Report: The 6th Kendo World Tokyo Keiko-kai

Sensei and participants of the 6th Kendo World Tokyo Keiko-kai

Report: The 6th Kendo World Tokyo Keiko-kai
Saturday July 29, 2017

56 participants from 20 countries gathered at Meiji University’s Nakano Campus for the 6th Kendo World Seminar on Saturday July 29. We were very fortunate to have been joined by eight 8-dan and two 7-dan sensei that we invited to attend, together with two 8-dan and three 7-dan jukendo and tankendo sensei.

The day began at 09:30 with warming-up before Shigematsu Kimiaki-sensei of Chiba police force led the instruction session. Shigematsu-sensei made the participants do kirikaeshi many times, emphasising big and correct over fast and sloppy. Then he guided the participants through the Bokuto ni yoru Kihon Waza Keiko-ho while wearing bogu. The basics session only lasted for about 10 to 15 minutes before mawari-geiko started. Some of the 8-dan sensei and jukendo sensei also joined in the mawari-geiko session. That stopped before 11:00 when there was short break before the jukendo sensei did a short demonstration. They showed jukendo kakari-geiko and a mock shiai, and then showed the tankendo datotsubui. After that, the 8-dan sensei lined up as motodachi for shido-geiko. Once shido-geiko finished, Hirakawa-sensei gave a short speech about the correct to draw the shinai when going down into sonkyo. You should apply pressure on the opponent at that time by moving the tsuka-gashira towards the opponent’s men and then move the shinai tip in the kesa-giri manner. This is as if cutting diagonally down from their left neck area to the abdomen before the right hand grips the shinai.

Alex meeting with the sensei meeting before the keiko-kai


Sensei introductions


Warming up


Warming up


Shigematsu-sensei instructing


Kirikaeshi practice




KW’s Michael making an important announcement while wearing the best black rugby shirt ever made: the England 2011 Rugby World Cup strip. (photo courtesy Jordy Delage
Jukendo demonstration




Post-keiko speeches


Hirakawa-sensei talk


From 12:30 the party started in the university cafeteria. It was a great chance for the participants to mingle with each other and the sensei. As usual, we had some great prizes to give away. The first person to register for the keiko-kai, who did so in under five minutes from the information being posted on the homepage and Facebook, won a fantastic waffle-gi donated by Blake and the boys at Shogun Kendogu. Also, the participant that travelled the furthest to take part in the seminar won a set of Kendo World kote. He travelled all the way from Kumamoto to take part! Jordy from Seido donated a fantastic bokuto engraved with the name of the event on the tsuka. Seido also donated tenugui for all of the participants. After these prizes were given out, particpants were able to win a keiko-gi donated by Shigematsu-sensei, copies of Alex’s new book, Bushido and the Art Living, his translation of Hagakure, shinai bags, and copies of Kendo World. Every participant left with something. At the end, there was a huge game of rock-paper scissors to win five pairs of kote!

Party introduction


Party introduction


Hillarity at the party (photo courtesy Jordy Delage


Prizes galore! (photo courtesy Jordy Delage


More prizes galore! (photo courtesy Jordy Delage


Since the keiko-kai in 2016, five of the regular particpants passed kodansha level gradings. Ayako, Jonathan and Gibbo obtained 6-dan, and Stuart and Toshiro 7-dan. To celebrate their great achievement, Kendo World presented them each with a bottle of champagne. Great work indeed!!

Ayako’s 6-dan congratulations (photo courtesy Jordy Delage


Jonathan’s 6-dan congratulations (photo courtesy Jordy Delage


Gibbo’s 6-dan congratulations (photo courtesy Jordy Delage


Stuart’s 7-dan congratulations (photo courtesy Jordy Delage


Toshiro’s 6-dan congratulations (photo courtesy Jordy Delage


When the party finished at 14:30 we moved to the nearby beer garden where we stayed until, well, I’m not really sure, but torrential rain was not enough to stop us.

The Kendo World Team would like to thank all the participants for coming along, especially those that came after the Kitamoto seminar. A very special thanks goes to Nagao-sensei from Meiji University for allowing us to use the excellent facilities at his university, to all the sensei, both kendo and jukendo, for taking part, and to Blake at Shogun Kendogu and Jordy at Seido for the wonderful prizes.

We hope to see you all again next year!