Shhhh! ... Exciting news coming up

Just as a teaser for next week when we launch into the new academic year at USQ and into our major promotion round for the year, I just want everyone to know that we have a number of exciting announcements to make in the next edition of the Budo Bulletin. These include:

• A major donation to the Toowoomba community from the Taiko drummers in our sister city of Takatsuki
 • Closer association with the Toowoomba Fencing Club
 • A number of changes to the Club’s training schedule
 • Launching of a sister Club based in Gin Gin. 

 

“Have a Go” day update

We are now counting down to the biggest Kendo event we have hosted in Toowoomba since at least 2012.  

Saturday will see folk come from around South East Queensland to participate in a morning’s keiko and help the “newbies” kendoing for the first time to “Have a Go”.  

I will be sending the Club’s press release to all of the local news outlets this morning, and sending out an email later today to everyone who has generously said they will help out, to give them an idea of what we will be doing. 

Broadly, the day will have three parts to it. The first is general keiko for current and lapsed kendoka to put on a show to the community of what good quality kendo looks like (from 10 am). The second is the “Have a Go” session for first timers to swing a shinai themselves and get a feel for Kendo (from 11.45 am). The third is a regional Kyu grade opportunity for Sean T and Sian (from 2 pm). The regional grading is a first for Toowoomba, and indeed for Queensland. It provides an important template for being able to do similar events across the State, and in doing so reducing some of the barriers to participation that occur in a State as large as ours. 

Please make sure that you spread the message as widely as you can to family, friends, work mates and through your social network. For those on Facebook, you can share the event created for the day https://www.facebook.com/events/1704545319639770??ti=ia or link directly through to the bookings system at  http://www.bbrd.org.au/memberships-and-courses/kendo-have-a-go-open-day .

The day is free for everyone to participate, and people can just rock up on the day. However, just so that we can plan the “Have a Go” session, we ask that new people book in so that we have an idea of how many shinai we have available, and if you are an experienced kendoka, please let me know if you intend to come and help out so that we can divide up our teachers and motodachi within the group. 

Campus kendo demonstration this Wednesday lunch time

With USQ O-Week starting this week, we will be taking the opportunity to promote the “Have a Go” day in the USQ Toowoomba Quad from 12-1.30 pm. 

This event is just for Kendo, as the main Club Muster Day has been shifted to next Wednesday in conjunction with Phoenix Carnival. However, if you are free, it would be most appreciated if you could come along and help by handing out promo flyers to the crowd. 

I will be in the quad from 11.30 am to set up the bollards etc, but the main action will be from 12.30 till 1.30 pm. We will be doing some keiko and kata, and it will be a good opportunity to put a final polish on things before coming under the eyes of the visiting sensei on Saturday. 

If you are coming down, please wear a Club t-shirt for this or any other promotion that we engage in this year. I have three new size L ones that can be purchased for $15, though I would encourage you to order one via the BBRD T-Shirt Shop (or ask nicely to borrow one of my spare shirts). 

Thanks to everyone who helped service shinai!

In preparation for th “Have a Go” day, we managed to check and service all of the Club’s shinai, including having thorough inspection (and subsequent retirement) of some of the relics inherited from the PCYC days of Mushin Itto. 

As usual, a thorough underestimation of the length of time the task would take saw Kateena, Kesh, Minty, Sean, Sian, Tracy and myself have at it from 2.30 pm till just a little after 7 pm fueled by tea and sweeties to ensure that the Club’s stock is now free from damage, oiled and tensioned in preparation for the weekend.  

Many thanks for the hard work put in by all! 

No training this Sunday (Arnis and Kendo)

We will be taking a break from our regular training schedule this Sunday.

The Kendo folk are likely to be all kendoed out after the “Have a Go” Day on Saturday and Dylan will not be able to run an Arnis class on Sunday morning. 

We will be back to a regular weekend programing next Sunday. 

Kenjutsu workshop

The first kenjutsu workshop for the year will be on 4 March starting at 9:30 am at the MEAC.

This workshop is open to all BBRD members who are involved in the use of the sword (iaido, kendo & jodo), and it may prove insightful to BBRD members who practice arts that utilise stave weapons (e.g. jujutsu) in that the methods of gripping and striking with these weapons are quite similar.

This is the first of four workshops to be held throughout the year with each individual workshop concentrating on one of the three sword arts practised in BBRD (ZNKR seitei iaido, ZNKR kendo and SMR kasumi shinto-ryu kenjutsu)  and with one workshop being a combined arts workshop.

Look forward to seeing everyone there

Hot weather this week: play it safe while training

It looks like another very hot week ahead of us, so I would like to urge everyone to look after themselves in the heat.  

Japanese martial arts have a tradition of training through adverse conditions, especially extreme heat and cold. While this can be good for the development of mental resilience/toughness, it is extremely important to be sensible with this and ensure that you are both sufficiently hydrated and vigilant for the signs of severe heat stress.  

Could everyone please bring drinking containers to training this week — no exceptions. This is so that you can have said containers close to the keikojo and you can quickly pause to grab a few sips. I will also endeavour to provide sufficient breaks during training where everyone should rehydrate — again no exceptions.  

Could you also remember to bring a pair of easily removable footwear to that if you are ducking outside to use the bubblers or (and especially) nipping into the toilets that you are not walking dirt/germs onto the keikojo. In general, the red border outline in the MEAC determines the place we wish to keep clean, so please ensure you use your footwear as you cross that line. 

Have a good week of training!

Kendo training this week

This Tuesday in order to better prepare everyone for our event on the 24th, we will be having a double session of training, starting at 6 pm. 

Jujutsu will still be on as usual, ably taken by Brady. However, our regular kendoka are invited to come when they are able to get some extra practice in, and work on some of the feedback we received as a group from the last Kenshinkai visit.  

Additionally, I am unavailable for training on Sunday, but Minty will hold the fort and run folk through their paces at the usual time.  

 

Kendo “Have a Go” day: update

We are now less than two weeks away from hosting our first every “Have a Go” day, and preparations are in full swing to try and make it both a wonderful opportunity for current (and “lapsed”) Kendoka in the district to train with visitors from other Queensland clubs, and for folk curious about Kendo to come along and get hands on experience. 

As I’ve mentioned previously, it will be the first time since December 2012 that we have had a delegation of QKR members come for a specific event here in Toowoomba, and I personally am relishing the opportunity to share one of my martial arts passions with a new audience. 

The consignment of new shinai arrived on Friday last week. I will be making a head start on preparing these for use through the week, but we will be having a general shinai maintenance workshop this Saturday afternoon to thoroughly check the existing stock of Club shinai and ensure that they are all fit for use. I will provide details at training this week regarding the timing etc. for the workshop.

On the promotions front, I am about to launch a Facebook “event” to help direct traffic to the day, and am currently working on media releases to launch on Friday and then again early next week. We will also be attempting to access as many community notice boards as we can to entice the public, and I have treated some DL flyers that ought arrive by mid week so that we can start to distribute them. Please let me know if you are willing/able to walk some of these around your workplace/school/community so that I can arrange to get some to you. And please share the event as widely as your network allows so as many people as possible know about the day. 

Next Wednesday we will be doing a Kendo-focussed demonstration during lunch time in the USQ Quad, and again some extra assistance from the wider Club community would be gratefully accepted so that we can engage as many of the University community as we can.  

The day itself will again benefit if the broader Club community can come to support it. We will need assistance with “bump in” and “bump out”, runners to get lunch, and stewards to help direct people on the day— both the visiting kendoka and the public. Please let me know ASAP if you are able to help on Saturday 24 so that we can develop a roster. 

So please spread the message, share the Facebook event, forward details to interested colleagues and friends, and come and Have a Go yourself (whether you are a “lapsed” kendoka or have never tried the art before)!

Key Details: 

Date: Saturday 24 February 2018

Location: Salo Centre, St Ursula‘s College, Taylor Street

This is a free event. We will have loan equipment available for use. Simply turn up, sign up and jump in.  

Sessions:

10.00 am • Kendo Keiko for current and previous kendo practitioners
This session is to take advantage of the opportunity to train with high level Kendo practitioners, and for the general community to be able to see what good quality kendo looks like. It will also encompass an opening ceremony and some general remarks/directions for the day. 

11.45 am  • “Have a Go” session
This is open for all members of the general public to get their first hands-on experience of Kendo. We will be catering for children from age 7 upwards and adults who would like to give it a go. The session will run for approximately 1 1/2 hours and will have a high ratio of participants to kendoka helping to guide your first steps in the art. 

2.00 pm • Regional kyu grading opportunity
 There will be a grading opportunity held for those that have put in the requisite paperwork as of last week. From Toowoomba, Sian C and Sean T are attempting grades, and there may have been some from other kendo clubs in Queensland who may have applied. It would be lovely to see folk stay and support all candidates by watching this event. It will be the first regional-level kyu grade held in Queensland, and is hoped to be a template for more grading opportunities to be run in the State. 

3.00 pm • Afternoon Tea in the Toowoomba Japanese Garden
Weather, time and interest permitting, we will be hosting our visitors for afternoon tea and showcase the Toowoomba Japanese Garden. We will gather underneath the wisteria near the Regent Street entrance to the Garden. 

  

Toowoomba kendo “Have a Go” day

We are close to locking in the details for the kendo “Have a Go” day, set for Saturday 24 February. Some of the final pieces to place are the formal request from the QKR president to senior members to form a grading panel, and finalisation of the focus for the first session of the day, where the public can come and watch before they try the art. 

We have booked the Salo Centre at St Ursula’s College, Taylor Street, for the event. Our booking is from 9 am till 3 pm, which will provide us with adequate time to set up and pack up. The proposed schedule for the day is: 

9.00 am — Get to venue and set up for the day and welcome visitors as they arrive
10.00 am — Official start to the day including opening ceremony and welcome to visitors
10.10 am — Commence keiko as directed by senior sensei. 
11.40 am — End keiko and welcome new community participants.
11.45 am — Start the “Have a Go” event
1.15 pm — Closing remarks and start of lunch
2.00 pm — Commence grading 
2.30 pm — Finish grading and pack up
3.00 pm — Afternoon tea in the Toowoomba Japanese garden (weather permitting)

Over the next fortnight we shall start to advertise via social media, flyers, and by accessing community media/local news media to get the event out there. I will be speaking with folk individually this week regarding what we can all do to make this a successful event.  

For those challenging for shinsa you will have to ensure all of your paperwork is lodged no later than Friday, which will mean that you will need me to sign off on it at Tuesday night’s training.  

I am quite excited about the proposed day and hopeful that it will be a springboard to spark a renaissance for kendo in the district. If everyone who has indicated they will come show up, we ought to have numerous newbie and sufficient experienced kendoka to help them take their first steps in the art!