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  • New to Jigeiko

    Hi all

    I'm newly bogud up (3 sessions I think) and feeling fairly boggled about jigeiko! When I try (try being the operative word ) I just feel like a sort of clueless sausage and can't seem to do anything apart from parry or try to hit men and get parried. I asked my sensei and he comfortingly told me that at this stage there was no question of me actually "fighting" and I should just do basics. It also cheered me slightly to admire my sempai's graceful side step & diagonal men every time I tried to cut men on him (!) but still....

    Does anyone have any stories/advice on how they got through the clueless sausage stage?

  • #2
    enjoy it...

    there are no short cuts.

    keep doing it, and eventually your technique will flow.

    it will even become addictive.

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    • #3
      Keep on fighting.

      When I got my bogu I never dared to attack. I waited for others to do something and usually tried hiki-waza on them. Just keep hitting straight good men and kote hits, sometimes do. Always hit before your opponent does.

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      • #4
        Just go for it, never stop fighting, never think too much, never show you're tired, do a lot of kiai (I never wrote this word before) and never go as you were doubtfull or you were expecting some advises, just fight, just try to hit and don't mind if they hit you more.

        That are the advises my senior classmates gave me that's the advises I give to my younger classmates and the best advises I can share with you.

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        • #5
          Stop thinking about winning or losing - just attack with your best effort. Try to keep your technique correct. Don't worry if your attack misses or you get hit.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ekajati
            Does anyone have any stories/advice on how they got through the clueless sausage stage?
            I am still a sausage, but I remember well those first few classes in bogu and how disorienting they can be. I am going to pass my senseis and sempais advice to you: do not concentrate in parrying. By receiving a lot of strikes while trying your basic attacks you will get more and more relaxed, your movement will improve and, one practice at a time, your attack will be more efficient. I know it sounds strange, but getting hit a lot is essential.

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            • #7
              Many thanks for the advice everyone!

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              • #8
                Unless told differently, you should always start and end your session with sensei and high level sempai with men cut. They will probably give you the opening.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Obulco
                  I know it sounds strange, but getting hit a lot is essential.
                  What you say makes a lot of sense and had not occurred to me at all - thanks!

                  By the way everyone, I still can't quite believe that all this repeated head-bashing isn't bad for you - there seem to be few people whose Men is a more of a tap than a mush and I'm sure I went on holiday (which I'm just back from) 3 inches shorter at least .... have any medics expressed an opinion here?!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ekajati
                    By the way everyone, I still can't quite believe that all this repeated head-bashing isn't bad for you - there seem to be few people whose Men is a more of a tap than a mush and I'm sure I went on holiday (which I'm just back from) 3 inches shorter at least .... have any medics expressed an opinion here?!
                    While is true that some people may hit hard, I found out that the feeling of being hit hard during my first practices in bogu had more to do with my incorrect, tense posture than the real force of my partners strike. Actually, after my first couple of practices all I wanted to do was to find good extra protection for my men, my wrist, my knuckles, I even contemplated the idea of some protection for the armpit. The truth is that, as I learn to relax, improve posture and position of the arms, I find that I do not need to use protection any more. Since my dojo mates are basically the same than a year ago, that tells me that most of the issue was on me. Like anything else, it is a matter of practice and time. Decent, fitting equipment should take care of the rest.

                    I hope that the experience of another kendo sausage is useful to you. Just keep practicing in good spirit.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Obulco
                      I hope that the experience of another kendo sausage is useful to you. Just keep practicing in good spirit.
                      Extremely, I find the sausages of the kendo world give me fantastic advice, sometimes better than the Kendo Gods - so come on out all you sausages the pan's still hot! I feel like I have some tools now to be less sausagey tonight . I think my Kendo heaven would be complete and I would feel definitely.... oooh lets say more radishey than sausagey if I felt confident about how to tie the goshdurn Men on

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                      • #12
                        what do you mean "sausage?"
                        i think i get the general gist but ??????

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ekajati
                          What you say makes a lot of sense and had not occurred to me at all - thanks!

                          By the way everyone, I still can't quite believe that all this repeated head-bashing isn't bad for you - there seem to be few people whose Men is a more of a tap than a mush and I'm sure I went on holiday (which I'm just back from) 3 inches shorter at least .... have any medics expressed an opinion here?!
                          I've actually heard that kids who do Kendo come out tall and kids who do judo come out short.

                          As for the jigeiko question...
                          This link always seems to come up. Probably because it's a very good article.
                          http://www.kendo.org.uk/articles/jigeiko/01/

                          I'd say not to worry about scoring the point. What's important is that you recognize oportunities to hit and remember to keep good form. If they dodge and hit you back then try to think (afterwards of course) of what went wrong (e.g., the opportunity wasn't there, timing was too slow, maai was wrong, etc.). Writing your impressions of jigeiko sessions in a journal helps as well.

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                          • #14
                            I will reiterate the advice already given...

                            1. Just keep going for it.
                            2. No points, just do your best kendo.

                            In the old days of our club, you just literally had to fight your way to competence (so to speak)... but I remember just before I tested for ikkyu, this one time I hit sensei's men.. it was the only time I touched him during our 5 minute bout.. and after class, he announced "tango scored a legitimate men on me today." ...And just being able to score that ONE men (even though it's not about scoring points) did a lot of good things for my kendo (mentally, I finally realized that I **COULD** deliver a legit strike).

                            That moment had a good impact on me, and sometimes I let jigeiko newbies hit me when they do everything right (as far as their knowledge and level of ability will allow) even though I know I could suriage or debana or just outright block my way out of the attack. Sometimes, it's kinda like receiving kikarigeiko.. if the attack is good and proper, then it goes.. if the approach and the swing are wrong, then maybe it gets blocked.. I see it as encouraging the newbie to know "hey, I *AM* making progress and I *CAN* make a good, effective attack" ... and as they get more experienced, then the more difficult jigeiko you give them. Eventually, I think they get to a point where I don't hold anything back.. and that way, neither of us has to compromise our kendo and we both are the better for it.

                            Occasionally, some 3.kyu will come in with a big, slow men and I get a little too anxious, lose concentration, miss the suriage, and get hit... hey, that's a legitimate men... "Good job... way to commit to the attack!"

                            Goes a long way, IMO.

                            In any case, always offer your very best kendo, especially to your sempai, asst. instructors, head instructors, etc. ... if they don't give you an inch, so be it. Nobody HAS to give you an inch when you're just getting started in jigeiko, and I, for one, am living proof that you CAN get to a point where you can hold your own on the floor.

                            Sometimes, it might take a little frustration and doing things the "hard way" for a lightbulb to go off in your head on how to do things.. It's all part of trying to figure out YOUR kendo. For example, it took me a solid two years to finally get my suriage waza to a working/practicable level. It's not the best out there, but after a lot of practice, trial/error, getting kabong'd on the men countless times, etc., it finally works.

                            Why should getting a good men or solid kote be any different than that?

                            It just takes time and practice. You'll get better if you stay committed to it. Don't get discouraged and just KNOW that there IS light at the end of the tunnel.

                            Sorry to be so verbose... maybe you guys are getting used to it by now.

                            tango.

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