Thread: Talk To Me About Kendo
2/03/2014 12:53pm, #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
Talk To Me About Kendo
The purpose of this thread is for people who have done Kendo to answer one question for me - is it fun or is it boring?
I've been away from training altogether for a while. I miss it sometimes but truthfully I'm not motivated to go back to getting the **** kicked out of me or getting twisted into a pretzel three times a week.
Kendo looks like it could be fun. It also looks like it could be boring as hell and possibly get old fast. That's where you come in. Is it fun, or is it fun for like a week and then boring? Help a brother out.
By the way, please don't annoy me with bullshit about the validity of Kendo as a fighting art or any of that crap. I know what Kendo is. I don't need you to educate me on the importance of defending a double leg takedown or any such ****.
Is. It. Fun?
Last edited by Devil; 2/03/2014 12:57pm at .
2/03/2014 1:18pm, #2
It's really boring before it gets fun. You can expect 3 months minimum of basics drills before you get to spar. Also the mindset is very traditional, so it is very much "do it this way and this way only", at least at the start. If you figure you can handle all that, then yes it gets fun.
Also like any other martial art, a lot depends on the instructor and club culture/environment.
Where do you live?
2/03/2014 1:26pm, #3
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
Is my understanding correct that there are really only a handful of techniques in Kendo and you practice them over and over and over again? And if that's the case, does sparring remain fun or does even that get old because of the limited number of techniques? Or are there always little nuances that you're learning that keep it interesting?
2/03/2014 1:36pm, #4
I've never done Kendo, but I've watched their training a lot when I was in New Orleans.
Bogu (the armor) is hot as hell so be prepared to sweat !Falling for Judo since 1980
2/03/2014 1:40pm, #5
Well there's always that cycle of getting bored with one thing or another. But the real interesting part of kendo is making that small set of techniques work on another person. Ironically for many people (50%+) getting into armour is what causes them to quit. It's physically a lot tougher, and the aggression is difficult for some to handle. The pressure you experience especially from senior people is hard to describe. Also it's a big test of your ego if you are young, athletic and normally a quick study at sports. Getting crushed repeatedly by some geriatric little Japanese guy can be hard to take. However to me that's what makes it fun - after 30 years, I am still getting better. That's the unique thing about kendo - all the old farts are still on the floor, usually wiping it with the young 'uns.
As far as nuances - as you get better, it's not so much the physical stuff as the mental. Of course you do have to execute, but we are striving to beat the other guy mentally. Win, then cut goes the saying.
At any rate, the best thing to do as always is give it a try. Visit a club, visit a few if you are lucky enough to live somewhere with options. Watch a practice, talk to the sensei, talk to some students.
2/03/2014 1:45pm, #6
Regarding the set of waza - there are 4 targets, 3 cuts and a thrust. However there are a lot of ways to set them up and to defend so there is more variety than it initially appears. But yeah, quite limited compared to some stuff you might have seen. However, it all works at full speed, and that speed is very quick. Video doesn't give you the real sense of just how quick.
2/03/2014 4:42pm, #7
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
Another question. How rough is Kendo on your knees? I've seen some squatting and some explosiveness during attacks.
I have a bum left knee that I've procrastinated on getting fixed. I can spring off of it okay and I can do squats fine when I lift. It's a weird injury and certain things make my knee give out. Like landing on my left leg with my knee bent deeply.
Which foot is forward in a proper Kendo stance? From videos, it looks like it's right foot forward, right? I'm right handed, if that makes a difference. If I spring forward and land on my right leg, I'm fine.
2/03/2014 4:56pm, #8
Another kendo quirk - we don't care if you are left or right handed, you are fighting right. That means left hand at the bottom of the hilt, right foot forward, drive with the left foot and land on the right.
If you have a chronic knee injury the etiquette can be modified to accommodate it.
Generally speaking kendo is pretty easy on the body compared to anything else.
2/03/2014 5:29pm, #9
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
- Gold Coast, Australia
Yes. Kendo is fun. Echoing everything Neil said. Sometimes its gets frustrating and you feel like you're in a training rut, but that's the same with everything.
You get a lot of honest feedback from being hit, not a lot of talking goes on (at my dojo at least - too much effort when you're in bogu), and it can be a great workout.
Plus - you get to hit people with pretend swords - what is more fun that that? My dojo is a traditional japanese one (i'm one of the only non-Japanese people there as it is conducted in japanese due to lot of ex-pats are here) so we do formal kata every time at the beginning. From the sounds of it, this isn't the norm.
Just be careful with the timing in joining up - seems to be that after every new samurai or ninja movie comes out (as 47 ronin is out now), there is an increase in new members. As Neil said, the first few months are spent on footwork and basics, so you get a number of people coming along wanting to do anime moves and chanbara, so depending on the dojo you go to, they may not seem too welcoming at first. There seems to be a bit of a "we'll wait and see if they stick around attitude before investing too much energy" vibe - again, that could just be my experience. You're a big boy - you can handle it.
It can attract japanophiles, but they tend to move on pretty quickly too.
TL:DR - YES KENDO IS FUN
2/03/2014 5:52pm, #10
Sorry to butt in on this thread, but I have a question about kendo, hope ya don't mind.
What, if any, are the differences between kendo and kenjutsu?
When I was in college and a member of a Shotokan club, one of the other members said he'd "done some kenjutsu". I asked him if that was anything like kendo. He said that kendo is a lot more of a sport than a martial art and that it pretty much consists of just a few movements and strikes that you just do over and over. He said kenjutsu, on the other hand, is an actual combat art and that, while there are some basic moves and techniques across the board, there are dozens of different styles, all with their own unique methods, but that each kendo school is pretty much the same as any other.
I just nodded my head and didn't say anything. To this day, though, I am still wondering...is there any truth to that or was he just giving me a big plate of crap?