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  • Conduct at shiai.

    So, I was re-reading the rules for shiai not long ago and it said that spectators at the shiai should refrain from excessive cheering, cat-calling, and of course shouting advice other than a general "gambare!" is forbidden. Here in the west we tend to cheer a bit more, especially in the team matches. What's the correct way to behave for the spectator at a shiai-jo? Recently I told some of my club mates we had to cool it and the next shiai we attended just seemed so lifeless I was thinking maybe I said the wrong thing.

  • #2
    In Japan the supporters sit in seiza and clap an awful lot. Often they start slow and build a faster and faster tempo. It doesn't sound like much, but actually it is very effective. They also shout 'gambatte' 'fighto' and all the usual things.

    So I think you said the right thing. It is also very important that the judges can hear the sound of the strike as a guide for its effectiveness. It is also very off-putting to have a howling mob behind you as you judge, and as a result work against your team-mate.

    As you mentioned, it is extremely frustrating when your opponent receives shouted advice. For some reason I have never seen judges intervene to stop the supporting team from doing that, although they certainly should.
    Last edited by Lucien; 12th January 2005, 12:46 AM.

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    • #3
      Seiza for the first and last matches, and clapping and limited shouting as above, but avoid the 'Get him a body bag!' kind of shouting at all costs!

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      • #4
        I agree that spectators need to behave well and be in control. I do sometimes yell advice to kenshi during a match, especially if they are younger kenshi from my dojo. I have not gotten any complaints about this, but I wonder if this is improper etiquette?

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        • #5
          Since I've only been in one shiai, I'm not that experienced, but when I got out onto the floor and faced my opponent, from the moment I heard the shimpan say "Hajime", I lost all contact with the outside world. Someone could have set off a bomb next door and I wouldn't have heard it. I was so focussed on my opponent, and watching for an opportunity to make a strike. Unfortunately for me, he was much more experienced, but I learned a great deal from it, so it wasn't like I lost. Every time I face an opponent, I learn more about myself and how I perform in kendo.

          Thanks for reading my opinion.

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          • #6
            I should add that I can't hear anyone on the spectator's sides when they're yelling, so it doesn't bother me, but I would guess that a loud crowd would bother the shimpan, especially if he can't hear the strike.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kuzu70
              I agree that spectators need to behave well and be in control. I do sometimes yell advice to kenshi during a match, especially if they are younger kenshi from my dojo. I have not gotten any complaints about this, but I wonder if this is improper etiquette?
              Yep. Shouting encouragement is fine, but yelling out specific advice is forbidden, and can warrant a hansoku from the chief judge, at least in the more formal/serious shiai. Depends on how strictly the judges want to crack down on that kind of stuff.

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              • #8
                Right. The rules say you can shout "Go get um!" but specific comments like, "Go for his kote, it's wide open!" are forbidden, so never, ever shout anything like that. It sounds like reserving the cheering to a few bouts of enthusiastic clapping and "gambare!" is what's called for, dead silence during the last match and a championship match, though, I think.

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                • #9
                  How about advise like "don't back up" or "your'e almost out of bounds." Or for expamle, letting a kenshi know how much time is left in a match?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kuzu70
                    How about advise like "don't back up" or "your'e almost out of bounds." Or for expamle, letting a kenshi know how much time is left in a match?
                    Those would all be verboten.

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                    • #11
                      Those are big no-nos. A kenshi is supposed to have enough presence of mind to be aware of where they are in the court.

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                      • #12
                        I better be a little more discreet at the next tournament!
                        It is hard to keep my mouth shut when the kids at my are getting their @$$es kicked!

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                        • #13
                          I understand. It's very tempting to yell out advice to kids. But learning from one's mistakes is part of the whole experience, IMHO. Once someone has the painful experience of losing a match by repeated hansoku, you can be darn sure they'll be more careful the next time.

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                          • #14
                            So....I guess what your saying is that Air horns are out of the question?? haha

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                            • #15
                              In the All Japan, there's hardly any clapping during the shiai unless they believe that a cut is ippon. If it's not scored by the shimpan, the clapping is subdued quite quickly.

                              In contrast, check out the team match semi final between USA and Korea in the 12th WKC.

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