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  • Kendos Future - in Japan and the rest of the world

    Well this is the History Forum, but this seems to be the most fitting place...

    What is Kendo's Future?

    inspired by the article
    http://www.kendo-world.com/articles/web/korea/index.php
    i had to ask myself and of course all you out there what you think should be kendo's future. i would like ppl to read the whole article before posting here, as it will answer many questions, and make clear what i am looking for.

    ken-do - the sword's-way

    the art to win by all means?
    the art to kill your opponent with one strike?
    the art of the modern art of fencing?
    the art of a vigerous fighting skill?
    the art of modesty?
    the art of self-improvance?
    the art of ... ?
    to me kendo is mainly the 6th in the list, improvance , every training improvance. The ultimate goal, a perfect and beautiful kendo , never achivable, but the the way to there that counts. thats why it is called ken -_DO_.

    i have to admit to the fact that my shiai experience is zero since i'm still a relative beginner. i suppose the shiai (jigeiko) meaning will come to me...

    but the contradiction still exists. we watch the the japanese finals, we watch the 8th dan gradings. its kendo alright, but it is different.

    imho the momentarily status of shiai kendo is okay, but the amount of aggresivness should not increase. for it is quite a noticable difference in kendo vs kendo matches and kendo vs kumdo matches

    koreans are more agressive, more eager to win, (by more, all? means?)
    okay a shiai is about winning. so i want to win. but is the spirit of kendo winning?

    essentially in an old interpretation - yes. because the winner survies, the looser dies by the others katana. but it is no longer a katana-do. it is a shinai-do. the way of the bamboostick? sound stupid but that is the reallity. so where does kendo today stand? is it about the old style honour highholding, one blow killing way kendo( in a not aggresive idea here), or is it a competing for the fun of it debana, hiki, suriage way? atm we would say there still is a major focus on the one hit killing way. ok there are two points awarded, hooray. why not 5 points? why not 1 point for a okay hit and 3 points for a outstanding technique hit?

    where should kendo go? where kumdo is going is clear. but the things i appreciate about kendo consist of a big part in the old things. kendo doesnt have to be 100% shiai. maybe good technique, and a high self esteem , and so on are the true values. what are the true values of kendo?

    kendo is the question that lies in between of kumdo and a 18th century samurai. where does the world stand between that? where do you stand?
    more shiai? more beautiful kendo?

    imho this state (and this may sound funny) offers just the right amount of both. kendo is a deep spiritual meaning. kendo is shiai. it is in a certain ballance of old an new. we still wear hakama but we use shinai instead of bokken(or katana). we don't fight as a bushi would, we wear bogu. it is a thing of a compromise. so is it bad? is a only sportive nature kendo better? or is the opposite a only ritualistic kendo better( somehting like kendo-kata) i think no, because for kendo gradings we need kata ^^.it's a mix.

    my humble point on things from a half year kendoka, 7kyu (no grade ^^) under the tutoring of a kendo, kendo kata and iado sensei which i would place more to the : good techniques part of it all, kendo has to adept slightly to the needs of other cultures,-part; and a kendo sensei, who will leave you standing there with an open mouth if he engages with another student in shiai. ( though i don't count him to the "kumdo-fraction", his kendo is nice, his attitudes are very japanese)

  • #2
    Whenever we talk competition there's always that perverting demon who lurks around the corner,also the difference between ideals and real life mechanics that's attached to it.
    IMO the question is would you like a "POP" Kendo ?, does making kendo popular in the world have to be by erasing it's basic values and getting rid of its soul as the example of Judo Alex gave?. Do we want the WKA (which seems to be ready to sell out to get to its goals) to get the upper hand internationally?.I totally agree with Alex about how an "olympianized" kendo would have to be ,which IMO is a nightmarish vision and also about the conclusion of his article.

    Comment


    • #3
      true true, it would be sad to see kendo get 'big in the world' through loosing all its values. i was never interested in martil arts, because it all seemed like: quickly learn tequniques , hit hard, you win. kendo i started because it was so 'deep', there was more to it than just stickfighting.

      what will happen if this sucseeds? will it come down to a stickfighting? will kendo/kumdo fall into different styles, schools, pieces again, the state it was before 1900 ? people training old kendo, new kendo, kumdo? another pop-version of something almost sacred? it already has fallen into 2 general 'styles', in which you have a range for own interpratation....

      what are the future possibilites and solutions?
      kumdo at the olympics, kendo as something different? will there be held seperat kumdo and kendo shiai's ?

      how will japan change it's own kendo?
      i suppose it would be difficult to have the koreans do what the japanese want, but japan has to set a signal. they have to clearly show what kendo means. kendo must not be bent to fit all aspects of modern life. what alex wrote about kendo having the same funktion as baseball in america, to bring people through or to universitiy, is sorry wrong. there are other ways of helping the talented. kendo must not be instrumentalized.

      i am not trying beeing in the way of progress.

      maybe the decision has to be made to have 2 kendo's. maybe this is the solution to the problem. then we will have dojo's and dojang, the koreans may happyly claim that kumdo was invented by them, they can sell it all over the world, and people can still decide to train kumdo, OR kendo. the important thing is to make very visible how the two differ. maybe we have to accept that a new style has developed from kendo, not a one to be proud of, but the father has only 2 possibilites: hold in honour for what he stands, even if his son has gone bad, or give up honour and bend. latter wouldn't be very japanese in my understanding.

      what dou you all think is a solution?

      anybody know how the japanese kendo associations stands on this issue?

      Comment


      • #4
        Few clarification. This forum sounds like Korean Kumdo does not train traditional value and all Korean claims Kumdo is from Korea, and all Korean think we have to go to Olympic. That is wrong !! Korean Kumdo school also teach traditional value, most of Kumdoka also believes Kumdo is orginated from Japanese Kendo, and many Kumdoka does think we shouldn't go to Olympic. Please do not try to divide Kendo and Kumdo all the time. Very minor things are different betweem Kendo and Kumdo. That is all. However, that doesn't mean Kumdo has less traditional value and all try to be commercialized. Main difference is Korean wants to compete harder with Japanese because of historic reason.

        Comment


        • #5
          its up to you to decide wether you want to practice your kendo competatively , which is why trying to stop it becoming an Olympic sport is wrong.. people practice Tae Kwon Do as a philosophy and way of life but at the same time they shouldnt try and stop poeple who wish to give it a competative edge...you have every right to want to put kendo into the Olympics... look at karate, many people practice is it a way of life and as a path, but there are also styles like Kyokoshin which accodomate for people who wish to practice it competatively, doesnt mean the two cant exist in harmony

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rainmaker
            Few clarification. This forum sounds like Korean Kumdo does not train traditional value and all Korean claims Kumdo is from Korea, and all Korean think we have to go to Olympic. That is wrong !! Korean Kumdo school also teach traditional value, most of Kumdoka also believes Kumdo is orginated from Japanese Kendo, and many Kumdoka does think we shouldn't go to Olympic. Please do not try to divide Kendo and Kumdo all the time. Very minor things are different betweem Kendo and Kumdo. That is all. However, that doesn't mean Kumdo has less traditional value and all try to be commercialized. Main difference is Korean wants to compete harder with Japanese because of historic reason.
            Aww man.. I see where this thread is going.... We are reinventing the wheel guys....

            Tim

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by samurai999
              Aww man.. I see where this thread is going.... We are reinventing the wheel guys....

              Tim
              Not if people read the article as Ezzze said before posting.

              Rainmaker the difference is obvious in the article between the KKA (values) and WKA(whatever works).
              Last edited by Hisham; 6th January 2005, 08:21 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rainmaker
                Few clarification. This forum sounds like Korean Kumdo does not train traditional value and all Korean claims Kumdo is from Korea, and all Korean think we have to go to Olympic. That is wrong !! Korean Kumdo school also teach traditional value, most of Kumdoka also believes Kumdo is orginated from Japanese Kendo, and many Kumdoka does think we shouldn't go to Olympic. Please do not try to divide Kendo and Kumdo all the time. Very minor things are different betweem Kendo and Kumdo. That is all. However, that doesn't mean Kumdo has less traditional value and all try to be commercialized. Main difference is Korean wants to compete harder with Japanese because of historic reason.

                i am not trying to impose that on everyone, but the students go where their sensei's go. you can choose if you have some time in the sport, but if it is promoted in a certain way and tought in a certain way, people will learn it that way. and deviding it is not what this thread is about. but as you have stated yourself, kumdo stresses competition, so it has a different character.
                and if this is all about a stupid kind of "retaliation" then sorry, this is sad.

                btw if you had read the article, you know why i think it will have to devide, if kumdo goes olympic. their would have to be major changes in the character of kumdo.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i don't want to devide, 99% of kumdoists probably do and aim for the same thing kendoists do, but you can clearly see that the korean kendo association is trying to impose changes from above. kumdo was before kendo. a fact nobody beleaves but it is imposed from the top. what now if other things are imposed from the leader organization? eg changes necesarry for a olympic participation? at some instance, growing numbers will beleave kumdo outdates kendo, and that a electronical pointing system will have to be standart, and that a point is counted when shinai strikes the target are, zanshin? correct kamae afterwards?? who cares.... these are all just arguments i am restating from the article. so please take the time to read it, and then join the discussion on how a future solution could look like

                  thx

                  btw why does the wka want to go public so badly? does heavy funding really help the sport? at what price is this funding earned?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Reading your posts EzzzE it sounds as though you have developed one inherently faulty thesis. That Kumdo and Kendo are different.

                    The WKA is an unfortunate anomaly. It is sad that its founder was once a greate Kumdo practitioner in the KKA.

                    I also submit that your analysis of Dr. Bennets article is entirely misplaced. Your concerns frankly speaking arise from your own flawed analysis.

                    Firstly to reiterate Ken/Kum = sword depending on the country's hanja/kanje pronounciation. Do = Path in both Korea, Japan and China. You first fail to grasp this very fundamental concept.

                    If you don't then your second inherent flaw of analysis is that you have never practiced Kumdo in Korea, rather you live vicariously through second hand sources. This is fundamentally flawed analysis of the 'divergence' between Kendo/Kumdo as you posit.

                    I would personally be disgusted if Kendo/Kumdo would be relegated to the Olympics for popular appeal. However this is only the view of the WKA.

                    I would like you to read another one of my posts earlier :

                    "Anyway. Anyone ever heard of Aiga Naoki? Yeah strangely enough this gracious practitioner trains in Korea now and then. Yep, he's even friends with Park Sang Sub who was the 2003 Domestic Korean Open Champion and integral member of the Korean National squad. Makes you think dont it? But enough of subtelties:

                    5. 한국의 검도 스타일은?

                    미국이나 영국등 구라파 선수들은 물론 한국선수들과의 시합 내용은 일본에서 하는 시합과 별 차이가 없습니다. 한국 검도 스타일과 일본 스타일을 따지지 말고 어느 누구하고 검도 시합을 하든 똑같은 마음으로 임해야 한다고 생각합니다. 한국선수들은 체격도 좋고 힘도 좋지만 특별히 까다롭다고 생각하지 않습니다.
                    Available at http://www.pentagon.co.kr/gray/main.htm click on the picture of Aiga Naoki Sensei.

                    Basically this is an excerpt of an interview by a Korean Kumdo player with Aiga Naoki. The question was what do you think of the Korean Kendo/Kumdo style? Aiga Naoki Sensei simply replied, "you know i actually think its a misconception that Koreans are any different in terms of how they practice and compete to us (Japan). Alot of Koreans are well built and quite strong, so I suppose it seems as though that when they compete people remark that they are a different to Japan. Not so, the feeling I get when the compete against us is that their training and shiai style is the same".
                    This doesn't go to prove or disprove any of your arguments. It just goes to show that alot these misconceptions are often in the eye of the beholder. Here is a gracious champion who after years of experience can perceive no 'difference' in styles. Makes you think dont it?"

                    Korean Kumdo is competitive for 400000 members. Just as competitive as the millions who practice in the Japanese Kendo Renmei.

                    Only the small divide and infight as we are doing here. No matter what arguments you try to devise , that is exactly what we are doing. If you look at the IKF, and top members between the KKA and ZNKR there is nothing but cooperation and continuing education between the organisations. They are the ones who are working best for the future of Kendo/Kumdo, your flawed analysis of Korean Kumdo only exacerbates hostility towards Koreans living outside Korea who practice Kumdo/Kendo.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i have never stated to be an expert on the field, and i lack the experience of a 8th dan holder who trains in japan and korea.

                      what i am stating is an overexagerated "what maybe will become".

                      as i have stated, nobody want's kendo/kumdo to become olympic, but is that decision yours? or the wka's ?

                      if i am wrong then i am gladly proven right that kendo and kumdo are essentially the same. i don't want to degrade kumdo in any way, or the koreans, jeez i know a korean girl i consider a nice person.


                      what i am talking about is

                      1.the article, and what you think about it
                      2.what you think the future of kendo/kumdo is, eg what it's character is, and should/will be

                      why does everyone make this discussion into a korea vs japan? *sigh*

                      can't this be a discussion of : future of kendo/kumdo?

                      you misunderstand my intents... : /

                      please to those who have an insight as soapdish has: give us input.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        you ask why?

                        Originally posted by EzzzE
                        ...blah blah blah...

                        koreans are more agressive, more eager to win, (by more, all? means?)
                        okay a shiai is about winning. so i want to win. but is the spirit of kendo winning?

                        ...blah blah blah....

                        where should kendo go? where kumdo is going is clear. but the things i appreciate about kendo consist of a big part in the old things. kendo doesnt have to be 100% shiai.

                        ...blah blah...
                        You bloody started it. Baka.
                        Some people need to read 1,000 times of that article before posting anything.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          first of all it would help to keep this discussion polite

                          Quote:
                          Originally Posted by EzzzE
                          ...blah blah blah...

                          koreans are more agressive, more eager to win, (by more, all? means?)
                          okay a shiai is about winning. so i want to win. but is the spirit of kendo winning?

                          ...blah blah blah....

                          where should kendo go? where kumdo is going is clear. but the things i appreciate about kendo consist of a big part in the old things. kendo doesnt have to be 100% shiai.

                          ...blah blah...


                          point one:
                          this is what i have observed in fights between korean and japanese highranking kendokas. there is more pushing and shoving in tsuba-zeriai
                          and i also state that the goal of shiai is winning, so i don't say by all means is wrong.
                          the only thing i question is, if this is the right way. is knocking your oponent over in shiai considered nice kendo? i am questioning if the intensitiy and will to sacrife nice kendo for winning kendo the right way for kendo to go?

                          second point:
                          considered that things as sonkyo, old style hakama tying are beeing modernized, i asume i can say that kumdo is more modern?


                          the two things you are picking from the text are very to your favour, but the major part of text you cut away with "blah blah", is what i am talking about

                          about kendo's future.

                          why do dan gradings look so different from contest?

                          you wanted to discuss alex bennett's article? than please do so and don't discuss kor vs japan.

                          i will restate it again

                          i want to know what you all think about the changes in kumdo and kendo
                          what do you think is its future?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "point one:
                            this is what i have observed in fights between korean and japanese highranking kendokas. there is more pushing and shoving in tsuba-zeriai
                            and i also state that the goal of shiai is winning, so i don't say by all means is wrong.
                            the only thing i question is, if this is the right way. is knocking your oponent over in shiai considered nice kendo? i am questioning if the intensitiy and will to sacrife nice kendo for winning kendo the right way for kendo to go?

                            second point:
                            considered that things as sonkyo, old style hakama tying are beeing modernized, i asume i can say that kumdo is more modern?"

                            I disagree entirely with your first point. The shiais between Korea and Japan are not as entirely aggressive or heated as you think they actually are. Back to my earlier post and quote Aiga Naoki who was the Taisho of the Japanese team believed that there was verly little difference to how the Koreans and Japanese practice and compete. He should know give that he practices in Korea and Japan. Furthermore Ive watched the Domestic Korean Championships where it is hard to discern a difference to the Japanese Championships. It is, and I agree obviously, as Aiga Naoki Sensei says that one of the reason people think Koreans so roughly and have a fast pace about them is because of their size and build, I mean have you seen those guys???? Kim Young Gyu is at least 190cm, Park Sang Sub is the same. These guys are giants! I think you are misconceived inherently in your perceptions.

                            I can only gauge the intent as to your second point. I think that these aspects of Sonkyo and the traditional hakama were removed because they were cultural edifices of the Japanese past. I am biased here because I am Korean, but I have to say that because Japan took it upon themselves to ravage the Korean landscape during the 1590's and colonize the Koreans during 1910-1945 you would have to understand that there is some hostility to symbolic aspects of Japanse custom and tradition. Thus I think that in the world of Kendo/Kumdo the removal of navy blue hakama to the 'hwarang' uniform of Korea's past warriors was suitable and redeeming. No one here in their right mind should consider that Kendo is anything but Japanese in its modern conception, however the minor change in uniform should be borne with good grace for a past laden with atrocity. The latter no one should ever deny nor forget.

                            That aside I hope the WKA breaks and crumbles. Its a pity though cause Kendo/Kumdo should be the one thing that fosters unity amongst everyone. Kumdo/Kendo already has at the top levels eg Aiga Naoki being friends with Park Sang Sub and a lot more.

                            I can't make any predictions for the future of Kumdo/Kendo its up to just turn up and practice!

                            btw does anyone know if Japan has selected their national squad yet? I know Korea has gone through the processes! Get this also a 4th Dan won the Korean Domestic Open Championship 2004, and the Presidents Cup twice!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If i'm not mistaken, Ezzze's point is that most of the members of the Korean IKF branch are for an olympic Kendo, it would be interesting if we could have an idea about how the other IKF affiliates feel about this, and again make no mistake that the shiai rules as you know them now won't be the ones that'll get into the olympic sports realm for the reasons that Alex stated which in IMHO are logical, are you ready to accept that or not?
                              Ezzze i wanted to tell you the first time i posted here that you should've started this thread at the article section of the board.
                              Last edited by Hisham; 9th January 2005, 09:30 PM.

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