With the University of Teacher Education Fukuoka
As mentioned before, when it comes to the Kyushu area, Kendo is life. With deep roots that date way back to Samurai culture, it’s no wonder why Kyushu is so famous for Kendo. We participated in a Kendo practice with Fukuoka University students. We came at the time where there were also a group of about 8 international students who were visiting on a 2 week trip from the UK. It was great because we were able to see the different styles of Japanese Kendo and International Kendo. We were welcomed in one of the headmasters Honda-Sensei. He is one of the main instructors who conducts the rigorous training for the Kendo club.
Before practice started a rotation of students who have already been decided arrive an hour early to clean the practice area. This is actually pretty common for Japanese culture, where practice areas are cleaned before and after training. It’s usual for the lower grade students to be in charge of cleaning but Fukuoka students did something unusual which was to have all students regardless of grade be on a cleaning rotational list. This way everyone is equal and no one feels more superior than the other.
The taiko drum was struck once, it was the signal to get into position for the pre-exercise yell. A lot of screeching and or yelling is involved in Kendo. One way to loosen up the lungs and also get into the zone of Kendo is for everyone to get together and do a couple rounds of yelling. This was followed by everyone stretching in unison which later led to some practice sparring.
Although there were participants from various backgrounds everyone was under the same roof and not feeling of division was felt. Practice consisted of sparring, practicing of specific strike zones, and rapid striking.
The temperature in Fukuoka that day was about 95F, but it felt well above 100F with the amount of heat that was being produced by all of the Kendo players. You can visually see sweat bounce off the stick with every whack and I would say about 1 - 2 kg of weight was lost during practice.
Students who needed to go home helped with cleaning and headed straight to change. The rest of the students stayed for another hour of weight training. The dedication to become a Kendo player was felt throughout the whole practice.
If you want to practice at the heart of the Kendo world or shed some pounds for a day make sure you make you join Fukuoka University on their next practice session.
LOCATION: 1-1 Akama Bunkyo town, Munakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture 811-4148
OPERATING HOURS: Reservation Only
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Honda (Kendo-Sensei)
Wanted to ever return to your college life ? Well it’s your lucky chance because Fukuoka University of Education has its very own international dormitory. A 10 minute walk outside of the University grounds, Mokkei-So dormitory is the most popping place around. With international students who come from all over the world to practice Kendo, a one night stay will turn into a lifetime memory. Mentioned previously, the headmaster of Fukuoka’s University of Education Honda-Sensei, is also managing operations for Mokkei-So. Everyone who stays there is interested in Kendo to a certain capacity but the fun doesn't stop when Kendo practice is over, if anything it keeps going. With shared baths and showers, it is easy to create bonds with fellow roommates. A mix of foreign and Japanese students live together under one roof sharing each others love for Kendo. Personally the most unique point about the dormitory was dinner time.
When we visited, the dinner special was vegetable curry with crazy amounts of cheese. Create friendships, learn how to make Japanese food, and relax at Mokkei-So on your next venture out to Fukuoka.