The 4th IGA Ken Gasshuku was such a memorable event for the participants that many of them have spontaneously written about their experiences and thoughts about it. This is the eighth of a series of articles showcasing these reflections.Today we are featuring the reflections of two members of the Arena Dojo. The first is from Ronin. Originally one of the pioneer members of the Arena Dojo, he has certainly lived up to his name as you are never quite sure when he will return to training. Still, when he does appear he gives his all, both as a student and as someone who photo-documents the activities of the club. Second reflection is from Meeko. One of the newly minted bogu class during the Gasshuku, he has been training hard since his start as a beginner last March. He is also one of the field medics of the club, ready and able to help out during medical emergencies.
Hi all! I’ll keep this short as I still have to sort through 5-15gb of photos, more or less.
It felt great to join Gasshuku for the first time. Now I know what I’ve been missing for the past four years or so.
Wearing the bogu again after more than a year was sentimental: it was both familiar and alien at the same time. Those who know me know that I’ve come back and forth to kendo for too many times, so yesterday was a challenge.
I was disappointed with myself since I drew all my matches, but I guess that means I have to go train regularly so I can get back to bogu class. But I’ve said it too many times since who knows when.
To my co-Ninja Warriors and our captain Loida Estanilla Inting… EEEEEEH? We had a lot of fun, I think that’s what counts.
To the new people I met, wow I haven’t actually met new people for a long while, so it was nice to make new friends from kendo
To my batchmates and former kohai who welcomed me back with the same warmth even if I have a lot of catching up to do, thank you very much. I appreciate that not all was lost due to my prolonge absences.
To everyone who patiently joined the 360 photo, thank you! Achievement unlocked, photo-wise. Now it’s something we can keep doing for future events.
To Kristopher Inting and Koji Igarashi, thanks for keeping the doors of kendo open for a ronin like me. I hope to contribute more to the club in any way I can.
My last thanks goes to Alain Duminy senmpai: thank you for your mercy after I broke your lens hood
Okay, I just got home and currently sorting Day 1 photos. Just keep checking back on the album I shared here for updates.
PS: Everything is painful to do today: from scratching my back and sneezing (yes, masakit sa tummy) to holding on to MRT handrails. But it is gooooood.
I know the timing for the post is uncanny with that of my better half, but it’s not deliberate. LOL. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible.
Known only to a handful of people, about a month after I started Kendo, I made a goal for myself. I made a digital zekken with the club’s and my name on it. I made it my wallpaper on my devices. And on some occasions I would feel that I am not progressing, I look at it and I am reminded of that goal.
So my goal is to be part of the bogu class? No. That’s simplifying things.
My goal is to do Kendo and progress, level up and enjoy doing so (ala the Iga Ken way). And being part of the bogu class is one of the steps in achieving that goal. And just yesterday, I just unlocked that level.
When I heard sensei say “congratulations!”, I felt my body collapse and I found myself just go down in rei shouting with my already painful throat a loud “arigato gozaimasu”. I knew my tears were at their threshold. But what almost made me breakdown was turning around and seeing the genuinely happy faces of practically everyone there. From the kouhais, to our other batchmates, to the senpais and people from other clubs. The gym thundered with applause and cheers. I knew we were all moved by such a beautiful sight. And when they all came to embrace and greet us personally, I had one of the happiest moments in my life. And looking at the face of Peachie, I couldn’t help but take her in an embrace.
To the senpai-tachi, who had never scrimped on comments and reminders, ONE BIG THANK YOU. I know I had (and still have) room for improvement, and that’s all taken into heart and mind. rest assured I’ll join you in leveling up and enjoying kendo. I love you guys!
To my batchmates who are yet to join us, we’ll see you soon. I have faith in all of you.
To our kouhais, keep enjoying Kendo. Remember always in your heart why you’re here, swinging a shinai and shouting at the top of your lungs. And remember, progress is NEVER linear. We’ll all have times when we’ll feel down, when we’ll feel amazing, we’ll also have times when we plateau. But you know what’s important? Just keep moving FORWARD.
To Peachie, thank you for giving me an in-depth appreciation and understanding of Kendo and for helping me improve. You made me love it more than ever. Not only the physical aspect, but the philosophical side of it as well. Itsumo, itsumademo, daisuki yo.
To our club manager, Kristopher Inting, who’s always caring and supportive of everyone, thank you very much. I know it’s not apparent but we all appreciate and are deeply indebted to you for your dedication and love, not only for the growth of the club, but for the welfare of each and everyone of us. Thank you.
And of course, to our beloved Koji Igarashi Sensei, THANK YOU SO MUCH! The love you have shown to every student just never fails to motivate me and help me move forward and level up. I promise you that this is only the beginning of bigger things. I’ll give it my all and do you proud. (And to Junko-san, my heartfelt thanks for your unwavering support and compassion for everyone)
To everyone, again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. You have my sincerest thanks and support.
PS. Sorry for the lengthy post.