As many of our regular club members know our club is very fortunate to welcome a new batch of people into bogu training!
It is a great opportunity to hear how they are finding the training. Both for our new members who are wondering what it will be like, and us oldies who often become complacent with our day-to-day Kendo training achievements. Here are some of their opinions that may remind us what it was like for us, and think back to what is most important since that very first day we put our bogu on!
This time I’ve asked the opinions of the guys of this generation, as I interviewed the girls last time here. Please look forward to hearing from Paulo, Halley, Arash, Yasik, and Frank!
So it’s time to
pry open the inner minds of listen to our newest bogu players! Congratulations on getting your bogu – you got there in the end!
Starting with Paulo: “Can you give us your first impression when you put your bogu on? Was it any different to what you have expected?”
Paulo: When I put it on before training it seemed easy enough … but that soon changed once training actually started. I expected it to be a tough training with bogu on but I didn’t expect it to be THIS tough. I found it difficult to perform even the most basic of cuts, and pushing off my left leg to perform a fumikomi required more effort to get to the same distance without bogu. However! I love training with bogu anyways since it feels more fulfilling and not to mention I can finally train properly with the other seniors 😀
Hah! Thank goodness for that last sentence … was going to edit you out….
Okay great! How about you Halley? “How does training compare now that you are in bogu?”
Halley: When I first started kendo my goal was to get into bogu training as soon as possible. Since starting bogu training it has been challenging but very rewarding. The best part is the process of learning new things from sensei and the seniors then trying to apply them not only to kendo but life as well. Being part of the larger group is daunting at first, but everyone is very supportive and we are all trying to help each other get better.
Seems these “seniors” are commonly seen as a good thing… everyone is so politically correct by not mentioning any names…we’re ALL wonderful. Moving on, Arash: “When you do keiko (best simplified as free sparring) with these seniors, what goes on inside your head? Is it exciting?”
Arash: The time doing keiko with seniors was exciting. At first a lot would go through my head as I would try to go for all three strikes and do too much, but that was too difficult and I was too slow. So now I clear my head and just focus on the basics I have learned and try to improve from there.
Frank: From my perspective, Kendo is not only a sport exercise, but also a martial arts, it is developed from the samurai’s war. What is learnt from Kendo is not only the skills of fighting, but also politeness, solidarity and patience. Through bogu training, I realized that my basic work is not good enough to practice with senpai (seniors). So, I will keep joining the bogu training, and learn more things from sensei and senpai to improve myself.
I swear….I swear... I did not tell him to say that. And Frank did not have a Kendo textbook next to him. Frank, along with all the other guys here, takes Kendo very seriously.
Okay – final question for Yasik: “Would you have any advice to give to our new semester 1 people who are looking at going into bogu after a few months? Tell us how you got there in the end!
Yasik: Build up your stamina. As soon as I got to sparring I realised I was out of breath so quickly – staying calm and keeping your breath is very difficult once in bogu so do your basic training and control our breathing. Everyone don’t give up!
That’s a flavour of what its like being a beginner bogu player! If you want to know more come to our pub nights and have a chat with them over a drink or dinner! Looking forward to seeing everybody’s progress over the next few months 😀
Mystery question: There was a senior in our club who was so excited when he/she got their bogu that they decided to sleep with it on. Guess who this was? Answer will be revealed at our party this Saturday!