Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Motivation and the Kill Bill/Last Samurai phenomenon

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Motivation and the Kill Bill/Last Samurai phenomenon

    Hi there!

    A new beginners group was just formed at my dojo, and I was amazed at how packed with new people it was last night. Kendoka have noted an increased interest in kendo and iaido over the past few years and have often attributed it to the StarWars/Matrix/LOTR/KillBill/LastSamurai craze, and many have deplored this phenomenon.

    I'm interested in your comments, not so much about the movies, but about the initial motivation for practicing kendo. In my opinion, one's initial motives for beginning kendo don't matter so much. Even if you first take up the shinai or bokuto or iaito because you want to look as cool as the characters in your favorite movie, you soon realize there is a lot of work involved (not so much in looking like tom cruise or ulla thurman, but..) in actually practicing, and are soon forced to reevaluate your motivations and priorities. Either that, or you just drop it altogether, which can be fine too. I doubt many of us started with completey "pure" motivation anyway, which i guess would consist in practicing kendo for its own sake, aside from any ulterior motives.

    I recall my initial motivation was finding a sport/art akin to Zen practice, where i could do something with my body, compete with others in a climate of respect, and indulge a general fascination with Japanese medieval culture and philosophy, and yes, probably look cool, too.

    Anyway, here are a few things that I thought were quite helpful:

    At my dojo, after the initial two or three "sample" trainings, which tend to "weed out" ppl looking for quick returns anyway, people are required to sign on and pay membership dues in advance for a three-month period. This encourages them to take their decision to practice seriously and commit themselves to it, at least for an initial period of time.

    One of the senior teachers recently had us fill out a questionaire asking about our reasons for practicing kendo, our short- and long-term goals, ways we would like to improve ourselves, suggestions for training, etc. He says he will show them to us again in a few months to compare with our progress, but just getting stuff down in writing helped a lot in being clearer about motivation and goals.

    What was/is your motivation for starting kendo/iaido, or continuing to practice it? And what suggestions would you have for developing "better" motivation? Or better yet, what would you consider to be "proper" motivation?

    not-I.

  • #2
    hmm, well to my personal opinion you can't have a "pure" motivation about anything you don't know anything about, because what is a pure motivation anyways. If you have practiced kendo for years maybe you can come up with some good reasons to continue doing it. Maybe the most "pure" reason of beginning kendo is just being curious,doesn't look like a good reason maybe at first, but I think that it at least recognizes that you do not know anything or very little.

    My personal incentive to start kendo was because soccer practice stops in april and as a student the general rule is: if you don't do any movement on a regular basis, you spend your time on the couch and that is not very healthy + you got to get in shape for the next season and that takes a lot of effort if you spent 4 months on your ass (esp if you have little or no selfdiscipline like me). How I got to do kendo ^.^; :long story short, it kinda happened

    I'm now doing kendo for +- 8 months and now I just want to get better at it.
    plus I like training for whatever I do soccer as well as kendo.

    Comment


    • #3
      I really like indigo blue..........and I want some tenuguis...that is all.

      Comment


      • #4
        Beer, Sake and O-Furo

        Originally posted by Odachi
        I really like indigo blue..........and I want some tenuguis...that is all.
        It ain't the kendo practice, its the Beer, Sake and O-furo after practice. Then again , maybe its the smell of my bogu hanging up in my office, no well then again maybe the wonderful blue color us white boys turn after wearing a new keikogi and hakama, thats always a wonderful benefit, and the women go wild for us smurfs!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wout
          hmm, well to my personal opinion you can't have a "pure" motivation about anything you don't know anything about, because what is a pure motivation anyways. If you have practiced kendo for years maybe you can come up with some good reasons to continue doing it. Maybe the most "pure" reason of beginning kendo is just being curious,doesn't look like a good reason maybe at first, but I think that it at least recognizes that you do not know anything or very little.
          I quite agree. And I don't think simple curiousity is a "bad" motive at all. I guess one of the few actually "bad" motives would be a desire to hurt people. Anyway, it seems like the more you practice, the less you wonder about why you're doing it -- it turns into a routine, but with lots of nice surprises.
          And in a way, just being drawn to it in the first place is a sign of affinity. Then it's just a question of decision, commitment and practice. And, as I also have a problem with self-discipline, it's nice having a sensei screaming at you to do that 293rd men-uchi with conviction!

          not-I.

          p.s. as i just noticed an earlier thread on "motivation," i wanted to stress that this thread is more about "getting started", beginners' motives in starting, and the kill-bill/last samurai phenomenon, rather than reasons for continuing practice, which seem to be rather irrelevant anyway.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by not-I
            At my dojo, after the initial two or three "sample" trainings, which tend to "weed out" ppl looking for quick returns anyway, people are required to sign on and pay membership dues in advance for a three-month period. This encourages them to take their decision to practice seriously and commit themselves to it, at least for an initial period of time.

            not-I.
            In my view, financial commitment should never ever be part of any primary motivation in any martial arts. Period. There is no point asking beginners to financially commit when they lack the spirit to train in the first place. To train otherwise would be purely out of obligation - then what's the point?

            p.s. not taking a shot at you - just an observation

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Andoru
              In my view, financial commitment should never ever be part of any primary motivation in any martial arts. Period. There is no point asking beginners to financially commit when they lack the spirit to train in the first place. To train otherwise would be purely out of obligation - then what's the point?
              I think it works the other way around. Having to buck up for 3 months makes you decide if you want to be that committed - those that don't have the "spirit to train" quit right there. If you let them pay by the month then you'll just get more people lingering on for one more month before they quit. Also, monthly payments is an administrative headache I wouldn't want to get into. The YMCA takes care of all that stuff now but if I had it do over again I may well have yearly fees and have done with it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Neil - I understand what you mean. That's a good way of filtering out people.

                I've seen someone suggesting to the sensei that the club fees should be increased etc so that people would be motivated to train more. Stuff along that line....which suggests what I said earlier.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well there is the odd little psychological phenomona where people think the club is bad because the fees are low. We charge maybe 15% of what the local eclectic kurotty studio charges, so to some people that means we're unqualified.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bahahahaha - consumer behaviour is so unpredictable.

                    Personally I'm glad to be paying only AUD$50 (CAD$50.14) per quarter...and with 2 6th dan senseis (one from Japan) to learn from too. This is easily the cheapest (and best) martial arts I've ever trained in.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This last January, we had the largest beginner class ever to join at one time. When i asked my sensei why he thought this was, his reply, two words, TOM CRUISE. Plus, we are one of the more inexpensive dojos around. $15 a month to train with the likes of Maki Miyahara and sensei Yamasaki. I think this really is the greatest bargain of my lifetime.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        there had been alot of new begginners at JCCC too, we usuallly let beginners join at the starting of the month, but since there were so many, we skipped a month.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ruroni kenshin,hitokiri battousai

                          i first got interested in kendo after watching animes like ruroni kenshin
                          i wanted to do stuff like sojirou there,s this technique he does call "shukuchi"
                          were he moves faster then (god like speed)is another technique it,s really
                          cool it makes you wish you could do that too or when he combines
                          shukuchi & batto-jutsu he moves faster then the eye cant see and slashs you
                          but kenshin cant see it.... he beats sojirou

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi i'm new to this forum and this seems like a perfect thread for my first post.
                            I started kendo because you train in all the things that i basically suck at, concentration, discipline, posture, coordination and that stuff really to improve myself and yes i cannot deny that i also would like to look cool while improving myself..

                            I discovered kendo quite a while ago, but i didnt take it up because it was too difficult for a guy with the attention span of a brick to do such a sport, besides i allready played waterpolo at that time.Long story short i quit waterpolo,then later a friend of mine said that he used to play kendo,and i was like OFCOURSE kendo ...so i looked for a dojo,and was quite happy to find that the beginners course was starting shortly.

                            Anyway,about the Last Samurai, Kill Bill hype.I haven't even seen the movies,but i do enjoy some watching some anime tho.

                            Kay that turned out to be a rather incoherent intro of myself..anyway

                            --Niels

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by demon hiei
                              i first got interested in kendo after watching animes like ruroni kenshin
                              i wanted to do stuff like sojirou there,s this technique he does call "shukuchi"
                              were he moves faster then (god like speed)is another technique it,s really
                              cool it makes you wish you could do that too or when he combines
                              shukuchi & batto-jutsu he moves faster then the eye cant see and slashs you
                              but kenshin cant see it.... he beats sojirou
                              Looks like ALI G has another victim

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X