The Kendo referee seminar in Tokyo

The Kendo referee seminar in Tokyo

I really wanted to attend a Kendo referee seminar when I went back to Japan in January.

I had stopped practicing Kendo for a long while. When I got 4th dan I was in my twenty’s and attended both Kendo referee and teaching seminar’s, I was also taught refereeing at the Tokyo Budokan during my weekly practice. I did go on to use what I learnt refereeing and teaching in Tokyo when I was younger. Then I had a long break, so I lost confidence in my refereeing and Kendo skill.

However I felt that I could not refuse if I was asked to referee in the UK.

I went to Holland for a Kendo match and was asked to referee by a British Kendo Teacher in 2009. I went on to referee at the Varsity Oxford and Cambridge match too, so I felt I needed to learn the correct way to be a referee again.

This was the reason I attended the Kendo referee seminar of my local Kendo association in Tokyo, all the teachers know me there and I saw many firends.

Before the seminar started the teachers took a picture with the children.

When we started the seminar I was told that a referee must judge correctly, see a correct strike and should behave politely.

The seminar started with warming up exercises. I did some jumping but I felt pain in my calf as I had an accident last October so I just watched.

We began with a children’s match. Without Armour children doing basic moves, then with Armour children, junior high school students. Finally we had a seminar members match.

During the matches the teacher, Mr. Ishiguro would stop to ask “How about the strike?” everyone then gave their opinion and discussed it. The teacher would ask both the competitor who lost and the winner “was the strike correct?” So the teacher made the point that although a strike could look correct it may not be valid.

The teacher with the shinai (bamboo sword) is Mr. Naitou. Mr. Ishiguro and Mr. Naitou are friends of the ex-national coach of the UK Mr. Matsumoto. I saw them in Kyoto last May.

The teachers taught us how to behave as a referee. How to walk, how to hold the flags, and the angle to hold them.

I learnt a lot during the seminar by study and discussion with other members of the seminar. I would like to judge in the UK as I felt that I had learned much from the seminar.