Having enjoyed the Christmas holidays, I was looking forward to my New Year kendo jump-start. I managed one practice before the snowy weather, or more accurately Britain’s inability to cope with snowy weather scuppered my plans.
Today was scheduled for our national kangeiko and kyu grade taikai, which we had to cancel because of transport difficulties, so I have been consoling myself by scanning the internet for cheap flights to the international kendo events that I am scheduled to attend this year. So far, I have bought tickets for the referee’s seminar in Brussels and the Irish Open Taikai in February. I have accepted an invitation to teach at a seminar in Norway in July/August and I am waiting to see if I am selected to referee at the European Championships in Hungary. I am also working on the embryonic plan to take part in this year’s Kyoto Taikai. These plus the round of seminars and taikai planned throughout the year in the UK should keep my weekends fairly busy.
As much as I enjoy my normal practice, it is a real pleasure to train in different places with different people, particularly when you cross borders and notice subtle changes in the approach to keiko. As I mentioned in earlier posts about ko-ken-chi-ai, kendo also gives you an instant social connection to other practitioners, so when I travel to compete, or referee, or teach, or learn; it always feels as if I am going to spend time with friends, either old or new.
So the longer term kendo prospects are starting to cheer me up, and I am hoping that there is sufficient grit on the roads to get to Mumeishi tomorrow.