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New kid (living in Japan)

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  • New kid (living in Japan)

    Hello!
    Firstly I wish I had found this site months ago! I'm an ALT (assistant language teacher) at a (very) rural high school in southern Japan. Deep in the inaka, you could say. Because I am one of TWO foreigners in the entire town, I joined my high school's Kendo club to fill in the lonely tatami hours. I understand NONE of what my sensei says, apart from when he hits me and yells "OSOI OSOI OSOI!!" But I have been joining in with my students for about 6 months, learning by trial, error, watching and copying - and loving it.

    So this site is probably going to prove a godsend, while I trawl through the forums and try figure out just what the hell goes on for two hours of my life everyday. If you have any advice or anything please let me know! (Literally, I have been doing Kendo as mimicry, I understand no techniques or anything) Pretty vague at the moment but as I learn more I'll probably be back with specific questions. Nice to meet you all!

    Tiffany

  • #2
    Oh, I also do Jodo on Wednesdays. It's sortof my break from Kendo, haha.

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    • #3
      Welcome to Kendo Tiffany.

      I been practicing Kendo for about 7 months so just about the same time as you, so I would think you might be at my level or even more since you being taught under a Japanese Sensei. When you say you don't understand techniques or anything, you must surely know the different tactics to attack, like how to cut Kote, Men, Do, maybe even Tsuki? And maybe a few defence and foot work?

      On a other note, am very jealous! I wish I could be over there, sounds like a great adventure.

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      • #4
        Ah yes, sorry haha. I know how to have my feet, and the men, kote and do strikes, haven't learnt tsuki yet. I guess what I mean is that while I can do these things, when my sensei comes up and re-positions my hands or whatever I don't know the technique behind it or why it is that way, etc. And I don't know names of things, or what I can and can't do, things like that!

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        • #5
          But that's all okay, I'm learning heaps by reading, I don't expect a run-down on Kendo - just if you have one or two pieces of advice (e.g. things I should ALWAYS or NEVER do, or to be aware of) they'd be helpful as in building my knowledge base Nice to meet you! I'm hoping that one day I can take my training to an english-speaking dojo just to see what happens!

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          • #6
            Oh I missed this thread but to avoid a double post in the other: oosoi means 'too slow'

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            • #7
              I guess what I mean is that while I can do these things, when my sensei comes up and re-positions my hands or whatever I don't know the technique behind it or why it is that way, etc. And I don't know names of things, or what I can and can't do, things like that!
              Personally, I would not worry too much about it. Mimicry is how the Japanese sword arts have been passed on for generations, and what enables us to be able to attend a seminar with a Japanese sensei and get so much out of it. Eventually, you'll need to learn Japanese or train with an English speaking sensei, but you can learn just fine for a long while just the way you're doing now. Books and magazines, like Kendo World, can help broaden your understanding though.

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              • #8
                I remember my Sensei telling us at the start of my beginners course on how the Japanese don't really teach you why we do the things we do, while our Westen Sensei's will. Infact I find it really interesting and enjoyable to hear my Sensei speak for 20 or so minutes telling us more about the techniques.

                I think the best way is hat pgsmith has said, if you know the names of anything you want to know more about, come here and ask or research it over the Internet or read more about it in books.

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                • #9
                  Awesome thanks guys! Yep I learnt the osoi pretty early on haha

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tiffany View Post
                    Awesome thanks guys! Yep I learnt the osoi pretty early on haha
                    Haha, my Sensei tells me the same thing really, that my cutting is slow. Isn't Kendo awesome where it doesn't matter where you are in the world, a Kendo sensei can pretty much tell you the same thing. :P

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                    • #11
                      Haha yep it's pretty awesome. For the amount that we don't communicate, he manages to tell me a hell of a lot

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                      • #12
                        Hey, best of luck with your studies!

                        one thing that might be of benefit to you, you could order a book online? or check out some of the videos on youtube. hopefully it will make you more familiar with some of the things they are saying to you! Best of luck!

                        book: http://www.amazon.com/Kendo-Definiti.../dp/4770021194

                        Videos (there are few of these, and all in order!)
                        Video 1
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHqVfoBQ7fs
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRZsrVFSs2I
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aczQzsifcDk


                        Video 2
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWyl7OFGhB4
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCOr4G3SqmM
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZQyiRBFbOg

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                        • #13
                          Hey, I just had a look at that book and ordered it online, it looks pretty comprehensive! It's hard for me to find English books over here (inaka) but I have recently discovered the powers of amazon Japan XD

                          Thanks so much for the videos too!

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