Last Saturday was the 5th birthday of this blog. Over the last five years I have shared 273 posts, received over 1200 comments and seen monthly visits move from the low hundreds to regular totals of over 15,000.
I have learned that my readers are most interested in comment on major shiai, the thoughts of famous sensei and notes on technique and training. This feedback has very much influenced recent content and has given me the encouragement to write “Kendo, A Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Swordsmanship” which was published by Tuttle Publishing a few months ago.
Producing a detailed instruction guide is very different to the less restrained experience of blogging and I owe a debt of gratitude to Katsuya Masagaki for the numerous precise illustrations he produced for the book. Rather than leaving me to use ad-hoc photographs, he drew to reflect my words and in some cases I rewrote to reflect his drawings. It’s difficult to see past people’s politeness, but the few reviews we have had on-line and face-to-face comments I have heard, lead me to believe that the book has been fairly well received.
I am still highly enthusiastic about writing what has now become a regular weekly blog post. I find that my own keiko, teaching in the dojo and refereeing are enhanced by sitting down at a keyboard once a week and trying to structure my thoughts on some element of kendo. The subsequent response I get from reader’s comments then often gives me a new perspective to take back to the dojo.
I occasionally let my dubious sense of humour run away with me and have produced the occasional good natured rant about a variety of kendo connected topics such as the relationship between kendo and Iai, the misuse of Japanese names for dojo and choosing to call one’s-self sensei. I appreciate that the person most amused by these diatribes is me, so thank you all for humouring me.
Future plans are for more of the same. I intend to keep posting until I either run out of ideas or the stats page flat-lines. I am also planning to release another book in September. This will be more reflective than “Kendo, a Comprehensive Guide” and will be based on the most popular posts since www.kendoinfo.net was first started.
Thank you all for supporting me over the past five years.