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  • Any Gaijin in Osaka?

    Hi all, I just joined this forum. I have been living in Japan for about three years now. I live in Osaka and teach English at a junior high school in Nara. I have been able to join the Kenbo-bu after school, and my students teach me kendo. It great because it's totally free (I just started so probably won't be buying any of the gear till much later, but when I buy it through the school I get a 20% discount) and they gave me a new shinai to practive with. My main teacher is a san-nensei (third year student, 8th-9th grade US, 15 years old) He is very patient with me. Of course the lessons are all in Japanese (those of you who expect most Japanese students or people to speak English are wrong) I can speak Japanese pretty well, but still pretty tough at times. One of the girl students speaks English pretty well (lived in the US for a year)but only has been doing kendo for a year, so out side of translating can't help that much. But the enviroment is very friendly because I teach all these kids English during the day. I am new to kendo so I have a few questions...

    Learning at the junior high level, are there things that I might be missing out on? The main Kendo sensei told me that they don't teach neck stabing at the junior high level. I also heard that the shinai might be alittle shorter. What is the standard length for a shinai?
    How often do most of you guys train or go to class? I usually go everyday, but my body is starting to get tired (I also work out during the week) and I might cut back to three times a week.
    If I was to continue at a steady pace, how far could I progress in a year? (After this school year finishes I don't know how much longer I will stay in Japan)
    and lastly, any other gaijin living out here in Kansai that studies kendo? Be interested to meet another gaijing out here that studies kendo.

    Any other questions or comments would be welcome.


    Ben

  • #2
    ......thanks for the warm welcome guys.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome to the KW forums! Sorry I'm not in Osaka right now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Benegizer
        Hi all, I just joined this forum. I have been living in Japan for about three years now. I live in Osaka and teach English at a junior high school in Nara. I have been able to join the Kenbo-bu after school, and my students teach me kendo. It great because it's totally free (I just started so probably won't be buying any of the gear till much later, but when I buy it through the school I get a 20% discount) and they gave me a new shinai to practive with. My main teacher is a san-nensei (third year student, 8th-9th grade US, 15 years old) He is very patient with me. Of course the lessons are all in Japanese (those of you who expect most Japanese students or people to speak English are wrong) I can speak Japanese pretty well, but still pretty tough at times. One of the girl students speaks English pretty well (lived in the US for a year)but only has been doing kendo for a year, so out side of translating can't help that much. But the enviroment is very friendly because I teach all these kids English during the day. I am new to kendo so I have a few questions...

        Learning at the junior high level, are there things that I might be missing out on? The main Kendo sensei told me that they don't teach neck stabing at the junior high level. I also heard that the shinai might be alittle shorter. What is the standard length for a shinai?
        How often do most of you guys train or go to class? I usually go everyday, but my body is starting to get tired (I also work out during the week) and I might cut back to three times a week.
        If I was to continue at a steady pace, how far could I progress in a year? (After this school year finishes I don't know how much longer I will stay in Japan)
        and lastly, any other gaijin living out here in Kansai that studies kendo? Be interested to meet another gaijing out here that studies kendo.

        Any other questions or comments would be welcome.


        Ben
        Sorry Ben, not many people check this area of the forums...

        Also, Welcome to KW!!!!!!!

        The main thing you have to realise, being junior myself, is that during the junior level, you are not old and/or qualified enough to be able to practice some waza, such as Tsuki, like you mentioned (neck stabbing). Tsukki is a waza that takes a lot of practice, patience and isn't something you can learn in the period of several classes, like men-uchi, so don't worry about it. Even a lot of professionals don't really use it in shiai, though they do practice it.

        Training with the juniors might actually be a good thing for a beginner. You won't have to take a sempai or sensei away from practice to help you, and you will be able to catch up to a slightly lower level at a good pace. The most important thing for you is to catch up and best the junior level before you can continue. (The standard adult length shinai for a 6 foot tall male is a size 39 at about 550 grams.)

        If you want to develop kendo a lot, try to work out less, and do Kendo more. You do not want unnecesary muscle weight for kendo. It puts unnecesary pressure on your ankles, and knees, and also, may slow you down. Speed is very important.

        When I practiced kendo at a steady pace, twice a week for a year, I already had my bogu on and was sometimes joining the senior-ish practice (mainly practice with sensei and "kakari-geiko" with sensei). At your pace (the japanese school club pace) and if you practice hard, I believe you may be able to have your bogu on in the time period of 5-8 months.

        I have a question as well, for the after school clubs, do they wear their do-gi, or just their sports jumpsuits??

        Funny story: At Todaiji in Nara, I fell down, droped my camera, and scraped my elbow running backwards from the deer to take a picture.. Heh heh heh that was fun....

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello

          Hi!
          I'm in Kumamoto, nowhere near Osaka but I was just there on the weekend visiting the Prefectural University. Great town, lots of great kendo. Whereabouts do you live? I might know some people in your area. Drop a line!
          Here in Kumamoto, I join in the JHS class (my wife's the coach *) for extra practice. Like previous poster said, it is a good level to "catch up" and learn "physical" kendo.
          You can probably get 1Kyu w/in a year.
          I also suggest reducing your workouts (weights) for a while. Let your muscles learn how to hold and swing the shinai easily, after you can gradually build up to increase strenght as necessary.

          Hope this helps,
          Kumaken

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the kind words guys. Yeah, I figured it would be a great place and way to start, because I could start at a really basic level. The students are really good teachers, like I may have said some have been studying for about 5 to 6 years. Most of them own their own Bogu, except for me and the other first year students who started around the same time.

            Soon I'm going to start going three times a week. Though now I still go everyday.I would still like to continue to work out. I mean I can already preform more suburi (with good form) that than other students during the warm up (mainly because I was already active and have a pretty high level of endurance and upper body and arm strength) But my arms get sore with my students constatly wanting to arm wrestle me. I'm not that tall (about 5'8.5", 173 cm) so some of the students are as tall as me, or taller

            I only wish I had started this sooner.

            Ohh, and I live in Tengachaya, south of Namba.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm in Osaka too

              Hi there I' have also just joined this forum.
              As far as Kendo is concerned I'm not sure but if you are interested in Iaido I can help you out. I'm a member of a Dojo here in Osaka so if you are interested please send me a message.

              Cheers

              Comment


              • #8
                Practice in Osaka

                I am going to live in Osaka for one year..departure will be next month. I am so happy to start practicing in Japan, I will go to the Shudokan. Does anyone know it? I am also new to this forum so, hajime mashite!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi , I replied to your message in the Iaido section, just wanted to ket you know that I know a place that you can start training at if you need one, just send me a message

                  cheers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I moved to Osaka about one month ago and used to train in Germany. I just recently found a dojo in Yokogawa-ku, but I guess I will pay a visit to the Shudokan aswell for it offers saturday training also.

                    This is my first time on this board!
                    「よろしくお願いしまぁぁぁぁす」

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yokogawa-ku? Dont you mean Yodogawa-ku? This is where I live.

                      Shudokan only practises on a saturday once a month. Unless you are at least 3 or 4dan I wouldnt bother going.

                      Please PM me directly and we can meet or I can help you find a dojo that will suit you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hello neibour! yes, ofcourse I meant Yodogawa-ku. I will send you PM straight away. best wishes. I will in 木川 right in the middle between 新大阪駅 and 十三駅.
                        cheers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh, another forum that does not allow editing the posts. Before there will be another misunderstanding: My flat (or better my room) is in Kikawa. (cross out will, put live) cheers

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm in the Tennoji / Abeno area of Osaka. PM me if I can help with anything.

                            Welcome to the boards

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a question for all of the gaijin kendo-ka who are living in Japan right now. Did you guys move to Japan to study kendo, or is it something that you picked up while you were there for other reasons (i.e. work, school, etc.)?

                              Comment

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