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  • "Playing" Kendo

    Any idea why we "play" kendo instead of "practice" or "do" or some other verb? Is there some sort of Japanese word construct that can only be translated to "play" rather than another word? Just wondering...

  • #2
    Every time my girlfriend says that I "play" kendo - I correct her and say I learn Kendo. "Playing" kendo sounds like I am a small child going out into the woods to hit my little friends with sticks.

    Although I might have the mental capacity of a 10 year old - she can at least try to humour me!

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    • #3
      oh gees... here we go again.

      My friend you have just entered the great Practice/Play debate.

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      • #4
        You might "play" kendo and you're free to use that verb but i "practice" or "do" kendo for the same reason Ben mentioned eventhough Mad dog gave me another outlook on the verb to play. lol i guess you should've started this thread in the flame section.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ben spain
          "Playing" kendo sounds like I am a small child going out into the woods to hit my little friends with sticks.
          Well thats how a lot of the people here start out. At around 7 or 8 yrs old. They don't really think of it as practicing. They think of it as playing. Much like we go and play soccer or play basketball. Nothing turns off a younger kid to something more than hearing the words "practice" or "learn".

          Tim

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          • #6
            play kendo !!!! wtf mate? kendo is a way of life to some people...

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            • #7
              I do, stduy, train, or some other more serious verb.

              The play kendo thing from Japanese people come from the structure of their English learning through their school system. That is the way they learn to describe this sort of activity. They have been taught this way for years and it hasn't changed in the longest time. At least as far as it has been described to me.

              Native English speakers usually have more sense and understand the nuances to words and don't often apply the play kendo phrase, unless they have no clue what it is and think of it as a game. Otherwise, most native English speakers see it as studying a martial art, at least in my experience. The Japanese in general, although some have great language skills, aren't taught in order to communicate and understand the nuances of certain word choices. They are taught English to pass school entrance exams. So they memorize what those tests want to see, whether they realize it sounds funny or not.

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              • #8
                I play kendo. Even if it's a bad/hard/hot practice, I usually always have fun doing it. I think 'play' describes what I do perfectly well...and further, none of us here (As far as I know, anyway) do it for a living, which puts further emphasis on 'play'.
                People who get upset about the word 'play', take themselves far too seriously, IMNSHO.

                Jakob

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JSchmidt
                  People who get upset about the word 'play', take themselves far too seriously, IMNSHO.
                  What he said. "Play" is perfectly fine in my book.

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                  • #10
                    I think it is just a translation thing.

                    I do not believe that "play" is demeaning when applied to kendo. At least no more so than when one talks about a rugby or football "player," or the "players" in a military wargame (by which I mean a real military training exercise, not a tabletop game).

                    I agree it sounds a little funny. We have "boxers," not "boxing players," and "fencers," not "fencing players." I don't think anyone says "tennisers" or "rugby-ers." In America, "footballer" is strange, but not in Europe (although it refers to a different game, but I don't think that matters much for this point). "Golfer" and "golf player" are generally equally acceptable in America. There is no rule for when to say "player," so, I think it is just one of those colloquialisms.

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                    • #11
                      I suppose I say "I am going to kendo practice today." I used "play" for example at a tournament, when I see a friend and ask "Are you going to play today?"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kuzu70
                        I suppose I say "I am going to kendo practice today." I used "play" for example at a tournament, when I see a friend and ask "Are you going to play today?"
                        Use what you feel like using. There is no official way to name it. Do, practice, learn, play, whatever. Just have fun.

                        Tim

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                        • #13
                          My understanding is suru (Japanese verb to do) can be translated to Play or do, but is translated to play for kendo. Play, do, or practice all basically the same.

                          My sensei generally frowns on "Play" kendo but I think its a an artifact of the Japanese translation and not worth worrying about in the grand scheme of things.

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                          • #14
                            You play kendo because it is a sport.
                            A sport is a physical activity of a competitive nature that relies on rules, customs and traditions.

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                            • #15
                              IMO kendo is so fun, id rather say play than practise..cos really, don't you practise so u can play better ? not play better so you can practise ?
                              Last edited by Pokie; 21st July 2005, 12:11 PM.

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