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  • Getting into Kendo

    Okay so I want to get into Kendo although there are no dojo's around me I want to learn. I am thinking about starting out with Bokuto and going into Shinai. What are some recommendations for starting out??

  • #2
    If there's no dojo near you all you'll end up doing without proper instruction is swing around the bokuto and shinai and develop bad habits which would have to be corrected later. You could call it what you like but it wouldn't be kendo. Best to wait until you find a dojo nearby.

    Sorry, since this is probably what you did not want to hear.

    Where are you located? You could also try http://auskf.info/dojo/index.htm.
    Last edited by verissimus; 10th July 2015, 12:13 AM.

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    • #3
      Im located in Syracuse, IN 46567. The closest dojo I have found is 41 miles out and it would be very difficult to drive out for it. The most I could go is maybe a once a month. I have also considered online but im still trying to figure it all out.

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      • #4
        41 miles isn't all that bad. Once a month with supervision is much better than no supervision at all. Besides, you might be able to make contacts with other people who commute from your area. Also worth considering finding other people like you and travelling as a group.

        It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth your time.

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        • #5
          Agreed with previous statements. Trying to "learn" Kendo without instruction is like the blind leading the blind. 41 miles isn't that bad. I assume that you don't have a car and that you're young? Could be wrong on that, but in any case. You can't learn Kendo on your own. As Verissimus said, even once a month is better than nothing.

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          • #6
            Where are you thinking of practicing that's 40-ish miles from Syracuse IN (out of curiousity).

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            • #7
              I already posted in another part of the forum a question about dojos in my area. However, I feel like I am in a similar situation to the person who started this thread. As far as I can tell, there are no Kendo dojos in my area. The closest dojo that I have found is 2 hours away. I have a busy job, family, etc. Fortunately, my wife is also interested in Kendo, so we are hoping to be able to study together. Making the 4 hour round trip to a dojo is feasible perhaps once a month, but I don't think we'll be able to do it more than that at this point. We would still like to study Kendo, so if you have any ideas, please let me know.

              There is a home study course available at kendo-learning-products.com. Do any of you know anything about this course? I was thinking that perhaps my wife and I could use it to work out together, and then we could receive feedback/correction/instruction when we are able to go to a dojo. If you have any feedback about that idea, please let me know. Thanks!

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              • #8
                Videos are helpful for review but not too good for learning something one has never done before, particularly for tradition bound things like kendo where movements are very prescribed. As mentioned in my response to your other post, you need to learn from a sensei.

                Perhaps one day there will be androids that can do a reasonable job showing beginners correct physical movements in kendo (I heard once that the Japanese are working on something like this in order to record traditional dances that are dying out). Until then, you can only be shown how to correctly hold your shinai, correctly stand in kamae and correctly strike using correct footwork by a living breathing kendo sensei. A lot of subtleties are missed in videos and when you do something incorrectly, unfortunately (or fortunately) the video instructor cannot pop out of the screen and make adjustments for you. The author of these videos himself acknowledges in the comments that the videos are not a replacement for a sensei.

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                • #9
                  I think Imafuji-sensei is a legit guy, don't know about his course. An entire DVD devoted to just putting on keikogi and hakama seems a bit much. Same with two entire DVDs devoted to kiri-kaeshi.

                  Anyway as Dillon says, the videos are missing the key component of an instructor. I can give verbal instruction and a demonstration to beginners all I want, they are still going to do everything wrong the first time and for a long time after that, even with me correcting them.

                  What you will do with the video is learn what you think is the right way, and then ingrain a lot of bad habits some sensei will have to deal with later.

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                  • #10
                    JayF, where do you live? You might be surprised that there is a club nearer to you than you think.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Scott H View Post
                      JayF, where do you live? You might be surprised that there is a club nearer to you than you think.

                      I live just south of Eugene, OR, USA. The closest dojo that I have found that I can attend is in the Portland area. There is a club in Corvallis, but only Oregon State University students and staff can join (according to their website).

                      Thanks to everyone for their thoughts/advice!!!

                      Jay

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                      • #12
                        Knowing and having practiced with Imafuji sensei I can say he is a _very_ legit guy. AUSKF member in good standing. 6-dan. Great teacher and a wonderful guy. Very approachable via his own forums as well.



                        Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                        I think Imafuji-sensei is a legit guy, don't know about his course. An entire DVD devoted to just putting on keikogi and hakama seems a bit much. Same with two entire DVDs devoted to kiri-kaeshi.

                        Anyway as Dillon says, the videos are missing the key component of an instructor. I can give verbal instruction and a demonstration to beginners all I want, they are still going to do everything wrong the first time and for a long time after that, even with me correcting them.

                        What you will do with the video is learn what you think is the right way, and then ingrain a lot of bad habits some sensei will have to deal with later.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JayF View Post


                          I live just south of Eugene, OR, USA. The closest dojo that I have found that I can attend is in the Portland area. There is a club in Corvallis, but only Oregon State University students and staff can join (according to their website).

                          Thanks to everyone for their thoughts/advice!!!

                          Jay

                          http://blogs.uoregon.edu/kendo/contact/ Might try the U of O kendo club. Don't know if its defunct or not, its been awhile since the site was updated.

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, I am looking for somewhere to learn kendo myself, I live i Lafayette Louisiana and the nearest anything kendo related i could find is in New Orleans. Im hoping to find someone who is willing and certified to teach Kendo in my town
                            Last edited by Riftblade2112; 3rd September 2016, 03:50 AM.

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