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Grading v. Non Grading Years - Is your Kendo Different?

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  • #16
    I agree. It wasn't until just passing my sandan and the recent tournament that I now have goals to achieve. I've never thought about the grading at any point since I started kendo (even graded shodan about 4 years after I started) but always maintained that one should practice like they play (this philoshophy I picked up from my highschool coaches in other sports). So personally I feel that working hard at your kendo, listening to your sensei (I firmly believe that they are always preparing you for the next dan level and I think most people can sense how their training changes when doing keiko with their sensei), and making efforts to achieve your kendo goals will ultimately prepare you for your next grading automatically.


    • #17
      My philosophy is that one should always be trying to improve their kendo, every practise, all the time

      In a year (or longer) when youre eligable to grade then that improvement will naturally be a bit more focussed on the requirement of the grade

      5 minutes after the shinsa (assuming you passed :-) you move the goals to the next level

      Yondan was really tough for me, took a lot of technique & mental, re eningineering 18 months & 3 tries

      The first practise after the shinsa, my sensei's first words were "ahh, Phil. Next lesson !" - made me smile :-)

      Godan required technique refinement but a focus on a different aspect of kendo

      so thats the mindset I try to pass on - Improve your kendo - doesnt matter if youre grading or not




      • #18
        Hasn't been touched on yet but...

        There is also the situation where, due to circumstance, a student might train for quite alot longer than is required for thier next grade, all the while striving to improve. If the student is training well under good guidance his or her level of Kendo might be above his/her grade. In this situation the student will generally have to "dumb down" his or her Kendo to actually satisfy the panel at that particular shinsa. It's probably not very common but it does happen.

        Has anyone experienced something like this?


        • #19
          I've heard of one fellow who did kendo for about 12 years and failed his shodan because he was doing too much oji-waza. Sounds strange but I wasn't there so I have no means to verify... The guy is now a godan so I assume his kendo was up to snuff...


          • #20
            I have a colleague who has been a shodan for, like, 20 years. I have another who should be a nidan or sandan but due to various travels and school obligations is still an ikkyu!


            • #21
              My Tuppenceworth

              My next grading is in 15months and I have used this last year to put a few things in place such as travelling to find other training and sensei and establishing some links so that sensei might come to my home dojo.
              As dojo leader I'm getting on with my two main responsibilities: to develop the dojo as a whole and myself as a teacher through grading and other experience. This is probably the first time I have really mapped out what I will do for the next wee while but I find it very useful.

              I agree with Neil that I train more for myself than before- but also more of the the time; I got some very simple but good advice on staying focussed on my kendo from a sensei who had to wait more than 12 years to be elligible for his next grade. Of course I like to think I make a real effort for the other dojo members, but as we know, teaching can be done also through demonstration (i.e. keiko). As the level in the dojo rises, so does your own practice level so it should be a self-fulfilling development for all. I am very lucky to have great support (financial and otherwise) from a dojo membership that values my training as well as its own but I see priorities as :
              1. Staying focussed on your own practice- this will alert your students to their kendo becoming more effective
              2. Travelling to seminars where you will not have a teaching role- bring variety back into your teaching
              3. Immersing yourself in some training time abroad (Japan is ideal with the right sensei)- to brush up on all the smaller things as Jakob said and really test your own kendo
              This is how my overall practice has changed since passing godan.
              Belgium February, 2009...bring it on!


              • #22
                Originally posted by Steve Bishop View Post
                Belgium February, 2009...bring it on!
                Id worry about getting through me successfully in November first!!!


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Kenshi View Post
                  Id worry about getting through me successfully in November first!!!
                  The words hot, knife and butter immediately spring to mind!