Kendo equipment maintenance

2012-01-03 07:15:00

tare zekken kote and a men pad

As I wrote a few days ago we have been using the year's end downtime at the dojo for maintenance of our equipment.

On the 30th Martijn came to visit, to theorize about our practice dummy and to check his shinai. He also was kind enough to put new lacing in my kote. Both tasks were easily done using the wonderful and free kendo equipment manual PDF. That book has taught me so much! That same evening I put a new belt on the tare and started thinking about sewing a zekken.

Which is exactly what I did! Employing a rather crude split stich I embroidered my name and our dojo's name, as per the standard for zekken. Let me tell you, a thirty-something guy doing embroidery on the train draws some weird looks ;) Now, the result might not be beautiful, but I'm happy nonetheless. And once my 'real' zekken comes in from kendo24 I can still use this one as a small bag to keep my valuables in the dojo.

Finally I put together a simple pillow to put inside the men I borrowed from Loyer-sensei. It's a bit too big for me and the pillow provides enough padding to keep it in place. That's fifteen euros saved right there!

I really enjoy how kendo (a very active and aggressive sport) has lead me to so many calming and relaxing manual activities! I get a lot of fulfilment from knowing that I can properly honor my equipment by providing it with the required maintenance myself. Some people might swing a shinai like a broomstick or muffle their hakama into a gym bag, but to me those things are more than simply tools. And by letting kendo engage my creative side it's become a bigger part of my life.

Now if only I could learn to apply the psychological and mental lessons in real life as well! ;) tags: , ,

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