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Kendo Camps?

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  • Kendo Camps?

    I've never really known what happens at the average Kendo Camp. I'm quite interested in anything that means Kendo for long amounts of time, and would appreciate any information on what "usually" goes on at Kendo camps. I realize they are different from eachother, but is there certain ones that have a main focus on one particular thing? Like kata or footwork, something along those lines?

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by Pan-Chan; 24th January 2005, 12:21 PM.

  • #2
    Different camps I have been to:
    1) Training weekend (aimed at beginner). Basic footwork, cuts and kata. Pretty much everything you have done in you club before. Upside, different people are they and you can grade yourself against them. Also with a different instructor with different focus, hopefully something you didn't understand will click
    2) Training weekend (aimed at beginner). Waza training. Again some something you already know, something you will be shown a technique that is very new of different. Usually brings on the WOW we learnt this cool ..... Today.
    3) Lets break our body doing kendo. Usually a 5 day training were you dumb people get to gather and do kendo until they get blisters, and half the body weight is transferred to their kekogi. Rest for an hour then finish of the session, and that just the first day.... Upside drinks on the last night.
    4) Training weekend (aimed at dan grades). Basic training's (technique wise somewhere between the two above aimed at beginners), but because of the levels involved though the intensity and expectations are much higher. (It is very amusing when the Kyu grades are doing some fancy waza and we are doing basic men)
    5) Training for grading. Some seminar are aimed for the people going for a grading in the very near future. I don't get it, if you are not ready for a grading a week before it is on you should probably not go for the grade, unless you are there to show you skills of to the people who are going to be on the grading panel.
    6) Squad Training. For people aspiring to be on their state/region/national team. Usually based around intensity and focus.

    A couple I haven't been on, but would like to
    7) Judging seminar. Learning more about how to judge matches at a higher standard.
    8) Summer Camp in Japan. From what I understand a bit of all the above.
    9) Team Training. part of a small elite team. (again could be state/region/ or national)

    Also I is not just the training done but also the environment and company, which could (and has) ranged from party first to very serious and proper.

    My recommendation is go to as many as possible, they are lost of fun. Also make friends with other club members.


    • #3
      There's Kendo Camps? Where/when do these usually take place?


      • #4
        In Japan, there are camps at all levels for all sorts of people.
        The most common though is a gasshuku, or summer camp for lack of a better translation, that almost all dojo hold around August each year. This is usually between 1 and 3 days long. What goes on largely depends on the age and skill levels of the students.
        At the camp I attend, its mostly kids from 5 or 6 years up through 15 and a few adults.
        We run, work on kiai, have 3 sessions of keiko a day, BBQ and try to play some games for the kids (fusen wari taikai and such).


        • #5
          Wow.. I NEED to attend some of these camps. It sounds like heaven. Thank you for the awesome information.

          I have one question I forgot to ask...

          Are most camps open to anyone, or are they more of an entire dojo thing?


          • #6
            Kendomushi, can you give any additional information (ie: schools recommended, Sensei, addresses / web sites, phone #'s) of some of the camps. I would be interested and I'm sure there are others who would also be interested in the camps.


            • #7
              Are there any that are not in Japan? Like in Canada, or Western United States?


              • #8
                The only camps I'm aware of are the Toronto Kendo Club summer camp held in August, and the AUSKF-sponsored camp in the states. The Toronto one is mostly internal I think but if any are here from TKC they can correct me.

                Every 3 years the Canadian Team trains for worlds, and that involves two gasshuku. Gasshuku aren't necessarily in the summer, it just means a live-in training camp.

                In the prairies we don't have camps so much, but every club puts on a seminar once a year and invites instructors from other clubs to help. These are fun events, everyone learns lots and recharges their batteries. There may be beer involved at some point.

                Saskatoon seminar - godo keiko, seminar, tournament and grading all rolled into one weekend. This year it's March 4-6 with Kamata-sensei and Taguchi Daisaku sensei. The instructors change every couple of years. This is the central event for the prairies, we expect around 80 to attend.

                Winnipeg seminar - second weekend of October with Murao-sensei and usually David Mori from Forest City plus some senior Steveston people. This one is all seminar, although usually there is a red and white tournament (divide everyone into two huge teams).

                Edmonton seminar - in May with Okusa-sensei and Miyaoka-sensei. This one includes naginata as well and is mostly seminar, with a small tournament.

                Regina seminar - September long weekend, instructors vary - last year it was David Mori, usually the Saskatoon instuctors are there too.

                Calgary grading prep - not quite an official event, but the last couple of years Murao-sensei has been invited to Calgary a week or two before the western grading to help people prepare.


                • #9
                  NCKF usually hosts a 3-day summer camp in early August. Open to beginners (even those withou bogu) to yudansha. Guest senseis (usually hachidan) from Japan, plus all the NCKF senseis watching you. Scope ranges from suriashi, lots of suburi, waza, kata practice (divided into those who know the kodachi kata and those who don't), shimpan practice (for san-dan and above), and lots of kakari-keiko. Ends with a B-B-Q luncheon on Sunday. Great experience.Good luck.


                  • #10
                    Our dojo (Shidogakuin) has an annual week-long summer camp at the end of August in rural Connecticut. Lots of kendo. Lots of sweat. Lots of pain. In other words, great fun! It's attended mostly by members of our dojo from our various branches on the east coast. But occasionally we get visitors from other places too.


                    The camp starts on Tuesday and ends with lunch on Sunday. This is what a typical weekday schedule looks like. All times are approximate.

                    6 a.m. Rise and shine!!!
                    6:15 - 6:45: Warm-up exercises and suburi
                    6:50 - 7:30: Zazen (Sometimes we do zazen first before the warm-up and suburi)
                    7:30 - 8:30: Breakfast
                    9:00 - 10:30: Adults, kendo no kata. Kids, keiko.
                    10:30 - 12:00: Adults, keiko. Kids, arts and crafts, etc.
                    12:00 - 1:00: Lunch
                    1:00 - 2:30: Kids, keiko. Adult beginners, keiko. Other adults, motodachi for kids/beginners or nap
                    2:30 - 4:30: Adults, keiko. Kids, swim in lake.
                    4:30 - 6:00: Adults, swim in lake, shower, prepare for dinner
                    6:00 - 7:00: Dinner
                    7:00 - 9:00: Adults, kendo no kata or iaido. Kids, evening activities and get ready for bed.
                    9:00 - 10:00: Adults, informal evening gathering, then go to bed.

                    On the weekend, we usually have a shiai (mostly for kids) and grading (usually up to 3 dan).

                    Anyway, as I said, lots of work, but tons of fun. If you get a chance to go to a kendo camp, do it. It can be exhausting, but at the end of the week, many people feel that they've experienced a substantive change -- if not a quantum leap -- in their kendo.


                    • #11

                      I'm really interested in goin to one of those camps! Are there any in near Vancouver!!


                      • #12
                        Any information on upcoming kendo camps in the U.S., particularly the annual AUSKF Kendo Camp, can be found on the AUSKF website:


                        This year's AUSKF Kendo Camp will be held on July 22-24, 2005 at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina or Cincinnati, Ohio.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ralutin
                          Any information on upcoming kendo camps in the U.S., particularly the annual AUSKF Kendo Camp, can be found on the AUSKF website:


                          This year's AUSKF Kendo Camp will be held on July 22-24, 2005 at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina or Cincinnati, Ohio.
                          We have not decided yet as to where it will be, but Ralutin is correct that we are considering both the Citadel and Cincinnati. If we choose Cincinnati, we are planning to rent one of the riverboats for an evening for entertainment, although that is still tentative.

                          I'll let you know when we get more information. To the best of my knowledge, it's designed for kodansha, but that doesn't exclude mudansha or shodan/nidan from attending. Again, as we get closer to the date, I'll have more information to pass along to you.