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Another 4.dan shinsa concept question

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  • Another 4.dan shinsa concept question

    Last night, I was practicing with a guy coming up for his 2.dan shinsa.
    It was just the two of us, so.. we were in the midst of a 30 min jigeiko.

    Somewhere in that time, he really caught me on my heels when he launched an attack. And my gut reaction to that was just to block it. I just didn't have time to do anything else.

    And that got me to thinking...

    Given that you may find yourself in a situation such that it is impossible for you to do anything, is it better to block the attack or just take the hit?
    (The obvious thing would be not to put oneself in that situation to begin with, but...)

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Just a reminder... this question is supposed to be 'what to do during shinsa?'

    ... for shiai, I'm blocking.

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    • #3
      Block it. If he truly caught you on your heels, you wouldn't be able to do that.

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      • #4
        Hmm, intriguing question. I'd like to hear the opinions of our learned seniors as well, since I'm getting ready for my yondan shinsa myself next spring.

        Here's my own two bits on the topic. If your opponent got you, he got you. I wouldn't sully (??) the point by trying to do something obviously desperate because it destroys what I would describe as the "harmony" of the bout. But at the same time, it doesn't mean you have to take it lying down. There's blocking, and then there's BLOCKING, if you get my drift. If there is any chance at all, I'd try some kind of oji waza, even though I have lost the sen. And if it's too late to even attempt any kind of oji waza, then I'd chase the dude down with some quick footwork and try to score a point myself. What I would definitely NOT do is hang my head, shake my head, or generally lose zanshin after losing the point. That's worse than losing the point itself during shinsa, IMHO.

        Comment


        • #5
          Paul,
          I understand and agree with what you're saying.

          I just want to clarify for anybody else who reads this..
          I didn't mean to imply that one should essentially 'give up' when faced with this situation... The gist of what I was trying to ask is whether one should recognize that he's been defeated at that point and then "express some sense of nobility"(?) in receiving a well-earned strike or whether he should block it.

          What you (Paul) described about chasing dude down after he's run by... haha.. yes. I always do that, without fail, when somebody manages to suriage-dou or nuki-dou me..

          And to reiterate your very excellent point... NEVER hang the head after having lost the point. I would think that would automatically fail someone at shinsa...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tango
            NEVER hang the head after having lost the point. I would think that would automatically fail someone at shinsa...
            Here, here! It is during shinsa more than in any other situation that you should display fudoshin. Having your opponent score against you during shinsa is not an automatic reason for failing -- certainly not at yondan level. However, failing to score even a single clear point yourself is pretty much a deal-breaker.

            Neil brings up a good point though. If you truly are caught on your heels, the odds are you won't even have enough time to block. If that happens, you just gotta move on and try to score yourself.

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            • #7
              If you are defensive and blocking all the time and basically shutting the other guy down, then you will not pass. But if he jumps in on you and all you have time to do is block it, so long as you are not obviously flinching and losing kamae and all that bad stuff, goferit I say.

              The main thing in that shinsa is to demonstrate you are managing the other guy through seme. Shodachi doesn't hurt, either.

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              • #8
                mmkay... thanks for the replies..

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill
                  Block it. If he truly caught you on your heels, you wouldn't be able to do that.
                  I agree with this. If you had time to block it, you really had time to employ something else. Easier said than done to be sure, but just another gentle reminder that none of us are ever done refining our kendo.

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                  • #10
                    I would say that the ideal of "yondan" (or any grade) is pretty much the same everywhere (i.e. we all follow Japan).......but the application and understanding of that varies tremendously from federation to federation and - more worryingly - from sensei to sensei. So a person who passes "yondan" say, in Peru, might not necessarily have passed it in... Belgium (I picked completly random countries).

                    If I meet a person and am introduced to him as "yondan" it means nothing to me anymore other than as "time served." I have to see that person in keiko before I can comment on their ability.

                    Also, age plays a large factor in the grading process. A 21yr old "yondan" and a 66 "yondan" shinsa application are looked at differently.

                    Unfortuanatly some people recieve grades without an understanding of what they mean, and can abuse them.

                    So...... any answers you get to your question here are, fundamentally, biased.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kenshi
                      Also, age plays a large factor in the grading process. A 21yr old "yondan" and a 66 "yondan" shinsa application are looked at differently.
                      That's a whole other topic...
                      So...... any answers you get to your question here are, fundamentally, biased.
                      True enough. But all we can do is answer based on our own experience, or not at all. But I'm thinking as a relatively young guy testing in the AUSKF they'll be looking for similar stuff to what I've been told in the CKF.

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