Hi everybody! This is the part 2 of our interviews for O-week beginners — They enjoy our club at the beginning of last semester, 2016. And they will get their Bogu (Kendo training armour) soon. Today, we invited Liam and Samantha to talk about their feeling after a half year Kendo training.
Say Hello to Samantha (on the left) and Liam (on the right)!
Question 1: Can you tell me something about yourself?
Samantha:Hello! I am Samantha and I’m in my second year of a bachelor of Biomedical Engineering and Commerce degree. I have no idea what I’m going to major in and I’m confused/excited about where it’s going to take me but I’m willing to try everything out!
Liam: Hi, I’m Liam! I’m a 3rd year student at the University of Sydney studying a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science majoring in Anatomy. I enjoy Korean and Japanese Pop music, Video games and Board games and of course, Kendo!
Question 2: Can I know why did you start Kendo?
Samantha: I started kendo because I felt like I needed to do something in my second year of uni compared to my boring first year and experience a bit more of the university life! I also saw the incredible enthusiasm of the people (Paolo ^u^) about 5 times each day, everyday during O-week urging everyone to check it out and I was eventually convinced that I could have as much fun as they were having!
Liam: After putting off joining the Kendo club since first year, third year was my last chance to get into it, so when O-week came around I joined in on the beginners session and had a lot of fun. I knew I was interested in kendo for a long time, and after walking past the O-week stall a few times, a senior member of the club called me over and suggested that I just try it out to see if I liked it, and I did!
Question 3: Why did you continue Kendo?
Samantha: I continued because I immediately paid the full year deposit and I was determined to make it count!! …But apart from that, as soon as I saw the passion of the seniors training and how powerful and fun it looked, I think I fell a little bit in love! Also the new friends are heaps of fun and I feel really accomplished when we learn new skills and the unique sort of mind frame that comes with martial arts. +++ It’s soooo much better (and cheaper!) than a gym : )
Liam: The USYD Kendo club is a close-knit group of people that are passionate about kendo. From the very first training this passion gets you involved and you start to really take in the lessons you learn from the instructors. Technique, Dedication and Self improvement are key factors of the USYD Kendo club and I wish to develop those attributes in myself through practising kendo. I’ve come to realise that Kendo is not just a form of exercise or hobby, but more of an education and a learning experience that develops your person not just your body.
Question 4: Unitil now, which part is your favorite in the training?
Samantha: My favourite part of training is when we get into groups and have hitting practice! The organisation of rotations and everybody focused on doing things together and helping each other really make me feel a part of something huge and awesome. It’s also fun to watch people’s reactions when we share a gym with them and everything gets a “little” louder once training starts!
Liam: I’d say that my favourite part of training is not restricted to any one activity but is when I see my fellow members having fun and helping each other improve. When you hear a deep life lesson from an instructor you know they are helping you improve. When you see your peers critiquing each others’ form you know that they want you to improve as well. There is a serious side to Kendo, and a fun one too. Without one, you cannot appreciate the other, and seeing both sides every training is what I like best about kendo.
Question 5: Okay, final question! What is the first thing you will do after you get your Bogu (training armour used in Kendo)?
Samantha: As soon as I get my Bogu I will smell it and do something to try and keep that nice new smell for as long as possible …and then probably wear it to sleep that night.
Liam: When we are given time to self train toward the end of training, I always look over at the seniors in Bogu and get a bit jealous. The combat side of kendo is something which as a beginner, I haven’t had the chance to experience yet, and seeing the seniors practice with a lot of drive and intensity really shows how much there is to learn in Kendo. After I receive Bogu I am of course going to try it on and see what it is like to have Bogu of my own, but after that I want to get into Bogu training to experience it first hand and not watch from the side lines. I’m eager and excited to test my skills and perceptions during Bogu training and look forward to improving my kendo technique.
Thank you for your patience and hope to see you in the Bogu training soon! I’m also looking forward to see more and more people join our club in the future.