2016 SPLASH

Interested in learning Japanese sword fighting? Seeking out a tight knit community to join? Or perhaps you’re just wondering, “What exactly is kendo?” Well, if the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you should come to SPLASH, on September 10th at Nickerson field from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M., to learn about the Boston University Kendo Association (BUKA). BUKA welcomes anybody of all experience levels, from beginners to experts! We will hold our first practice on September 17th from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. in the 4 Court Gym at FitRec. Hope to see you all there!

5th Annual BU Kendo Tournament (2016)

We have successfully completed our 5th Annual BUKA Tournament. Thank you to all members, alumni, and volunteers for helping out this big day to run smoothly. We have invited Yoshida-sensei as Shinpan-cho, and Hayashi-sensei (BUKA’s great senpai) as Fukushinpan-cho. We would like to thank the two senseis, as well as all the shipans  who volunteered their time for this event. We had a total of 54 competitors from four major schools: Brown, BU, Harvard, and NYU.

Individuals: No BU members were able to reach semi-finals. However, our beginners did a good job. Keep up the good work, beginners!

Teams: BU didn’t make it to the medals. Hopefully we have better results next year

2016 Shoryuhai

This year, the Boston University Kendo sent 14 competitors to the 20th annual Shoryuhai tournament. Shoryuhai is hosted by Harvard University and is made up of two part-an individuals tournament on day one, and a team tournament on day two. During the first day, Joe Yi made it to the final round of the preliminary matches in the Individuals tournament. On the second day, BU’s A Team were ranked second in the preliminaries bracket and were able to proceed into quarterfinals. All members of BUKA fought hard and gained a lot of experience from their participation in this tournament!

2015 Goyokai Tournmanet

BUKA participated in the 2015 Goyokai Tournament on November 15th.
We were able to compete with kendo players from different age-groups and backgrounds because Goyokai is a dojo-hosted competition, different from a college-hosted tournament. We brought two teams to participate and six passionate spectators.
All BUKA members tried their best in this very competitive tournament.

Here are the results:
Women’s Kyuu Division
1st place: Helen 
3rd place: Cici & Ji

Men’s Kyuu Division
3rd place: Junyan

Congratulations!

Good job to the participants, and thank you to all for supporting us.
 

Joint Practice with Brown University Kendo Club

This past weekend, we welcomed three members from Brown University Kendo Club  for a joint practice. We did basic bogu-practice together, and did a mock team match to practice for the Goyokai tournament coming in two weeks. One of the Brown members said, “I enjoyed the practice, but I felt it was pretty intense” (paraphrased). 

Thank you to the Brown University Kendo Club members for coming all the way from Rhode Island, and to all who attended practice.

 

The Season, Part 6: GSK

This past weekend, BU Kendo attended the Garden State Kendo (GSK) Tournament in Union City, NJ. GSK is a dojo tournament, and thus divides its divisions by age, rank, etc., similar to Rutgers and Goyokai. BU sent 9 kendoka to compete for the gold in both individuals and teams. Here are the results.

 

Kyu

  • Lucien Thomas
  • Priank Ravichandar

Women’s Kyu

  • Julie Zhu

1-2 Dan

  • Jessica Alexandria
  • Alex Eitoku
  • Brandon Kesselly
  • Shawn Shou
  • Joseph Yi

3 Dan

  • John Yi

Women’s Dan

  • Jessica Alexandria

Results

Unfortunately, no one from BU won any awards this tournament.

Highlights

  • Club Vice President Shawn Shou and A Team member Jessica Alexandria both advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 1-2 Dan division before being eliminated!

 

Teams

A

  1. Senpo: Shawn Shou
  2. Jiho: Lucien Thomas
  3. Chuken: John Yi
  4. Fukusho: Jessica Alexandria
  5. Taisho: Alex Eitoku

 

B

  1. Senpo: Brandon Kesselly
  2. Jiho: Julie Zhu
  3. Chuken: Joseph Yi
  4. Fukusho: Naveed Ahmed (NYU)
  5. Taisho: Priank Ravichandar

 

Results

Unfortunately, no BU teams placed during this tournament.

 

Highlights

  • BU A advanced to the Quarterfinal round before being eliminated!

 

GSK was a learning experience for us. We did not play at our usual caliber that day, but we were also faced with a much stronger crowd of competition than the average college tournament. Our performance has inspired us to make our last stand a superb effort during the final tournament of the year: our very own BU tournament! Faito!

The Season, Part 5: Harvard

This past weekend, BUKA competed at the 18th Harvard Shoryuhai Taikai.  Harvard is the largest intercollegiate kendo tournament in the Americas, and tends to draw competitors from both coasts as well as overseas. Here are the results and highlights of the weekend:

 

Day 1 – Individuals

The first day of the Harvard Shoryuhai was individuals. BU sent 21 competitors of varying skill levels to compete in the single-elimination event:

  • Jessica Alexandria
  • Genevieve Boudreau
  • Raymond Feng
  • Kayla Gillespie
  • Reina Iwase
  • Brandon Kesselly
  • Christina Lupoli
  • Jennifer McEldoon
  • Billy Pratama
  • Priank Ravichandar
  • Taryn Ross
  • Shawn Shou
  • Yevgeniy Temchenko
  • Lucien Thomas
  • Deniz Varol
  • Kathie Zhang
  • Julie Zhu
  • Ye Wang
  • Youming Ye
  • John Yi
  • Joseph Yi

 

Results

Unfortunately, none of BU’s members were able to place this tournament.

Highlights

  • Club Captain John Yi advanced to the Quarterfinal round before being eliminated!

 

Day 2 – Teams

The second day was teams. BU sent 3 5-man teams – A, B, and C – to compete in a 24-team round robin.

 

A

  1.  Senpo: Brandon Kesselly
  2. Jiho: Lucien Thomas
  3. Chuken: Shawn Shou
  4. Fukusho: Jessica Alexandria
  5. Taisho: John Yi

 

B

  1.  Senpo: Reina Iwase
  2. Jiho: Yevgeniy Temchenko
  3. Chuken: Joseph Yi
  4. Fukusho: Julie Zhu
  5. Taisho: Raymond Feng

 

C

  1.  Senpo: Genevieve Boudreau
  2. Jiho: Taryn Ross
  3. Chuken: Kayla Gillespie
  4. Fukusho: Christina Lupoli
  5. Taisho: Priank Ravichandar

 

Results

  • 3rd Place – Boston University A

BU A was the only team to advance, winning it’s round robin group after 5 wins and 0 losses. BU A placed 3rd overall after a nail-biting match against University of California San Diego.

 

Highlights

  • BU A placed 3rd overall!
  • BU A won its round robin group 5-0!
  • C Team member Christina Lupoli scored her first tournament point!

 

This year, Shoryuhai was a trying experience. For many of us, it was our first time competing or our first Shoryuhai. For many of us – mostly the A team – it was our last Shoryuhai, and we fought with pride and ambition. We did our absolute best to make it to where we were and our defeat was by a single point in a very memorable match. Regardless of the results, we are proud of our achievements, and we are proud of our younger members. We realize that we may have left some tough shoes to fill for them, but we have faith that they will persevere come next year’s tournament. BU Kendo is not done yet! Faito!

The Season, Part 4: Rutgers

BU Kendo played at the 21st Annual Rutgers-Shidogakuin Tournament this past weekend in New Brunswick, NJ. Below are the results of the weekend:

 

Individuals

Rutgers is a dojo-style tournament and thus separates its divisions by age, rank, etc. BU sent 18 competitors to play in the individual tournament. The following BUKA members competed in individuals:

Mudansha

  • Jessica Alexandria
  • Genevieve Boudreau
  • Raymond Feng
  • Kayla Gillespie
  • Ralph Kim (MCPHS)
  • Boshan Mo
  • Billy Pratama
  • Priank Ravichandar
  • Taryn Ross
  • Yevgeniy Temchenko
  • Renee Wang
  • Kathie Zhang
  • Julie Zhu

1-Kyu/1 Dan

  • Brandon Kesselly
  • Shawn Shou
  • Lucien Thomas
  • Joseph Yi

2 Dan/3 Dan

  • John Yi

Women’s

  • Jessica Alexandria
  • Genevieve Boudreau
  • Kayla Gillespie
  • Taryn Ross
  • Renee Wang
  • Kathie Zhang
  • Julie Zhu

Results

  •  Yevgeniy Temchenko – 3rd Place, Mudansha Individuals
  • Jessica Alexandria – 3rd Place, Women’s Individuals
  • Joseph Yi – 3rd Place, 1-Kyu/1 Dan Individuals
  • Shawn Shou – 1st Place, 1-Kyu/1 Dan Individuals

 

Teams

Rutgers’ team tournament was single elimination with about 16 teams from multiple dojos and colleges from the East Coast. BU sent 3 teams – A, B and C – to compete for the gold. Here is the breakdown of the teams:

A

  1.  Senpo: Lucien Thomas
  2. Jiho: Jessica Alexandria
  3. Chuken: Shawn Shou
  4. Fukusho: Brandon Kesselly
  5. Taisho: John Yi

B

  1. Senpo: Ralph Kim
  2. Jiho: Yevgeniy Temchenko
  3. Chuken: Joseph Yi
  4. Fukusho: Julie Zhu
  5. Taisho: Raymond Feng

C

  1. Senpo: Genevieve Boudreau
  2. Jiho: Kayla Gillespie
  3. Chuken: Renee Wang
  4. Fukusho: Kathie Zhang
  5. Taisho: Boshan Mo

 

Results

  • 2nd Place – BU A

 

BU played well during this past weekend, winning a total of 5 awards between its 18 competitors. This was the first tournament for many of our members, and they faced their opponents without fear, giving their matches 100% of their effort. We are proud of you guys, and we are proud of everyone who competed this weekend! Remember: to those who fought at Rutgers, this was our practice for Shoryuhai. As Coach Eitoku said, take the time over the break to reflect upon the tournament and how you can improve your kendo overall. Try to practice at least your suburi, but please stay active. Shoryuhai is the biggest tournament of the year, and we plan to be ready for victory.

 

The Season, Part 3: Columbia

This past weekend, BUKA participated in Columbia’s first annual Shishiai Intercollegiate Kendo Tournament. Below are the results of the tournament (get pumped!):

 

Individuals

The Individual tournament was round robin-style and divided by rank: the Yudansha and Dangai played separately. BU had 14 members compete in the tournament – 8 in the Dangai and 6 in the Yudansha. The following members of BUKA played during the individual tournament proceedings:

Dangai

  • Genevieve Boudreau
  • Raymond Feng
  • Peter Iyer
  • Christina Lupoli
  • Taryn Ross
  • Jack Wang
  • Youming Ye
  • Julie Zhu

Yudansha

  • Jessica Alexandria
  • Reina Iwase
  • Brandon Kesselly
  • Shawn Shou
  • Lucien Thomas
  • John Yi

Results

  • Dangai: 2nd – Raymond Feng
  • Yudansha: 3rd – Lucien Thomas

Highlights

  • Raymond Feng won his first Individual medal!
  • Lucien Thomas won his first Yudansha medal!

 

Teams

The Team tournament was single-elimination and featured multiple teams from about 10 schools. BU sent two teams (A and B) to compete for the gold. The teams were as follows:

A

  1.  Senpo: Lucien Thomas
  2. Jiho: Brandon Kesselly
  3. Chuken: Shawn Shou
  4. Fukusho: Jessica Alexandria
  5. Taisho: John Yi

B

  1. Senpo: Genevieve Boudreau
  2. Jiho: Youming Ye
  3. Chuken: Julie Zhu
  4. Fukusho: Reina Iwase
  5. Taisho: Raymond Feng

 

Results

  • 3rd – BU A

Highlights

  • BU A placed 3rd overall!
  • B Team Taisho Raymond Feng scored against a 3 Dan opponent!

 

Columbia was the first tournament of 2014, and BU fought against many tough opponents during this single day tournament. We have taken this as a learning experience and will keep all of what we learned for the upcoming Rutgers Shidogakuin in March. Congratulations to everyone who placed today, and to those who did not, do not lose your fighting spirit: train harder and persevere!

Prelude to the Bogu Exam

There comes a time in a kendoka’s life when they are about to take the next step in their journey. Ideally, this means gaining kyu or dan, but nothing comes close to the feeling of your first time in bogu. A new world opens up – albeit with some tunnel vision – but the feeling is a bit more…bizarre than the first time you learn to swing a shinai.  For the kendoka, it is the next step into a new dimension, one from which there is no return. In many dojos, the sensei will determine whether or not his/her students are ready to take this step. However, as BU is not a dojo, this is determined a little differently: with a test.

The Bogu Exam is given annually to beginners in the club. During the first semester, new members are trained in all of the basic aspects of kendo with the intention of preparing them for this Exam. It is historically given the weekend before Thanksgiving, therefore allowing beginners to train during the semester with the older members and allow them to witness tournaments such as Cornell and Goyokai. During the Bogu Exam, the beginners are tested on their level of comfort with the techniques they have been practicing throughout the semester.

Kendo stresses many aspects, but the main focal points for ippon (“one full point”) are as follows: kiaitenouchi, fumi komi, and zanshin. The kiai is – for lack of a better term – a “battle cry” that showcases the warrior’s spirit; weak kiai demonstrates a weak resolve and little commitment to defeating your opponent. Tenouchi is the way in which you grip your shinai. Your tenouchi changes during an attack – it tightens as you swing, producing a sort of POP! sound when you complete your hit. Fumi komi is a stomp that is performed in unison with your strike. It is the result of the kendoka rapidly shifting their weight forward and catching that weight with their front foot; fumi komi and tenouchi together produce the POP! Lastly, the zanshin is the completion of the strike and one’s physical and mental readiness to move on to the next opponent. Proper zanshin demonstrates that you have defeated your opponent. The Bogu Exam stresses these- as well as proper posture and swings – as the beginners demonstrate their ability to strike three of the four kendo targets: men, kote and do.

The 2013 Bogu Exam will be taking place on Saturday, November 23 at 11 am. On that day, new stories about BU Kendo will begin.