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.

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