Reminder to all our subscribers…

Just a gentle reminder to everyone that we have now migrated to a new website. While this one had previously served us well, we have decided it would be best to migrate to the new one. Please check us out there for the most recent updates about the club. Thank you very much for following us here, and hope to see you there! ūüôā

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Joining the Twitter-verse!

Decided to expand our social media reach by joining Twitter. Please follow us via @IGAKendoClub!


Launching the New IGA-Ken Website!

Front Page for the new IGA-Ken website.

Front Page for the new IGA-Ken website.

We are proud to announce the soft launch of the new and improved IGA Kendo Club website! This has been a labor of love involving the efforts of multiple members. So a big shout out to Ain, Angge, Wayne, Wely, Majen and Ronin for helping to put this up.

Please visit the new site here: www.igakendoclub.com


Celebrating Philippines-Japan Friendship Month 2014

written by Kristopher Inting; pictures by Choi Cabias

 

 

Picture taking with the elementary and high school student delegates.
Picture taking with the elementary and high school student delegates.

July is always a memorable month for me. This is the month of my birthday, and also marks the anniversary of when I started kendo way back in 2002. I started training as a birthday gift to myself, and I have always been thankful that I took the time to start practicing the art. So this month always serves as a double celebration for me.

In addition to that, July is Philippine-Japan Friendship Month, so many events connected to Japanese culture always happen during this month. Sometimes they are related to budo. I have been lucky enough to watch different budo demonstrations over the years, as local and foreign practitioners showcase their respective arts. There are also those few lucky times when I am part of the team doing the demonstration. Last Monday, July 28, was one of them.

We were invited by PHILAJAMES (Philippine Association of Japan Government Scholars) to conduct a demonstration in their event, entitled: Bridging Cultures Through “Sustainable After-School Programs”. It was essentially a seminar/workshop, introducing selected elementary and high school students, and faculty of the City of Manila to various extra-curricular activities common in Japanese schools. They decided to showcase kendo as part of this, so Ms. Gilda Uy, the current president of PHILAJAMES, contacted us about helping them out.

So that morning on July 28, the ten members of the demonstration team found ourselves crammed into two cars making our way to P. Gomez Elementary School, where the demonstration venue was. After getting slightly lost, we made our way into the venue where we were greeted by the sight of many waiting kids, their parents, and teachers.

Waiting for the demonstration to start.

After we set up and went through the opening ceremonies of the event, Igarashi-Sensei started things off with a lecture on the history and basics of kendo. This was immediately followed by a kata demonstration by him and myself. I must admit though, the kodachi kata was a bit of a failure due to lack of practice on my part. Still, it was enough to sufficiently impress the audience.

Demonstrating kata with Igarashi-Sensei

The kata demo was followed by other members of the demo team showing the three basic waza: men, kote and do. Then we did an uchikomi-keiko demo, with me serving as the motodachi for everyone else. I must admit I didn’t realize how slippery the floor was, so I accidentally knocked down the first two aite, before I caught on that taitari shouldn’t be done.

Then finally came the part the kids were waiting for. Actually trying out hitting! Kids being kids, they were so full of energy and enthusiasm! Maybe a bit too much though, as Sensei jokingly said after it was finished, “Please thank your motodachi-senpai. Now they need to go to the hospital!” Maybe then it was a good thing there wasn’t enough space for 7 motodachi, so I was left to organizing lines and handing out shinai. ūüėČ

Hitting trial 1

Hitting Trial 2, with Igarashi-Sensei looking for volunteers in the background

Hitting trial 3

It was a great event. Students, parents and teachers were all treated to a Japanese culture experience that they have not experienced previously. Everyone had fun, judging from the enthusiastic screams of “I WANT TO TRY!” and the smiles from the students. And as someone trying to promote kendo in the country, I was gratified to be approached by a number of teachers asking how would it be possible to set up clubs in their schools.

All in all, it was a good way to celebrate Philippine-Japan Friendship Month 2014. ūüôā

To see more pictures of the event, please click here.

 


Tachikiri Keiko: Standing All the Way to the End

Written by: A.E.
FRIDAY 25 JULY 2014

kutch

Visiting kendokas and senseis keep coming one after another these past few weeks in the IGA Kendo Club Arena Dojo. The recent one being Yon-dan Tachibana-sensei last July 19. His visit fell on the same day when our Club Manager, Kristopher “Kutch” Inting, had his birthday tachikiri-keiko.

As of press time, I’ve been utterly bored for hours already and still can’t find my plot bunny at work when I saw senpai’s solicitation for someone to share their personal experiences related to our trainings. So since Kutch-senpai’s birthday fell on Tuesday (July 22), I had the time to go research (read: stalk) his Facebook account and write something – so it won’t be self-serving on his part when he post the event in the club’s blog. ^_^

Rare times do I write stuff going on with moi so admittedly, even while working on the social media platform, his online presence is still much better than mine. Kutch-senpai publishes club-related articles (wordy, that one) and replies diligently with quite anonymous inquiries as “Pinoy Kendoka” who, according to his wordpress account, is an avid “proponent for the development of Kendo in my home country, the Philippines.”

So back to stalking.. err, researching. I went way back when he first joined Facebook on 28 October 2007 (Yes, i’m that bored -_-) I didn’t find the year he was born sooo… (how old are you, Kutch-senpai??) And while i’m inquiring already, I asked quite a few fellow Kendokas what course did you take when you were in UP Diliman? The responses ranged in between Chemical Engineering and Molecular Biology. I cross-checked Loida-senpai’s account, nope, no idea who was the one who took that Biology course. lol

Anyway, I scrolled back up right to the top of your page, I passed your pile of birthday greetings from 2009 to present and this year, you are one of the few who has replied with more than the customary “Thank you very much, name” lol. Very personalized, and yes senpai, i also look forward to continued training with you.

Btw, it was my first time to watch a tachikiri keiko. Essentially, Kutch-senpai took on six Yudansha senpais and visiting Tachibana-sensei on successive matches, with no breaks in between. Boy, was that awesome. I personally don’t know what kind of injuries you have (didn’t find any clues online) but you certainly exceeded your physical limitations and was able to hold on to the end of the 7 matches.

The final result was 12-4 points in favor of Inting. So there. Whenever i’d feel tired during training, I’d just remember your tachikiri keiko performance and be inspired to continue and do more.

Happy birthday Kutch-senpai and wishing us more awesome years in Kendo ^_^ – A.E

Videos of the matches below:
Kristopher “Kutch” Inting (Sandan) vs. Jomar Romero (Shodan)

vs. Ice Empeno (shodan)

vs. Dardsie Abriol-Santos (Nidan)

vs. Lex Busto (Nidan)

vs. Rikki Reyes (Nidan)

vs. Sugawara Shin Ma (Sandan)

vs. Tachibana Sensei (Yondan)

About the Author: A.E. is the club’s resident weather girl and news caster. When the club needs to know if it’s a good day to practice, they just have to wait for her on-line bulletins. She’s also a big cat person, and we are just waiting for the day when her kiai will sound like a modified “MEOW!”. ūüėČ


Surviving the Wrath of Rammasun/Glenda

by Kristopher Inting

As I blog this, Typhoon Rammasun (or the local designation of Glenda), has just finished battering it’s way through the Metro Manila area. And I mean it when I say “battering”. I woke up this morning to shaking windows and the eerie howling of wind, and it only got worse as the morning progressed. Upon reflection, I thought that this was how the 3 Little Pigs in that Grimm Fairy Tale felt like. Reasonably sure that my brick and mortar house won’t be blown down, yet huddled inside, scared to face the monster howling just beyond the walls.

Rammasun / ‎Glenda‬ over the Philippines. Photo courtesy of NOAA.gov

Rammasun / ‎Glenda‬ over the Philippines. Photo courtesy of NOAA.gov

 

A US News site¬†has labelled this storm to be the: “Strongest to Ever Hit Manila, Philippines”. I feel that this is a bit exaggerated, but it is certainly the strongest in terms of wind to hit this area in recent memory. The local weather bureau, PAGASA, said that prior to hitting Manila, the storm intensified to a category 3, with maximum sustained winds of over 140kph and gustiness of over 170kph.

So what does this mean then? It meant that one of our members, who lives in the 33rd floor of her condo, was complaining of being seasick due to the movement of the building in that wind. It meant that as of 6:30am this morning, virtually all of Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces were left without power. It meant that the streets were being flooded as a combination of one¬†month worth of rain and a 3 meter storm surge served to overwhelm the city’s inefficient drainage system.

In spite of all the challenges however, I am glad to report that so far I have yet to hear of any of our members being adversely affected by the storm. Sure some of us got seasick, had to deal with flooding and/or leaks, got trapped in our office buildings as the night shift didn’t end early enough to escape the storm…but those are all minor things. So far at least, nobody has been hurt or has had a catastrophic loss of property. And for that I am grateful.

Rammasun’s next stop is supposed to be Southern China and/or Northern Vietnam. While crossing the landmass of Luzon caused it to weaken, crossing the sea is supposed to make it regain it’s strength once again. So to our Kendo compatriots in those regions, please check the news of this approaching storm and prepare. Good luck to us all!


New Dan-Holders and Visiting Sensei

The IGA Kendo Club is proud to officially acknowledge their new set of dan-holders from the Arena Fitness Dojo. The dan certificates finally arrived from the Hong Kong Kendo Association last July 10, 2014. The said certificates were then presented last Saturday, July 12, 2014, to their very deserving recipients during a small ceremony after practice in the Arena Fitness Dojo.

From left to right: Igarashi-Sensei, Jomar (nidan candidate), Lex (new nidan), Rikki (new nidan), Erica (accepting the nidan certificate on behalf of her sister Dardsie), Lyndon (new shodan), Ice (new shodan), Kutch (dojo manager). Not in the picture is Josh (new shodan).

 

On the same day, the club welcomed to the Philippines a visiting sensei, Mr. Kawaguchi, a 7th-dan holder from Kyushu. After practice he expressed his happiness for practicing with IGA Ken, and his admiration for the club’s emphasis on trying to teach Kendo in the proper manner. We certainly hope that he can visit us again in the future.

Bogu class members with Kawaguchi Sensei

Bogu class members with Kawaguchi Sensei


There’s No Place Like Home…To Have Keiko

by Kristopher Inting
(photos and captions credited to the various members of the Joson Family)

IGA-Ken Arena was happy to welcome Ms. Veejay Joson to practice last Saturday, July 5, 2014. Veejay is a member of the Phnom Penh Kendo Club in Cambodia, but she is a Pinay who hails from Pampanga and is an alumna of the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She discovered Kendo in Cambodia while working there, and has been doing it for around two years now. She is back home for a vacation, and wanted to see what Kendo is like back home.

Originally she wanted to visit the UP Kendo Club, being that the school is where she graduated, but schedule issues arose and this was not to be. But she made one of her Saturdays free to visit the Arena Dojo, and she made arrangements with me to meet up with her and her family in UP last Saturday before going to the dojo.

Strolling down memory lane. Back at my alma mater to meet my contact from IGA Kendo Club. (text by Veejay Joson)

After a very nice lunch in Chocolate Kiss, I guided them to Arena Fitness. And once we arrived, Veejay started to prepare for her first keiko ever in the Philippines.

Getting ready for kendo with the IGA Kendo Club at Arena Fitness. (text by Veejay Joson)

For the first half of the session, we did plenty of warm ups and basic cuts and footwork with the beginners, who just began their first class last Saturday. (text by Veejay Joson)

 

And then it was GAME ON!

 

Lining up to practice basic cuts with motodachi senpais. (text by Veejay Joson)

This is my kinda kendo girl. (text by Len Joson)

In bogu during the second half of the session. I learned a lot from the senpais, who were so wonderful and helpful in pointing out areas for improvement. Their explanation in my native tongue was a breath of fresh air!! (text by Veejay Joson)

SHIAI!!!! I really enjoyed watching the IGA Kendo Club members do a little tournament. I did not join the keiko because A) I got injured and B) I was plenty intimidated!! They are all very good fighters! (text by Veejay Joson)

In spite of¬†an¬†injury (skinned big toe), I saw that Veejay was all smiles during practice. She said that she really enjoyed herself, and hopes to make IGA-Ken a regular visiting point when she’s on vacation. Her family in turn were so thankful for the chance to actually see her in action, as it was their first time ever to see what Kendo is like. So practice ended with good feelings all around.

I am immensely touched by the warm welcome and helpful feedback from the IGA Kendo Club. I really enjoyed my time practicing with them and hope to join them again next year. Igarashi sensei is also such a sweetheart. (text by Veejay Joson)

I am immensely touched by the warm welcome and helpful feedback from the IGA Kendo Club. I really enjoyed my time practicing with them and hope to join them again next year. Igarashi sensei is also such a sweetheart. (text by Veejay Joson)

Thank you very much, Igarashi sensei, Kristopher Inting, and IGA Kendo Club for such an awesome practice and a remarkable learning experience! ‘Till next time! (text by Veejay Joson)

 

So Veejay, we are looking forward to your next visit. Please give our warmest regards to Mori-Sensei, Mr. Kim and the rest of your dojomates in Phnom Penh. They are also certainly welcome to drop by for keiko should any of them find themselves in Manila. Finally, good luck and have lots of fun in the Vietnam Open next month!

 


Hello to Iloilo Kendo Club!

Joint Practice and Seminar with Iloilo Kendo Club - Photo Courtesy of Don Laczi Photography

Joint Practice and Seminar with Iloilo Kendo Club – Photo Courtesy of Don Laczi Photography

 

Last July 1 & 2, the IGA-Kendo Club had its first official visit to the Iloilo Kendo Club. This was achieved after months of planning, involving IGA-Ken’s Head Sensei, Mr. Koji Igarashi, IGA-Ken’s Arena Dojo Manager, Mr. Kristopher Inting, and the Iloilo Kendo Club Dojo Head, Mr. Ryan Gomez. After numerous communications, some nervous waiting, and some last minute hitches, the 17-person IGA-Ken delegation finally touched down in the Iloilo International Airport last July 1. They were greeted by Mr. Gomez and some of his dojomates. They were then brought to one of Iloilo’s Seaside Restaurant for a sumptuous lunch, before checking into the GoHotel for a short rest.

 

The first day’s session was a 5 hour session of kihon, kihon and more KIHON. Igarashi-Sensei’s focus was to help develop the Iloilo Kendo Club members’ basics of¬†hitting. So the¬†entire first¬†day was dedicated to¬†that. As pictures would show this even better than words, here are some care of Don Laczi Photography:

IGA-Ken with Iloilo-Ken. Please click on the picture to view the album.

We are happy to report that after the session we could see a marked improvement in the kihon of the Iloilo-Ken members. Igarashi-Sensei was happy with this, and the members of Iloilo-Ken were grateful for the instruction given to them by Sensei and the IGA-Ken members. In fact, the improvement was enough that Igarashi-Sensei proposed that a shiai would be held on the second day, instead of the further kihon practice that he had originally planned. The Iloilo-Ken members took this news with some excitement and some nervousness, as this would be their first experience in shiai ever. But that would be for the next day.

July 2 dawned bright and sunny, in stark contrast to the previous day’s weather. It was a good thing too, because this was the day for the Guimaras Tour and Island Hopping! The members of IGA-Ken would like to thank our hosts, Iloilo-Ken and especially to Mr. Toni Tamayo, for arranging this tour. As before, the pictures will tell a better story than simple words, so enjoy browsing the album!

Fun in Guimaras! Please click on the picture to view the album.

 

We had so much fun that at the end of the day, we almost did not want to go back to the dojo for the final day of training…almost. Somehow, in spite of our tired bodies, we made it back, and the first Iloilo Kendo Club Shiai commenced! If you want to see videos of the matches, please browse the Iloilo Kendo Club Facebook Group and look for them there. The members of both IGA-Ken and Iloilo-Ken were divided into two teams, one captained by the Iloilo-Ken’s Ryan Gomez, and the other captained by IGA-Ken’s Kayo-San. In the end, the day was won by Ryan’s Team. Aside from his team winning, selected members of Iloilo-Ken got fighting spirit awards. There were two stands outs though, and they were Andre and Zeni, who both displayed the strongest fighting spirit of the night.

The seminar ended with final words from Mr. Gomez, Mr. Inting and Igarashi-Sensei. And Igarashi-Sensei had one last surprise for Ryan, as he donated some of his personal shinai to help inspire Iloilo-Ken to keep on doing their best. Ryan graciously accepted the gifts, and thus ended the event.

We ended the seminar on a high note. Iloilo-Ken learned many tips from our club. At the same time, we gained valuable experience on how to conduct a seminar or training course far away from our home dojo in Metro Manila. And finally (and probably most importantly) both clubs gained new Kendo friends and came away with a greater appreciation for one another. Congratulations to both clubs for staging this wonderful event!

If anyone from Iloilo is reading this, and would like to join the Iloilo Kendo Club, please look for them every Wednesday, 6:00pm Р8:30pm at THE MASONIC TEMPLE Dojo, 3rd Floor, J.M. Basa St., (in front of Plaza Libertad beside Medicus PPTS). Or contact them via their Facebook group (link in the article above).


Post-First Kendo Practice Thoughts

Here are the thoughts of a beginner on practicing for the first time with the Davao Kendo Club. And to know that we were instrumental to leading her to DKC gives us a sense of fulfillment. Good luck with your Kendo Journey Jercyl!

The Heart Locker

I’ve wanted to learn Kendo for years now. I even made inquiries early this year from the club manager of the dojo in Manila if there’s Kendo club in Davao. Unfortunately, there was none at that time. So I decided to wait. I have always believed that something worth pursuing is worth waiting for.

About a few weeks ago, the same club manager contacted me. He said that a Davao Kendo club is already being formed. He then gave me the link to the Facebook page and that was how it all started for me. I missed the club’s first practice session. But I was finally able to join last night.

Trying something new is without a doubt one of the most edifying experiences anyone can have. Doing Kendo for the first time last night made me think about a lot of things. And here are just some of them:

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