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  • Peculiarities of technique

    I am a beginner little resources to draw from at my dojo due to lack of experience of the instructors so with slow maturity in my physical training, I am currently trying to mature my mind about Kendo.


    I recently watched the top 8, semi-finals, and finals for the 8th Dan 50th All Japan Kendo Championships, and I noticed an interesting thing about each guy's heel alignment. I have been taught to keep my left heel straight and off the ground, and noted this similarity of heel alignment in the regular championships. I became a little confused and was thinking: if one is taught one way of heel alignment being straight for so long, why do every single one of these very high level Kendoists have their heal turned inwards?


    I thought about this for a while and could only come up with one justification:

    The basic footwork we are taught give us the foundation of correct body movement. As one gets more advanced, footwork becomes inherent with a high level of mastery over body movement, thus allowing the Kendoist to use the footwork that works best for them.

    I most certainly appreciate anyones thoughts and ideas about the answer I have arrived at. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    they have their heels turned inwards? I wouldn't know how a hachidan operates, but I find that weird. Maybe kendo was different when they learned it? You have to be pretty old to be a hachidan,


    someone with more experience please answer this quesetion

    Comment


    • #3
      It could have to do with age and joint issues and thus maybe they have to turn their heels/feet a bit. Maybe it's just too uncomfortable or not even possible to maintain straight feet as one reaches older age.

      Granted this is just blatant guess work. Bring on someone with better knowledge than me.... won't be hard to find...

      Comment


      • #4
        Perhaps they have developed a habit and haven't been able to get rid of it (just speculating here). I've observed that our sensei who is a 7th dan also has his heels turned inward and teaches differently from our younger 4th dan sensei... perhaps old techniques?

        Comment


        • #5
          They're all pretty old guys, and as you get older you have to make adjustments for things like - inability to keep your calves tensioned, not being able to do big lunging attacks, getting tired more easily, etc.

          Do what they say, not what they do, to a certain extent. You shouldn't be doing old man's kendo. Copy the footwork you see in the All Japans first.

          Hamish

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Swissv2
            I recently watched the top 8, semi-finals, and finals for the 8th Dan 50th All Japan[color=black]
            SwissMiss, you seem to have a lot of enthusiasm about learning as much about kendo as possible... i.e. looking a photos, watching videos, etc. Stick with what you learn in keiko.

            I bought 12th WKC videos from e-bogu. It's entertaining and somewhat educational. But I don't do the same stuff. It's advanced waza, which I would get yelled for doing (super small men-uchi instead of big men-uchi).

            Comment


            • #7
              M.Makita (54), H.Kobayashi (57) E.Sueno(53) had slightly straight feet. But H.Yamada,(54) had some crazy attacking!

              quick edit: hai_hai I understand, but when your instructor has only a year's worth experience in Kendo, then you have to improvise

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Swissv2
                I thought about this for a while and could only come up with one justification:

                The basic footwork we are taught give us the foundation of correct body movement. As one gets more advanced, footwork becomes inherent with a high level of mastery over body movement, thus allowing the Kendoist to use the footwork that works best for them.
                I asked my sensei this question a few years ago, and he responded the same thing.

                One of the big things he taught us before leaving was that kendo is about always learning, relearning, and redoing things.

                At the start your taught to swing a certain way, at Shodan your expected to swing slightly different, at Sandan you come back to the way you started but is changed slightly.... etc. Footwork is similar, both in heel, and body movement.

                Enjoy :-)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Peculiarities of Footwork

                  I've heard there is learning process of basic body movements especially footwork.

                  Hachidan senseis definately know the basic posture of footwork should be parallel. I would not doubt it at all.
                  Actually, I asked same question to my close friend, who is yon dan sensei now.

                  He told me,, the reason why our both feet should be parallel is if you miss first attack, you can go next attack immediately. That's mostly true. Even for him.

                  But he also mentioned godansha level senseis turn their left foot slightly inward,intentionally.
                  One reason is natural posture tends to skew to the right very slightly. Right hand side body is slightly comes forward. I haven't asked lots of questions to him about more details.

                  The other thing he mentioned that kind of method is for godansha level not for someone who is level as sandan, yondan and godan. We usally hears about when we strike the importance of left arm's movement not right arm. But the other peculiarities of arm movement is some godansha intentionally use right arm more to strke effectively.

                  But i think many sensei is afraid of mentioning this kind of peculiarity so that their students could not build up basic skills effectively. I think pedagogically that's true for 99% of the students. Without mastering elementary algebra, geometry, and PreCalculus, it's hard for one to conquer Linear/Non-Linear algebra, Advanced Calculus, etc even calculus.
                  Last edited by BrainFart; 22nd July 2004, 11:01 AM.

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                  • #10
                    About Tournaments

                    WKC is great for the young people to be encouraged fighting spirit and mastering various skills. However, comparing to godansha tournaments especially something like hachidan tournaments in Japan I bet that's somewhat joke.

                    If one still doubt, one should watch hachidan promotion test from national georgraphic. I think mature kendo does not require point winning and losing the game controlling opponents. I do not think Ishida sensei in that documentary try to do "the better kendo" just to pass the hachidan promotion. Rather he was trying very hard to grasp hachidan level's kendo and i think he must have thought he was very lucky to pass the promotion.

                    I thought in the advanced level if one maybe lose the kensen or kamae at chudan, mentally one is defeated by the opponents. Same reason applies to the blocking the opponents' shinai not to be hit comparing to counterattacking. This is true when one had opportunity to hold real sword. One really does not want to go for reckless attacking without distroying opponent's kamae, kensen, and mind if one has a good mindset of real sword's way.

                    Food for thought.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Swissv2
                      quick edit: hai_hai I understand, but when your instructor has only a year's worth experience in Kendo, then you have to improvise
                      Why do you have to improvise?
                      E-bogu has instructional tapes. I would suggest those tapes, not competition tapes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Give me $46 then I will buy those tapes hai_hai. Your comment is valid, but currently I had been saving up just to buy a uniform. I am sure you have seen my posts for used uniforms, and now I can say I have the complete basic uniform. If you donate $46 to me, then you can write it off on your "kendo expense" for a good cause

                        All kidding aside, I am not looking to improvise to "make up something" but rather "come up with other ways to learn kendo" so I am video taping my feet and swing and then reading these forums for information. I wont use my uniform yet until I am happy with my footwork, I watch the videos I have taken of my form and check for consistency.

                        My instructor said my feet and movement are very good this week, and said my swing is excellent. So, being that I was yelled at last week, it makes me happy.
                        Last edited by Swissv2; 23rd July 2004, 05:27 AM.

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