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  • Newbie Pre-Kendo Training

    There is not a single Kendo dojo near me that I can get to. I'm only 14, so I can't drive a car, but I'm really into this. I know where I can get all the kendo supplise I need, I already have hakama (they were $71 oOx) and such. I might need a few more things, but please, can somebody answer these questions for me?

    1: What proper gear would I need for 1 on 1 teaching/training or group training?

    2: What do I need for training clothes?

    3: What excercises can I do with a ken/bokken/shinai before I start training with somebody?

    My favorite martial arts teacher is going to help my find somebody to train with me, since we both know that i cant really get into a dojo, but he might meet/know some people who run thier own dojo or something who might teach me. If you can answer these questions and also tell me maybe how much the items would cost too.. ^^x' ehe thanks

  • #2
    Suggestions

    Originally posted by Kenshin Himura
    There is not a single Kendo dojo near me that I can get to. I'm only 14, so I can't drive a car, but I'm really into this. I know where I can get all the kendo supplise I need, I already have hakama (they were $71 oOx) and such. I might need a few more things, but please, can somebody answer these questions for me?

    1: What proper gear would I need for 1 on 1 teaching/training or group training?

    2: What do I need for training clothes?

    3: What excercises can I do with a ken/bokken/shinai before I start training with somebody?

    My favorite martial arts teacher is going to help my find somebody to train with me, since we both know that i cant really get into a dojo, but he might meet/know some people who run thier own dojo or something who might teach me. If you can answer these questions and also tell me maybe how much the items would cost too.. ^^x' ehe thanks
    Junior Kendoka,
    First is research, buy the video tapes from http://www.e-bogu.com/ and observe carefully. Buy all the books you can on Kendo and read them, and use your imagination as well as your current M.A. knowledge. Find any free movies on the web regarding Kendo and study them well. However, when you finally find a dojo or a Sensei will come to you town, do not question the Sensei's training methodology. Just learn and practice like its your last moment on earth.

    Second, traditional clothing is the navy colored Hakama and Keikogi. An obi is secondary yet valuable for iai. Knee pads could also be useful. Yet a t-shirt and sweats will do in a pinch. The rule usually is wear something that will not contraint the movement of your feet, shoulders or arms.

    Third, when it comes to excercises. I strongly suggest the following:
    One, stretch, stretch, and stretch, this is one thing will help you continue your kendo career until you die. Especially, stretch your ankles and calves, here is where most injuries occur for kendoka.
    Two, increase your endurance. You will need a lot of it when your play kendo. I recommend 2-3 miles or 30 minutes every other day with a mixture of 20 second sprints at least once a week during these sessions. Swimming and jumping rope for the same amount of time is also good. Kendo practice is one the most physical demanding sports that I ever been faced with, Sensei will have you kiai with all your might. And the drills can leave your feet sore and blistered and out of breathe. So run now or collapse during practise.
    Third, wake up early every morning and perform 50 suburi with a bokken to the head (men) at a wood post, 50 suburi to the wrist (kote), and 50 suburi to the side of the belly (do). When you are comfortable with 50 add another 10 and so on until you are doing 500 out each suburi. However, doing it correctly with take years.

    However, attempting to learn kendo on your own is difficult if not impossible. My only honest answer is to attend a summer camp or a weekend seminar like
    the ones held by Kato Sensei's dojos http://www.kendoka.org/.

    For more contact information contact the USA federation at http://www.auskf.info/mainpages/auskfmain.htm or these CT dojos:

    Practice Location/Times:
    Stamford Learning Center
    65 Research Drive
    Stamford, CT 06907
    Saturdays
    3:30 pm - 5:00 pm, Iaido
    5:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Youth and Beginners (adult)
    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm, Advanced
    8:00 pm - 8:30 pm, Kendo no Kata

    Contact Information
    Shozo Kato
    (212) 431-1322
    skato@kendoka.org
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    GNUSKF
    Koushinkan Kendo Dojo at Yale University
    Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Yale University
    70 Tower Parkway, New Haven, CT 06520
    Contact: Daniel Zoot (Instructor): 508-490-1628
    Naoko Kozuki
    Practice Times: Tu, Fr 8-10 PM, Su 10 AM-12 PM, other times by prior
    arrangement


    Yet whatever you do, practice with effort and spirit. And never let anyone steal your dreams.

    Gins

    Comment


    • #3
      Good idea. I'll be saving up to buy videos and books to learn concepts and such. Also, I think its a good idea to browse the web for kendo downloads (movies). I know the dojos that are in my state, but they are too far away. The closest one is at Yale, but thats for Yale members only, and still a bit too far away. The other is in Stamford, and I cant drive there 3 or 4 times a week, since I'm only 14 nd my dad would have to drive me (or mom). lol anyways lets see... can somebody tell me how to do suburi? I mean.. i THINK I know what to do.. but I'm not sure.. They need to build a kendo dojo in Enfield.

      The stretching part I definateley can do. I've learned a variety of stretches for your whole body from M.A. and Marching Band.
      Now every morning I'll probobly have to wake up around 5 am or 4:30 am.. wich.. is very early.. so.. i think I should get to sleep around 8:30.. oOx.. anyways.. lets see what else..

      Yes, definateley the endurance.. I'll need to do that more... hm.. lets see.. well.. is there any indoor things you can do besides jump rope? And since its winter I wont be able to do swimming YET... hm..

      However, when you finally find a dojo or a Sensei will come to you town, do not question the Sensei's training methodology. Just learn and practice like its your last moment on earth.
      I'll never question his training or methodology! I'll train and practice like its my last moments of life, definateley..

      lol anyways thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Kendoka Response

        My apologizes for taking so long to return your response. I need to think about for some time and I still not totally confident in what I'm about what I about to transmitt to you. Yet here goes:

        1. Ask for your Parents' support in order to start playing Kendo. The recommendation is to only start playing once a week. One, this will let you know if you still like it. And I think one of your parents might be will drive you there at least once a week if you show them respect and your commitment to the sport/art. Remember, you still have school and your Kempo. Plus Dojo dues can run up to $155 every three months, not including yearly National and Regional Federation dues depending upon the location of the dojo. The Shinai will run you about $30.00 for a good one and you'll likely require two. The Kendo Keikogi (Kendo Uniform Top) and hakama can set you back as much as $100.00 and thats cheap for good quality. Last save your money the well-made Bogu will cost you at least $400.00 and this will also depend on whether or not you're growing also. Kendo is about cheap as hockey.

        2. Indoors? Huh? You're kidding, right? I'll be blunt, Kendo is initially as much as physical sport as greco-roman wrestling, football, basketball, boxing, track and field or any another physically demanding sport. If you don't start running and sprinting, you will suffer from not being in the proper shape and condition. Kendo is highly aerobic, is not uncommon to lose 2 pounds in water in hours during a kendo practice. During a normal practice, you'll likely be doing over 200 suburi, jumping back and forth, sliding up and down, back and forth across the length and width of the dojo, and yelling "MEN" until your lungs are SCREAMING of air and the Sempai says that you are aren't yelling loud enough, so you have to do another 100 more suburi and yelling "MEN". Then someone in the group wasn't doing the suburi or didn't hold the correct kamae. Guess what? You know it, another 100 suburi and more yelling "MEN" and that was only 30 minutes. And remember you also have to contend with the bogu which weights about 10-15 pounds and the mask is initially going to constrain your breathing and, hmmm, let's just say, that performing the drills can initially be a mentally terrorizing experience. Look, anyone can stand around a swing a shinai; it takes a person who is in condition to play Kendo at level where you can survive the 2-4 hour marathon of drills in bogu. Sure, sure there are a lot of spiritual and "Japanese-things" involved also yet if you can't hold up during practice with maybe a minute or break between drills. You'll quit. If you can't run outside because of the cold, the suggestion is that you get permission to run lapses and sprints in your school's gym after school for 30 minutes.

        3. Kendo might look fun or interesting from the outside, however, so does everything else until you actually have to DO IT. Then Kendo is hard WORK, sweaty, trying, out of breathe, uncomfortable, "I don't want to go to the Dojo today but I must" work, "seem to never win against sensei or sempai" (who beats on your weakness/suki relentlessly) work and "Why am I doing something that has no practical value to Real Life?" work and "I DON"T WANT TO BUT I WILL" work. And as the sayings of the ancient Senseis goes that have been passed down through years, they said that Kendo is a mountain. It will take a lot of mental and physical effort to climb this mountain in course of your Life. It is state of mind. It is a disciplined lifestyle.

        Yet what are the benefits of this disciplined lifestyle? The true role of Kendo for me at least is that it is how I have come to understand the value of Life but it also spills over into rest your life outside of Kendo. Kendo is not what you do on Friday or Wednesday night. It is an approach on how, why, and what you do, live and value yourself, your family, your friends, your teachers and your community. Through it, you will come to realize the treasure that Life is and realization of the meaning of Death. One doesn't get rich or famous from playing Kendo, but one does learn are values, principles and a wealth of experience through kendo teaches that you can apply to rest of your life.

        Suburi

        1. Hold the Shinai in your left hand. The string (or Tsuru) that is running up the length of the shinai should be facing you. The grasp of the handle:
        a. The pinky and ring finger should be holding the shinai firmly and secure yet not hard. The rest of the fingers should be resting on the shinai.
        b. The space between the index finger and thumb should be resting on top of the handle. This will be true for the right hand as well when we get to describing how to the right hand will be used.
        c. Hold the handle with right hand only using your index finger and thumb, loosely and they should make a ring around the handle but don't grasp it. This will allow them to slide up and down during the process of learning suburi.
        d. Hold the shinai handle (or tsuka) about 6 inches away from your stomach and the tip (or Sakigawa) should be pointing at about the level of bottom of your throat.
        e. This is chudan kamae (middle position/water)

        2. Performing suburi is the swing of the Shinai and hitting an imaginary target.
        a. With both hands on the handle as described above bring the Shinai into Jodan kamae (upper position/fire).
        b. The left hand should be at the level of your forehead.
        c. Keep your elbows shoulder with apart, your elbows should not be flared out like wings.
        d. The shinai should be held higher than 45 degree but not perpendicular to the floor, pointing neither to floor behind you nor horizontally to floor above your head.

        3. The left hand is dominant hand while using the Shinai. The right hand is there to guide it to the intended target.

        4. So as Sensei says bring up the Shinai with your left hand and pull down your shinai with your left.

        5. The beginning kamae is chudan, I described how to hold the shinai above, now I will try to describe how you are supposed to stand. Essentially, feet shoulder width apart, right foot forward, left back and on the ball of the left foot and the Left leg straight. Relax your shoulders, tighten your butt, and center yourself.

        6. As you are pulling the shinai down towards the target, you must simultaneously slide forward with right foot, while pressing forward with the left foot from your hips and then immediately bring the right foot up just behind left and you must be on the ball of your left foot and shout the name of the target, MEN, KOTE or DO.

        7. At the moment when you hit the target, in other words, you must simultaneously hit and twist your hands inward on the handle. This will yield a firm and resounding tap. This way you should avoid the feeling of using the shinai as a baseball bat. Remember the Kendo helmet (men) is a thick cloth, not hard plastic and Kevlar as a football helmet, so tap your opponent dont beat them into unconsciousness.

        8. All said, doing suburi correctly will take more than my poor ability to describe the single most important and difficult aspect of Kendo - KI KEN TAI ITCHI. Frankly, you'll need personal instruction by Sensei, in order, to perform suburi correctly and then it may take you the rest of your natural life to get it perfect. I could never describe it enough so you could do it correctly. But maybe you'll surprise me.


        If I sound rough on you, I can only apologize for the delivery. I don't want you to NOT to play Kendo. But I want to understand what you are getting into. This is a sport/way of life that takes commitment to and surrendering to Kendo. Yet rewards are priceless as its a sport that you can play way pass ninety years of age. And the number of friends and places you'll meet and visit. So please take some time to consider if you wish to commit yourself to the beautiful and noble art of Kendo. And never let anyone steal your dreams.

        Comment


        • #5
          I better start exercising hardcore

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm willing to do this but if it comes to a point I might have to quit martial arts. I go to Villari's.. wich is very expensive.. apparently.. to me.. For me, the prices are a bit higher because I'm in Leadership, a thing you achieve if you show you are doing well, wich sucks one payment of $600 out of your pocket, and tacks opn $60 onto your $100 lessons. Then theres gear, weapons for Leadership, and tournoment money. Overall in one year it can cost up to $2000. *shrugs* thats alot for me. At least it works well for me. I'm willing to do this.. also
            for martial arts, I do 3 classes a week (theres an extra 15 minutes added on from extra classes for Leadership too)
            Mondays: 6:30pm-7:30pm
            Wednesdays: 4:30pm-5:30pm
            Saturdays: 11:00am-12:00pm
            I whent from being able to do no situps to being able to do over 100. *shrugs* Thats good for me, seeing how it only took about a month for me to get this strong (with no drugs)... I used to be one of the weaker people.. Whimpy.. Not in shape.. a little.. round you could say... But so far I think martial arts is a good thing to do before getting into kendo.. but compared to kendo i feel M.A. is a little petite training session... ^^x' lol.. hm.. well.. if I can do just one class a week i might be able to do both, I'm not sure. lol I'll look into it! Just hope theres a sunday class for it... or a saturday afternoon class.. Because I'll have better luck going one class on weekends for it. Thanks for the info anyways... I need to get a Shinai now.. I only have katanas.. and you cant really do suburis with katanas... and if you can.. tell me how ^^x lol

            Comment


            • #7
              also... you didnt seem rough on me, its ok. (Whats rough is when M.A sensei forces pushups upon me when I have a bad elbow @.@x lol but I can do them well still)
              If there was a dojo nearby my house I'd be there every day instead of here. I mean.. I wouldnt take the bus home, I'd take the bus to the dojo then spend hours practicing there, then come home. lol

              Comment


              • #8
                Who needs to go home? Id just stay there or id go home with Sensei and have Personal training with him for ever!!!! Mwahaha. But yea Start on Suburi and do those relentlessly they dont do anything for you untill that Shinai becomes 50 pounds and its a nasty busness geting that up and down. Thats when it helps just try to keep it centered and try to go as fast as you can but keep all the foot work and swing as clean as possible also unless you have a big house youll want to watch out for your celing lol i didnt think about the hight untill after i hit it and made a big mark. So practise out side and if you dont feel confortable with all the girls swarming you wanting to know stuff then practise on your knees inside thats what i do on rainy days well i hope that helps.
                Heres a website with some downloadable Movies of different kinds of Suburi
                in the archives section and read down untill you find the one with there Suburi exercise clips
                The Men Kote Men is crazy
                Kenshi Smurf

                Comment


                • #9
                  Heres the actual page with the Suburi, and Kiai practise examples
                  Have fun Men Kote Men is my fav

                  Kenshi Smurf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    hm... girls swarming around you? I can deal with that. lol
                    well i currently dont have a bokken or shinai. I might get one soon or borrow my friend's (she has 1 shinai and 2 bokken. lol and lives at the house right behind our house. lol)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Start with Kendo first, you'll later learn Kendo no Kata and when Sensei believes that you are ready then he or she will begin instruction in Iaido. However, you'll likely not use a katana first but a bokken then. And a shinken, a katana with a sharp edge isn't required until maybe yodan and only if you afford it. Yet what you have told us the cost in dollars might not an issue.

                      But also give some thought to the fact that a Kendo dojo is not with easy distance at this time for you. There might be something, I that I'm not aware of, that is preventing you from getting to Kendo right now. I will venture a guess that it usually that we need to do something or learn something before the object of our desire is within reach. It will take some thought or mediation on the challenges that is around you.

                      Surrender to Kendo and let no one steal your dreams.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well... there are a few things that may make me.. not 100+% efficient in it.. but.. I just controlled my "spirit" today.. in karate.. if you were there maybe you'd understand.. but.. I have 2 real swords.. so i could use those..lol

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Would they let you use a Reverse Blade in Iaido? No realy i wanna know Kenshin has one but can he use it

                          Kenshi Smurf

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            wow you are a bit of a nut i dont sugest kendo you anime obsesed slut freak whta the hella is wrong with you
                            .......
                            da mmn anime fans sohoudnt be allowed to wswing a damn subje shinai

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey chill a bit. ^^x' Its ok for some people to have interests in the comparisons of anime and reality. I mean... i have a sword like an anime character's.. but.. I've always wanted a sword like that.. You shouldnt be so mean towards people who like anime too. I mean.. I like anime, so what? Its not like I drown in the TV from it. uhg why do these people see everybody else as lower peoplke then them? People who train are supposed to respect others, no matter what rank or age.
                              If me or him was like "WHOO I WATCHED ANIME KILL PEOPLE SO NOW IM GUNNA GO SWING A SWORD AROUND AND SLAUGHTER MILLIONS!!!" THEN you could say something like that. lol

                              Comment

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