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The Kendo Club Has A Vistor

The Kendo club hosted a 3-day event last weekend with an international guest. The visit of sensei Aurelia Blanshard was sponsored by the Georgian Kendo association and was organised by: Andres Cruz, Giorgi Gegenava, and Keti Nikatsadze. Ms. Blanshard is an exceptional woman with one of the highest levels of Kendo in Europe. She has Seventh dan, which is the penultimate rank in Kendo.

📷: Giorgi Gegenava

The event was a combination of regular practices: warm-ups, footwork, handwork, rotation combat, jigeko (Freestyle combat), and specific exercises such as games and rarely practiced techniques. The intention was to physically and mentally challenge the students in entirely new ways.

The Kendo Club sensei here at GZAAT, Andres Cruz technical director of the Georgian Kendo Association—spoke about the importance of such seminars “For a whole weekend you practice with a different angle and expertise because that makes you learn better. It is different because when you do regular practices, it's easy to get into a routine. The event's purpose is to break down the routine and get us to do something more intensely. And help our students and members improve in Kendo and learn from someone at a Higher level.”

The Event lasted three days, and each was different. Friday was only a couple of hours in the evening. On Saturday, practice started at 10 and did not finish until 4:30, and Sunday was about 4 and a half hours long.

Keti Nikatsadze, one of the organisers of the event and a member of the club shared her thoughts on the experience, “​​It’s always great to have an opportunity to advance your skills. The highest ranking person in our group is fifth dan and since Ms. Aurelia is seventh dan, it was interesting to work with someone with such a different perspective and skill set. It changed my views on many things and really helped me perfect my techniques.”

Salome Tsintsadze, another member talks about her own experience “ This was my second seminar with Aurelia sensei and I think it was very useful and fun, especially because we went out after every practice, which is quite important in Japanese martial arts practice. It was both a learning and bonding experience which I very much enjoyed.”

Andres Cruz spoke on behalf of the guest Aurelia Blanchard when he noted that sometimes there are people that are high-level in their field but are not always necessarily great teachers, but in this case, Blanchard is most definitely both high-level and talented in mentorship.

He also discussed the overall success of the seminar, referring to the students: “They weren't doing Kendo the same way the past week; it was a qualitative jump for them. And finally, the event was very tiring but simultaneously very satisfying to see the success.”

Everyone attending the seminar seemed to concur.

Edited By: Giselle Rein-Hagen

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