I Open at the Close: End of the Week Inspiring Quotes V (Kendo themed!)

Hello everyone~ I hope you’re all excited for this kind of cloudy but otherwise nice start to the NYC Comic Con Weekend! o v o I am particularly excited for tomorrow, but more on that in a minute — you’re all here for this week’s round of inspiring quotes!

This week is special, because this weekend is the annual Cornell tournament, and university-aged kendoka are making their way upstate as we speak! o w o It’s very exciting, and was one of my highlights about undergrad–alas, I can only cheer on my team from afar, but, I do wish them the best! がんばって!Give it your all, guys!

And try not to get injured, please thank

So today’s round of quotes take a page from Miyamoto Musashi–like him, hate him, or think his quotes are taken out of context (More on that on another post)–the author of the famous Book of Five Rings, the must-have text for kenjutsu, martial arts, and strategy.  Definitely worth a read-through if you’re currently someone interested in kendo!

PS: If you missed last week’s quotes you can check them out here!

And now with that errata out of the way, let’s get on to the quotes:

slyther101113 claw101113 puff101113 gryff101113


Budo Diaries: Wow Keiko

Hello! It’s nearly midnight, you know, the end of September, and you know what that means.

It’s time to wake up Greenday: 

Anyroad, on the kendo forefront here’s a very quick, very brief summary of tonight’s practice! It was a pretty normal run, overall, and I did myself proud by making it to the dojo early this time to properly change and stretch, ehheh.

Also today was pretty keiko heavy, and I got to go a couple of rounds with the intermediate class guys and also Jo-sensei. Which was kind of a mistake, on my part, since I was soundly beaten by Jo-sensei’s marvelous men strikes and counters * A *;; Way too fast–and of course, he knows I’m waiting for kaeshi-dou.

Need to definitely work on a Thing to counter a counter. Or be more aggressive instead of conservative with senseis. Hm hm hmmm.

What I did really well today: Stamina, honestly; Sensei was pretty brutal about having me take the beginner guys on one-after-the-other, definitely for their benefit as much as mine since it also gave me a chance to work on seizing opportunities faster while giving impromptu lessons and tips to the newer guys… I had a few fabulous men and kaeshi-men  today * A * It was brilliant!

What I need to improve on: Speed! Countering counters, countering people who are taller than me, compensating for my height disadvantage–you know, the basics. Of course, taking a bit of a summer break can really slow down tournament-ready senses *COUGH* Although, I don’t need to worry about competing as much as my kohai still at NYU!

Budo Diaries: Mooncakes and Home Dojos

A lovely mooncake with red-bean and water-chestnuts for my after kendo treat. Watch out these are like, tiny bombs of calories.


Hello everyone~ This evening we have a lovely full moon and it also happens to be the Mid-Autumn Lunar Festival! So of course, I celebrated with a mooncake; although I dearly miss access to free cakes via my lovely roommates/friends at NYU

Ah well

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Project Ki Ken Tai: Simple Silhouettes

Probably one of the most important things I learned from the Pixar Masterclass a week ago? Character design; how to make an appealing but simple character with a recognizable silhouette that works.

Now I don’t expect anyone in this line-up to become a house-hold name, but in doing this exercise, I hope I can convey to you readers who happen to stumble upon this that these characters are different, and maybe in their shapes you can get a different feeling from the four of them.

Hopefully their personalities shine through the shapes — that was my goal anyhow haha

The most basic shape breakdown; hopefully the evoke a mood for the character as well

The most basic shape breakdown; hopefully they evoke a mood for the character as well


Just messing with expressions

Just messing with expressions

Project Ki Ken Tai: Building Character

So now that we’ve got our basic shapes down… How do we build up an interesting character? Part of it is their design, part of it is their story; I am doing my best to make the most of my time here in Hawaii to write for myself… If I can even get the basics down and write maybe a few script samples here and there? Then I’ll have enough material to storyboard properly!

But I can’t help but also take the time to fall in love with the characters themselves…

There’s a lot I would love to say about these girls — and I hope before I have my thoughts properly summarized and condensed into a more easily digestible form that their designs can at least give a hint at who they are and how they function. I can drop a few names at least =)

Morgan our main heroine; we’re here to follow her ambitions and hopes for the future, especially her passion for kendo

Makoto — she and Morgan are interesting foils of each other; she’s also key to Morgan’s storyline and her main rival (ooh)


Ugh Lyra, I have so many things to say about this girl — let’s just say she’s Morgan’s best friend with a severe Napoleon complex and wants to overturn their school hierarchy by running for student council president (It’s a neat subplot)

Really quickly scribbled line-up — as you can see Morgan and Lyra are a little more creative with their uniform requirements; Makoto wears hers properly

Project KiKenTai


This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the Pixar Masterclass that was hosted in NYC (More to come on this later, I am still, in many ways, overwhelmed by emotion for it and just… I need time to think on it and reflect a bit!)

And the class was fabulous, the mentors inspiring, and I emerged from the class with a new sense of inspiration for art. I can name my two main passions, what I wouldn’t be able to live without, what I need in my life and that is writing/reading and art. (Okay so maybe I cheated with the writing and reading part) And the masterclass served to remind me that hey, you can live your passion and do what you love with your life.

While I can only sigh wistfully and daydream about what it would have been like to be hired as an animator at nineteen… I also  have to keep in my mind that hey, I’m only twenty-two. My life isn’t over just yet.

So while I’m young and the world is still, in many ways, new I’ve decided to do a Thing. Something of a big Thing. Like, try to update my art portfolio over the summer kind of big.

Which is why I’ve started this project: Ki Ken Tai. It’s going to be a storyboard project, with a drawn up script and thumbnails, and then an actual board that is supposed to simulate the storyboard process so that I have a tangible way to demonstrate my writing skills in a very visual way. And, if I have the energy afterwards, I hope to make it a webcomic but well, we’ll see.

Project KKT has grown out of an idea to enter a Shonen Jump amateur comic contest, but has more or less disqualified itself based on the content and the scope of the story that I have so far. It’s a far cry from its original idea of being a fifteen-page comic about two rival kendoka into well… a bit of a Bildungsroman that follows the unlikely friendship of two very different young women.

I can blab about it later, but right now I am very much in the mood to create. I’d also like to take a moment to apologize for the uh, lack of updates as of late, but don’t worry — we’ll be updating daily shortly! Or er, very soon. I thank you all for being patient with me, and for the sudden surge in art posts!

Until then, enjoy some promotional work for Project KiKenTai that I’m slowly compiling into this giant folder of drawings and inspiration to help flesh out the story and the characters for this personal project:

Budo Diaries: GSK Tournament 2013

Well guys it’s been awhile since the last Budo Diaries entry. Yikes. Also for those of you who just now noticed, Budo Diaries has its own category now so you can all wander on over there to find them all neat and collected and such.

You know you're at a kendo tournament when there's a large pile of shoes at the door

You know you’re at a kendo tournament when there’s a large pile of shoes at the door

Anyroad. Two weeks ago on May 4th a few members of the NYU kendo club and I went to the Garden State Kendo Tournament held in Palisades Park, NJ. Unfortunately after two weeks and several essays the details are a little bit fuzzy but I’ll do my best to add a short summary of what was, no question, a rather good day for NYU kendo.

And I’m quite glad that this was my last showing with the team (For now, at least).

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Ever want to know what it’s like inside the men?

(Okay so the title might seem weird but it’s very pertinent to kendo.)

Hey all it’s been nearly a week without a post about kendo — unheard of! So here is our weekly run about all things kendo, this time I have naught but two fun videos to show you that was shared today on the World Kendo Network. (PS. You should probably join for more cool videos and links to things ;) )

Anyroad, these are two first person POV videos shot by one of the WKN members during two practices using a GoPro cam. I wonder where he put it to allow for men strikes and so that the men grill doesn’t show?

Either way these are pretty cool videos so that people can get a glance at what it’s like “inside” so to speak. Also ugh, I just love the sounds and the power coming from everyone’s fumikomi. * A * Makes me miss practice so much aadsoads (Just two more weeks before daily practice at the homo dojo!)

He also has a video of where he spars with a kendoka in nito-ryu, which is also pretty cool to watch! Always remember to shift your kamae!

Budo Diaries: We laugh, we cry, we move on


From yesterday’s final practice, men-suburi

These are the memories that count.

When you move in sync with your team through the warm-up. The rush when you land a solid strike. And the silly moments before and after practice, when you’re just surrounded by your team and you can’t help but smile and laugh together at everything and absolutely nothing at all.

Those are the memories that I am going to carry with me long after my four years with this team, and that help buffer the sobering thought that I’m graduating — because this isn’t the end for my love for kendo and it’s certainly not the end for NYU’s kendo team, not at all.

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Budo Diaries: In which I remember I’m graduating

Ah, I can now look fondly back on some simpler times; and a rather cruddy example of a do woops. But I do remember it fondly.

Ah, I can now look fondly back on some simpler times; and a rather cruddy example of a do, woops. But I do remember it fondly.

Hello and welcome to another exciting Budo Diaries entry! Unfortunately today’s practice was a bit of a sobering, and rather painful, moment for me. For one thing I had to keiko with Sensei tonight (Ugh! We went from CPU Level 5 to CPU Level 50), and it was also hot as hell in the dojo.

But the heat I can deal with, and getting wiped across the dojo floor by my Sensei is a bit of the norm.

Nah, what really got me was the fact that this is my second to last practice and I am graduating and it just caught up with me.

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