Thread: Talk To Me About Kendo
2/03/2014 6:06pm, #11
Kendo these days almost always refers to what Devil is asking about - the standardized martial art with the strong competition element that is largely sparring in armour with shinai. Kendo has a kata component that is, similar to judo, mostly ignored until grading time rolls around. Traversnz's dojo is an exception there. Kendo's organization consists of national federations that all belong to one international federation. It's remarkably cohesive, more so than any other budo.
Kenjutsu is a broad term that refers to a number of older schools of swordsmanship. They are usually a family style, usually organized with one head guy who grants teaching permission to seniors. They usually practice almost entirely with kata, although many of them do test cutting and some do some sparring. They can vary wildly in their technique and culture.
Kendo is what we call gendai budo ("modern martial art"), kenjutsu usually means koryu ("old school").
Because of the movies and what-not, there are a lot of fake "kenjutsu" teachers out there. In fact, when someone says he studied "kenjutsu", odds are it wasn't the real deal. Ask him what koryu he is studying - if he doesn't know, red flag.
2/03/2014 7:34pm, #12
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
- Gold Coast, Australia
- Judo, Muay Thai
Each kendo school is pretty much the same is kinda true - it is standardised the same way judo is standardised. This is partly a result because they were both part of the physical education process in junior and senior high schools in Japan. It also means that you can feel safe going anywhere and training without fear of injury / not knowing what to expect etc. Strikes and targets are standard (hence the armour). Each school's attitude to training is different, however. There are hardcore schools and more recreational ones.
Real (koryu) kenjutsu is VERY rare outside Japan. It exists mainly of kata based training (This is also VERY intense at higher levels). I have seen a LOT of schools proclaiming to be kenjutsu because they think it sounds cooler / more real etc. Kind of like a lot of the reverse engineering that goes on with judo becoming jujutsu and aikido becoming aikijutsu to make it more "street". Draeger has left a legacy with his explanations of the difference between -do and -justu.
Best way to find out if its real or not is via lineage.
That being said, if you're lucky enough to have access to real kenjutsu - take it. You're very lucky and I'm jealous.
2/03/2014 8:59pm, #13
Thanks NeilG and traversnz for those explanations. I understand the two much better now.
I wish I'd been exposed to an actual koryu kenjutsu school, traversnz. I'm sure I would have jumped on that in a heartbeat.
2/03/2014 9:46pm, #14
2/04/2014 10:57am, #15
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
I practiced kendo for about a year; whacking people with a shinai was fun, but being mindful of the rules eventually eroded my enthusiasm.
2/04/2014 12:12pm, #16
If you want to hit people with fake swords but don't thrill to the notion of kata or having hits disallowed because they don't express the proper warrior spirit, fencing is a lot of fun.
2/04/2014 2:05pm, #17
2/04/2014 2:59pm, #18
2/04/2014 3:02pm, #19
2/04/2014 3:21pm, #20