Tuesday, September 19, 2006

anyone interested in going to this seminar

"From: Dean Wormall
To: Armourer
Cc: Trevor Chapman
Sent: Saturday, September 16, 2006 6:44 PM
Subject: *** SPAM *** Takizawa Seminar

Dear All
As September draws to an end soon it will be October and at the end of Oct we are again hosting the Takizawa Seminar. The places are already going and have been for a while, it is now critical that you get your applications off now because soon you may not be able to attend. Now you may think that it is just another Kendo seminar or who is Takizawa sensei? well read last years review or find someone who attended last years seminar and you should be downloading your application form in no time, don't be one of those who missed it, BE THERE.


Kashi no Ki Ken Yu Kai

Takizawa Sensei Seminar

The Dukeries Recreation Centre

New Ollerton Nottinghamshire

28-29th October 2005

Kashi no Ki Ken Yu Kai were pleased to host the visit of Takizawa Sensei, Kendo Hachidan Kyoshi, of Kanagawa.

We were also very grateful to Sotaro Honda for his translation, for the assistance of Paul Budden, Terry Holt and the support of the British Kendo Association.

Takizawa Sensei introduced himself and told us he had 56 years of kendo practice to draw on. He commenced with a short talk on treating the shinai with respect, just as you would a real sword.

Clean it after use, don’t let it fall to the floor, and place it carefully by your side in Seiza.

Sensei then moved on to the factors in making a strike and in particular, don’t swing back too far allowing the Kensen to fall below the level of the raised hands or a gap will appear in the fingers of the left hand.

We practiced cutting with the left hand only and then with the right hand only.

We then combined this in two handed cutting firmly and using the triceps and trapezius muscles to generate the power. This was then combined with footwork practice including Fumi-komi.

It was noticeable that Sensei addressed many of his remarks directly to the Kyusha present.

The next stage was Kiri-kaeshi with a number of points to improve our practice including relaxing hands and correct footwork.

From this we practiced men cutting with and without Seme [Initiative/intention] emphasising the correct use of footwork together with the rest of the body, in order to generate the right amount of strength used in the strike.

The lesson here was that footwork is the basis for correct cutting.

The first morning session closed with Ji-geiko.

After lunch Sensei lead us in Kihon practice with a wide variety of techniques from different Ma-ai.

This section was notable for each technique being practiced very briefly so we covered a wide range in the time available.

The first day closed with Ji-geiko and Sensei made himself readily available to all Kendoka of whatever level of experience.

After practice Sensei told us we had worked hard and that tomorrow would really be more fun.

On Saturday evening we were pleased to host a meal at a local Chinese restaurant, where we enjoyed the charming company of Sensei his wife, members of Kashi no Ki and other BKA members.

On Sunday Sensei commenced proceedings with a lecture on the principles of Kendo he had learned over his years of experience.

It’s a great privilege to receive this knowledge.

Sensei told us that all strikes in Kendo occur between varied distances from where the Ken sen touches your opponents tip to their Naka-yui.[about 20 -30cm from the Ken sen]

This concept had a profound impact on the rest of the days practice.

He then described the sequence of events which lead to a valid strike:

Use your eyes: Observe your opponent carefully and learn his intentions [Ichi-gan].
Distance: Using correct footwork place your left foot in the correct position to attack in relation to your opponents left foot [Ni-soku].
A strong mind: Do not succumb to fear, doubt, or confusion [San-tan].
Power generated by the use of the correct muscles, so that the cut is delivered correctly [Shi-riki].
These qualities are listed in their order of importance, however Sensei has noticed that male kendoka are most likely to deploy them in reverse order and they often fail gradings because of this. In contrast women kendoka usually apply Sensei’s principles in the correct order and therefore pass gradings more easily.

Takizawa Sensei then demonstrated some of the Waza used in Itto ryu.

The emphasis here was on certain techniques and how to use them and how to apply them in shinai kendo. [Techniques used: Kiri-otoshi. Nori-zuki. Suri. Uki].

After a break, Sensei introduced us to a form of Shiai he teaches in his Dojo. This was one of the fun topics he had referred to the day before.
Three kendoka simultaneously attack each other until one makes a valid strike as judged by one Shinpan and allowing two new combatants to engage with the victor and each other in a new match.

Fast and furious does not adequately describe what ensued with alliances made and broken in an instant. Sensei was right: it was fun! However Sensei warned us not to do this type of practice too often.

Towards the end of the session we had Ji-geiko with all of the Sensei and once again Takizawa sensei practiced with as many Kendoka of all grades as possible.

Sensei closed the seminar by telling us that he had given us the important points he had learned from his father and his Sensei throughout his Kendo life.

There were other points which he did not have time to cover, but he said that he would like to return next year and meet us all again.

Finally Sensei shared a poem, possibly written by Musashi, which hangs in his Dojo. The translation is difficult but loosely it ran:

Clumsy or skilful

Through practice each person

Will develop

And find his own way.

A very suitable end, to a very informative and important seminar.

Kashi no Ki would like to express their gratitude to Takizawa Sensei and Mrs Takizawa for taking the trouble to visit the UK and our Dojo.

In addition we wish to thank again the National Coach: Sotaro Honda, the Kendo Bucho: Paul Budden, and Holt Sensei from the Mumeishi Dojo for their invaluable assistance at this prestigious event.

Phil Whitfield


Kashi no Ki Ken Yu Kai"



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