5/31/97 Kawasaki-San Special Practice

Kikuyo Kawasaki, a 4dan kenshi from Japan who is currently studying in Canada, was in So. Calif. from 5/24 to 6/4. She is a very strong kenshi who specializes in the jodan position.

Kawasaki-sensei went through Tokai University in Japan on a kendo scholarship, majoring in kendo. She is licensed to teach kendo in Japan. She is the champion of all of the recent women's tournaments in the Pacific Northwest area, winning the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation Taikai in November, the Vancouver Takai in January, the Steveston Taikai in February, and the University of Washington Taikai in April.

The WKA hosted a special practice for Kawasaki-sensei on Saturday, May 31, at Norwalk Dojo. At the WKA meeting just prior to the keiko, we were treated to a very enlightening demonstration and talk by Kawasaki-sensei on tenouchi, jodan kendo, and the difference between women's and men's kendo.
We had a great turn out at the keiko, with approximately 50 kenshi present, including many SCKF sensei. All were impressed with Kawasaki-san's kendo.

The keiko consisted of warm-ups followed by rotation keiko. Each rotation consisted of 2 minutes keiko followed by 1.5 minutes shiai geiko. The extra intensity of the shiai geiko, added to the non-stop rotation, made for a grueling workout. In the first half of the practice, the women kenshi practiced with Kawasaki-sensei. In the second half, the remaining women, the sensei, and several other kenshi practiced with her.

The practice ran late due to the large turn out. This group photo was taken of those who stayed until the last kenshi dropped.

Following keiko, light refreshments were served and Kawasaki-san chatted with the sensei. Afterwards a small group gathered at Jean's house for more munchies and conversation.

Many thanks to the sensei who attended the practice, and thanks to Warren Wong who sponsored Kawasaki-san's visit. Thanks also to everyone who brought drinks and refreshments. As usual, we had three times more than we needed!

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