We in Hawaii are finally starting in-person practices in some dojos. Those clubs using City and County facilities are not allowed because those facilities are not open for activities yet. As COVID-19 vaccination progresses (currently 57 per cent), we are hoping that the governments open facilities as soon as requirements are met.
Iai-do practice has started at Myohoji Kendo Club. As many of you know, Kenshikan Dojo, Meikyokan Dojo, Aiea Taiheiji Kendo Club and Waipahu Seibukan Kendo Club have started inperson practices with CDC mandated mitigation protocols. Hawaii Daijingu Kendo Club is improving the floor. I will let you know when they open their dojo. I do not know if Myohoji Kendo Club and Kenyu Kai Kendo Club have started or not.
As for me, I started my in-person light practice at Waipahu Konko Kyo Kendo Club on June 8. We do not have many participants but all finished inoculation for protection. We plan to do short keiko with kendo-gu on effective July.
First in-person keiko at Wahiawa Kendo Club was Wednesday, June 30. We start with very light keiko without kendo-gu on. First month practice will be warm up, suburi, and basics adding Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon Waza Keiko Hou and/or Kata if feasible.
Japanese medical doctor, Hinohara Shigeaki Sensei, who practiced medicine till a few month before he passed away at age of 105. He came to Hawaii for his 100th birthday occasion and told all of us, “Don’t die before me.” In Japan people had a disease called, “Seijin Byo, mature adult disease.” This illness developed blood clots and caused heart attacks, strokes and so on. He started to campaign in 1970 not to call this illness, “Seijin Byo,” rather to call “Seikatsu Shukan Byo, life habit/style disease.” In 1996, the government officially changed the name to Seikatsu Shukan Byo. Dr. Hinohara did not overeat. He maintained his desirable weight most of the time. He tried not to use elevators and rather use stairs. I thought that all medical doctors live long because they should know how to avoid bad things to our bodies. I know two doctors died young. One was overworked for raising kids and paying for their education. Other one was a heavy smoker which weakened blood vessels. Kendo is a good tool to keep adequate exercises. If you maintain your good health, you have better chance of enjoying your life. Let us practice kendo together. Stay safe and healthy.
Iwao Sato, Chief Instructor
Wahiawa Kendo Club