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  • ranking..

    so far from what i have seen.. rank doesn't really matter all that much in kendo. what counts is the skill level. then.. what keeps people testing?

    pete

  • #2
    it's like what matters is having a job not a diploma.....? but still good to have a diploma

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    • #3
      Plus for being in the right categories at Taikais.

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      • #4
        I would have thought the answer was obvious. Its a test of ones kendo. Nothing to do with if you can hit someone else more than they hit you in shiai, surely.
        Higher grading involves more kata. How do you test yourself on this unless at a grading? Sure, you practice kendo kata in class, but your sensei cannot correct you 100% and everyone else in your dojo all the time, so you test yourself in front of a high ranking very experienced panel who are soley looking at your kata, your spirit, zanshin, posture etc.
        I'm still new to kendo, and have fenced with quite a few talented shinai kendokas. But when it comes to kata they have been disappointing to train with.
        eg. i was at a seminar and trained kata with someone who'd been doing kendo 12 years, he only knew up to sanbonnme (??) after 12 years!? his shinai kendo may be great (i didn't actually see it), but the core essence of his kendo imho was sadly lacking. Having studied aikido and iaido i know more about the sword than i do the shinai, and i put a lot of importance on kata, when others just want to fence (don't get me wrong, i love shinai kendo equally). This makes for an unbalanced kendoka (again imho), therefore i believe grading is very important to test the balance of ones kendo on an overal scale.
        And, as already mentioned, you need a certain grade to teach, or be categorised etc etc in taikai.
        I believe gradings are very important to the art, but am not rushing into any soon myself.

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        • #5
          I'd like to add to Banza Joe's reply that, imho, kata involves using the proper form, breath control, footwork, etc., that you just don't get from shinai kendo. I have read where many kendoists in Japan would never fight, but were very proficient with kata, and could tell what an opponent was going to do, sometimes before the opponent knew what they were going to do. I'm not saying that doing strictly kata will make you the perfect kendoist, but if you do not study and practice kata, you never quite get as close as you could.

          When going up for promotion, if you haven't practiced kata between the time you've made nidan and are going up for sandan, it will show. Same for going even higher.

          Do them right, do them often, and learn each time you do them.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by joekc6nlx
            I'd like to add to Banza Joe's reply that, imho, kata involves using the proper form, breath control, footwork, etc., that you just don't get from shinai kendo. I have read where many kendoists in Japan would never fight, but were very proficient with kata, and could tell what an opponent was going to do, sometimes before the opponent knew what they were going to do. I'm not saying that doing strictly kata will make you the perfect kendoist, but if you do not study and practice kata, you never quite get as close as you could.

            When going up for promotion, if you haven't practiced kata between the time you've made nidan and are going up for sandan, it will show. Same for going even higher.

            Do them right, do them often, and learn each time you do them.
            Nicely put m8

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            • #7
              When I still practised karate I loved doing kata. Just move into that world of the kata, controll your breathing, your imiginairy opponents and strive for perfection.

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              • #8
                Actually the kata is something that most people don't have too much trouble with performing to the grading standard. The sparring portion is where they run into trouble.

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                • #9
                  Really? At my grading, the kata was the weak point. It looked as if a lot of people, even in my sandan group, had just picked up the kata a month before grading. While they had all the movements, their center was poor, timing was not so good, and intensity just was not there. The Judges really made a big note of it during their comments. I like kata, and try to work on it often, but I was definitely glad I was uchidachi for the kata during grading...it allowed me to show my form, center etc.

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                  • #10
                    You'll note I said "at the grading standard". I didn't say that standard was overly high.

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                    • #11
                      But...but....but....not overly high....It all makes sense now

                      I really do like the idea of practicing kata regularily. You can then go past the movements to the meaning. A few things that Kamata-Sensei said at the seminar in regards to kata really sunk in, but I soulc see a few eyes glazing over. Must have been pre-grading gitters.

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                      • #12
                        Being a lowly kendoist that has the unfortunate duty of having to teach as well I find Kata to be indispensible for teaching waza. Most of the Kata have practicle applications in shiai (if not using a slight variation) Though I'm still trying to figure out when you'd use the 4th kata :-)

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                        • #13
                          lot of people outside japan know kata very well but it doesnt look good when they do it.

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