Should i Join Kendo

A forum for discussion on all things related to the martial-arts and oriental sword-arts

Moderators: Big Lazy, Moderators

Kamui
Posts: 6887
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 11:33 am
Location: Lost in an empty space
Contact:

Post by Kamui » Tue Feb 08, 2005 2:39 pm

buy the kata DVD and a bokken from blades!!

Nylkyri
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Finland

Post by Nylkyri » Tue Feb 08, 2005 2:58 pm

rrright... its a shame it costs £25

and wtf... bokkens/daitos cost over 60e in finland and i wouldnt want to resort to buying a bloody stick from the states or the uk...

Guess ill just train with the pk and hope i dont slit my throat accidently...

User avatar
Banzai Joe
Posts: 2267
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by Banzai Joe » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:20 pm

You could 'kind of' teach yourself. But personally without an instructor it would amount to next to nothing. You would simply me trying to mimick what you see experts do on a dvd, but you wouldn't obtain any spirit of the art. If all you wanna do is swish a sword around and cut the heads off flowers, then sure, go for it.
But it would be such a pity if thats all you want if for (from my own budo point of view).
However, there are a helluva lot of subtle movements in using a katana and/or wakizashi, so there really is no easy or cheap way, unless you're lucky enough to find a sensei who will show you for free.

Good luck though :>

Nylkyri
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Finland

Post by Nylkyri » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:36 pm

You would simply me trying to mimick what you see experts do on a dvd, but you wouldn't obtain any spirit of the art. If all you wanna do is swish a sword around and cut the heads off flowers, then sure, go for it.
What do you think is the spirit of the art? What sort of approach would you people recommend for the katana martial art scene?

I still live at my parents and even talking about katanas and stuff is already embarrasing, leave alone practicing or going to classes. Anyone else with the same problem? probably not but ill ask anyways..

User avatar
Banzai Joe
Posts: 2267
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by Banzai Joe » Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:06 am

Nylkyri wrote:I still live at my parents and even talking about katanas and stuff is already embarrasing, leave alone practicing or going to classes. Anyone else with the same problem? probably not but ill ask anyways..
Having trawled through other forums and found similar topics, you'd be suprised how common your situation is.

I'm not sure how to describe the spirit of the art in words, it really is a feeling. IMHO its how you present yorself when practising your art, its how you think it helps you in your life, its how you discpline yourself on your chosen path in your chosen art, its how you respect your art and the masters before you who developed it.
To me, just swinging a stick/sword around without a tad of knowledge will hold no spirit at all. you may as well play with a baseball bat.
So, my advice would be to research it a little more, read about the history or swordsmanship, obviously japanese if you want to use bokuto/katana. Read about the training and the philosophies. Understand all this, then pick up a bokuto with a goal in mind, be it spiritual, mental or physical. If you have all 3 of these goals in mind, your swordmanship will develop as will your personal self.

I hold the sword arts in high regard and often despair at wallies just picking up bokuto and belting each other or cutting a milk carton open with a sword, so i hope this gobbledygook helps.

Good luck

Nylkyri
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Finland

Post by Nylkyri » Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:29 am

Actually that helped alot. I have been doing some research on the japanese culture and swordsmanship recently (currently reading about Miyamoto Musashi and the book of five rings)

I just might go to a Iaido/kendo class some time. Its a shame tho that it takes about and hour and a half to get to the nearest place that teaches kendo/iaido..

EDIT: Oh and then theres the fact that my family is christian and they well... arent really open minded about the spiritual side of it...

User avatar
Banzai Joe
Posts: 2267
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by Banzai Joe » Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:46 am

Nylkyri wrote:Actually that helped alot. I have been doing some research on the japanese culture and swordsmanship recently (currently reading about Miyamoto Musashi and the book of five rings)

I just might go to a Iaido/kendo class some time. Its a shame tho that it takes about and hour and a half to get to the nearest place that teaches kendo/iaido..

EDIT: Oh and then theres the fact that my family is christian and they well... arent really open minded about the spiritual side of it...
Hmmm.....i see your dilemma, but i admire your willingness to pursue it. Even if you can only attend an iai/kendo class once per month, you will gain valuable knowledge of swordsmanship. You will learn the shape of basic waza in iai and kendo no kata, which you can then practice at home with a bokuto, and each time you visit the dojo, ask, or concentrate on polishing your forms. From these classes your spirit should develop in quite a few different ways.

One thing to bear in mind, when i mention 'spirit' i don't mean in a religious sense or praying etc (some folks do take it as religion, but i certainly don't). Its more of a state of mind when you are training. Zanshin (awareness) and metsuke (gazing at the mountain) are states of concentration which help develop your spirit in the art. So does kiai, especially in kendo. Educate your parents that this is not religious in the slightest, its more about respect and the bringing together of mind, body and sword......as one, to improvement yourself in life.

:>

Nylkyri
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Finland

Post by Nylkyri » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:04 pm

Its more of a state of mind when you are training. Zanshin (awareness) and metsuke (gazing at the mountain) are states of concentration which help develop your spirit in the art
Yeeess... Unagi.. Total awareness.. :>

no.. seriously.. I know what you mean with spirit in this sense.. Its just that in the finnish society the japanese culture and everything related to it is yet very "new" and strange. (tho anime/manga/hentai has been covering alot of ground in the last few years among 13-18 year olds.)

MaZa should know what i mean.. btw nice to see other finns here...

anywho.. About Iaido/Kendo/Ken-jutsu. The thing is that i really dont like the idea of paying 400e for a bloody kendo armour, or that kendo and other martial arts have been turned into a sport. I havent so far been to a kendo/iaido dojo but if i get a change im sure to go there.. maybe when i see what its like, ill know more..[/quote]

User avatar
Banzai Joe
Posts: 2267
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by Banzai Joe » Wed Feb 09, 2005 2:12 pm

Nylkyri wrote:
anywho.. About Iaido/Kendo/Ken-jutsu. The thing is that i really dont like the idea of paying 400e for a bloody kendo armour, or that kendo and other martial arts have been turned into a sport. I havent so far been to a kendo/iaido dojo but if i get a change im sure to go there.. maybe when i see what its like, ill know more..
Well, yes, shiai kendo tends to be classed as sport, but kendo no kata which any decent sensei should teach is that link that connects us to the koryo, and the tradition of kenjutsu as a martial art.
Iaido, most tend to call a pure martial art, it is a 'do' or way to personal improvement, most commonly practiced singly rather than with a partner, unless you perform advanced waza like the 'tachi uchi no korai' (sp?), which looks a lot like kendo no kata.
Boju is expensive, and you can certainly join a kendo club and not use bogu for months. Often dojos will let you rent the bogu on a weekly basis, this is usually a very cheap option.
Check out your nearest dojo's and enquire. :D

User avatar
Keitaro
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:45 pm
Location: Near Stoke
Contact:

Post by Keitaro » Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:35 pm

I was also in the bogu dilemma, but my sensei kindly lent me some until I can get my own. I am 14 and he is well into his 40s but it still fits! He is quite short, you see...
You can imagine that at my age it is very hard to get money, I've currently got £130 and am saving for a 4mm bogu set. Shiai kendo is a lot of fun and really helps you to build on your techniques, being able to hit a live target and all, but I think I prefer the calm and spiritual essence of the kata.

Nylkyri
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Finland

Post by Nylkyri » Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:45 pm

Thank you both for the input on my case. I appreciate it.

How often is Kendo practiced? like in courses, how often do you go there, like every week or every other week? There arent really many martial arts dojos in finland and those who do.. well... lets just say they have their websites hosted on geocities and GOD how little information can they have on websites. No phone number or anything.. Just address...

anywho..

How much do kendo courses cost generally in england? in finland the course for basic kendo is about 90e and it lasts about three months.. Plus the "senseis" are finnish... not that it would really matter but its just... weird to call a finnish guy who just happens to teach kendo a "sensei"

User avatar
Keitaro
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:45 pm
Location: Near Stoke
Contact:

Post by Keitaro » Wed Feb 09, 2005 8:37 pm

I go once a week and pay monthly, £15 a month. So in three months I spend £45, which works out to €65, so you'd be spending €25 more than here in the UK. It seems quite a lot, but that's up to you...
Just go along to a dojo and see what you think. If you like it and think its worth the cash, then go for it. I'm sure you wont regret it!

User avatar
Banzai Joe
Posts: 2267
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by Banzai Joe » Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:56 am

I pay £5 per session, usually twice a week, and/or i train on wednesday morning from 6am07.30am with a friend who trains at a different dojo.
I don't know of any block 'courses' as such, but there are plenty of 2-day seminars throughout the UK. There is one being held at our dojo in March over 2 days, sensei Ozawa (7th dan) is visiting us from Japan to teach . Its his teachings who our organisation are heavily influenced by, so its like being visited by the grandmaster if you like. The 2 days costs only £30 and is 6 hours each day. Quality kendo training for a small amount imho.
I was also in the bogu dilemma, but my sensei kindly lent me some until I can get my own. I am 14 and he is well into his 40s but it still fits! He is quite short, you see...
You can imagine that at my age it is very hard to get money, I've currently got £130 and am saving for a 4mm bogu set. Shiai kendo is a lot of fun and really helps you to build on your techniques, being able to hit a live target and all, but I think I prefer the calm and spiritual essence of the kata.
I agree with you there Keitaro, and hope you find fulfillment in kendo. 4mm bogu would be ok for someone of your age, mine is 2mm and well needed, lol, as im more than double your age and tend to take quite a beating from my peers :roll:
I got my bogu from Sehyun kumdo in korea, 2mm, cost less than £300, very good quality too, including bogu bag, tenegui etc.

User avatar
Keitaro
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:45 pm
Location: Near Stoke
Contact:

Post by Keitaro » Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:39 pm

That's actually a very good price, the site I get all my kendo stuff from sells 2mm bogu for nearly £400! Kumdo is the korean equivilant of kendo, right?

User avatar
Banzai Joe
Posts: 2267
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by Banzai Joe » Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:06 pm

Keitaro wrote:That's actually a very good price, the site I get all my kendo stuff from sells 2mm bogu for nearly £400! Kumdo is the korean equivilant of kendo, right?
yes and even my 5th dan sensei says its good stuff
http://www.sehyun-kumdo.com/

Post Reply