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Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #009 - January 2009
January 03, 2009

Kendo for LIFE

Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #009 - January 2009

Thank you for reading the Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #009.

Fist of all, a happy New Year!!

Did you have a good holiday? I did. Man, I still carry some holiday weight. I surely have to lose it some time soon :)

What is your New Year resolution? My New Year resolution is to fix my body. My shoulders, knee and back have been in bad shape for a long time. So this year I will work on rehabilitation.

In this issue and the next issue, I will talk about what I learned from the 20th Anniversary of Seito Ken Yu Kai and the seminar held at its dojo.

Oh, also I will share a video of "Bokuto niyoru Kendo Kihon-waza Keikoho (Kendo Basics Training Method Using Bokuto)" demonstrated and instructed by Dr. Alex Bennett and his brother Blake Bennett with only subscribers of this newsletter. Stay tuned!


I have several e-mails that I sent came back due to the wrong e-mail address or someone else.

If you don't hear from me within three or four days, it is quite likely that you mistyped your e-mail address or your e-mail software/Internet server reject e-mails from me. Please make sure to whitelist Kendo-Guide.Com.

If you have not done a kendo general survey, please participate. It takes only a few minutes. Thanks!

What we have in this issue is shown below. Enjoy this Newsletter!

Table of Content

- Announcement-

- Articles Since the Last Issue -

- Benefits of Kendo -

- Kendo Q & A -

- The 20th Anniversary of Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai -

- Comments or Questions -

There are links to change your email address for the newsletter or unsubscribe at the bottom of every newsletter. Thanks!

- Announcement -

Kendo-Guide.Com's first e-book will be ready this month. This is a beginners’ kendo guide. I put everything together from the website and added some more information for beginners and instructors who need more guidelines.

This will be a fundraising effort for The e-book will be given to you as a “thank you” from for your donation of ‘US$7 dollars.

Stay tuned!

- Articles Since the Last Issue -

No articles, but there is a video uploaded in the subscribers' area. If you haven't watched the video, Jigeiko Example: At a Dojo in Japan 2, click here.

- Benefits of Kendo -

- Concentrating on the present

- Kendo Q & A -

- Shoulder Problem in Kendo

- How to practice and gain more knowledge about kendo without a sensei in your country?

- Haya Suburi footwork

- The 20th Anniversary of Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai -

20 years. That is a long time, don't you think? It is not an easy thing to do, obviously. Especially for a kendo club. That is why I think we should know how it has survived for 20 years.

In 1988, an 18 year old high school student founded this kendo club. He did not know much about kendo even though he trained in Japan for a year as an exchange student. While his stay in Japan, he got his shodan, I think.

I have seen some kendo clubs in the world, so I know how hard it is to keep a kendo club going for 20 years. And also I was a part of this kendo club for 6 years. I know how hard it is to have a club going.

First of all, I would like to admire the then-18 year old boy who established this kendo club. No one was teaching kendo in this city called Christchurch. And of course, this boy did not have any experience of teaching kendo, he did it.

His name is Alex Bennett. You may know him because he is Chief Editor of Kendo World. Without his passion and courage, this kendo club would have met the 20th anniversary.

So if you have no where to learn kendo, why don't you start a club? Get as much help and assistance you can from nearest kendo dojos or kendo federation.

Bro. Alex (That's how I call him in English) made a phone call to Graham Sayer (President of New Zealand Kendo Federation) when he wanted to learn kendo when he came back from his one year exchange program in Japan.

Make some calls to local martial arts shops. They may have some information about kendo in your country or city. You just have to make an action.

Don't be afraid of starting a new club. Someone has to start, right? Why not you? Sure, you have to learn a lot of things and you have to be determined and motivated. But if you really want to do this Japanese art, then you can do it.

Team Work

Bro. Alex has guts. He has courage. And he refuses to fail. And he has charisma. But even Bro. Alex could not do this all alone. He, himself, said that at the anniversary party.

I was put in charge of Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai, when Bro. Alex went back to Japan for more kendo study.

I was able to speak English by then but still not enough to run the club all by myself. I needed a lot of help with the other members.

Uncle Ben, who was one of the survivors since the early age of the club, helped me a lot. Without him, I probably could not lead the club.

Karl Baby was a co-founder of the club. He was a constant support and a good mate of mine.

And when we had visitors from Japan, Linda (Bro. Alex’s mum) and Sato family helped me and the club with hosting the visitors.

I mean, after all, a club is about people. Without people, we do not have a club. How much we can help and support each other are the vital keys for a club to survive.

It is all about the team work and passion and courage. People who came for the 20th anniversary were saying the same thing. And I really feel that too.

We developed friendship from kendo.

This is what we call “Kokenchiai”. That means “Know love by training together with swords”.

New Generation

Without successors, nothing can survive for a long time. It is important for us to do our best to pass our knowledge onto the next generations, so they can keep the teachings for the future. And the teachings survive even after our death.

Now Blake Bennett, my little kiwi brother, is the head of the club. He has been doing kendo since he was a kid. When I started living in New Zealand in 1993, he was 10 years old.

When I got there, he was already trained by his bother, Alex, in Japanese traditional way. He could already do all the 10 kata, I think. So before Blake went to Japan to study kendo, he was already studying kendo in Japanese way.

I also trained him as I was trained when I was a kid. I think he is the only guy whom I really instructed with my dojo's training method.

And I became in charge of the club. Even though Blake was a kid back then, he was watching me struggling to run the club, I think. And he also saw how the club members got together and made our friendship stronger.

He was educated by his brother and surrounded by the club members who loved to hang out together. They had great passion towards kendo.

I passed the torch to Blake when I left New Zealand in 1999 when he was 16. I had confidence in him and I taught him pretty much I learned from my senseis.

Of course, not only because he was trained in Japanese way, he could lead the club. He has a good heart and attitude towards kendo. He loves his kendo mates and thinks about them before himself. He has leader characteristics.

Besides, we had many other kids in the club when I was there. These kids who grew up with Blake are now strong members of the club.

One of the kids was Shinri. She became a South Island Woman champion in the tournament held at the 20th Anniversary. She was only 6 years old when I fist met her. She is also the one who was raised by Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai traditions.

And I met new Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai members this time. They are just like a big family. They care each other and help each other. And the tradition has been well-received by them, I think. Probably, that is why I felt like I knew them for a long time, even though it was the very first time for me to meet them.

I reaffirmed the importance of friendship and courage to keep going forwards for a club. If you are thinking to make a club or having difficulties to keep the club going, it is the people who make your club going. So don’t worry too much about instructing kendo. It is important but people who care about kendo are more important.

Good people and good kendo. Then, kendo in your city or country will survive for a long time.

- Comments or Questions -

If you have a kendo related question, please go to Kendo Q&A and use a special form for that.

If you want to contact me personally, please use a contact form.

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Thank you for reading the newsletter. See you in the next issue!

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