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how much would 1 month do too my kendo?

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  • how much would 1 month do too my kendo?

    Hey guys. Im a 1.kyu and just entered a kendo seminar. I had did well over 10 gikeikos and didnt get 1 single point. I ended 9/10 draw with no points. Too tell you the truth i am pissed off about out and i want to do something thats gonna kick everybodys ass the next time i see them. So im wondering if 1 month in japan with intensive training would rise my level noticable. I know its a very induvidual depending question but would if we think a little general for most people. Would it help?

  • #2
    You had ten jigeiko against who, against ten ikkyu or against ten 2-dan+ or against ten 6-dan+? In anycase you need to have more patience because you can expect to "lose" for many more years to come. We all feel frustrated (that never goes away although it changes) but if you continue to allow yourself to feel "pissed off", you will be in danger of quitting before getting anywhere.

    Anyway to answer the question you want answered, a month of intensive training will do a lot for your kendo although at this point in your kendo career, at the end of it you will still get hit way more often than landing a good strike.A couple of years ago I joined a competition team for a month of training consisting of 5 hours of kendo a day 5 or 6 days a week. The main benefit was that this type of training made my movement more natural as I was regularly practicing under exhaustion. That laid the foundation for building other aspects of my kendo like making my strikes sharper and more confident.Nevertheless, the immediate effect in terms of "winning and losing" was not much at all, at least for the first few months afterwards.

    Although I did that intensive training in Japan, the training does not have to be in Japan if it is the right environment. In fact, unless you have made special arrangements before hand, do not expect to show up in Japan and find a month long intensive practice to join. First, to join any practice you often need an introduction. Second, once you join a practice, people will observe you for a couple of months to get a sense of who you are and what kind of kendo you have, meaning the only advice you`ll receive, if any, is "do big men" during that whole time. Third, most kendo practices are only a few times a week for less than a couple of hours each. Intensive training like I described above is the preserve of high school or university teams during school holidays, university physical education departments with kendo specialization, a rare few corporate teams where the company allows staff take that much time off regular work (although it is for the pride of the company) and (some) people in the police or prison guards.

    Anyway, back to my first point, dial back the negative feelings and have more patience because it will either be a very very long road or a very very short one.
    Last edited by dillon; 12th November 2014, 02:04 PM.

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    • #3
      "pissed off" - Let that feeling go right away. If you're really interested in Kendo and stick with it, you'll learn that it's not really about getting points.

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      • #4
        As Dillon said you usually can't just go to Japan for a month of training. You'll need introduction to dojo(s) you train in. From my own experience (4-dan) time in Japan is very useful. Even only a week or so. The level of kendo is so high there that I get pulled up very quickly. The problem I have is maintaining that after I return.
        What I can recommend however. Oddly enough going into a jigeiko with the object of scoring points is a great way to make sure it just doesn't happen that way. For one, jigeiko is not a competition, it's a practice. Now if you meant you did refereed matches that's something else and I'm not convinced your kendo gets better quickly by doing a lot of those.
        Scott's got the right answer. And I'll add to it. 1-kyu...that's a pretty beginning level. Your goals ought to be (in my opinion) to get your kendo to be consistently motivated from your basics. Winning matches should be secondary at best.
        Best of luck and ganbatte

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        • #5
          Getting points and winning is not the point of jikeiko. During jikeiko you should be practicing various techniques from basics to more advanced techniques or try new things. If you get hit you should graciously accept it, and in cases you may be aiming to get hit to guage various timings. For example for my jikeiko, I'm trying to practice debana-men because my shikake waza overall is fairly weak in comparison to my oji waza; and try to develop better state of mushin in my kendo. I've been doing this for several months now, and I don't care if I get 100 times as long as I can execute one beautiful debana men against a higher level sensei. Every time I get hit, I feel grateful that I have such strong sensei to keiko with, and because they are telling me what my weaknesses are and teaching me without using words. Whenever I get hit with truly beautiful hits/waza against me, all I can think is "wow, that's just freaking amazing!". Maybe it sounds masochistic in a way, but you learn so much from seeing how you get hit an analyze what you are doing that allows you to get hit.

          At 1 kyu level you should be building your kendo basics, and depending on your age, you should strive for as much of an athletic style as possible focusing on strong footwork and body posture (shizentai), then you can make good hits. Learn all the different types of foot work, remain relaxed in the shoulder, focus power in the core and hips, and hit with your legs, and do A LOT of kirikaeshi, both the basic style, and the 1 breath style.

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          • #6
            So every time you get beaten, you will go to Japan ???? Please listen other sempai and chill out. Best thing is continuous practice rather than one intensive practice. It may help temporarily but that is not solution.

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            • #7
              Dear Ifeng, I have recently returned from a week and a half stay in Japan where I was fortunate enough to do kendo many times. While it is true you can pick up many things, what Ron (rfoxmich) said is important to keep in mind. Practicing the things you learn over time will make your kendo better. A month in Japan will introduce you to practices that will enable you to better your kendo, but it will not likely be instantly better. The difference in level of skill at any rank can be quite large, so even if you were doing jigeiko with other ikkyu, they may have been doing kendo some time longer than you or something. If they are too much higher in rank than you then it is unreasonable to think you would be scoring many (if any) points unless they are giving them up to you in a learning situation. Besides, as others say jigeiko is not about scoring points. It is a time to practice in a more realistic setting (as opposed to kihon practice). I do not worry about 'points' when I am in jigeiko, whether it is with higher ranks, lower ranked or same rank partners. I am typically working on my own faults such as some aspect of footwork or movement, timing, distance, or a particular waza.

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