8/22/2010 1:53pm, #11
For the 8th dan exam, you really have to demonstrate that you can win, then hit. The guys who are still active competitors can probably "beat" the 8th dan guys in a competition setting using purely physical attributes. But they are unable to truly penetrate their kamae and beat them in the purest sense. Which is why you get 35 year old world championship competitors talking about how they "couldn't touch" an 80 year old sensei. They could probably take a point from him but are unable to force him to give up a point. The difference is critical.
8/22/2010 4:47pm, #12
I haven't watched the whole documentary, but I'm hoping someone can answer this for me. At the higher dan ranks of Kendo is there other sword work involved besides just fencing with the shinai? Is there test cutting? Forms with a boken or katana? Iaido?
8/22/2010 5:37pm, #13
At every rank of kendo there is two-person kata with bokken. There are 10 forms to learn, by the time you hit the 3rd dan exam you have to do them all. After that of course they are looking for higher quality when performing those forms. No iaido or test-cutting. Many federations have a written exam as part of that. I believe the ZNKR 8th dan exam includes an essay.
The kata and the written exam are the easy part. The shinai keiko exam is the real test.
8/22/2010 7:20pm, #14
Gladiators Academy Lafayette, LA
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Send me a kendo instructor. Free BJJ and Judo classesJudo is only gentle for the guy on top.
8/22/2010 8:39pm, #15
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Are the ten kendo forms the seitei gata? I think that is one thing all, or most, sword styles have in common, or at least iai and kendo. Then, of course, the various iaido organizations have their own kata particular to each ryu-ha; Yagyu, Kashima, etc.
Does your kendo group use shogo shihan? If so, is it before or after kyoshi? I've seen seen it both ways and am curious as to what others use. kendo's utilization, being steeped in tradition, is of interest to me.
8/22/2010 10:07pm, #16
No, seitei iai is the International Kendo Federation (FIK) standard set of iaido kata. They are all solo kata performed with iaito or shinken. To get rank in iaido through FIK affiliated iaido dojo, you would perform those kata plus some from your own koryu. Zen Nippon Iaido Renmei is the other big iaido federation and has a similar set called Iaido Toho. The kendo kata are paired kata performed usually with bokken that originate in various koryu kenjutsu kata. Here they are performed with mogito in the FIK instructional video:
Daishi, you imply by "our kendo group" that there are other organizations - there's only the one international federation for kendo, FIK. Anyways, the order of shogo is renshi, usually associated with a certain amount of time in as 6 dan, kyoshi is similarly affiliated with 7 dan and hanshi is IIRC at least 10 years into 8 dan. So hanshi hachidan is the highest rank you can achieve. The characters for hanshi mean "exemplary/model person" IOW someone you are supposed to be able to look to as an example for your whole life, not just kendo.
Last edited by NeilG; 8/22/2010 10:13pm at .
8/23/2010 5:32am, #17
Niel in WMA and the reconstructed medieval swordsmanship/combat arts there is a debate over whether or not parrying was done with the edge of the sword (traditional view) or the flat of the blade. Is there any such debate in the Kendo/Japanese sword arts community? It appeared that they were blocking with the edge in that vid, but it was hard to tell.
8/23/2010 10:27am, #18
There is no straight-up blocking in that video. Everything is a deflection using the side of the blade (we say "shinogi").
As far as the debate goes, yes different koryu have different opinions. But it seems pretty obvious to me with the design of a Japanese sword that if you are going to deflect, use the shinogi to avoid damage to the edge and the possibility of binding with the edge. If you have to do a hard stopping block, probably edge is best as the sword is strongest in that direction. We avoid blocking like that in kendo. Having said that, the sword is a tool and fights are dynamic things - when push comes to shove, block/deflect however you can. There's no sense in giving your life to save your sword.
8/28/2010 10:48pm, #19
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For those that have not seen it heres a Nat. Geo documentary about the 8th dan testing. Its just so damn -refreshing- to see real deals. Guys in their 60's/70's/80's still training and often going back for the 20th+ time to try again. YouTube- Kendo - Exame de 8º Dan pretty inspirational.
8/29/2010 10:11am, #20
Thanks for taking the time to post here mate, I realise this place isn't your average martial arts forum or such-like, so your contributions here are greatly appreciated.
Dave"To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".