Thursday, 25 August 2011


Thanks once again for attending last nights practice, in particular our visitors from near and far, your efforts were appreciated. It's been a good week for kendo in that we've had two days of Intensive Training with the British Squad and two weeks where new practice partners have stretched our abilities and challenged our skills.

Summer is a time where many dojo find numbers slowly drop off as there seem to be far more interesting things to do on a warm evening than stand in a hall and sweat yourself stupid for two hours. Thankfully, for the most part, we have had relatively good numbers attending which is rewarding for us as we are seeing people week in, week out, improving through our efforts. Presumably it's also rewarding for those who attend regularly as they will be experiencing that progression first hand and not feel intimidated by the challenges ahead.

It's understandable that every day life can impact on training which may prevent attendance, therefore can you please make every effort to let us know if you cannot come to practice. If we know individuals are not coming we can aim to start practice sooner rather than later. Aside from that, it's part of dojo etiquette and common courtesy to those who do attend that they will not be benefiting from your presence. More importantly, if you have been loaned club armour you have taken on the responsibility of turning up regularly. If you cannot make that commitment it is only fair that you return the bogu so that someone else who can be at practice every week can benefit and progress. For greater understanding of this please refer to my post on Giri 義理

So, if you can't make it to practice please let someone know through the forum, facebook or email [use the link at the bottom of]. There's plenty of options so there's really no excuse. Thank you for your understanding and as a reminder there is NO kata on Monday, it's a bank holiday so please DO NOT turn up, you'll be disappointed!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Last Night's Visitors

Thanks go out to Tom Widdows from Kobudokan Kendo Club, Dave Parkes from Oxford University Kendo Club and Mark Welsh from York Kendo Club, who attended practice. Tom has visited a couple of times and helped out with our support for the Etsu Restaurant Japan Fun Day Charity Event. Having a squad member turn up for practice is always a treat.

It was Dave's first time with us, although he did come to the Kyusha Taikai back in April. His Kendo was a real challenge for me, as you saw when his near perfect uchi-otoshi waza on my failed attempt at katate-tsuki sent my shinai across the dojo, always there to entertain. Lastly, it was regular visitor Mark Welsh's last visit for a while as he moves down south to start a new job. It's always a pleasure to have him visit and his kendo has improved greatly over the years, hopefully we'll see you again at Christmas, good luck with your new job

It's great to have visitors, the variety their kendo brings is extremely useful to mix in with the people we practice week in and week out. It's for this reason Sensei is keen to have us compete in competition so we can get out and experience kendo from around the country.

Equally, when those people come to you it makes it even easier, so take advantage of the Squad training this weekend:

Hope Park Sports Hall, Liverpool Hope University, Taggart Avenue, Liverpool, L16 9JD
Saturday 20th 14:30 - 18:00
Sunday 21st 09:30 - 13:00
Each session costs £5.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Grading Success

'Liverpool Old Boy' Andy Checkly, now resident in Japan, has just passed his Ikkyu grading there. He will be preparing for his Shodan in November and his Japanese Sensei seems confident he will pass. It's great news for Andy and also testament that our Club is teaching people in a way that is recognised favorably in the home of Kendo [not that there was any doubt, but it's nice].

Congratulations Andy, keep up the good work, we look forward to hearing back from you in November!

More information about intensive training with the GB Kendo Squad

Just to give you a little more information about Squad Training. Our old friend Daniel Antoni, now resident in Japan went to a couple of squad practices. You can read about his efforts on the Kobudokan Kendo Club forum. There's clear indication of how a session runs so forewarned is forearmed.

Additionally The Kendo Hypochondriac Blog also features a short report from the last squad training in Cardiff, you should be plugging that into your RSS readers as it's an interesting read from 'one of us' a 2nd Dan kendoka who's occasionally injured and is beset by the typical kendo concerns we all have.

And just to remind you, where, when and how much it is.

Hope Park Sports Hall, Liverpool Hope University, Taggart Avenue, Liverpool, L16 9JD
Saturday 20th 14:30 - 18:00
Sunday 21st 09:30 - 13:00
Each session costs £5.

PS don't forget to be on time tonight.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Intensive Training with the GB Kendo Squad

If you were unaware the GB Kendo Squad holds regular monthly training sessions, they are open to all BKA Kendo members. One goal of these sessions is to build a pool of talent from which the Great British Kendo Team will eventually be selected. In order to become a GB Kendo Team member, you must  be committed and demonstrate that you will make a consistent contribution to the BKA and the GB Kendo Squad. Joe has been attending these sessions regularly and his progress not only shows in the dojo but he has come close to being included in the team.

This weekend Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August, Intensive training takes place here in Liverpool. They will be using the same venue as we did when holding the Kyusha Taikia:

Hope Park Sports Hall, Liverpool Hope University, Taggart Avenue, Liverpool, L16 9JD
Saturday 20th 14:30 - 18:00
Sunday 21st 09:30 - 13:00

Each session costs £5, so it's great value for money, three and a half hours of kendo with Britains strongest competetive kendoka under the watchful eye of the Squad coach. This is an event not to be missed as it is highly unlikely to return to Liverpool, but looks set to move to Wolverhampton, so if you get a taste for it this weekend you won't have to go to the ends of the Earth to show you're interested.

Rest assured though, this will be a hard practice, Joe has described it as 'relentless'. If you are up for the challenge you must remember you are joining practice with the GB Squad and it is your responsibility to do your best to improve their kendo as well as your own, they are not there to 'hold your hand'. Therefore if you want to participate please feel free to take advantage of this opportunity. Come with a strong fighting spirit to do your best and learn with the best. Equally if you are not in armour and wish to come along to watch you are more than welcoem to do so to learn what goes on and what it takes to be a squad member.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

We shall overcome!

Thanks go out to those who were at practice last night. Unsurprisingly the dojo was not stormed by the disaffected youth of Merseyside on the hunt for large screen TV's, iPhones, and booze. Although it might have been fun if they had... Sensei was grateful for your attendance and efforts and has asked to remind folk that Kata is on Monday. A reminder has gone up on the Liverpool Kendo Google Calendar  and another one will go up afterwards to let you know there is no kata on the 29th as it's a Bank Holiday, if I do it now you'll only get confused.

Additionally I'll be adding a bit more information over the next week about the intensive GB Squad training course being held on the Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of August at Hope University, where we had the Kyusha Taikai. Hopefully everyone will be able to attend but I just want to clarify details.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Training still on tonight

I contacted both Sensei and they are keen not to let the current disturbances disrupt practices and are confident that the situation was in hand last night and will probably remain so, particularly with the weather being so miserable.

You are however advised to take care and travel with plenty of time to ensure any possible diversions can be negotiated. If you feel there is still risk in attending then please find a way to let us know if you are not coming so we can begin on time and also that we are not concerned for your arrival. Forums, Facebook, email, text, these are all useful ways to convey this.