No training this evening

Due to some unforeseen circumstances there will be no training this evening! The reason for this is that neither of the two regular teachers can be present, nor will some of the regular members be able to attend.

I hope that by next Saturday all those who are sick will be in good health again! Please take care.

On a side note, this week the cherry blossoms at the Amsterdam forest are in full bloom, if you haven’t yet, please check them out, they’re very nice to see!

Let’s do repairs!

RSJ-SplintersI recently found myself inspired by Bunpei Yorifuji’s famous “Please do it…” campaign posters promoting etiquette in the Tokyo subway. They are catchy, they’re a bit funny and they manage to drive home a message clearly.

What if“, I thought, “we applied the same design esthetic and message to kendo?“. Thus work has started on a kendo-centric set of “Please do it…” posters. First up, based on last weekend’s shinai inspection, is a poster about maintenance. It is everybody’s duty to ensure their equipment is safe and that no harm can be done to your fellow kendoka. Loose splinters on shinai may pierce somebody’s eye!

The Japanese sentences were made using JEDict and Google Translate, so I’m sure they’re full of mistakes. Please correct me!

New website NKR

It has been years in the coming, but with hard work and concerted effort the NKR (Nederlandse Kendo Renmei) have launched their new and improved website! It’s still a little rough around the edges, but that’s sure to get cleaned up soon!

As always we would like to thank the NKR volunteers for all their hard work. Without them, kendo in the Netherlands would not be at its current level.

800 child kendo battle

Source: NHK.

Although the source link does no longer work, the following is quoted from the NHK. The event took place on the 7th of April 2013. A video of the battle is available on Belgian site Karrewiet.

800 children have taken part in an outdoor match of kendo sword-fighting in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo.

Sunday’s match was part of an annual event commemorating the death of Takeda Shingen, the 16th-century warlord whose domain overlapped Yamanashi. He is said to have died on April 12th, 1573.

The children aged between 3 and 18 were divided into eastern and western teams. They attached red or white balloons to their face guards to show which team they belonged to.

When the match started, the children ran to their opponents and swung bamboo swords to pop the balloons.

The match ended with no winner. This is in tribute to Shingen and his rival warlord Uesugi Kenshin, who fought each other several times without a decisive victory.

A junior high school girl said she took part for the third time and enjoyed the event because it’s different from the usual kendo matches.

The chief of the organizing committee says he wants to promote kendo among children and make the outdoor match even bigger.

The idea of a balloon tournament is of course nothing new and it’s been done before. Case in point, the wonderful four-team battle shown below. In many western dojo the balloon battles have become a staple event for holidays (New Year’s, Halloween, etc).