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have you ever had a keiko with a high grade sensei?? 8th dan 9th dan? how was it? Page Title Module
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  • have you ever had a keiko with a high grade sensei?? 8th dan 9th dan? how was it?

    thats the subject.
    the higher level sensei I had keiko with was with my sensei (7th dan kendo 5th iaido 4th jodo...) and everytime it was awesome. I always wished I had more experience in kendo to appreciate better his lessons.

    the most difficout thing I remember when I practiced keiko with him was the timing. he always got me with dekote. it wasnt fast but it was right on the moment I saw an apportunity to attack and right when I start moving to the target. no matter what I did, the shinai was there, waiting for me, stalking every movement and studying all my strategies... it was like that sometimes, and it haunts me until today...

    anyway, he always told me that he makes the opponent strike using seme. that way you know when the opponent was going to attack before the movements starts. he says its easier to strike this way becouse it gives you time to hit properly and you can can strike an oponent way faster or stronger than you.

    I never had a keiko with a legendary 8th dan sensei or 9th dan. how is your experience??

    for instance I have a friend that had a keiko with chiba sensei a couple of weeks ago.

  • #2
    I have to be honest, I don't think I am good enough to notice the difference between a 6.dan and an 8.dan. Both are so far beyond me that they are not exerting themselves in the slightest and are strong enough and good enough educators that they played down to a little above my level in order to instruct. I've seen a lot of variety among 4.dans, and between 4.dan and 6.dan, but above that, I'm really not good enough to know the differences.

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    • #3
      I'm with JJ, I often feel like a hachi dans talent is wasted on me, but its fun. Usually turns into kakari geiko, I mean what else are you going to do to a hachi dan, the only thing you can which is just hit as straight and best as you can. I get more of a kick out of watching someone I know who is very good play them. It was really interesting to see three of them play one another at the detroit tournament.

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      • #4
        I think you have a point, fighting a 7th is awesome, but to really understand whats going on when I practice keiko with my sensei it goes far beyond my capabilities...

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        • #5
          the 8 dans i remeber.... fukumoto sensei, ijima sensei and makita sensei... regarding them all, you dont learn to much ''skills'' from them, you learn stuff about combat spirit, and abstract kendo. also, from big senseis you learn the way they do kendo, and if you like you can start to ''copy'' their style of doing kendo.

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          • #6
            I've never had a godan open fully up on me, let alone a hachidan. Not much difference in the practicing with them. But as far as observing you can learn a lot.

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            • #7
              I practice with nanadan sensei regularly (my own), plus we've had all three of Canada's hachidan and most of the local nanadan as guests at our seminar. But the really big gun I got to play with was Haga Tadatoshi, same one you see in "Kendo's Grueling Challenge" coaching the older gentleman. He has been an inspiration to me ever since, and I was sad to hear of his passing last April.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                inspiration
                that's it!

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                • #9
                  he's not a hachidan, but keiko with teramoto-sensei was unreal. He practiced with us for a week, and every time i was able to keiko with him. I have had keiko with ohta-sensei (i think from osaka) who stayed with us for a few months. Funatsu-sensei during a seminar last year, and koda-sensei a month or two ago. I've been lucky in that lots of great sensei have come to Atlanta.

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                  • #10
                    I can remember very little about the first few times I practiced with a hachidan because I was too busy getting off the floor or trying not to pass out! About the last times, I do remember that what impressed me the most was their constant readiness as if tame was their natural state.

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                    • #11
                      I've been fortunate enough to practice with many 8-dan , 7-dan and 6-dan kenshi before. The common element is that each one is different. At the 8dan level each has their own unique way of overwhelming me. I have been fortunate to watch a 9-dan live. Alas I was injured and did not have the chance to practice with him (maybe just as well). I remember seeing people whose kendo I greatly admired looking like they were complete beginners when practicing with them..and wondering...was that what I look like when I practice with 8-dan,7-dan,6-dan kenshi?

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                      • #12
                        I was lucky enough to have keiko with Koda Sensei during his recent US education tour and it was an eye opening experience. He stood perfectly still but I couldn't see or feel a single ounce of tension in his body. No matter what I did he didn't have to move any part of his kamae at all, yet he still managed to overwhelm me every time I tried to go for an attack. In order to do that, he didn't have to physically stop any of my techniques at all, instead he managed to give me a subtle sense I should go in for a strike and he'd have me caught in his timing before I knew it.

                        I've also had several opportunities to have keiko with Shozo Kato Sensei and it is a very different experience compared to keiko with Koda Sensei. Kato Sensei tends to start out with jigeiko but then drives it to kakari-geiko and, more often than not, I end up having to do men-hiki men over and over again until I'm just about ready to collapse, only to have him request kirikaeshi at the very end. I get the feeling from Kato Sensei that he's trying to tell me that he wants me to just push my stamina and endurance harder but more recently, based on some input from other sensei including my own, it may be the case that he's trying to tell me my shoulders are too stiff and pushing me through kakari-geiko is his way of forcing me to burn off all my energy so I have no choice but to relax. From what I can remember, apart from being on the verge of collapsing, was that Kato Sensei is extremely relaxed and doesn't convey any tension in his body, yet you feel that he's ready to pounce at any given second. Nothing about his body language gives anything away unless he wants to tell you something, but by then you're usually too late and he strikes.

                        It's that kind of relaxed yet ready state that I strive for in my own kendo. A long way to go before then however.

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                        • #13
                          My instructor is 8dan. He's a monster for kirikaeshi and kakari-geiko, so we don't get to do jigeiko very often. When we do, it's as ShinKenshi mentioned, above. He's totally relaxed. Extremely at home, in chudan, I'd say. Beyond that I can't really comment, since it's not like he's really trying. I noticed him practicing katate men from chudan one time and showed some interest. He said something along the lines of "I can show you how it's done someday". And now whenever we do get to do jigeiko, he nails me with (at least) one of those, unfailingly. And then smiles.

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                          • #14
                            Yes, I do have, with many 8th dan.

                            Of course they kicked my ass and then they swept the floor with me. I think the fact that doing keiko with people with grades above yours (mine, whoever), is to work in your personal timing (apart of trying to do your own stuff with your best kendou), and after the keiko make your personal reflexion of how the situation was when you were trying to do x or y technique, how he was reacting with the "pressure", and ho you reacted with his pressure on you.

                            Maybe I'm forgetting many other things that I try to remember after the keikos, but that's my general idea/impression

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                            • #15
                              I remember of one of Rokkudan Sensei who kicked the $%@@$^ out of me and I thought wow, he was good. Later on that Sensei was beaten to dust by a Hachidan Sensei.

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