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Jodan Etiquette: What to say when you take Jodan

I have a question regarding etiquette in ken when taking jōdan.


But before that, allow me to talk a little bit about my belief. I always believed that it is HUMANS go through spiritual, physical, and intellectual journey, like martial arts; and as humans beings, we must develop a center that allows us to ground ourselves. If not, we are not so far from simple animals.

For me, philosophy has always been the absolute equation that helped me keep my center and push myself to the highest value. And it is through kendo that began untangling some strings in my life.

From the moment I first stepped in a kendo dojo, I intended to serve philosophy and etiquette as my base, then comes the physical techniques (which is still what I believe in). So as you can see, etiquette is a crucial element in kendo for me. Over time, I've learned proper etiquette, but my question arises here.

Recently, I've been seeing a largely grown number of kendoka who practice Jodan no Kamae. And because this is considered as an advanced stance, I heard that there is a phrase that you must say to your senpai/sensei when you engage them in jigeiko with this stance to show respect.

I assume that it is a polite/well-mannered way of saying "I will be practicing in Jodan, I will be under your care," or something along that line (but in Japanese of course). I've looked through some books and searched on the internet, but it's been quite difficult to find it. So I would like to know what that phrase is, or could be.

Thank you.

Answer: Thank you for your question.

You are right about etiquette when taking jōdan. You just cannot take jōdan whenever you want especially with your teachers or senior students (senpai).

Jōdan is considered to be an advanced stance because unlike chūdan, you have shinai to protect your body nor to put pressure on your opponent with. You only have your internal energy (ki) to protect you and put pressure with.

That is why many sensei still think you should not take jōdan if you haven’t master chūdan

Yes, we do have words to say when taking jōdan in Japanese. You can say “Goburei shimau”. This means “Excuse me for doing this”.  Some just say, “Goburei “ but with shimasu, it is more polite.

If you cannot say it in Japanese, simply tell them in your own language. Of course, if those sensei do not speak your language you should speak their language. That is, I think, a good etiquette.

Hope this helps.

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