New commands in class?

You may have noticed a small change during our seiretsu before and after class. When showing gratitude we used to hear the following two commands:

  • Sensei ni rei (先生に礼) Literally “thank your teacher“.
  • Otagai ni rei (御互いに礼) Literally “thank each other“. You thank your classmates.

You may notice that these have changed and thus we’re offering a short explanation here:

  • Sensei gata ni rei (先生方に礼) Literally “thank your teachers“, with “gata” being the honorific for a group of people. We still use the previous form if there’s only one teacher, but seeing how we now have multiple teachers you’ll often hear the new version.
  • Sougo ni rei (相互に礼) Literally “Show mutual thanks”. It’s quite the same as the previous command and seems like more of a grammatical and formal change.

Don’t forget! If you need help remembering all of the Japanese terms, we have a handy page with lots of study materials made by our own members!



RIP Holt-sensei

It is with great and deep sadness that I learned my friend and mentor of many years Holt Sensei has passed away,
having shared many adventures with Sensei Holt with his continued support, wise words of advice and encouragement in the development of Renshinjuku. I am eternally grateful for his guidance and companionship throughout the past 34 years.
I shall miss my friend and fellow Kendo practioner and offer my sincere condolences to his family and Mumeishi Kendo Club and throughout the global fellowship of Kendo as this has been a loss to us all.
He will be sadly missed.

Bert Heeren.

Sayonara Kikuta-sensei

This Saturday, the 10th, will be Kikuta-sensei’s last class with our group. He will be moving to another country because of his work. Please join us at the potluck meal, to thank him and give him your best wishes.

Buffet on 10/01/15

To ring in the new year with friends, we’re organizing our traditional New Year’s buffet on January 10th.

The buffet is “pot luck”, so everybody please bring a nice meal to share. Please bring ‘normal’ foods as people often bring too many desserts ;)

NK Kendo results

Last Sunday the dutch championships kendo were held. Unfortunately there were not enough youths to run the juniors tourney, so we’re hoping for next year. We did have a record-setting enrollment of 66 men and 11 ladies in the NK, so it turned out to be a long and exciting day!

NK Ladies:

1. Marije Wouters (Amsterdam Museido)
2. Fleur Smout (?)
3. Kiwa Miyahara (Amstelveen Renshinjuku)
3. Letisja Henderson (?)

NK Gentlemen:

1. Joeri van den Burgh (Rotterdam Fumetsu)
2. Ran Miyahara Amstelveen (Renshinjuku)
3. Makoto van der Woude (Amstelveen Renshinjuku)
3. Jouke van der Woude (Amstelveen Renshinjuku)

Better meals, better sports



It is with many thanks to Heeren-sensei’s friend Diana Kortlevers that we offer you the following information and recipes. Unfortunately it’s only available in dutch.

Deze werkmap wordt u aangeboden door Diana Kortlevers van Praktijk gezond gewicht en gezonde voeding. Diana is een ervaren gewichtsconsulent en voedingscoach.

Met doeltreffende voedingsprogramma’s en activiteiten worden cliënten verleid tot gezond eetgedrag. Met als doel: gezonde voeding en beweging aantrekkelijk te maken.

Één van de problemen die ik tegenkom : “Wat mag je eten wanneer je meer sport dan normaal?

In deze werkmap worden praktische tips gedeeld om iedereen die graag gezond wil eten, zo goed mogelijk te begeleiden. Uit onderzoek is gebleken dat veel sporters te weinig koolhydraten eten en te vaak eiwitpreparaten nemen. Deze verandering in je voeding kan zorgen voor concentratie en prestatie verlies, met veel gevolgen voor jouw eigen sportprestaties.

Jr. Godo Keikokai

Dear All Kendo Friend

It is my wish to inform you about the 7th Junior Godo keikokai (Kendo) that will take place on 17th – 18th Jan 2015 in Brussels. We had 65 kids kendo-ka and 20 teachers from 4 countries and 8 kendo club in January 2012.

If you would like to take part in this event, please contact Bert Heeren-sensei.

Thank you and best regards.

jr-godo-keikokai-2015 (invitation PDF)

Class summary 28/09

In absence of Heeren-sensei, class was led by Kikuta-sensei.

As usual, class was opened with stretching, suburi, footwork practice and kihon. During the basic exercises and also during the more advanced training, Kikuta-sensei paid extra attention to the following topics.

Regarding fumikomi:

  • It was reiterated that one should not lift the right foot, but one should slide forwards close to the ground. Lifting your foot high, tells your opponent that you are making an attempt for men.
  • It was reiterated that one should lunge deeply, do not stop short with the right foot. Always attack from issoku-itto-maai, so step in if need be. Then make a long, deep thrust forward from the hips.
  • When you are in issoku-itto-maai, do not reposition your left foot when attacking. You are slowing yourself down tremendously. If you are in position, thrust forward from the left foot and trust that you were within the right maai. If you were not, next time you should either start a little closer or step in deeper with the right foot.

Regarding omote and ura:

  • We performed a number of exercises involving the omote and ura sides of the shinai. For explanations of the terms below, please refer to our article “Waza explained”.
  • We started out with osae men on omote side, as a continuation of our fumikomi exercises.
  • Sensei then discussed the matter that many kendoka will block your “standard” men attacks, by raising their shinai diagonally. This block however, opens one up to attacks through the ura side. Thus we practiced accordingly in three-man uchikomi geiko groups:
    • Osae men on omote
    • Osae men on ura
    • Seme to menura-men
    • Seme to men, ura-kote
    • Harai men on omote
    • Harai men on ura
    • Kote – Kaeshi kote
    • Kote – Kaeshi dou
    • Men-taiatari-dou, kote-men

After class, sensei reiterated Heeren-sensei‘s message from two weeks ago: the importance of correctly wearing your men.  It is not only for your own safety, it is also so one may properly use and guard the monomi: the looking-slit in the mengane. Sensei noticed a lot of people looking through other parts of the grill, too low or too high, which has two downsides. For starters the monomi is a weakness that should be guarded, and secondly you are lowering your field of vision by looking through a narrow part.