Saturday, November 8, 2008

Visiting Kendo Munchen e.V. in November 2008

Also this year I managed to participate to the Core lab Directors meeting organized by Affymetrix. It is always a very good occasion to be updated on microarray news. This time the meeting was held in Munich (DE) and I was one of the invited speakers and I presented our recent work on exon array data analysis.
As usual when I visit some country I try to practice Kendo in local dojos. I contacted various dojos but I was unlucky because the first week of November is part of the autumn school holidays and many dojos, that have their practice in School gyms, are closed. However, when I contacted Kendo Munchen e.V. Dojo, it was nice to know that there was the possibility to do some keiko even during the holidays. Therefore, in November the 5th I visited Kendo Munchen e.V. Dojo. The dojo is located in Halle der Rudolf-Diesel-Schule in Schulstra├če 3a 80634 M├╝nchen-Neuhausen. It was very easy to get there by underground.
I have to say that I was a bit worry to follow a full lesson in German. Although I worked, long time ago, for 3 years in Germany I have only a survival German, enough to understand what I am ordering at restaurant and how much I have to pay. However, Germany is a country where many people speak English. Bane, the person I contacted by email, told me to introduce myself to the person running the keiko. He is the toll person with the grey hairs (yellow arrow) you can see him in the picture I have borrowed by their Dojo web page. Later I knew that his name is Hans and he has founded the Dojo 28 years ago.

I got there at 18:30 and we have an open katas session. I did my practice with a beginner on the first 3 katas. I think I managed to give him some advice and it was easy because he was speaking English pretty well. Half an hour later the men in the picture, indicated with a red arrow, run a worm up session. There were a lot of Kendokas, roughly half with bogu and the other beginners without bogu. During the worm up we did basic suburi like Zenshin kotai men, Zenshin kotai sayumen, etc.
Subsequently, we make the salutation and wearing the full bogu. At this time the training was split in two groups, beninners and bogu people.
We run kirikaeshi few times, and we started some kion. Initially we had a series of big and small men attacks, then we worked on iki men and debana men. We also run complex series of attacks and this was the most critical point because due to the german language, noise and complexity of some of the kion series I got a bit confused. Subsequently we had more than half an hour of mawari-geiko and it was very nice because I had the chance to practice nearly will all the kendokas. Some of kendokas were really very tall and for a 1.63 meter person like me Jigeiko with them was quite challenging. I try to follow the suggestions of Olivier the Sensei of Budokan Lausanne Kendo Club. He is about 2 meters tall person and when I made jigeiko with him he told me that I have to try to force the opponent to lower down his kamae and practicing attacks like kote and do since men can be difficult to rich for me on a tall person. However I realize that I have some work to do on kote since, as it was highlighted by the instructor of the Munich dojo I have a reasonable men even on tall persons but my kote get only the tsuba, it is too slow and predictable. I managed to make a couple of nuki do but the timing is not perfect, yet, since I was a bit slower that the men attack.
After the mawari-geiko there was free Jigeiko and I practice with Bane and few others that I could not meet during the mawari-geiko.
The overall impression of the training was very good. The main limit was the language that did not allowed me to interact deeply with the other kendokas. They have a very clean Kendo and due to the nice friendly atmosphere I enjoyed a lot to practice with them.
I hope to join again their training in case I will travel back to Munich.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Visiting Shubukan Voghera Septeptember 2008

On september the 3rd I visited Shubukan Dojo in Voghera. The Instructor of the Dojo is Claudio Scacchieri 5th Dan and he is helped by Laura Imperiale 3rd Dan. The two instructors come every Monday to the training session at Shubukan, Torino, which is the Dojo where I started my Kendo practice. September is the beginning a a new year of training and I suffered very much for the impossibility to practice Kendo during August. Since Shubukan Voghera starts the activity one week earlier than my Dojo, I took this opportunity of early opening to enjoy again the Kendo practice. This was not the first time I go to the Shubukan Dojo in Voghera. Usually, in June when my sun gets to the sea in Liguria with grandparents I manage to visit Claudio's Dojo at least twice. I know all the persons practicing there and I always have a great time there. Claudio's way of training is sometime a bit rough but I always learn a lot by his comments on my way of doing Kendo.
Since this year they started also the Iaido course, the lesson begun with a brief Iaido demonstration of seitei and Muso Shinden katas. After we started the Kendo training. we had a brief worm up under the supervision of Laura, then we started the kion. Since in November I have to make my 2nd Dan exam, Claudio focus a lot on the right way of cutting. My problem is that I stamp the foot on the floor when I hit the opponent with the shinai instead of cutting with the full body. I realized that I push little with my left foot, which is something that I am trying to improve before the November exam. After kion, we applied what we have learned practicing gigeiko. An other point that it was raised from Claudio is that I have to be more quite when I am practicing giving more homogeneity to my attacks which are imprecise since I am speeding up too much the action. After gigeiko we did ippon shobu with Claudio. As usual I lost :-) but at least, I was trying to apply all the tips I learned during the lesson.
It was a nice way of starting the Kendo training season.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 2008: Visiting Toronto Kendo Club

On Saturday July the 19th I visited the Toronto Kendo Club. The TKC is located in an area of Toronto where a lot of Italians live. It was impressive listening people speaking in Italian entering in the J. Picinnini Recreation Center where the TKC is located. There were many old man playing cards and discussing at various table.
The gym of the TKC is very big but for some reason it was terribly hot. I arrived quite early and I had the opportunity to say few words with the other kendokas and to meet Bill Leong which is the person I contacted to join the TKC training.
I participated to the cleaning of the gym, in the mean time arrived Paul Nakamura and Nobi Nakamura instructors.
We started with a general warm-up both Kendo and Iaido students. After, Iaido took 1/3 of the gym, and we continue on the other part of the gym with some Suburi. The training that followed was very similar to that we have in Torino at Shubukan, beginners and intermediate students work all together. We began without the bogu doing basic ashi movement and subsequently we combined tsuki-ashi with men technique. This part was followed by basic training for suriage men and do. After we wear the full bogu and practice Kion, pritty like we do in Torino. After we had about 30 minutes Jigeiko, that was very hard, people at TKC is very good, they have very clean techniques and I needed all my attention to make some reasonable Jigeiko. My main problem was the hotness, as happened in Chicago after the first Jigeiko I had to stop and take out my men. However, this time since Paul told us that we could do it after asking to the instructor I could recover and drink some water. After it was much better and I managed to finish the Jigeiko.
After the training I was invited to participate to a training session the day after but unfortunately I could not accept since that was the central part of the ISMB meeting and I have to attend to it.
I was also invited to join the the Dojo people for a drink. It was a great time, good beer and good talk about Kendo and other objects. I realize that they are a very tight group, it was really a pleasure for me to practice with them and enjoy few beers after! I hope to get back in Toronto to practice again with them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

July 2008: Visiting University of Toronto Kendo Club

On Thursday July the 15th I moved from Chicago to Toronto for the ISMB meeting.
As soon as I got to the hotel I prepared every thing to go to the University of Toronto Kendo Club.
I had an appointment at 6:30 PM with Glen, which is taking care of the UTKD web site.
Since also Toronto in this period is very hot, I was very happy when I entered in the hall of the Athletic Center since it was air conditioned. I meet Glen and he managed to find a ticket to enter in the Athletic Center since the entrance is limited to students of the University of Toronto.
After changing I got to the gym where they practice and unfortunately air conditioning was not present in that gym, but it was not so hot as in Chicago. All people were quite young. The lesson was held by a young instructor, unfortunately I forgot his name. We started with a worm up followed by Suburi. Then, we wear the full bogu. The focus of the lesson was the preparation to counteracting techniques. The instructor was very good in sliding each of the techniques in pieces to allow and ease understanding of each of the single actions and then all pieces were combined together. We practice debana kote, hiki men, hiki kote and hiki do. The overall lesson was devoted to understand how to get a point in shiai using these techniques.
After we did mawarigeiko. This time the overall level of the students was more near mine and Jigeiko was nice and not too difficult. After the training I was invited to join again their practice on Saturday, when their Sensei was present, but unfortunately I could not do it since I had already an appointment at Toronto Kendo Club.
I also got an invitation to join the other persons for a drink but I was a bit to slow in taking the shower and I could not find any one in the hall of the Athletic Center.

A collection of videos from University of Toronto Kendo Club

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July 2008: Back to Chicago Kendo Dojo

I just arrived in Chicago, now (13/07/2008). It was a very nice trip. I traveled in business class (Lufthansa) due to overbooking of my flight in the economy class, it was absolutely wonderful! We were on time and none of my luggage was lost!
I am actually waiting for my Chicago's friends coming back from Italy. Since they are coming with an Alitalia flight I was expecting a bit of delay but not 5 hours! I have to wait anyway since I am going to stay at their home during these 4 days in Chicago.
It is my first time in Chicago in July and the weather is nice and worm , quite different from freezing April.
On Tuesday evening I will be again at Chicago Kendo Dojo. I hope to see again Matsumoto Sensei..... As usual I will do my best and I hope I will not suffer to much of jet-lag.
On Tuesday the July the 15th I was again at Chicago Kendo Dojo.

A picture from Chicago Kendo Dojo web site

It was very nice to be back there. I arrived few minutes before 8:00 PM and I found Jeehwan Kim Instructor
and few other people finishing the cleaning of the Dojo. I introduced myself and after a while Kim reminded about my previous visit at the Dojo. Few minutes after 8:00 PM Matsumoto Sensei entered in the Dojo it was very nice to see him again. He is now 86, with a very bright mind. I think their students are very lucky to have a Sensei with such long experience. We started by practicing for half and hour alone and Matsumoto came around to give some advices. The first time I came to this Dojo I was 1st Kyu and Matsumoto's suggestions were very useful to improve my Kendo. Now, I was proud of my improvement since I got my shodan. However, Matsumoto highlighted some critical points I have to work hard to improve. Specifically, I have to focus on fighting with my full body and not only with my arms.
Subsequently, we started a warm up with basic Suburi and then we started the practice with the complete bogu. Summer in Chicago is very hot and humid. Believe me, it is quite unpleasant when you wear the bogu. We did some Kihon and this time it was much easier since I have improved a bit my Kendo ability. After 20 minutes of Kihon I was completely wet and nearly unable to breath. Immediately after the Kihon we started Jigeiko. It was a real nightmare, I try my best but after the first Jigeiko I need to stop and I took out the men. I knew that it was something that I should not do but I was very near to get unconscious . I took all my remaining strength and I started again. The persons in the Dojo are very good in Kendo and all my attention was needed to give my best in the Jigeiko. However, even if I have rested between the first and second Jigeiko also after the second one I had to stop and take out the men again. After recovering I did an other Jigeiko and as last I had the honor to make again Kakarigeiko with Matsumoto Sensei. I was exhausted, but I tried my best. During Kakarigeiko Matsumoto Sensei gave me some useful advice to improve my Kendo. I was really exhausted, but I knew that if I was not making my best the Kakarigeiko would never end. I still remember my last men, I took out everything from my body and I knew I could not be able to do an other one. Fortunately, Matsumoto Sensei allowed me to stop after this and I could finally rest and recover.
After the practice I thanks everybody for the opportunity to be part of their practice.
I am very happy that I managed to get back to the Chicago Kendo Dojo for a second time and I hope to get back in Chicago in the near future to visit them again.

A collection of videos from Chicago Kendo Dojo

Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 2008: Budokan Lausanne Kendo Club

I came back yesterday from the wonderful European Bioconductor developer meeting. I catch a lot of interesting ideas and information for my work.
I also managed to contact Olivier Perrenoud the Sensei of Budokan Lausanne Kendo Club. He was very kind to allow me to participate to one of their training session on Thoursday April the 24th. This was the first time I practiced Kendo in a non-English speaking country. I was very lucky because one of the senior Kendoka, Eric, working at the Lausanne University where the Bioconductor meeting was held, picked me up to go to the training.
The training started with an open session of katas. I practiced with Eric first and then I had a nice time with two young Kendokas (I think about 8-10 years old).
It was very interesting to practice with them, and since I am helping my Sensei, in the junior Kendo course I really would like that our young kendokas will behave like them. The limits was my total lack of French speaking.
During kata training Olivier Sensei told me that I have to take care on the position of the left foot, since I loose the stability of the position when a move back and my zanshin is lost. It was a very useful observation, I have to work on it!

During the kata session many persons arrived at the Dojo and at 18:30 there were about 30 persons. I helped them to remove the tatami from the training area and then we started some basic worm up suburi. Also in this case I had the chance to learn something regarding my Chudan-no-kamae. As, highlighted by Olivier Sensei, I have some weakness on the position of the left foot which affect the overall kamae posture.

After the suburi we made the rei. During the rei I was located at the position of a formal guest, at the side of the sensei and at the side of the other trainers, in order to introduce me to them and give me the chance to see, by their location in the row, their level.
After the men (wo) tsuke, I practice with many people, and, although we were really a lot and sometime practicing in group of three, everybody was very experienced to avoid to crash with the neighborhoods. We did some kihon changing the type of techniques in function of the level of the opponent. Olivier Sensei was very kind translating nearly everything in English, although I am very proud that I could understand quite a lot of the overall mixture of Japanese commands and French explanations. After the kihon we did gigeiko. I have to admit that I could do better than what I did, but I was quite tired since I waked up at four o'clock the same morning to reach Lausanne in time for the beginning of the meeting.
The last gigeiko was with Olivier Sensei, I forgot to tell that he is a tall man. I normally practice with tall persons in my dojo, since I am quite small, but .... Olivier is really tall! It was very difficult gigeiko!
At the end of the training Olivier was very kind to give me some advices. Specifically he focus on two points, I have to keep my body compact without changing anything in my posture before performing a technique in order to avoid to make aware the opponent that I am going to hit him. Furthermore, the movement of the shinai tip should be driven by the left and not by the right hand! He also told me that I have to keep more low the kamae when the opponent is tall since I have to force him to keep his kamae also low. This position will give more chances to make various techniques. If I keep my kamae too high I can only make men and the taller opponent will be more faster than me.
After the training I joined the Sensei and some of the kendokas for a quick beer. It was a very nice experience and Olivier Sensei invited me to get back to their Dojo if I am in Switzerland, think that I will definitively do!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 2008: Cambridge Kendo Club

Sunday 30th of March
Today I arrived in Cambridge, UK, to participate to a workshop on "High Dimensional Statistics in Biology" at the Isaac Newton Institute. I room, for the time of the meeting, is located at the Wolfson Court which is near by the Institute.
On internet I found the Cambridge Kendo Club, which is a "virtual" dojo, meaning that they practice in any place where they can. The Sensei is Italian, Frank Stajano. I contacted the Captain/instructor of the Dojo, Satoshi Yamazaki, to practice with them. This week I will join their training on Monday and Thursday.
Monday 31st of March:
It was a tough night, since I walked 45 minutes with the bogu and shinai to get to the Dojo, then I had two hour training and other 45 minute to get back to the Wolfson .
I am tired, thirsty but happy. Whenever I get to a new place I am quite nervous, and this was also true in this case when I arrived at the Dojo, since Satoshi arrived only when we enter in the Dojo. However, I manage to introduce myself to Sensei Frank and I joined the practice with them.
The training was divided in katas (40 minutes), followed by a quite hard worm up especially for the sonkyo suburi, I am still filling it in my legs. Subsequently we wear the bogu and did few rounds of kirikaeshi and kihon.
Then, Satoshi was also describing some of the training he had during the previous weekend with his training with a Japanese Sensei. We focus on the practice of debana men and debana kote. The last 20 minutes were used for jigeiko.
Thursday 2nd of April:
This time I was more relaxed and, being back to the Dojo, was like meeting some old friends .
The training was very similar to that of Monday but we spent some time on kaeshi do and nuki do.
I managed to make jigeiko with nearly all the people in the Dojo. I have to admit that on Thursday I was a bit more slow because the night before we had the meeting social dinner and few beers in the pub where researchers claim that Watson and Crick finalized their idea on the double helix structure of DNA.
Getting back to the Thursday training, Frank suggested me to work more on the extension of the left hand when I do men. It is a very good comment and I will work on that.
Finally few words on the Dojo people, the vast majority of the people is quite young as expected in a town where Colleges and Universities have an extreme density. It was very nice to talk with them and having training together.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

April 2007: Singapore Kendo Club

In April last year I was part of the training staff in a microarray course in Singapore. Unfortunately, I stayed there only four days and could not manage to visit that beautiful country.
Moving from Torino to Singapore it was a bit of shock since I passed in 10 hours flight from 5-7 C in Torino to the 32-35 C in Singapore. I had to buy some shirts and shorts to feel comfortable outdoor. However, my Torino's cloths were very useful for the training, since in the training room the air conditioning was a sort of winter thunder storm.

Searching over internet, just few days before departing from Torino, I find out the Singapore's Kendo Club, which is located in the Japanese school very near to the International Singapore Airport. I contacted them and I packed my Bogu.
Since my hotel was located quite in the center of Singapore town (the pictures show night/day view from my room),

I had to get to the Japanese School by car. In Singapore taxis are quite cheep there fore are the best way to move around. Sigapore has a lot of traffic and the trip to the Dojo was about 60 minutes long. Even the trip to the Dojo was very interesting since the driver was a martial art maniac and he told me many stories about local martial arts.
I arrived to the Dojo a little late, but fortunately they have only started the warm up with the beginners, so I managed to prepare myself. As usual every body was very kind with me.
A other wonderful characteristic of the Singapore Kendo Club is that the Dojo is conditioned. Trust me, the air conditioning is a wonderful invention if you are wearing the bogu and on the street there are 32 C and 100% humidity.
We started the training together with the beginners and subsequently the beginners continue their training with an other teacher. The training was quite nice and a bit exhausting especially because I was suffering for the jet-lag and I did not know their training schedule. Therefore, I did all my best in the open gigeiko, which I was expecting to be the end of the training but... after we did a lot of mawarigeiko, which finish to destroy me.
I got back to the hotel exhausted but very happy, the way back was again with the martial art maniac taxi driver but was only 30 minutes long. My night ended searching a still open restaurant, at the end I was eating in a sort of Chinese food market but I have to say that I could not manage to recognize what I have eaten, even though it was good.

March 2007: Choyokan Dojo, Chicago/USA

In March 2007 I had the opportunity to travel a lot. I was in Chicago at Northwestern University for a brief lesson on "microarray data analysis and mining" as guest of Platania's Lab. During my stay I had the opportunity to visit two dojos.
I contacted Sakamoto Sensei at the Choyokan Dojo and I joined their Sunday Practice at UIC Sports and Fitness Center 828 S. Wolcott Avenue, (South of Polk near Damen).
In my opinion it was an high level training session and I was very happy that they allowed me to participate even if I was a beginner. In March 2007 I had only one and half years of kendo practice and I was still 2nd kyu. As usual everybody was very kind with me.
The lesson was two hours long and it was hard, at least for me.
We started with some basic kion techniques. That part was easy, but after we started uchikomi geiko with a lot of practice on complex actions to counteract an attach. I found this part very complicated due to my limited coordination to keep a correct tsuba-zeri-ai and my poor hiki waza techniques.
After that there was mawarigeiko. At that time, I was mainly doing kote since I am quite short and I found difficult to reach the speed and the correct position to make a good men on a tall opponent. Furthermore, I was unable to create the right timing and occasion to perform a good technique.
The jigeiko with Sakamoto Sensei was very useful. After it, he told me that my feet were feeling to be too young with respect to my age (I was 46 years old). After his comment I realized that I was just moving my feet back and forward on the same place without any effect on the full body and it was useless. An other very useful observation was related to the need to keep the center of the opponent with the shinai. Those hits were very useful to improve my overall way of doing kendo.
At the end of the training I was a bit depressed and embarrassed of my low level of Kendo but happy to have practiced with persons more experienced than me.
Anyway the two hours of training were exhausting.

A collection of videos from Choyokan Dojo

March 2007: Chicago Kendo Dojo, Chicago/USA

During my staying, in Chicago, march 2007, I also contacted Mizuuchi Sensei at Chicago Kendo Dojo to ask for the possibility to practice at their site. The dojo is located at Bethany United Church of Christ, 4250 N Paulina Street, Chicago, IL 60613.
The dojo is very near to the house of my friends in Chicago. Gianni, my friend, drove me there about 45 minutes before the training, I always prefer to arrive early than late :-).
In front of the Dojo, we met a Japanese man with a broom. I thought he was a caretaker of the gym. He asked me why we were there and I told him that I asked for the opportunity to practice at Chicago Kendo Dojo.
He also asked me how long I was practicing Kendo and I told him about two years...... I was shocked when he told me that he was practicing Kendo from 74 years! That phrase was amazing, he had a very young face and I was not expecting he was over 80 years old.
He introduced himself saying that he was Frank Matsumoto. Since nobody was still there Mr. Matsumoto told me and my friend something about his long life. It was wonderful to know the many things he did during his life. He was in Europe during the second world war, it was an amazing story. But, still I did not realized who was the man in front of me.
In the mean time somebody start to show up and greeting Mr Matsumoto saying "Sensei". Furthermore, a young japanese man asked to Matsumoto Sensei to have his broom and he had to discuss a bit to avoid that the Sensei continue cleaning the Dojo.
In few minutes, about 8:00 PM, many persons arrived and finished to clean the Dojo. Many of those were Japanese. Also an other old japanese man arrived, Mr. Kadoi, the administrator of the Dojo.
When everybody was ready, we started the training and also Sensei Matsumoto participated to it. Together with Matsumoto Sensei there were other three teachers.
We started with basic techniques and suburi to warm up, then we practiced kirikaeshi and some basic kion. Subsequently, I practiced with an other student how to keep the center of the opponent to make aiuchi-men. After, we practiced a bit of gigeiko and I had the honor to practice kakarigeiko with Matsumoto Sensei as motodachi. He told me that I have to push with the left foot to make a correct men. All his comments were very useful and I still keep them in my mind during my Kendo practice.
At the end of the training all the other teachers were making general comments on students behavior. Unfortunately, due to my broken english, I only got part of those useful hits.
One of the teachers told me that I have a reasonable kirikaeshi as uchitachi but I have to work more on the motodachi side. Actually it was an important hit on which I am still working.
It was a very nice training and I was really feeling as I was always been practicing at the Chicago Kendo Dojo.
At the end of the training Mr. Kadoi and Matsumoto Sensei gave me their business cards, and I knew that Matsumoto Sensei was a 7th DAN Hanshi.
It was an honor for me to ear his stories and learning from him.
Furthermore, any time it happen to me to speak with other kendokas on my time in the Chicago Kendo Dojo, I say that I wish to be as Matsumoto Sensei when I get older than 80.
Definitively, if I will manage to come back to Chicago I will do my best to visit again the Chicago Kendo Dojo.

Dicember 2006: Nenriki Dojo London

In December 2006 I was 2nd kyu. Since I was in London to teach in a course, I took the opportunity to see if it was possible to visit a Dojo. I decided to ask to participate to a training session at the Nenriki Dojo, since there was a training on friday, which was my first free day after the course. I contacted the secretary of the Dojo and I also got the opportunity to borrow one of their bogu instead of bringing mine.
Nenriki Dojo is situated in central London, near to Elephant & Castle underground station. The Dojo is located in the Geoffrey Chaucer School.
I was a bit nervous before to attend to the training. It was the first time a was training in a new dojo. Took me some time to find the dojo, but following a tall man that was carrying a shinai finally I found the dojo.
Everybody was very kind with me and they told me that friday was a day in which less people are practicing. However, it was amazing to see the ethnical diversity present in the dojo. I even meet an other Italian.
Thinking on what I did during the training, I realized that my performance was very poor, e.g. I was stepping back when attached by the opponent, being inefficient in controlling my body, thinking too much, etc. Despite all my errors it was a very nice training and after I joined Victor Harris Sensei and the Nenriki people for few beers in a local pub.
This is a video about nenriki Kendo dojo I found on Youtube:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why I started this Kendo blog.

20 Janury 2008
I started practicing Kendo in September 2005 at Shubukan Dojo after 10 years of martial arts black out.
It was really a new experience after having practiced Judo, JuJitsu and Karate. When I started I was thinking that Kendo was simply a way to fight in a more safe way with respect to other martial arts, but, after a while, I realized that there was something more in Kendo practice.
At the beginning the concept of KI-KEN-TAI NO ICHI was very loose in my mind as the idea that Kendo Jigeiko is a crosstalk between the two opponents, searching for the opportunity for clean and perfect strike.
The training in my Dojo is exciting but since we know each other it is very nice to practice with guests coming from other Italian towns or from abroad.
These visits offer the opportunity to learn from the differences existing between the training of different Sensei. An other way to test the improvements in the way I do Kendo is, off course, given by the participation to Kendo competitions, but, since I have a quite busy life it is nearly impossible for me to do that.
However, I learned that that Kendo is a large world community and anybody is welcome to practice in an other Dojo as guest. Since my work give me the opportunity to travel through the world two/three time every year I decided to see if I could learn more about other way of doing Kendo visiting Dojo trough the world.
In this blog I will try to describe what I got from any of the practice I did during my trips.