Last weekend and the weekend before that I had a Kendo seminar and a "Sword & Buckler" seminar respectively. So the new academic year started off with a great deal of physical exercise as if we had to catch up for the laziness that has crept in during the summer break.Sword and Buckler
The sword and buckler seminar 2 weeks ago was pretty interesting in that I had never done anything with sword and buckler before. As I am doing medieval European martial arts we had an expert on an old German sword and buckler manuscript called "MS:I.33
" which happens to be the oldest extant medieval fighting manuscript. (a plate of which can be seen to the left)
The expert was Scott Brown
an American who is famous for his expertise and practical knowledge of the manuscript. His fame is obviously limited to those who actually study the manuscripts so none of the members of the EMCA have actually heard of him before hahaha..
His workshop consisted of 2, 6-hour days of training. We learned loads of exercises, and techniques from the actual manuscript, mostly consisting of flow-exercises where you do repeating movements with both the buckler in one hand and the sword in the other, either solo or with a partner. After the workshop we all learned a considerable amount of drills which we can just practice at home. It has definitely motivated me to also get a one-handed sword and a buckler in addition to a longsword and a dagger.Kendo
Last weekend I also had a kendo seminar. There were 3 7th-dan teachers from Japan and a 7th-dan kendoka from the Netherlands (those 4 men sitting in front in the picture to the right). This seminar was more like an extremely prolonged regular training with special teachers.
The whole of this seminar lasted for 3 days for a total of 15 hours of training. And considering I only had that buckler seminar the week before since I had last done any exercise since the start of summer, this kendo seminar was quite tough. Warming-up was done together, as was cooling-down. During the seminar, groups would be formed according to level, so I was usually with the lower than 1st-dan kendoka (as I don't have any degree yet). There were examinations at the end of the seminar which I didn't stick around for to watch as I was thoroughly battered and broken by that time.
The things that I learned, or practised rather, were mostly basics. I was quite happy to find that I was doing quite okay for myself compared to the rest of the kendoka in my group, almost all of whom have been doing kendo for a longer time than I have. Besides these basics I also learned or reviewed a few techniques that come in handy, like how to strike your opponents hand right before he attacks and things like that.( Possibly Boring BlabCollapse )