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  • Mythbusters Kendo

    Hi All,

    Not sure if this has already been posted, but check out this video from Mythbusters on Kendo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BohA...eature=related

    Look into about 21.18.

    My colleague knows I practice Kendo and said that Kendo doesn't work (after watching this). After seeing this video, now I know that Mythbusters is bias. If they got one of my sempais in there, their reaction would be much quicker than the person striking first. In my dojo, when I'm against my sempai/sensei, I can strike first but they land the men cut on me on their reaction.

    My sensei can also feel when I'm going to do a men cut so he always cuts me first. So Mythbusters is really busted. They should go to a dojo and check how false their test is.

  • #2
    I'm not sure whether we were watching the same video. They were testing the trope that the person who attacks always loses to the defender. Not sure whether anyone in Kendo would disagree with their findings that it's bs. Attacking someone of superior skill is of course going to swing things the other way, but that's not what their point was.

    Comment


    • #3
      The myth was: He who moves first loses. Is the reaction is faster than action.

      Maybe for newbies this might hold true. But if a newbie was to go against a skilled kendoist, this wouldn't be true.

      My interpretation of the tests is that they said that the myth is busted. As in, the person who moves first will always win. Hence I know when I go for a men cut, my sempais/senseis can cut me first (on their reaction). So we practice to cut men as one (ki ken tai ichi). So with ki ken tai ichi - even if the opponent strikes first, your men will cut them first (ie reaction)

      Hence this is why I find their tests inaccurate, because they are two newbies doing this. If they tested with one newbie plus one skilled kendoist - with newbie starting the cut and the skilled kendoist reacting to it - I think the results will change
      Last edited by KendoPadawan; 14th June 2012, 10:11 AM. Reason: text editing

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KendoPadawan View Post
        The myth was: He who moves first loses. Is the reaction is faster than action.

        Hence this is why I find their tests inaccurate, because they are two newbies doing this. If they tested with one newbie plus one skilled kendoist - with newbie starting the cut and the skilled kendoist reacting to it - I think the results will change
        The test is only fair if both attacker and defender are of similar level. You can skew the result any way you want to if you change the skills levels of the attacker or defender so that's not a good way to test the myth.
        The test is still bs, but I think the most serious flaw with the test was to use amateurs to test martial theory, since luck plays too much of a part at that level.

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        • #5
          As they pointed out, though, this was not about kendo skill but rather action vs. reaction. Besides, even in kendo you cannot react and expect to win. Even action alone isn't enough. Proaction is where its at. Win first, then strike. I don't see how the Mythbusters can possibly quantify that, though. David Nakanishi of the San Francisco Dojo, did his best as a crash course instructor.
          Last edited by yoda-waza; 14th June 2012, 12:35 PM.

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          • #6
            But "whoever attacks first loses" is not about reaction time it is about counter-attacks. Their understanding of the "myth" is incorrect. So the whole show is invalid IMO. It also ticks me off that they complain about their heads hurting because that will tend to put off any new students the show might attract. Their heads hurt due to receiving multiple ham-handed strikes with weighted shinai while bending forward. Plus they analyzed with video so the electrics were completely unnecessary.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm not expecting Mythbuster fans to be lining up to join their local dojos, so I don't see the head-hurting complaints harming publicity. As for the electrics, I was hoping they would use flame throwers instead for analysis. There's just not enough drama in a Mythbusters episode if something doesn't explode or burst into flames.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think I posted it to the "training" section a few years ago, can't find it now, but there was a study done to compare reaction speed vs. action speed. If memory serves (often doesn't, don't trust me), the average time it took to complete a simple self-initiated action was something like 700milisecs. The time to complete a an action in response was something like 500milisecs. However, the time to recognize the the original reaction and begin to react was something like 300milisecs, making the entire time to recognize an event and complete a response longer than the action responded to. Those numbers are probably bogus, but it was something like that. Or I'm getting old (yep).

                BUT, I don't think that study was looking at people reacting to people. Part of kendo is training to recognize another person's intent, which could really improve those numbers for the guy performing debana waza.

                Or I could be completely wrong. That would not be a shocker.

                -Charles

                Comment


                • #9
                  What does 'work' mean?

                  Originally posted by KendoPadawan View Post
                  Hi All,

                  Not sure if this has already been posted, but check out this video from Mythbusters on Kendo

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BohA...eature=related

                  Look into about 21.18.

                  My colleague knows I practice Kendo and said that Kendo doesn't work (after watching this). After seeing this video, now I know that Mythbusters is bias. If they got one of my sempais in there, their reaction would be much quicker than the person striking first. In my dojo, when I'm against my sempai/sensei, I can strike first but they land the men cut on me on their reaction.

                  My sensei can also feel when I'm going to do a men cut so he always cuts me first. So Mythbusters is really busted. They should go to a dojo and check how false their test is.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First I don't know of such a statement in kendo. If I manage to feel or induce a sufficient imbalance in my opponent (one potential result of seme) I'm going to attack first and win. On the other hand if I can force my aite to initiate an action at the time of my choosing (a different result of seme) they're going to attack first and lose.

                    In the end all the 'demonstration' amounts to is a pair of inexperienced kenshi talking about kendo...and using their inexperience to find or break profound truths. I can get that here at kendo-world without turning on the TV ;-):

                    Inexperienced kenshi: "After 3 hours of intensive training they've mastered the basics"
                    Mochida sensei "It took me 50 years to understand the basics"

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                    • #11
                      What? No explosions???

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                      • #12
                        It would be interesting to see two good players try it with oji-waza permitted though. After the light goes you must attack within 5-10 secs IIRC which means that you may not have enough time to break the opponent's kamae. So you are just throwing an attack at a ready opponent. Probably most of the time you will simply get blocked.

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                        • #13
                          I say Invite Mythbusters to attend a Dojo and redo their tests with experienced Kendoka. It would be good PR and people would see what it really looks like to swing properly etc. They won't come but it might be worth a shot.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                            It also ticks me off that they complain about their heads hurting because that will tend to put off any new students the show might attract. Their heads hurt due to receiving multiple ham-handed strikes with weighted shinai while bending forward.
                            They talked a bit about that on the aftershow. Turns out they didn't remove the packing strings on the shinai either.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The knife vs. gun was simply a rehash of the well established rule of 21 feet by law enforcement. A police officer that was in my club loaned me a training video called Surviving Edged Weapons. In the video 21 feet was considered the minimum safe distance to draw and shoot. After that there was a chance you would lose. Also you notice he takes time to jack the gun to shoot. I believe an officer would already have his weapon ready to go with only the safety to flip.

                              The shinai for the test had zip ties on them for the tip sensors. Ouch, no flexibility.

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