Filtering by Tag: Sato sensei

Shinpan practice & shinpan seminar

Added on by J.K. SHISHIDO.

Last Friday we used our practice to focus on refereeing matches. Akagi sensei watched our practice and provided important guidance and commentary.

Then on Sunday Sato sensei led a seminar on refereeing at Honbu Dojo. Here is a handout that Sato sensei passed around to the participants. (Click to enlarge.)


Here in Hawaii, refereeing is typically not a required part of kendo study or practice until the 3dan or 4dan level. However I would like Meikyokan students to study and practice refereeing as much as possible, as early as 1kyu/1dan level. We can expect the practice to be rough and the consistency of the decision-making to be very uneven, but that's fine. Doing good shinpan work is difficult and requires all kinds of skills and understanding that can only be developed through repeated practice, over a long period of time. I don't think beginning training at 3dan/4dan is producing adequate results, especially since we have so few tournaments nowadays.

Posted by Shishido.

End note: During the shinpan seminar, Sato sensei mentioned an English translation of the Kendo Shiai - Shinpan - Administration Essentials Guide by Robert Stroud Sensei (Idaho Kendo Club). I was hoping to post a link to this document, but for the time being the Idaho Kendo Club website is being reworked and it looks like the document is currently offline. I've e-mailed Stroud sensei and requested a copy. [ 2016 Oct 21 note: No reply yet. ]

Wahiawa Kendo Club newsletter

Added on by J.K. SHISHIDO.

Every month Iwao Sato sensei (Wahiawa Kendo Club) creates a newsletter. I look forward to reading his newsletter - it not only has important information about what kind of kendo events are happening here in Hawaii or who is visiting from Japan (or elsewhere), but at the end of each newsletter there is always a short story or personal thought from Sato sensei. I'm learning many things from him.

At newsletter time you often see Sato sensei passing out his newsletter after practice, which he puts in recycled envelopes. Or you can ask him to include you on his e-mail list. The Wahiawa Kendo Club newsletter is even more important because the Hawaii Kendo Federation does not have a newsletter.

As far as I know Sato sensei has never missed making a newsletter for each new month. Ask him how many years he has been doing this. He is like the ox in that Zen story that keeps on walking and walking and goes a thousand miles. Amazing.

Posted by Shishido.


Added on by J.K. SHISHIDO.

Several weeks ago, while driving back to Honolulu after nighttime practice at Wahiawa Kendo Club, Hayashi and I saw the car in front of us stop in the middle of the road. The driver got out and picked a cat off the road that had been hit by a car (I don't know if it was him or someone else that did it) and then carried it off to the side of the road, leaving it next to a tree. As the driver was returning to his car I asked him if the cat was dead - he said, "No, but it's pretty bad; it's going to die." He drove away.

We like cats so I went to go check on the cat. It was a kitten and although obviously injured (bleeding from somewhere) and very disoriented (kind of slowly crawling around in a circle), I couldn't tell if it was going to die just by looking at it. I put it in the car and we took it to an animal hospital.

The hospital report was that he had been hit in the head, lost some teeth, and his right eye didn't seem to be working properly. Beyond that the doctor couldn't tell if he had received any life-threatening internal injuries - she said if he lived for another 24-48 hours that he had a pretty decent chance of surviving.

The kitten on the second day of his hospital stay - cleaned up and also a little drugged up with pain killers.

Two months later the kitten is still alive and is getting stronger and larger every day. I think he lost some vision in his right eye but besides that he seems healthy and happy.

His name is T.C., which is short for "Theoretical Cat." Does anybody want to give him a good home? (I already have 5 cats.)

Anyway, I'm posting these cat photos on this kendo website because 1) I think he's cute and I enjoy looking at him; and 2) it seems to me that if Sato sensei didn't hold kendo practices on Wednesday nights, Theoretical would have probably died on the side of the road that night.

Yet another unanticipated example of how good kendo is.

Posted by Shishido.