As some of you may know, Melbourne Uni Kendo Club (MUKEN) held their annual Kendo Camp last weekend. The camp is a tough couple of days of Kendo with training starting at 7am sharp going until 5pm on Saturday, and about lunch time on Sunday. It’s always held at the same place up in Ballarat, where it’s always colder than Melbourne!
The camp is perfect for beginners as a major component of the camp is focused on beginners – learning to wear Kote and Do, correct etiquette, shinai maintenance, bokuto waza, as well as a Kirikaeshi competition! There is also something for the seniors to gain from the camp. When the beginners and seniors were separated, we (the seniors) focused on more advanced techniques that I know I don’t get enough practice in. Techniques such as Tsuki (one and two hand), Men Suriage Men, Men Kaeshi Do, etc. There was also a shiai for the seniors – with so many people wanting to play we ended up with a 7-person team match. Pretty exciting for us seniors, and I’m sure for the beginners as well since this would be their first experience of inter-club shiai.
Anyway, some impressions from the beginners:
The kendo camp we had few days ago was fun and tiring at the same time. The one thing that i will always remember is that even though it’s called warm up, it’s actually the most hellish training section!! you will have to do a lot of different cut for numerous times you can’t even count how many cut you’ve done anymore, and sometimes you will keep going and going until the evil senior said YAMME!! lol 2 days of the warm up section made my shoulders very sore, and expect to get bruises on your palm =p But that’s the point of having a training camp, you’ll have to work hard to be better after all 🙂
In camp, we learn lots of new things we didn’t learn in our regular training session such as wearing the bogu set :D, the bokuto waza (wooden sword techniques), combination of men kote do at the same time, etc. And for a note, 3 out of 4 candidate were from monash for the kirikaeshi competition, and we won of course! Plus all the senpai won their individual matches as well, we are awesome! xD
After the training, some people were interacting with each other and playing cards in the canteen and some just sleep (that’s me, i slept right after dinner on saturday, i am just too tired), it’s a fun night where we just relax after the hard work we did.
Ballarat sure is cold, but it’s not that bad because the inn is warm, and once you get warmed up you won’t feel the cold anymore in the dojo. The only thing you need to pay attention is the dojo floor in the morning, it’s basically freezing. you have to wear thick socks or double socks at least if you don’t want to get the feeling of walking on top of ice floor.
i was expecting to sweat a lot during the camp and hence brought quite a lot of clothes which is a mistake. Really, Only 3 piece of clothing, 1 jacket, 1 jumper, 1 training pants, will be enough.
Overall, kendo camp is worth it, heaps of fun, and you will learn a lot more about kendo by the end of it. 1 thing for sure is that no matter which year of training camp it is, there will always be an evil senpai who will make you do 1000+ of cuts with just a little time to relax your hands and shoulders! haha
Sherry (with a haiku):
Sunday before dawn
Twelve hundred more suburi
Thanks for taking the time to send me those!
It’s not only about the Kendo though. It’s also a great chance to get to know the Melbourne Uni Kendo guys and girls. This is where some friendships (and of course rivalries!) are born! Not only for the beginners, but also for the seniors. Speaking for myself, I missed a camp last year and there were many new people to meet this time around. Definitely recommend everyone to attend if they can!
Monash ended up sending 15 people in total 12 of those being beginners. That’s the most we’ve ever had going in recent memory! I remember it was only 4 beginners going when I was a beginner.. Melbourn Uni had about 15 Melbourne beginners attend the camp. During the Kirikaeshi competition, we had 3 of our beginners in the final (out of 4 spots)- very impressive!! Tan from Monash ended up winning the competition, congrats! And as Dimas also said, Hoey, myself, Nick won our matches in the shiai. Go Monash! 🙂
Thanks to all the beginners for coming along! We hope you guys had fun and aren’t too sore. Melbourne Uni were quite impressed by your progress so far! Also thanks to the seniors who came along and supported the camp – Keegan, Long, Hoey and Nick. There will be another camp next year.. be prepared.. warm-up suburi session!! 😈
Check out the photos at the MUKEN Kendo Camp 2011 (6-8 May, 2011) photo gallery. We’ve also got the videos from the shiai at the Video Gallery. Thanks for taking the photos and videos Ben, Alex and Sherry!