Reunion! Day 1!

I headed off to Tokyo on Tuesday morning to meet Lee and Kathryn in Tokyo!

It too two hours to get there, really bad traffic just as I came into Tokyo, on a bridge over the Sumida. 
Met Lee in Akihabara station, and had a big auld hug right there on the platform. So taboo....

We headed to Asakusabashi met Kathryn and went to check into our hostel. Ive stayed there before, and yes it is full of gaijin, and is called the Ninja guest house, and does have ninja stars all over the front of it, but I had a great time there last year, so fuck it.

We went to Ueno, to the same bogu shop, but it was closed, again! two days in a row poor Lee went and it was closed! I checked online for another one, and we got back on the Yamanote line and went to Ikebukuro  to find Kenbudogu, it took us a while, but we found it eventually!! They had a really really really nice selection of shinai, including this bad boy

thats about €300...

There was also a glass cabinet with some truly stunning Do Dai inside, ill make a separate post for that!

Broom handles for Ben!

After that we went back to Asakusabashi to check in and turn around for Keiko at 7:30. Unfortuanatly we got some bad news, Martin had injured his Achilles tendon, damn. He was going to hospital with Emmanuel Sensei so Kathryn decided to go to Kitamoto to make sure he was ok. 

Seriously bad news. Ganbatte Martin, i hope you make a quick recovery! I know it only happened because you were totally raping them all!

So, myself and Lee continued on our quest! We went to Omote-Sando to Michinoko dojo, both Torikai sensei (from Kokushikan) and Nakashima sensei (the owner) were there, and we had a really good practice!
We did
2x sanbon kirikaeshi
2x 6-men
2x 7(yes, seven) kote
2x 7 kote men. 
we then did debanna kote (i got a few nice ones in!)
Then we did a really strange practice, motodachi does kote men, and kakarite does kote do. It was really hard!! Lee did ok, as he put it, it was Ai kote - nuki do. I just couldnt get teh distance right for the do!
We then had a break followed by some jigeiko. I did 5! 

Managed to get some good men cuts in by using the tsuki-men method id been shown. I was also focusing more on keeping the kamae more solidly in the centre. 

I did keiko with Torikai sensei and made sure to do all the things he told me last time, plus my new men, I did it once and he was quite happy, he gave me a chance to do it two or three more times. His kendo, is unbelievable. His nuki waza and suriage are sublime, I love his kendo, and really really want to practice with him more. Id love to get him over to Ireland for a seminar. 

I then did keiko with Nakashima sensei, he is really tall! and teh kind of guy who alwasy has a smile on his face as he is kicking your ass! I tried more harai and kote here as well as some feints to try get at his men. But   he is really fast (He did quite well in the qualifiers for the All Japans last year) at the end, I tried a Tsuki it didnt work, and he laughed, I thought he was going to get me back but he didnt! Last year I tried the same thing and he tsuki-d me of my feet....

Over all it was some of my best keiko here to date. Im getting used to the heat, and the tempo of Japanese kendo, I still need to work on my taiatari and hiki waza, that is my weakest point. 

After keiko, i said thanks to the Sensei, I think Torikai sensei was really pleased with my keiko. Last time he talked to me for nearly 20 minutes.... About everything, Kamae, footwork, tenouchi, seme..everything.
He seemed pleased by what i had done in Keiko, so im happy with that! he did say to keep my kensen level though and not react too much when people make seme etc. 
He said some nice things to Lee too!

After that, we packed our sweaty gear up and headed to meet Hisano at Ebisu station, we went for beer and some food in a small place that sells fresh Yebisu beer, which was a welcome treat after keiko!!

As a point of interest, I found two reasons why it is spelled with a Y
From Wikipedia
"The spelling "Yebisu" is intentionally archaic. With or without the "y" the pronunciation is the same as "Ebisu"."
and from someones blog
"The original Japanese word Ebisu is spelled without the 'Y.' But the Portuguese found this difficult to pronounce. As a result, they added the 'y' to several Japanese words to make them easier for them to say. Most of the signs you'll see on the East side of the station show the spelling with a 'Y.' But whether you see Ebisu or Yebisu, just know they're one and the same place"

Though I may call shenanagins on that last theory....

Me and Lee caught the last trains home arrive at 2pm, and had a nice long sleep in preparation for Keiko at Noma Dojo the next day....



  1. Wooden naginata, lovely. Can't wait to be able to use one, maybe not before my shodan though :s