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  • Fifth dan written test cheat sheet

    I'm going to have a crack at translating some of the info from
    http://www.ne.jp/asahi/aaa/tagi2/gakka/godan.htm

    I'm going to really rush this so sorry if the translations are less than faithful sometimes. Here are the first two questions and answers.

    1. Virtues nurtured by kendo training

    Virtues nurtured by kendo can be divided into the following five categories

    (1) Courage (yuki)... Because in kendo you have to rely on your full mental and physical capacity, courage is nurtured natually.

    (2) Etiquette (reigi)... Because etiquette is treated as fundamental to all traning, you learn to have correct etiquette at all times

    (3) Loyalty and honour (shingi-to-kenchi)... If you learn the way of the sword from your heart, a person's heart will become clear. Loyalty and honour will result from this naturally.

    (4) Self-control (Kokki) ... If you are unable to overcome fear and doubt you will never be able to win. Because of this a psyche capable self control is developed.

    (5) Endurance (Nintai) ... Because one is pushed to the limits of physical and mental capacity, endurance will become better naturally.

    These virtues are nurtured by other sports as well, but in kendo emphasis is placed on spiritually, so the effects are more striking.



    2. Things to bear in mind as a kendo instructor

    (1) Understand the fundamentals of kendo thoroughly, and apply this knowledge in your instruction. Sufficiently grasp the purpose and spirit of kendo, and accommodate for the age, ability and technical skill of your students.

    (2) Make students sufficiently aware of the purpose of training. For example, you should be able to explain why "shizen-tai (natural posture)" is important in "Kihon-no-kamae (basic kamae)" , and what meaning it has in kendo dynamics, in other sports and in daily life. By doing this you should be able to increase the students awareness of the importance of maintaining a more natural posture and thus encourage them to maintain a natural posture. This will increase interest of students and make training more effective.

    (3) Find ways of improving the training environment. The most fundamental element in improving the training environment is above all other things the dedication and attitude of the instructor.
    The instructor should make the purpose and content of instruction clear, and form at systematic and constructive training regime based on the needs of students. You should not simply concentrate on teaching technique; you should also be aware of your own role in the human training environment and never fail to improve your own personality, insight, technique etc. This will allow you to collaborate better with your students and be a better instructor.

    (4) Be aware of the health and wellbeing of students. You need to be aware of the health of your students, and avoid situations where you ask too much of them, causing them injury and making them lose desire to train. Instruct appropriately keeping in mind the health, ability, experience, weather etc.

    (5) You must maintain the state of your facilities and equipment. You must be sufficiently mindful of maintaining levels of safety, and preventing injury and accident.

  • #2
    3. Being mentally prepared for shiai

    Shiai is a way of judging your own improvement. Shiai is an important opportunity to compare your attitude and skill with that of your opponent, and to reflect on your strangths and weaknesses. Shiai is an important stage for the training of your spirit and development of your character.

    To be mentally prepared for shiai you should consider the following

    (1) Remember ettiquete and uphold the rules of shiai.
    (2) Use all your strength and skill (i.e. don't hold anything back).
    (3) Try and maintain Kikentainoicchi, and play correctly with a serious attitude.
    (4) Always show zanshin after striking, and never lose correct posture.
    (5) Observe your opponent's openings and seize opportunities to strike.
    (6) Always be assertive/positive.
    (7) Quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent.
    (8) Never judge the match yourself while playing (i.e. let the judges do it)
    (9) Always play in a level headed manner (i.e. never lose your cool or "heijoshin")

    etc.

    In summary you should approach shiai with a correct understanding and grasp of its spirit and role in kendo study.

    Comment


    • #3
      4. Mental preparedness and what to look for when observing kendo practice


      Observing kendo practice has been known as "mitori-keiko" from long ago and is seen as in important part of kendo study.
      When observing serious keiko or shiai, the observer should also have a solemn attitude and should respect the rules, and have correct attire and posture.
      When observing kendo you should pay particular attention to the following points, observing from the front, back, left and right, understanding the relationship between the different perspectives, comparing with your own movements, and reflecting on your observations.

      (1) Posture
      Observe whether posture is "expansive", calm and dignified, whether movements are smooth and agile, whether there are any bad habits in technique, and then observe in finer detail each area, for example stance, the manner of stepping, the way of holding the shinai etc.

      (2) Technique
      Observer the speed and accuracy of strikes, the position of both elbows, the movement of the hands, zanshin, kikentainoicchi, maai, receiving etc.

      (3) Spirit
      Observe if enough spirit is being displayed, if concentration is being maintained at all times, whether there are any signs of surprise or doubt, and whether one player is always in control.

      Comment


      • #4
        5. Types of keiko

        It is possible to classify keiko into six types: kakari-geiko, gokaku-geiko, sougou-geiko (aka. ji-geiko or jiyu-geiko), shiai-geiko, hikitate-geiko, and tokubetsu-geiko. It is also possible to classify keiko into four types: kakari-geiko, ji-geiko, (gokaku, shobu or shiai) hikitate-gaiko, and tokubetsu-geiko.

        1) kakari-geiko

        The aim is to develop the foundation for your body, spirit and technique.
        It is a style of keiko where you mostly strike.

        (1) It makes physical movement more free, and makes hand and footwork more agile.
        (2) It makes striking techniques more accurate and strong.
        (3) It helps develop cardio-vascular, and aerobic strength, and develops mobility and stamina.

        Important points:
        Should be carried out with an unaffected attitude, big techniques, in a relaxed and correct manner, with speed and power. You need to push yourself forward and use all your physical power. Strike deeply, don't break posture and carry out continuous basic techniques.

        to be continued...

        Comment


        • #5
          More on question five...

          2. Gokaku-geiko

          Keiko carried out together by two people of similar skill and experience.

          (1) Use the techniques you have learned to compete in offence and defence with your opponent, and as much as possible try and make correct and valid strikes.
          (2) Attack your opponent, and through repetitive study of techniques you have learned and feel you can execute effectively, make them your own.
          (3) Reflect on your unpreparedness and insufficiencies, and work to correct your weaknesses.
          (4) Always study legitimate techniques

          Important points:
          As much as possible train with a large number of different opponents. Use your own favourite techniques from long-distance (toh-ma), and also try to master at least one new technique as well.

          to be continued again...

          Comment


          • #6
            Excellent! Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Another fine installment in the Nanbanjin "masterpiece theatre in translation." Keep 'em coming. Thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Halcyon
                Another fine installment in the Nanbanjin "masterpiece theatre in translation." Keep 'em coming. Thanks.
                Watch out though, people will start thinking that you are a nice guy. Next thing they will treasure your posts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nanbanjin
                  (4) Always study legitimate techniques
                  Thanks for the translation, it made for interesting reading.

                  What do you think they mean in number 4? Do some people study non-legitimate techniques?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mark
                    Originally posted by Nanbanjin
                    4) Always study legitimate techniques
                    Thanks for the translation, it made for interesting reading.

                    What do you think they mean in number 4? Do some people study non-legitimate techniques?
                    Some people try to invent their own techniques, based on what they think will work. Sometimes they're good ideas, sometimes they're variations of legitimate techniques, but more often than not they're just crap, imo. Personally I see this more at the 1 kyu/shodan level, not sure why they need to remind 5 dan of that... Maybe it's a reminder that what works in shiai is not necessarily legitimate?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mark
                      Thanks for the translation, it made for interesting reading.

                      What do you think they mean in number 4? Do some people study non-legitimate techniques?
                      The original sentence is:

                      (4)常に適法な技の研究に励むこと。
                      つね に てきほうな わざ の けんきゅう に はげむ こと

                      つね Always
                      てきほうな Legitimate
                      わざ Techniques
                      けんきゅう Study/research
                      はげむ Endeavour/Strive (I didn't really stress in the translation)
                      はげむこと Be sure to Endeavour/Strive

                      So I guess I should have translated it as:

                      "Always strive to study legitimate techniques"

                      Basically I think that means not to try the "Hammer of Thor" (influence form recent posts) technique you made up even if you think it would really add to the global kendo repertoire.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sainueng
                        Personally I see this more at the 1 kyu/shodan level, not sure why they need to remind 5 dan of that... Maybe it's a reminder that what works in shiai is not necessarily legitimate?
                        The first few questions seem aimed at people teaching kendo. It's what people of godan should make sure their students aren't doing.
                        And don't get me started on people who get godan and suddenly think they have a licence to create their own waza.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Note to self:
                          Ixnay on the Hammer of Or thay.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            More of Question 5...



                            3. Sogo-geiko (aka., ji-geiko, jiyu-geiko)

                            This is generally the most commonly practiced keiko, and its content is varied, where lower and higher graded practioners can train with one another freely.

                            (1) For higher ranked players it is important to practice your own techniques as attacking as much as possible, refining legitimate techniques.

                            (2) People of the same rank should practice gokaku-geiko, shoubu-geiko etc, making sure you don't slacken off in your intensity.

                            (3) Lower graded players are made to carry out hikitate-geiko, trying out techniques that they not confident with.

                            (4) Try and make this a meaningful training with a defined goal

                            Important points: Both players should attack sufficiently without slackening off. You should be prepared to be the person who makes scores the first point.

                            ...to be continued again...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              more of question 5....

                              4. Shiai-geiko (shobu-geiko)

                              Compete for each point. The purpose of this type of keiko is to learn to take winning points, or to prepare for competition.

                              (1) Think about "one point" ("ippon-shobu") and practice with all your ability.
                              (2) Use your favourite techniques to bring about results.
                              (3) Never let your concentration slip, and keep defence strong.
                              (4) Nurture the self confidence and courage you need to face shiai.

                              Important points:
                              Not worrying about your opponent, choosing players who you find difficult, play against a large number of opponents. Forget that you are in keiko and approach this training as if you are in shiai.

                              5. Hikitate-geiko

                              Keiko performed to teach beginners and lower ranked players to strike correctly with correct basics.

                              (1) The senior leads the beginner, encouraging the formation of correct kendo basics.
                              (2) Correct bad habits, bringing out strengths and in so doing accelerating progress.
                              (3) Discover strengths and weaknesses, bringing out standard and high level techniques.

                              Important points:
                              Make students carry out strikes in a correct way, and allow them to experience the joy that this brings.

                              to be continued....

                              Comment

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