are the details:
The Mumeishi 3's competition is a 3 person competition [do you see what they did there?]
One person MUST be a kyu grade, the remaining two can be any grade.
The competition is International and regularly gets visitors from all over the world.
It takes place at:
Cranford Community College
High St, Cranford, Hounslow.
London. TW5 9PD                                                                        
Saturday 20th November  2010.  Start time 10-15 am
The cost for entry of the team is covered by the club. If you are prepared to represent us in the International Kendo arena, the club is prepared to cover the cost. For travel arrangements and expressions of interest, contact Joe. Places may be limited due to the team sizes so the sooner you speak to him the better.