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  • The Meaning of Aggression

    Hey everyone.

    I was at a tournament this past weekend, and I got in a discussion with a friend about what it means to be aggressive in kendo. I'm shodan and he's nidan, and while we're still pretty low in the ranks, we're getting to the point where it has become apparent that doing "aggressive" kendo does not mean constantly attacking kakari-geiko style. What it really means to be aggressive seems to have a much more difficult answer.

    Basically I would like to see what your opinion is on what it means to do aggressive kendo.

  • #2
    Shikake = aggressive. Oji= passive aggressive.

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    • #3
      It means constantly stepping forward and forcing a reaction.

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      • #4
        Controlling the opponent.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scott H View Post
          Controlling the opponent.
          You can control the opponent without being aggressive.

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          • #6
            I personally think aggressive kendo is very general term. what it look like depends on the level of the player really. for higher level players it could be about continuously trying to create opportunities yourself rather than waiting for opponent to make a mistake. for lower level players it could be simply nonstop attacking even when there are no opportunities. it could also mean physical in your face kendo.
            Last edited by Biohazard; 4th April 2012, 02:39 AM.

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            • #7
              I tend to think of two forms of aggression. The "good" and the "bad." The bad is what you mentioned earlier - really pushy, constantly hitting without any real plan of action.

              The "good" type of aggression, in my opinion, is dominating someone both physically and mentally. Controlling your opponent and constantly pressuring with your kamae and mental state, forcing your opponent to break and react or falter and create an opening, and jumping on each opening with your best form and technique. Strong, confident, firm, and always looking for a good opening.

              I've fought both kinds of people and the latter is definitely more unnerving to me.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Missingno. View Post
                Basically I would like to see what your opinion is on what it means to do aggressive kendo.
                Constantly put pressure on the opponent.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by krys View Post
                  Constantly put pressure on the opponent.
                  I second that.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by krys View Post
                    Constantly put pressure on the opponent.
                    agree.. sounds like applying seme isn't it? from start till finish

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Halcyon View Post
                      Originally posted by krys View Post
                      Constantly put pressure on the opponent.
                      I second that.
                      Eh. There are many sensei who put constant pressure and yet you wouldn't term what they are doing as aggressive. What most people are describing is proper, "forward" kendo. When I think of aggressive, I think of a much different feeling from the aite.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                        Eh. There are many sensei who put constant pressure and yet you wouldn't term what they are doing as aggressive. What most people are describing is proper, "forward" kendo. When I think of aggressive, I think of a much different feeling from the aite.
                        What kind of feeling is it that you think of?

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                        • #13
                          1. I disagree with the post that equated shikake with agressive and oji with passive (aggressive). The best way to fail at oji waza is to do it passively rather than pressuring your opponent to do the technique for which you've prepared the oji waza....then again that post may have been meant as a less than serious reply.

                          2. I don't know about aggressive. What I know is that there is a pejorative for 'machi kendo' (matsu no machi not city machi); that is kendo where you wait. So clearly what you want to be is not just waiting for your opponent to do something but doing something and, even better, forcing/pressuring them to do something ..hopefully something you can exploit. I find myself therefore agreeing with folks that equate aggressiveness with putting pressure on your opponent.

                          What does this mean..well that's quite a bit harder. There are several aspects of it
                          - Fighting for command of the center in a way that allows you to follow up gaining central control with an attack. That makes your opponent nervous (adds to the pressure on them).
                          - Fighting for the ideal maai from which you can effectively attack while not being effectively attacked.
                          - Kiseme - Fight of your spirit against their spirit. Just as aggressive does not mean continuously striking this does not mean continuously yelling (I choose the term yelling rather than kiai deliberately, not all kakegoi is kiai). Start this by fighting to never let down your mental alertness and your push forward into the opponent. This lack of a gap in your kendo is also something that puts pressure on your opponent as they start to look for sub-optimal strikes opportunities because they don't perceive anything better.

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                          • #14
                            I find the difference to be whether I have any time to relax. If I'm facing a very patient sensei who is trying to teach me to be more aggressive, I don't perceive them as being aggressive even if they are like a flat wall of rock as far as trying to put pressure on them. Some opponents, even ones not quite as experienced as me, never give me time to relax and think; I'm constantly required to be doing something even if the something is hitting them first.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JSchmidt View Post
                              You can control the opponent without being aggressive.
                              True, but one could argue that controlling the opponent is aggression enough.

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