Friday, April 30, 2010

From The Pros - Kendo

Special Interview with my Sensei, Miho Iwamoto

Name: Miho Iwamoto

Country: Japan

Type of Martial Arts: Kendo

Rank / Belt: 5th DanAward /

-Hong Kong Asia open kendo championship '09 champion '10 second place
-'05 Tokyo public offices kendo tournament individual champion
-'05 All Japan public offices Kendo tournament individual Best 8
-'02 Tokyo junior college kendo tournament individual champion

Years of Training: 20years

How / Why you start Kendo?: My grandfather (7dan) has dojo

When was the first time you won a kendo competation?: 11years old

How do you feel at that time?: I was Very happy and I can't stop crying

Why do you think Kendo is a good?: We can become strong not only body but also mind.

What would you advice to Beginners?: Don't think seriously. Please ENJOY first.

Notes from the Chief Editor:

I still remember when I was only 14 when I first got to learn about Martial Arts, I was always beaten up by some school bullies, learning Martial Arts was just to defend myself. I was very active in other sports too, such as Basketball, Swimming, Skating, but my favorite day fell on Sunday, because I get to go to my favorite class, which is Martial Arts.

It all ended when I reach 17, after a serious injury during sparing. And I am not able to pick up any more sports after that.

Back in 2009, while I was reading the weekend papers, something caught my eye. It was an interview on about Kendokas in Malaysia. I was thinking, it would be great if I can still do martial arts (some of you might understand) I decided to call up the club which is JCKL (Japan Club Kuala Lumpur) and join.

The first 2 class was tough, I can’t even barely run, and now I need to slide and raise my heel while standing? I taught of giving up upon the 3rd or 4th class. It was when I first saw Iwamoto Sensei in her Bogu sparing.

She has the person the lit up the fire in me to continue training, I was stunned with her move. She is so graceful in her moves, Especially when she block a “Men” cut and immediately charge at the opponent with a “Do” cut. It looked as if she is dancing.

I really hope Iwamoto Sensei is reading this because I really wanted to thank her very much as I didn’t get to thank her when she left back to Japan, I enjoyed and loved every single class that I go to and I felt as if I’m young again. After enduring a year of pain while doing Suriyashi, the pain is now gone, sometime I do feel the pain coming back, but it doesn’t matter anymore, cause I enjoyed my class.

Ishii Sensei, Chua Sensei, Masuo Sensei, Yap Sensei, Lim Sensei, Wong Sensei and sorry if I missed any names, has been really kind to me and made me realize how fun can Kendo be, I slowly realized that I have changed a lot in the past 1 year, and now Kendo is not what I do for fun anymore, it has been a part of me.

I really wanted to thank all Sensei/Teacher/Master/Senpai like Kongnapa (Muay Thai) , Mark Small (Tai Chi), Graham Clunan (Taijutsu), Michael S. Fuchs (Tai Chi), Ric Hurst (Ninjutsu), Ebony Washington (Taekwondo), Antonio Graceffo (Bokarto) for accepting the interviews and being an inspiration to the students like myself

Please do enjoy the short interview with my favorite and the MOST Graceful Kendoka I have met, I hope that those who wanted to take up Kendo, can really get some advice from her.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Introduction to Japanese Martial Arts

Japanese Martial Arts also commonly interchanged with “Budo” or “Bujutsu” literally means the art of war and/or the application of the Japanese Martial Art techniques in actual combat scenario.

It all started back in the Samurai eras where all the warriors are expected to master various combat weapons as well as unarmed combat, and that is around the time where the purpose of mastering and perfecting the skills of Martial Arts became a Philosophy of Achieving Spiritual Goals began.

Weapons for Armed Combat You might be interested in the type of Japanese Martial Arts especially with the wide range of weapon that the warriors has used, which the COMMON ones consists of:

Bo (Long Wood Staff)







Shuriken (Flying Star)




Yumi (Bow and Arrow)

And yes, these are not the only weapons that the Japanese Warriors used, there are actually more, as the tools keep on changing due to the development of the combat techniques, and all these weapons are studied with great depth as the techniques evolved into perfecting the martial art itself.

Koryu and Gendai Budo

In Japanese Martial Arts, there is a slight difference with the rest of the Martial Arts in Asia. The difference is due to Meiji Restoration era where Martial Arts are generally divided into 2, which are Koryu and Gendai Budo.

Koryu is basically known as the “Old School/Traditional” way where the arts are founded before the Meiji Restoration back in 1866-1867. And Gendai Budo is the Martial Arts after the Meiji Restoration.

The Main difference between Koryu and Gendai Budo is Koryu martial arts are used for war and the tradition is preserved since then. And Gendai Budo is the martial arts that have been modified due to modernization where the focus is more to self improvement or self defense.

Images taken from: