- May 27, 2008
- Reaction score
- Olney, Maryland
How do you do kendo without sparring? All the dojo here tend to heavily focus on sparring. I have often thought about taking up kendo.
I don't do kendo without sparring. I teach kendo in space rented at a dance studio to about eight students in Sandy Spring, Maryland.
I teach geomdo at a taekwondo/hapkido school in Frederick, Maryland one day a week, and it is not kendo. We use a mokgeom/mokdo (a bokuto/bokken), not the jukdo (shinai).
I put the curriculum together for the kwanjang, who also happens to be my hapkido sabeom, at her request because she has students who have an interest in sword work and she does not have a sword art background beyond a couple of sword forms that she learned from her old hapkido instructor.
As to the nature of the class, I utilize a lot of repetative cutting drills, both stationary, back and forth, and in line drills. I have a total of nine hyeong that are performed in a fixed pattern, similar to the way that taekwondo pumse are done, and four two person sword sets, each of which consists of five partnered hyeong. The fixed patern hyeong are a combination of forms that I had put together for competitions that I was in and forms that I put together for tests that I took.
Nothing particularly fancy, but it is actual swordsmanship and not XMA, or color corp exercises performed with a sword. I went to a lot of trouble to find Korean terminology for sword specific concepts and terms. I had a strong base from GM Kim, who while he didn't use a lot of Korean in his teaching, would hand out vocab sheets at each test and quiz us on the vocab at each test. I found hangeul and hanja for most of the words as well.
I train in Tenshinsho Jigen Ryu kenjutsu/iaido presently, but do not work any of it into my teaching at this point. When I get to a point where I am permitted to teach Tenshinsho Jigen Ryu, I will do so with great joy and only with my sensei's permission, but given that I have been with my sensei for about two months, I think it would be quite premature.Many kendoka here also study iaido at the same time from their kendo teachers.
When I trained under GM Kim and Master Choi, we practiced whatever kenjustu and iai the two of them had picked up and worked into the geom beop curriculum along with the twelve hyeong that GM Kim had introduced. Kendo shiai and geom beop were on separate nights and really constituted separate arts. Prior to that, in the late eighties I learned whatever kenjutsu my former taekwondo instructor had picked up along the way.
When we were sparring, aside from the calling of the targets in Korean (meori/heori/sonmok/mok), calling the shinai and bokuto a jukdo and mokdo and a little Korean interspersed here and there, the terminology was mostly in English, while specifically kendo concepts were expressed in Japanese. Both masters hold grades in the FIK, though GM Kim decided to start his own organization in about 2004. It consists of his two schools at this point, so he is essentially an independent, as I am at this point.