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Interested in starting kendo/iaido.

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  • Interested in starting kendo/iaido.

    Hello to you all, in advance.

    Just had two basic questions for you, any help would be appreciated. First off, as the name says, I'm new to any and all martial arts. An old friend of mine (who, of course, moved away- so I can't find a dojo nearby me easily) had taken up iaido a little while ago, and suggested it to me, because he said it was a wonderful thing, and he'd recommend it to anyone. I was curious, and I think I know the answer (yes), would it help to start another form of a martial art (such as karate) to work on other things, before going straight to kendo, or iaido, depending on which is better to start with? I'd think taking up a different martial art, to work on flexibility, strengthening, etc would be better. However, I do know iaido focuses largely on the strengthening of the mind, as well as the body, so perhaps there isn't a large need to start with another martial art?

    My second question would be, do many dojos offer private lessons? I don't do well with group things (largely because of my mentality, which would sadly make me focus less on my work and more on what the others thought of me), and I think a private lesson would also help me more, because its a 1-on-1 situation, so I'd be taught better. If many dojos do offer private lessons, does anyone know of a good one in New Jersey (preferably north)?

    Once again, thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Hey

    Theres no real reason to start Karate to prepare for Kendo or Iaido , best thing is just to start kendo or Iaido , or even better both

    Kendo and Iaido are both great for mind body and soul. you get somthing special out of it

    I dont think any Dojos offer private lessons . Sooner or later you will have to start working in a group , the fact that Kendo and Iaido is a group thing would be great for you , it will challenge you to over come this "problem".

    After a few months in the dojo it wouldent be a group , it will prob be your friends .

    If any of this makes sence , great , if it doesent , its prob coz im drunk on Famous grouse .

    Khabbi

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    • #3
      So there's really no need to learn karate, or any other martial art that would make me better physically and so on?

      I do understand that being in a group would help, I guess, but I could have sworn there are senseis who train just one person at a time, that type of deal. Perhaps not, I guess. Ah well.

      Thanks. I'm planning on starting both at the same time, unless it's better to start first one, then the other? I think, reading over a few threads here, someone said that if you start one, you learn quicker for the other, for both. So, I guess it wouldn't make a difference which to start with, but has anyone started with one that they felt was easier?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by NewToItAll
        So there's really no need to learn karate, or any other martial art that would make me better physically and so on?

        I do understand that being in a group would help, I guess, but I could have sworn there are senseis who train just one person at a time, that type of deal. Perhaps not, I guess. Ah well.

        Thanks. I'm planning on starting both at the same time, unless it's better to start first one, then the other? I think, reading over a few threads here, someone said that if you start one, you learn quicker for the other, for both. So, I guess it wouldn't make a difference which to start with, but has anyone started with one that they felt was easier?
        For you since you sound like you are worried you can't even handle Iaido since you might be out of shape, you might want to just take Kendo first. Kendo will really push you alot, but starting Iaido is good as well. They both are very hard and take a lot of commitment, but they are both very fun, I do both. Kendo is probably harder physically than Karate, but Iaido is probably less.
        What the other people may have said, is that people that do Kendo or Iaido first, besides some other martial art, will progress much faster in the other art (eg. kendoist does Iaido next, or vice versa) , than someone who doesn't do them. You should probably just go for what you really want to do, instead of waiting in anticipation while doing something you don't want to do, like karate. The people you do Iaido with will also be your friends just as he said, they aren't there to make fun of you, the same is with kendo. Everyone is there to help you out, thats what I love about Iaido and Kendo, everyone is there to improve not only themselves, but whoever they practice with.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Yzakj
          The people you do Iaido with will also be your friends just as he said, they aren't there to make fun of you, the same is with kendo. Everyone is there to help you out, thats what I love about Iaido and Kendo, everyone is there to improve not only themselves, but whoever they practice with.
          i agree completely. there's nothing like sweating together and learning together to break down barriers between people. so i wouldn't focus too much about getting private lessons. part of the appeal of kendo especially is that it is a visceral communal experience -- something that's pretty hard to find nowadays in industrialized societies. and in a group, you also learn from other beginners, both their strong points and their weak points.

          i also agree with yzakj that you might want to start kendo first. try it on for size. settle into it. then start iai if you feel you can make the commitment of time and effort. starting a few months later won't matter in the long run, since many people practice it for the rest of their lives.

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          • #6
            I don't think there are kendo dojo's offering private lessons.....
            But group work is a cornerstone of kendo, it's just fun to meet people by doing keiko with them .

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            • #7
              If you prefer a quiet class, iaido is more likely to have less students.....however if the teacher is like me you wont have any time to worry about other people, you'll be too busy trying to do it right! Same would go for kendo to some extent but it can be a little more distracting with everyone yelling and charging about...

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              • #8
                Alright, thanks a ton to all of you! It does seem like I shouldn't be worried about group stuff, so I hopefully won't.

                As for being out of shape, it's more of..I have terrible asthma. And I know many think that wouldn't affect swordsmanship, but..it affects a lot of things for me.

                It's quite odd, but with enough exercise I can usually get over it (I've been inactive for a while, due to family problems, school, & so on that have kept me busy without doing athletics). But that isn't going to stop me, obviously, as I can get over that problem with enough working out and such..

                Is there really one or the other that puts more strain on the body? Most of you said go with kendo first, and see, so that's what it sounds like I'll be doing, if I can convince my dad, which is another story .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NewToItAll
                  As for being out of shape, it's more of..I have terrible asthma. And I know many think that wouldn't affect swordsmanship, but..it affects a lot of things for me.

                  (snip)

                  Is there really one or the other that puts more strain on the body? Most of you said go with kendo first, and see, so that's what it sounds like I'll be doing, if I can convince my dad, which is another story .
                  there's a guy in our dojo in his mid-20s who also has asthma. he's usually okay without his inhaler on most days, but sometimes he'll take a quick puff before he starts practice and he's good to go. you should ask your doc since he/she should know best how bad your asthma is.

                  as for which puts more strain on the body: kendo, no doubt about it. yes, iai can be strenuous, but more like hiking up a mild incline. kendo is more like running full steam uphill, pausing at the top, then running back down.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Halcyon
                    there's a guy in our dojo in his mid-20s who also has asthma. he's usually okay without his inhaler on most days, but sometimes he'll take a quick puff before he starts practice and he's good to go. you should ask your doc since he/she should know best how bad your asthma is.

                    as for which puts more strain on the body: kendo, no doubt about it. yes, iai can be strenuous, but more like hiking up a mild incline. kendo is more like running full steam uphill, pausing at the top, then running back down.
                    Yeah, I'll probably need my inhaler at the start, but like I said, once I get used to it I should be fine.

                    Kendo is more strenuous, eh? That's sort of what I thought, since it seems to require much more activity, movement, etc. Thanks for the information..I still have yet to figure which one I want to start with first.

                    Oh, and another quick question...does anyone know of any good dojos in the Northern New Jersey area?

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                    • #11
                      One thing I noticed, is that a lot of fat kind of middle aged people start kendo, and they usually can't keep up with me and the other younger kids. It is natural that they are out of shape, and they want to take kendo probably for the Japanese culture part, but they still try hard. But the sensei's understand this, so they push them, but not to the point where they want to die, only sometimes hehe. But if you have a medical condition like asthma, be sure to tell the sensei, and they will understand, though it will never be easy. You have to understand that you are choosing to practice, and no one is forcing you to, so what is the point of slacking off or not trying your hardest, if you choose to do this.
                      Be sure to go check out a class to see how hard it can be, and see if it is what you really want to do, it will definitely help you out though. Hope you have fun with Kendo, at least try it.

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                      • #12
                        "Oh, and another quick question...does anyone know of any good dojos in the Northern New Jersey area?"


                        http://kumdo.co.kr/kendoacademy/

                        They are in Closter and S. Brunswick. Masters Seong and Lee are terrific, but it is a commercial school and not inexpensive.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Yzakj
                          One thing I noticed, is that a lot of fat kind of middle aged people start kendo, and they usually can't keep up with me and the other younger kids. It is natural that they are out of shape, and they want to take kendo probably for the Japanese culture part, but they still try hard. But the sensei's understand this, so they push them, but not to the point where they want to die, only sometimes hehe. But if you have a medical condition like asthma, be sure to tell the sensei, and they will understand, though it will never be easy. You have to understand that you are choosing to practice, and no one is forcing you to, so what is the point of slacking off or not trying your hardest, if you choose to do this.
                          Be sure to go check out a class to see how hard it can be, and see if it is what you really want to do, it will definitely help you out though. Hope you have fun with Kendo, at least try it.
                          Ah, but I'm a skinny, young person. I should be fine with my small out-of-shape-lungs problem that can be solved very quickly.

                          Yeah, now that I've been told of a few dojos in NJ I'll likely go view a few classes, and see if it's right for me.

                          Originally posted by Old Warrior
                          "Oh, and another quick question...does anyone know of any good dojos in the Northern New Jersey area?"


                          http://kumdo.co.kr/kendoacademy/

                          They are in Closter and S. Brunswick. Masters Seong and Lee are terrific, but it is a commercial school and not inexpensive.
                          Thank you for the information, I'll most definetely take a look.
                          Last edited by NewToItAll; 5th January 2004, 04:38 AM.

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