Queen Mary Kendo Club


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Practice Cancelled

Unfortunately, our practice this Saturday has been cancelled by the Student Union to make way for a British Gymnastics event. As such, our final session will be postponed until we sort out a time with the SU to make up for this.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you are unable to make it to the amended session we hope to see you next academic year.

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Practice Session Date Change

Thank you to everybody who has been attending our sessions, we’ve been seeing a great second semester! Also, thank you to all the UCL members who came to our practice last week! We would also recommend our more advanced members to begin participating at other clubs.

Please take note that due to some scheduling changes from the Student Union, our final session will be moved from the 17th of March to the 24th. As such, there will be no session on the 17th. However, you may consider attending a session at other dojos such as Wakaba, which also practice on Saturday.


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The Heated Season of Love

A loud thank you to everybody attending our sessions, we’ve been seeing a wonderful increase in the people interested in kendo this semester! All the old and new members have been showing great energy alike, and several people will soon be donning their bogu. Otherwise, many of our very new members have shown a great effort and skill, and will soon catch up to everybody else.

And on another note, it’s Valentine’s Day this week. And what shows love more than beating each other with bamboo sticks? So feel free to bring your girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, ex-lovers and anybody else to our next session!

Just a friendly reminder, if you haven’t purchased a membership from the Student Union yet, remember to do so!


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Welcome Back!

Happy New Year! Have you been keeping your resolutions for 2018?

We have now reached the end of January, and it has been a great start to the year. We are delighted by the increase in newcomers, and the progress of our regular members. Although the academic year is already halfway through, we welcome anybody who may wish to start off a new year with a new activity.

A reminder to anyone who has not done so yet, remember to purchase your membership from the Queen Mary Student Union site for only £5!

The Christmas Session

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DSC01844 DSC01856 DSC01902 DSC01943 DSC01946 IMG_0093 IMG_0123 IMG_0125‘Twas the season to be merry! Sooo I haven’t updated here for a while but now, as we approach Easter comes the rebirth of WordPress posting…. and announce that this will be more ‘Major event update’ time.

So the Christmas session, was great, we had fun, we had food, we had drinks… then more food and good solid fun kendo! I thank all who came, saw many new faces (check our Facebook!) and in retrospect I feel we all got closer!

Was also great to see you all come back post-Christmas!

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Session #1: A hearty (if belated) welcome and welcome back!

So this is my first post here and I just wanted to say hi and welcome to QM Kendo! Hopefully you all enjoyed the first session we had last week and are raring to go for tomorrow. We should be expecting quite a few new faces this week as well. Thus far not much has happened outside the club, we’ve had a pre-session meet and went to the Matsuri which was fun but don’t worry, we’re moving into festival season with MCM, Halloween, movies, Winter Wonderland and much more to come this semester!

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Session #11: Returning after a break

I was happy to see such a great turnout at our first session back. Three new beginners came to try kendo out (though whether we’ve scared them off is yet to be determined).

Our coach ran a more relaxed session, emphasising the importance of easing yourself back into practice and not pushing too hard straight off the bat, as that’s how injuries can occur. Snapping the Achilles tendon is not that uncommon an injury for kendoka!

As pretty much all of us at the club have taken some time off kendo over the holiday, I thought I’d note down some of my personal aims on returning after a break of 6-8 weeks. Maybe you’ll find something you can relate to below.

  • Relax my shoulders and upper arms
    I always find myself especially tense on my first sessions back and I have to keep reminding myself before and after every cut to stop hunching up my shoulders.
  • Don’t worry about the speed of my cut
    Speed comes with eliminating muscle tension in the cut, so unless if I can relax my shoulders, arms and wrist, it will only make matters worse to try to make a faster cut with brute force.
  • Focus on pushing with my left leg
    Kendo footwork is an unintuitive thing, and after a break, my legs always feel like lead. However, this is also a great time to throw away all my bad habits from before (well, I can’t move my legs anyway) and start consciously trying to do the correct thing (so pushing off with my left leg and not pulling with my right).
  • Breathe in when I lift my arms to cut
    This is something I only remembered after almost crashing out at Hizen last night. I don’t breathe in enough. Sounds silly doesn’t it? I was doing motodachigeiko (paired practice with a senior) as a junior, so I tried to put in 100% effort in every cut, and after 5 cuts, I could barely lift my arms to finish half a set of kirikaeshi, and I was gasping for breath like a drowning swimmer. What I realised was that by trying so hard to do my best cuts and loudest kiai, I had completely forgotten to breathe in and hence my body couldn’t really function for more than a minute. Next time, I’m going to tell myself explicitly to breathe in every time I lift my arms to cut. Hopefully it’ll become second nature someday.