Last week, we had two Hanshi visiting Los Angeles. We had two days of practice, and it was a great experience for me. I had never had the chance to practice with both Senseis before, so this time, I made sure I lined up first with them. I will be posting the practice video on youtube soon.
Takahashi and Sueno Hanshi practice at Long Beach Dojo
Right after I came back from Portugal, I went to Vancouver, Canada to join my old team mates. The Team Canada Gasshuku was held at Steveston Kendo Dojo, near Vancouver.
Team Canada 2009
The team looked good. I am sure they will do good this year. As you probably know, Canada is in the same block as the USA and German team. It is a tough block, but the winner of this block has a good chance to reach the finals.
When I saw the draw for the first time, the first thing that came to my mind was “What a great chance!”. The next thing that came to my mind was “I wish I was on the team!”. Honestly, I miss being on the team…
This year, I will be going to the 14WKC in Sao Paulo, but not as a player. I have been participating at WKCs for the past 20 years, representing Canada, but I am finally retired! It is kind of sad, but got to give chance to the younger guys.
Instead, I will be helping the Portuguese team. We just had a Gasshuku this month, during the independence day weekend. This time, it was concentrated on the Team members, and future prospects only.
We worked mostly on how to win at the tournaments. Secret…
Right after I came back from Portugal Gasshuku, I flew to Hong Kong for the Asian tournament.
Every year, Hong Kong Kendo association hosts a tournament, inviting various Asian countries. This year, I was flyging to Asia on business, so I made a quick stop in Hong Kong to watch the tournament, where I ended up doing Shimpan all day.
Asian Tournament - Hong Kong 2009
I have know Mr. Liu, former Taiwan team member, for a long time. He is also a long time WKC player.
Please find attached results of all 3 events of the 9th asian.
Once again we thank you all for your participation especially under the global financial downturn still many of your members coming to join this Championships and this time we have used a totally stranger’s place and separating participants into different hotels. we apologized for all the inconveniences caused.
Add to these, this morning an incident took place in Narita airport and many of the participants may not be able to return back to Japan on schedule including Taguchi sensei and Ishizuka sensei.
By late this evening they have both managed to arrive in Nagoya and by special transport arrangement back to Osaka and Tokyo.
We hope to see all of you again in 2010 (10th Anniversary of this Championships).
Special thanks to Taguchi sensei and Ishizuka sensei for their support and to all the volunteer referee sensei and helpers (adults and kids) and specially to Mandy, our part-time colleague with the HK Kendo Association for relieving more than 80%of my workload as i was totally occupied by my new post and she has done a splendid job especially with the hotel arrangements for the participants.
March 25, 2009 - Practice with the Hong Kong Kendo
On Wednesday (on my way back from Asia trip), I stopped in Hong Kong for one more night, and I went to practice with the Hong Kong guys. Last time I was there, was in 1989, when I was still in University, and I made a Kendo trip to Japan and Asia. Horibe sensei (front, far right) still remembered me from 20 years ago!
Old frind - Yoshio Yamada from Hong Kong
Yoshio Yamada (7 dan) is an old friend of mine from 18 years ago. He came to Canada in the early 1990’s and trained with the Team Canada at that time.
After practice with Horibe Sensei
Horibe sensei from Hong Kong.
My favorite! Chinese food. Dinner after practice.
After wednesday practice they took me to a delicious Chinese food!
Po Kit Wong Sensei - President of Hong Kong Kendo Federation
I would like to thank all the Kenshis from treating me so well, and I look forward to seeing you guys again!
This year, we did the Gasshuku a little early in the year. We held the Gasshuku during the weekend of March 14 – 15, in Lisbon. The special guest this year was Seigo Atari Sensei from Keishicho Tokyo Police (Kendo Kyoshi 7th Dan). He conducted most of the Gasshuku, and I was there more as a translator.
There were over 60 participants, and every year the number of Kenshis are increasing.
Kendo Gasshuku in Portugal with Atari sensei and ArigaThe first day, we did the Keishicho Kihon without the Bogu. This is a very good way of practicing the basics, and it is extremely effective method of teaching. Atari sensei mentioned that policemen in Japan that does not have learned Kendo prior to joining the police force, they learn Kendo by doing these basic movements.Atari Sensei Explaining Waza to Portuguese Kenshis
We had also special guests from Spain, Antonio Gutierrez Sensei, who came all the way from Zaragoza, Spain.
Antonio Gultierrez and Taro after practice
And Alain Ducarme sensei, president of European Kendo Federation, who was always been supporting our Gaashuku. He is in the middle of the picture below.
Every year, we hold a Toshikoshi Keiko at our BUTOKUDEN Dojo in Irvine. We started in 2004, and this is the 4th time. Every year, we have more participants, and everyone who loves Kendo is welcome to join. Everyone starts gathering at around 10:30PM on December 31st, and the Keiko starts at 11:30PM. We finish the practice a few minutes before the Year. Everyone takes off the Men and we celebrate the New Year. “Akemashite Omedetougozaimasu”. Shortly after the New Year, we put our Men back, and practice for another 1 hour.
We had participants of all ages, and the parents helped us making Ozoni (Japanase style soup with Mochi inside).
Here is a video clip that I posted on Youtube of a Kendo Kata performed by Miyagawa Hanshi 8 dan and Okido Kyoshi 8 Dan. By the way, Okido sensei was the World Kendo Champion at the 7th World Kendo Championships in 1988 (Seoul Korea).
The video quality is not that great, because I did not have a tripod, but you can still see the techniques of Nihon Kendo Kata performed by two World known 8 Dan.
Every year, I go to a Caribbean country that hosts the Caribbean Championships. It is an yearly event. I have in the past visited Mexico (1990), Aruba (2006), and Colombia (2007). This year, the tournament was hosted by the Venezuelan Kendo Federation http://fvkendo.com/ on October 9 -12, 2008.
I had the opportunity to do Jigueiko with Ohkido Sensei (World Champion, 1998). Very strong!
With the Peruvian team
With an old friend Eddy Devisse
I have been noticing every year, that the level of Kenshis in this area is exponentially improving. Venezuelahas always been one of the strongest, because of the long history of Kendo in the country, because Ebihara Sensei from NY has been visiting Venezuela to coach their team. Also, I can see other countries such as Colombia, Peru (who placed second this year in the team matches), Trinidad improving rapidly every year.
Senseis visiting this event were the following, including two well known Senseis from IKF:
Hidetoshi Miyagawa (JPN) Hanshi 8Dan
Okido Isao (JPN) Kyoshi 8 Dan
Ebihara Daniel (USA) 7Dan Kyoshi
Tamaki Tadashi (BRA) 7Dan Kyoshi
Ciutoco Kogima (BRA) 7Dan Kyoshi
Furuya Isao (JPN-HOL) 7Dan Kyoshi,
Ariga Taro (CAN) 7Dan Renshi
Equipos Masculino / Men’s Team
1° Venezuela: A. Pintos, J. Araujo, A. Sánchez, G. Auvert, P. Lizardo
2° Perú: J. Rodríguez, E. Loo, J. Pajuelo, L. Guillen, A. Goyburo
3° Trinidad: M. Chiba, N. Alexis, H. Williams, H. Tanaka, H. Hirod
3° Ecuador: M. Polo, F. Concha, C. Ordoñez, D. Sosa, D. Ho-Son-Kim
Individuales Masculino / Men’s Individuals
1° J. Araujo (Venezuela)
2° N. Yamaguchi (USA)
3° S. Lamboo (Aruba)
3° H. Williams (Trinidad)
Individuales Femeninos / Women’s Individuals
1° M. Chiba (Trinidad)
2° S. De Wolf (Aruba)
3° D. Rincón (Venezuela)
3° M. Panza (Venezuela)
More information can be found on the Venezuelan Kendo federation website.
Every year, I go to Portugal to run a Gasshuku. Usually, I am there at the beginning of the year, but this year, it was last week, during the weekend of October 25 – 26, 2008. We had the Gashuku in a small town, Luso, about 150KM north of Lisbon. Luso is famous for its spring water, which is sold all across Portugal. http://www.travel-in-portugal.com/Luso/
Here are some of the videos of the Jigueiko:
The two days schedule was the following:
Portugal Gasshuku 2008
9:00 – 9:30: Aquecimento/Suburi
9:30 – 10:00 Teoria do Taro de como ganhar um ponto no Shiai
10:00 – 11:30 Treino Basico com Bogu
11:30 – 1:00 Almoco/Descanso
1:00 – 1:30 Aquecimento/Suburi
1:30 – 3:00 Treino Avancado com Bogu
- Ohyo Waza
- Tecnicas para Shiai
3:00 – 4:00 Shiai (Equipe Portuguesa vs outros)
4:00 – 5:00 Jigueiko
The 13th World Kendo Championships will be my last WKC. This tournament being my 7th WKC that I participated, I was already getting older and I could definitely feel a big difference in my physical condition compared to 2003 (12WKC Glasgow). I could not believe how much 3 years, made a difference in the physical abilities. At 13WKC, I only played 2 matches (against France and Brazil), and lost to my Kohai Jogi Sato from Brazil, in the Taisho match. That was my last WKC match.
Team Canada had a very strong team. We were very close to winning over the USA team, as we were leading until the Taisho match. But I have to admit: They had a better strategy, and they were stronger than us as a team. One of the USA team member works with me at e-bogu.com, and I was impressed by the dedication he had for the team for over a year prior to WKC. I am not surprised they beat Japan, after they beat us.
This team was basically the same as the 12WKC (Glasgow) and the 11WKC (Santa Clara). I hope the younger guys that will replace us (the old boys) will make the Canadian team strong and get the medal back to us.