2016 Sept 18 : Bokuto ni yoru kendo kihon-waza keiko-ho or Nihon Kendo Kata - which one should we learn first?

From the beginning, we have been practicing Nihon Kendo Kata, so at least we are all somewhat familiar with it by now.

But, we have not yet started to practice Bokuto ni yoru kendo kihon-waza keiko-ho ("Fundamental kendo technique practice using the bokuto"). It looks like this: [ video ]

Please consider the following points.

• The exam for the rank of ikkyu requires students to perform Bokuto ni yoru kendo kihon-waza keiko-ho, numbers 1 through 9.

• The next exam, for the rank of shodan, requires students to perform Nihon Kendo Kata numbers 1 to 3.

• It is generally accepted that Bokuto ni yoru kendo kihon-waza keiko-ho is much conceptually simpler than Nihon Kendo Kata. It was introduced by the All Japan Kendo Federation in 2003 as a method to teach early-stage kendoists, especially young school children, the basic concepts and movements of kendo attacking techniques.

In light of this, doesn't it seem reasonable that students should learn Bokuto ni yoru kendo kihon-waza keiko-ho first, and then Nihon Kendo Kata second? Start with the "easier" Bokuto ni yoru kendo kihon-waza keiko-ho and then "progress" to the more difficult Nihon Kendo Kata?

I'd be willing to accept this kind of reasoning, especially if we were approaching the learning of kendo as primarily an exercise in acquiring technical skills.

However, my preference is for Meikyokan students to start learning Nihon Kendo Kata first. I prefer this not because it has a gentler learning curve (it certainly does not); we learn Nihon Kendo Kata first because it is a more powerful representation of the heart of kendo.

I want students' first experience of kendo training to be directly connected with the heart-aspects of kendo. Nihon Kendo Kata is not just technical, but also encompasses spiritual, energetic, moral, ethical, and philosophical aspects. It contains within it essential information pertaining to the logic of sword fighting and the psychological relationship between human beings-in-conflict.

So making Nihon Kendo Kata the first thing we try to learn can serve as a powerful reminder to ourselves that we are committed to approaching kendo as something more than just a collection of techniques for sword-play.

Even though it is a real struggle to try to learn Nihon Kendo Kata as beginners, somehow I also think it's strangely comforting to know that Nihon Kendo Kata is complex and deep enough to remain impossible to completely understand, as well as extremely challenging to perform competently, and that this continues to be true for our entire kendo-lives.

So learning Nihon Kendo Kata first may not be the easier introduction to kendo, but I believe it is the more meaningful one.

We will begin learning Bokuto ni yoru kendo kihon-waza keiko-ho, number 1 through 9, a little later. Soon.

~ jks

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2016 Sept 18 :  木刀による剣道基本技稽古法と日本剣道形 どちらを先に学ぶべきか?


わたしたしは、まだ、「木刀による剣道基本技稽古法」については稽古を始めてはいません。これはどのようなものかについては、こちらのビデオをご覧になってみてください。[ video ]




「日本剣道形」よりも「木刀による剣道基本技稽古法」のほうが、概念的には 難しくないものとして一般的には、受け止められています。この稽古法は剣道初心者、特に小中学生に、剣道の攻めの概念やその技術を学ばせるための稽古法として2003年、全日本剣道連盟によって導入されました。

この観点から考えれば、剣道初心者は、「木刀による剣道基本技稽古法」を先に学び、そして、その後に、日本剣道形を学んだほうが理に適っているのではないでしょうか?より易しいと言われている「木刀による剣道基本技稽古法 」を先に学んでから、それよりも難しいと言われている「日本剣道形」へと稽古を進めていくべきではないでしょうか?







「木刀による剣道基本技稽古法 1本目~9本目」についても、しばらくしたら稽古を始めて行こうと思っています。


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