Which one is recommended?

B

Bagatha

Guest
I have always been interested in sword arts (real swords not ike fencing or anything) so after looking on the internet and in the yellow pages I found 2 schools in my greater area and wanted to know what people thought. There were other hand to hand combat schools which "incorporated" weapons in their stuff but thats not really what I want, I want to be able to focus totally on 1 thing. Anyway these are the schools I found:

http://edmonton_kendo_club.tripod.com/home.htm
^ a Kendo club

I also found a Kenjutsu club.
http://www.noblehouse.afternet.com/

I watched a class from both, both were very small. The kenjutsu club, the guy wanted me to pay like several months at once and he would not allow me to try a class first:shrug: that kind of irritated me, as I am a TKD instructor and know this is not normal behaviour. The class was also very slow-paced, there was no sparring in the one I watched and he was obviously not affiliated with any particular federation or organization. One MMA guy I talked to claimed he had a long lineage. It seemed that they mostly did sequences and partner work in this class.

The Kendo club was taught with lots of drills and footwork, was higher energy but still slow compared to MT & TKD. They used bamboo swords where the kenjutsu guys used real ones. They also sparred a bit. I didnt see any patterns although I was told they did exist. It was a primarily drils calss. I was approached immediatley, they were very friendly, I was invited to participate in a couple of classes before commiting. Also wanted to be payed in advance but it was much cheaper. It claims to be a part of a national organization.

Now, I am open to the possiblity that I just was there at the kenjutsu place on a bad day and that it may be better. I want peoples opinions on this because I was told that Kendo was a sport based form of fighting, taken from kenjustu which is more "original" and more real fighting based. Sort of like Judo vs ju-jitsu. Anyway I would prefer to learn how to maul people over sparring like a goof (which is what it looked like but the instructor said they were having a lazy day and admitted they sucked at the moment).

Please look at the links and tell me what you think. :asian:
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
Originally posted by Bagatha
I was told that Kendo was a sport based form of fighting, taken from kenjustu which is more "original" and more real fighting based. Sort of like Judo vs ju-jitsu.

Broadly speaking, yes. Kendo is definitely a sport; some groups add in some kenjutsu, which is legitimate fencing with the samurai sword. I believe that Shinkage Ry羶 is a well-known traditional style. Try asking in the Japanese Martial Arts-General forum here.

You've got to go with your feelings!
 

Bob Hubbard

Retired
MT Mentor
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
47,245
Reaction score
772
Location
Land of the Free
Personally, if looking for a 'reality' aspect, I'd go with the kenjutsu, over the kendo. That said, if the school itself gives you bad vibes, then I wouldn't train there.

Kenjutsu, Iaido, Kendo all are similar, and parts of a greater whole (I am over simplifying here). Kendo folks often take up Iaido, and vice versa.

If the Kendo school is open to letting you try out a few classes, take them up on it. Pick their brains while you are there, and you'll get a better feeling for it.

1 thing to remember is that Kendo gear can be pricy, ($600=$1200 US), and you'll go through a few of those bamboo swords each year. You will however get in a good amount of sparing (based on what I've heard when I asked about it).

Kenjutsu/Iaido will do alot less sparring, mostly due to their focus on killing on the initial strike. (Plus, live steel gets to be messy, heh)

Check on the library forum here, I posted a list of books on various sword arts that I've found helpful...might give ya some more background on which is really right for you.

Good luck. I'm looking for something similar to you, but Buffalos a wasteland for the arts, outside of TKD and Karate.

:asian:
 
OP
K

Kiz Bell

Guest
Go back to the Kendo class and ask specifically if they teach iaido. Quite a lot of Kendo clubs do - but don't advertise the fact because most Kendo players don't seem to get into the iai side of things for some time. Also, not all legitimate iai and kenjutsu teachers advertise - they rely on word of mouth. Again, as iaido can be a part of the Kendo curriculum even if the Kendo club does not specifically teach iai they may be able to steer you in the right direction. You might find the combo of the Kendo free-for-all type sparring and the more "deadly" iaido/kenjustu live blade thing is what you are looking for.

Was the Kendo perhaps a beginners class? From what I've seen high class Kendo can be very, very fast. If you are looking for a fast art though, you will find the Seitei-gata style of iaido taught through the Kendo system a lot slower than most other form of iai and kenjutsu.

Finally, trust your intincts about the kenjutsu school should you decide to try it out, and have an ask around its reputation, the Sensei's experience and qualifications etc. before you do. I had a bit of a look around their site and came across a couple of strange things. This doesn't necessarily mean the is school bad or illigitimate... but like I said, there were a couple of quite strange things there.

Anyway, best of luck with your search, it'll definately be worth it when you've found the right place. I've been training in the various sword arts for a while now, and love them more than anything else in the MA world

good luck
 
OP
B

Bagatha

Guest
Yeah good Idea, I will ask. What is Iaido vs Kenjutsu?

It was a mixed class. There were some beginners but most were more senior. The class was 2 hours long so they prob had to pace themselves. They started with announcements, about 10 min of meditation, then going in a circle and lifting their bamboo swords over their head and then swinging them down in front of them by count. This (for me) seemed to go on for awhile. prob 10 min. Then they lined up and did drills up and down the floor. Primarily footwork, all by count. Then they broke off into groups, the senior ones put on their armour and sparred, the intermediate and beginners continued to work on footwork. (I think they were having problems with it or something, the teacher wasnt impressed and made them do it over and over, they werent allowed to move on to anything else). I watched the sparring, what I found *new* was the amount of yelling. I was thinking to myself "damn their throats must get sore". They would run in, (which is where the teacher got pissed because they disregarded about an hours worth of footwork lessons LOL) so they would run in, real sloppy, smack each other, sometimes smack into each other, and then keep walking past each other back to back. Only once in awhile did someone catch on and go after them while their back was turned. Anyways.... other than that, it was real friendly......more friendly then I am used to, I am used to fairly strict protocol and etiqutte in class, but they seemed like a group of buddies. Small clubs are like that though. I will e-mail the teacher and ask about Iaido. As for the kenjutsu place, quite frankly I found them to be rude. What do you mean by strange?? While doing a search on Shinkage Ry羶 I found this:
http://pub16.ezboard.com/fsamuraibujutsuyagyushinkageryu.showMessage?topicID=5.topic
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
Footwork and repeating cuts, possibly 1000 times per day, are aspects of both kendo and kenjutsu.

Iaijutsu was fast-draw swordwork where the first cut coincides with the draw; kenjutsu was battlefield fencing (sword already out). They're related but different, sort of like shooting for a gun duel ("Draw, pardner!") or for a battle.

Ask about Shinkage-ryu on www.e-budo.com also, and check out www.koryu.com as well. See out Japanese Martial Arts--General forum too.

Kendo is surely the real deal and often teaches either iaido or some kenjutsu but is principally a competitive combat sport; Shinkage-ryu has kenjutsu but much more.
 

Yari

Master Black Belt
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
1,364
Reaction score
22
Location
rhus, Denmark
Originally posted by arnisador
Iaijutsu was fast-draw swordwork where the first cut coincides with the draw;

I want to elaborate on that. Not the first cut, but "attack". You'll notice that in some of the seteai kata's the first movement is either a strike or a parry.

On the other hand you could say that the first movement is to cut if there is a opening, and if not make on, and then cut. Or at the first possible moment to cut.

/yari
 
OP
K

Kiz Bell

Guest
Hi Bagatha,

Sorry it took so long to reply. You asked what I found strange about the kenjutsu website? Well, only a couple of little things, (such as their "follow the flag" and weird floor cleaning rituals), and the fact that their website is pretty comprehensive but nowhere give the teachers rankings, credential, who he trained with, and the schools links with the current headmaster of the ryu or their affiliation with the governing body of Shinkage (whatever that may be). That, combined with their "pay before you try" attitude just might mean you should check them out a little before joining, ie - What are the sensei's teaching credentials? Is the school affiliated with it's parent body in Japan? If not, why not? etc. Shinkage ryu is a legitimate school with a venerable tradition, I'd just be careful to make sure that what this school teaches really is Shinkage ryu. As they say themselves -
Noble House Kenjutsu D繫j繫, teaches the Shinkage Ry羶 or "Heart-Reflection Style" Kenjutsu. There are different styles of swordmanship that use the words shinkage and these may sound the same but they may be translated differently because there are many different Japanese kanji (with different meanings) that can be pronounced the same. Thus, it is possible that Japanese martial arts schools can have names that sound or look the same, but are different in meaning, focus, and tradition.

Much as I love the Japanese Sword Arts they do seem to attract more shonks than any other matial art. I'm not at all bagging out Noble House, or suggesting that are not legit, in fact I don't even know them from Adam, but given the nature of sword arts today it's probably worth checking them out first if you decide to join.

Anyway, let us know how you get along. Best of luck,
Kiz
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
Originally posted by Yari
I want to elaborate on that. Not the first cut, but "attack". You'll notice that in some of the seteai kata's the first movement is either a strike or a parry.

This is of course correct. In trying to brief I may have over-simplified!
 
OP
B

Bagatha

Guest
This is a quote from the link I posted above, a discussion on another forum about the same club (noblehouse).
Hi,

This is a quote -
`For over twenty years, usually as an uchi deshi (live-in student), the sensei of Nippon Shinkage Ry羶 Ten Shi Ken Kaku Kory羶 Bud繫 Kan (Noble House Kenjutsu D繫j繫) trained under Yamamoto, Yuji Sensei, the last headmaster of the Shinkage Ry羶 Honbu Kory羶 Bud繫 Kan in Japan.`

So, thats your Sensei information.

The curriculum is totally different from what is studied in the Owari-ha Yagyu-kai in Japan, but that doesnt mean its not connected/valid. The terminology is different, and the photos of the Kata I am familiar with do not seem to be the same as we practise.

- G

I also decided on the Kendo place, simply because they are part of an organization, while the other guys dont appear to be....and who wants to deal with rude people anyway. So I e-mailed one of the senior students from the Kendo place and mentioned I was looking for something different in the art but decided on this first because I didnt have a good impression from the other place and this is what he said:

As for your experience with Noble
house, it is a common comment we get. Several members of the club have been treated in a similar fashion to your experience, and when I moved from Saskatoon (where I started kendo), my sensei told me to avoid them...I have come to know the reason for his words.

interesting....

so far it seems I made the right choice. Time will tell. I will try a class on sunday.

Regarding the Iaido he said:

Though several of us
(myself and Sensei) would like to take a "stab" at Iado ;), we practice Kendo mainly. We do have a club member who practices Naginata, which is the use of the spear/polarm, and a few other members of the club have expressed interest in giving it a try.

So who knows.....maybe down the line I will ultimatley find what I am looking for with this club anyway. Thanks for the help.
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
More of a halberd (sword on the end of a staff) but based on techniques of the spear (sojutsu); search for it on MartialTalk for some more info. It's known as a woman's martial art/sport but of course that isn't exclusive.
 
OP
C

carl mcclafferty

Guest
Folks

Kata and Kumitachi for iai, renshu and shinai for kendo. Sounds kind of normal to me. Only thing missing is tameshigiri of Batto Do/jutsu. Different coming into an traditional Japanese sword art for tkd people, JSA competition is yourself, except for Tai Kai of course, but even then its usually you that loses, not the competition that wins. Hard to explain that at times.

Carl McClafferty
 

kenmpoka

Blue Belt
Joined
May 23, 2002
Messages
218
Reaction score
1
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Originally posted by Bagatha
I have always been interested in sword arts (real swords not ike fencing or anything) so after looking on the internet and in the yellow pages I found 2 schools in my greater area and wanted to know what people thought. There were other hand to hand combat schools which "incorporated" weapons in their stuff but thats not really what I want, I want to be able to focus totally on 1 thing. Anyway these are the schools I found:

http://edmonton_kendo_club.tripod.com/home.htm
^ a Kendo club

I also found a Kenjutsu club.
http://www.noblehouse.afternet.com/

I watched a class from both, both were very small. The kenjutsu club, the guy wanted me to pay like several months at once and he would not allow me to try a class first:shrug: that kind of irritated me, as I am a TKD instructor and know this is not normal behaviour. The class was also very slow-paced, there was no sparring in the one I watched and he was obviously not affiliated with any particular federation or organization. One MMA guy I talked to claimed he had a long lineage. It seemed that they mostly did sequences and partner work in this class.

The Kendo club was taught with lots of drills and footwork, was higher energy but still slow compared to MT & TKD. They used bamboo swords where the kenjutsu guys used real ones. They also sparred a bit. I didnt see any patterns although I was told they did exist. It was a primarily drils calss. I was approached immediatley, they were very friendly, I was invited to participate in a couple of classes before commiting. Also wanted to be payed in advance but it was much cheaper. It claims to be a part of a national organization.

Now, I am open to the possiblity that I just was there at the kenjutsu place on a bad day and that it may be better. I want peoples opinions on this because I was told that Kendo was a sport based form of fighting, taken from kenjustu which is more "original" and more real fighting based. Sort of like Judo vs ju-jitsu. Anyway I would prefer to learn how to maul people over sparring like a goof (which is what it looked like but the instructor said they were having a lazy day and admitted they sucked at the moment).

Please look at the links and tell me what you think. :asian:
Of course I am biased, but before committing to shinkendo several years back, I looked at several Iaido, Kenjutsu and Kendo schools. SHINKENDO was definetly the way to go. It is a no non-sense system based on historical facts and techniques founded by the world renowned master swordsman Obata Toshishiro. Visit a school near you and you will agree. For more info visit my site or the heaquarters at www.Shinkendo.com.

Good Luck,
 

Charles Mahan

Purple Belt
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
373
Reaction score
9
Location
Denton, Tx
While I appreciate your love for your style, I don't believe he mentioned the presence of any Shinkendo dojo's in his area.
 
Top