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  • #16
    Charilie,

    I practice at Kenzen with Ebihara-sensei. Time to time, I visit NYC with Kataoka-sensei, Shidogakuin with Kato-sensei, Shinbukan with Suyama-sensei, Kenshinkai with Kishino-sensei, and Hyun Moo Kwan (I pretty much go everywhere!).

    I went to Michigan long time ago back in 1997 or 1999. It was Midwest Kendo Tournament (I was the first place for the 3 Dan Above Division).

    What I meant by showing too much zanshin is that time to time we tend to exaggerate zanshi in a way to appeal judges, being almost arrogant. Hmmm, kind of difficult to explain...I hope you get what I mean. In a promotion test, I try to engage myself immediately after each hit.

    Oh, sorry about the private message. I activated. If still not working, please let me know.

    Comment


    • #17
      Oh, you have to turn private messaging on? Maybe I have to do it as well...

      I think I understand what you and Neil are saying, thank you. You know, I had just started kendo in 1998, so I bet we were at the Michigan event in 1999. Good to "meet" you. You have an absolute wealth of kendo around you!

      Comment


      • #18
        PMs don't work here no matter what you do.

        Comment


        • #19
          Neil-san,

          Thank you for your follow-up. In shinai, we do try to sell a point as you said, and it is NG.

          Charlie,

          Yes, I am very fortunate that I can practice with great sensei in NY. Everyone takes good care of me.

          Comment


          • #20
            Sorry to dig up this thread again. I have reread it many times and I find it very useful.

            I am going to take yondan in 1 years' time and I am thinking seriously about how my kendo will progress between now and then.

            All the posters agree that to pass one has to 'manage your opponent, mainly creating opportunties through seme and exploiting them.'

            Although I realise I cannot force my kendo in a particular direction, what other advice would you give to someone in my position?


            (Incidentally, during keiko last night Kento's advice about maintaining 'en' popped into my head and I became aware of all the moments when I disengage.)

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Lucien
              Sorry to dig up this thread again. I have reread it many times and I find it very useful.

              I am going to take yondan in 1 years' time and I am thinking seriously about how my kendo will progress between now and then.

              All the posters agree that to pass one has to 'manage your opponent, mainly creating opportunties through seme and exploiting them.'

              Although I realise I cannot force my kendo in a particular direction, what other advice would you give to someone in my position?


              (Incidentally, during keiko last night Kento's advice about maintaining 'en' popped into my head and I became aware of all the moments when I disengage.)
              I'm in the same boat as Lucien and I need some advice on correcting bad habits. These are not a big deal during day to day practice or shiai but it'll be bad if it shows during the promotion test. If you have a good drill to fix thiese, I'd appreciate.

              1. My stride is small - I'm 50 and 5'6" - so I need a drill to increase it. I'm trying to hit men from Toma - any other drills?

              2. I don't know it's because of my height but video shows I often jump when I do hiki waza. Even during normal keiko, I have some undesirable up and down movement but it's prominent during hiki waza.

              Any advice would be appreciated..

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill
                I'm going to guess that "too much kiai" would be the shinai up in the air, banshee-scream, look-at-this-I-hit-a-good-one aspect of "selling" a point in shiai.
                hehe if you hold your shinai to high my teacher sais 'you're not waving the flag'

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Karaken
                  1. My stride is small - I'm 50 and 5'6" - so I need a drill to increase it. I'm trying to hit men from Toma - any other drills?
                  The best drill I've tried for this (ie increasing power/distance with the left leg), is to start in regular chudan, then move the right foot forward about 1 foot. From there, then cut men. (without bringing the left foot up first). This exercise is really good because:
                  1. It forces you to focus power in hip/left leg, which will in time, increase your reach, power and speed.
                  2. It very clearly shows all the weaknesses in your cutting action, as any inbalance (be it feet, hip, back,arms shoulders), will be exagerated, making it hard to cut correctly.

                  It does however, put a lot of strain on the left leg, so listen to your body and don't overdo it.

                  Jakob

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by JSchmidt
                    The best drill I've tried for this (ie increasing power/distance with the left leg), is to start in regular chudan, then move the right foot forward about 1 foot. From there, then cut men. (without bringing the left foot up first). This exercise is really good because:
                    1. It forces you to focus power in hip/left leg, which will in time, increase your reach, power and speed.
                    2. It very clearly shows all the weaknesses in your cutting action, as any inbalance (be it feet, hip, back,arms shoulders), will be exagerated, making it hard to cut correctly.

                    It does however, put a lot of strain on the left leg, so listen to your body and don't overdo it.

                    Jakob
                    OK, I'll try that - Thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I'll try that too! Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        That's what my sensei told me last night. Slide my right foot first. I used to bring my left foot closer to my right foot so I can shorten the pysical distance to the target. I'll try to move my right foot first too.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          OK Guys, I would like to add my routine exercises next to Jacob's.

                          First, we need to put our bogu on.

                          1st exercise is:
                          1. Hold mawai in yokote position (only sakigawa potions of shinai touching), in other words, toma;
                          2. Slide your right foot first, and as you reach out the max, furikaburi and cut men as you pull your left; and the opponent goes back to set again in yokote position; and
                          3. Continue until you reach the other side of dojo (if you can do 10 men cuts, that will be great), and let the other side do the same exercise.
                          Important to remember is you need to set yourself as far from the opponent as possible. You may want to start from a little closer. The other thing to remember is that we tend to cut as hard as possible: if the opponent feels pain, your cut is NG, no good tenouchi. Good cuts do not hurt.

                          This theory of sliding right foot first before furikaburi/bringing up shinai is somehow controversial, where some sensei believe that right foot movement should go with furioroshi motion/cutting. Anyways, what I believe is by doing so, moving right foot first, you can do seme and tame at the same time, leading you "Ippyoshi Uchi."

                          The 2nd exercise is do the same with fumikomi. Make sure your fumikomi is strong. Make sure to stop and remain straight completely after each cut, not tilting forward & side, or stepping extra steps. Even though you do not reach men each time, make sure to finish cutting as if you reached, mantaining your posture. In order to reach, you need to push from your left foot and hip to have good leap (remember: leap high is NG; rather, leap forward). I believe this exercise is much better than routine men kihon uchi as we tend to do this as warm up.

                          In doing the 2nd exercise, do not hurt your heel as you do fumikomi. As I said, leap forward, NOT high (you will hurt yourself).

                          The above 2 exercises are very simple and sometime borring, but once you start doing and find it difficult to execute, you will have fun in doing so.

                          Many good schools like Takachiyo Junior/High School does these exercises regularly with many variations (kote & men etc), especially winter time when we make sold foundation/kihon.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I just erased a long post I wrote by mistake...
                            Then i'll sum it up shortly.
                            I first greet everybody, and apologize for mistakes, as I'm french, and moreover, this will be my first post in here.
                            I am 25 and Actually have my place in this topic as a Yondan Kendoka.
                            I don't know if it's very polite, but I have to introduce myself before I can explain you my point about transition between Sandan et Yondan.
                            I started Kendo at the age of 16, in one of the only Ken-jutsu / Iaido Dojo in southern france, in the city of Avignon. I needed a few days to realize I hazardly entered the Dojo of Bresset Sensei. Maybe not a great tournament challenger (Kendo Rokudan / Iaido Godan / Naginata Expert and Jodo initiate) , but definitively the greatest French sensei...
                            He's bond to Japan by the culture, as a translator of Japanese texts from the 17th century to nowadays. He used to live in Japan for a while and Have many friends there, most of them being Sensei are Blacksmiths.
                            (His soulfriend, if I can say so, is the great armorsmith Taganesan). He's one of the great representative of the foreign Kenjutsu in Japan.
                            By the way, he will be entering in his 37th year of Kendo in 3 months.
                            Here you can see him, at the top of the Official French Kendo website page: http://www.ffjda.com/Kendo/culture.htm

                            22 months later after I joined the Dojo, at the age of 19, my sensei told me I was ready to pass the ultimate test for the novice I was. I followed his advises , tried, and became Shodan. I always heard I needed 2 years to prepare my Second grade. the second sensei of the Dojo, HannonSan (Kendo Sandan, Iaido Nidan) told me I could still try earlier. Tough Bresset sensei told me not to try, but to do it, or not. One year later, I was a Nidan Kendoka. I got many problems due to my age and people being jealous among MY OWN dojo and from outsiders too...
                            It really started kendo at that time, not only moving a stick in the air anymore (as said my Bresset Sensei)...but training the inner cores of my mind. In 2 years I learned more than in the 4 previous ones.
                            At the end of my 6th year, I reached the Sandan grade.
                            All said It could not be so, and treated me like a mistake, an error.
                            I was now the highest KendoSei of the Dojo, and few older men, mowt from 35 to 50 yo started to almost hate me. I was really disapointed by such reaction from kendoka...To fix the problem, Bresset San ordered me to sit in seiza in front of him and HannonSan (the 2 sensei), at the far left side, to lead the ceremony. Untill that time, nobody anoyed me anymore. He Knew what to do, and all respected his wish. It was almost 3 years ago now.
                            To me, he was the best Sensei I could have lessons with, tough he knew (actual better than I did) that I had to leave. I reached the grade of our second sensei. He told me what I had to know not to flee fom the good way, and how it would be hard but amazing. Then he told me I could leave.
                            THIS period between Sandan and Yondan is THE important period...after sandan you can consider that you have only learned the basics yet (and no more). Tough you know at that time that you have a potential ennergy, an inner Ki yearning to lead you ahead and ahead (sorry I have troubles to express my feeling in english). as Im concerned I was filled with confidence and a strong feeling of freedom.
                            This period is THE period of choices, the time when you will shape your Kenjutsuka life, the time when you must create YOUR kendo.
                            Thus, I was ready to build my dream. I remained in my former Dojo but seeked tons of informations about the Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu.
                            Even before I started Kendo did I have Miyamoto Musashi (Fujiwara Genshin) as my hero.
                            I started reading most of his texts, and of course his famous Dokudou ( the path of self-reliance).

                            I did a lot of stages and contacted many people untill I joined the only person abble to give this lessons in france, with the agreement of the Niten school headmaster himself, Imai Masayuki Nobukatsu.
                            I've been taught in the art of Niten double wielding Kata for 31 months now, tough I kept training my Kendo in Avignon Mostly.
                            I got my Yondan 2 months ago, at the age of 25, after 9 years of intensive training...and i'm still not aware of the path I have to chose.
                            The only thing I can say, is that most of the time, Sandan is the gateway to a new world, as Shodan is for Novices.
                            THis is the period when you have to seek yourself, by yourself and for yourself. I'm sorry that I had to talk about my own life with such details, but I wanted to show you another example of journey through a Kendo life.

                            To me, you are Eric, at a crucial period, don't forget, that more than ever, you must feel ready to get you Yondan, you must be sure of the Kendoka you will become, even if you'll shape yourself all your life long, this is a time when you have to create YOUR basics.
                            I'm sorry again, I can't reall explain clearly my point, but I hope you'll get the main idea.
                            On this words, my friends I must leave you, but I will come back as soon as possible.
                            I'm sorry for a so long post, but it was the first as I said before. Now you know me and I can enter your online community. I will now try to read few topics to know a bit more about the main characters of the forum, to know a bitmore about all of you through the threads.
                            I just hope I didn't flood your topic with my own experience.

                            Oni

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              thanks again

                              Thank you for your response Oni. I agree with your comments on the feeling and mindstate that it takes for this development in kendo. Thank you for your input and discussion on the matter. Hope everyone had a good holiday. Cheers!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Yondan written test Q&A

                                I know a few people going for yondan this year.
                                I found a Japanese site with yondan written exam questions and answers here.
                                You may or may not find some of these useful for reference.
                                Some of the content is targeted towards Japanese candidates, but I have left the content in its original state (more or less). Just select the relevant bits.

                                Question 1: What is the purpose of and correct attitude to kendo training?

                                Kendo has developed alongside the history of our country and is a cultural treasure of the Japanese people. As such it is not simply a game where skills are compared by idly hitting and thrusting at one another. Kendo is an important means of physical and spiritual development for Japanese people and could thus be said to be close to a religion. Kendo is not about theory, it is in itself a way of life, a way of attaining spiritual development, a way of developing character, a form of physical education, and its purpose is the training of both the mind and body.

                                I the training of whatever pursuit, if one's spirit has not been sufficiently strengthened then it will be difficult to appreciate the intracacies of that pursuit.
                                Kendo involves techniques perofrmed from the hara, not the arms and legs. This means that the spirit is at the foundation of kendo so however deft the movement of your joints and however swift your use of the shinai or tachi, if your spirit is not developed parallel to this, however many years you may attend dojo training you will be able to attain a true understanding of kendo.

                                There are many important aspects to correct attitude to kendo, but the following five are the most important.

                                1) Treat etiquette and manner with importance.
                                2) Train with unyielding perserverence.
                                3) Conscious innovation is necessary.
                                4) It is necessary to learn "seiken" (othodox technique).
                                5) Be conscious of hygene/health and never quit training.


                                *******************

                                One down, fifteen to go.

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