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  • First Shinsa

    I've got my first shinsa coming up next weekend, and I'm a little nervous. Any advice on how I can better prepair myself?

  • #2
    CHANG SI advise you to meditate on death before match.

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    • #3
      neko advises you to meditate on chang's death before the match.

      seriously though, at this point you are either prepared enough to pass or not. but if you want to do something, practice shomen suburi. another thing you can do is make sure your shinai is in good shape and your uniform clean. before you go to sleep at night, lay in bed and go over the kata in your head. visualize uchidachi and then shidachi.

      i get extremely nervous before testing too. i worry that my nervousness will prevent me from performing my best. but actually, it has no bearing once i step up to the line. kata is a different story though, at least it was for my ikkyu test. the video from my second attempt (failed the first time) shows how nervous i was. my strikes were actually all over the place because i was visually shaking. i also had trouble going down into sonkyo because my legs felt like jelly.

      just do your best kendo, and if you are ready, they will pass you.

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      • #4
        Not that I've had a shinsa yet (so you could ignore this if you want ) but Kendo is all about being relaxed. As Neko said, you either are ready or you aren't, but being worried is going to make you tense and that will make it harder. If knowing this doesn't help make the butterflies go away (then you are probably human) then my only tips are to practice more, and to listen to your favorite music as much as possible before you go up. This will hopefully center you.

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        • #5
          Just relax and let out a nice kiai to vent all the stress of the nervousness when you start your test. Then just go and do your kendo from that point free of bad feelings. And don't worry when the other person hits you, it won't count against you so just work at your own pace, get in a few good hits, and you'll do fine. Don't stress too much ahead of time because it's probably only going to be counterproductive.

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          • #6
            You got some good advice here dude, so I'll give you one more nugget. Unless its your teacher (and I mean your teacher, not another one who you meet occaisionally......) don't listen to anyone who says "just do some big men and you'll be fine" I see and here it many times, and unless its from your own teacher (in which case he is highly likely to know what is best for you and your kendo) its probably the biggest bullshit stock answer I see and hear.

            Just do what these guys have said, relax. And like Neko says, and this I believe is some of the best advice to anybody partaking in a shinsa:

            Originally posted by Neko
            just do your best kendo, and if you are ready, they will pass you.

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            • #7
              My advice for relaxing is to make sure you do some jigeiko before the exam begins and perhaps some hayashi suburi too so you can relax more. Don't go onto the floor 'cold' Also, once they have passed out your numbers for the exam try to find the people with numbers on either side of you (so if you're # 22 look for #'s 21 & 23) as these are the most likely people you will be paired up with for kirikaeshi and keiko ( I assume since this is your first shinsa you aren't going to be doing kata). Try talking to them and even jigeiko with them before the start of the shinsa so each of you get a bit used to each other. In exams it's not about beating the other person but rather how your kendo is. One more note... make sure your bogu is on right with the himos flat and not twisted etc, make sure your tenugui doesn't make a rat tail sticking out of the back of your men, don't sit at the sidelines talking or goofing around becasue the judges often begin making mental notes about your appearance and conduct the moment the shinsa begins even when you are waiting your turn to take the floor. The last thing I will say is that in addition to try staying relaxed you need to make sure you perform your kendo with big spirit and thundering kiai if you can.

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              • #8
                just do some big men and you'll be fine.

                sorry! had to!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Charlie
                  just do some big men and you'll be fine.

                  sorry! had to!
                  Don't apologize.... that is some of the best advice you can give for a first exam...

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                  • #10
                    On the danger of repetition, I recommend just to relax (music etc.) and just to show your best kendo. You know, you're ready! So just do it!

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                    • #11
                      1. My first advice is not to drink anything at least three hours before.

                      2. Best is you have some friends from your culb who can give you adive or remove the wrinkles from your Dogi. If you can, talk to people who are not taking the grading because they should be calmer. Sometimes there is some kind of nervous feedback between examinees, talking to eachother.

                      3. When you are in the actuall grading, shouting is very good, as said before. It is a natural reaction, when people are afraid and very usefull to release stress.

                      I am sure you will be fine.

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                      • #12
                        one thing i was told by our federation president during my first shinsa was not to do too much in the morning of the shinsa, specially in front of the judges. this will give the judges chance to pre-judge you. normally only thing i do if at all for the morning of shinsa is lot of stretch so i don't cool down before the ji-geiko portion of the shinsa, tho you will cool down all the same since they make you sit around a lot. few shomen suburi. and that's it. as someone mentioned, if you are ready, you will pass. you really don't have much time to 'fix' anything by the time you are at the place for the test.

                        pete

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                        • #13
                          I take it all back. Just do big men. In fact just do ONE big men. And then don't do anything else. This is the best adive.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The great I AM
                            I take it all back. Just do big men. In fact just do ONE big men. And then don't do anything else. This is the best adive.
                            someone should quote that as their signature.

                            pete

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bullet08
                              someone should quote that as their signature.

                              pete
                              But only if they correct my atrocious attempts at "spelling"....

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