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Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #008 - December
December 22, 2008

Kendo for LIFE

Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #008 - December

Thank you for reading the Kendo-Guide.Com Newsletter, Issue #008.

I had an opportunity to be one of the judges for a promotion test/grading on the 22nd of November. So I would like to share some tips and thoughts on promotion test/grading in this issue.


Happy Holidays!


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What we have in this issue is shown below. Enjoy this Newsletter!

Table of Content

- Articles Since the Last Issue -

- Benefits of Kendo -

- Kendo Q & A -

- Tips and Thoughts on Grading/Promotion Test -

- Comments or Questions -

There are links to change your email address for the newsletter or unsubscribe at the bottom of every newsletter. Thanks!

- Articles Since the Last Issue -

No articles, but there is a video uploaded in the subscribers' area. If you haven't watched the video, Jigeiko Example: At a Dojo in Japan 2, click here.

- Benefits of Kendo -

- Kendo helped me to focus on my energy

- Kendo Q & A -

- Increase Fumikomi Power

- "Sashi" and "Defence techniques"

- Seiza and Mokuso Manners

- How to develop a good kiai?

- Red Strings Tied Around New Shinai?

- How to overcome my nervousness when I start shiai?

- Tips and Thoughts on Grading/Promotion Test -

We had a proportion test in Indiana on Saturday the 22nd of November. It was the first promotion test held in Indiana by East Central US Kendo Federation (ECUSKF).

We had a bigger turn-up than we expected. We had about 30 people from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. It was very nice to see many children came for their kyu exam.

I was one of the five panels to judge kyu and dan applicants. Unfortunately, we didn't have five 6th dans to grade 4th dan, so we only had it up to 3rd dan.

Anyway, I would like to share what I thought, while I was grading these applicants.

1. It doesn't matter what grade you are going for, you have to have a lot of kiai.

2. If you are asked to perform the basics, you have to do the basics nice and big.

3. Make sure that you are in issoku-itto-no-ma.

4. When you do kiri-kaeshi, pay special attention to hands-and-footwork coordination.

5. When you do sparring or jigeiko, you have to show the judges that you know when to strike, i.e. opportunities to strike.

6. Start studying kata way before your promotion test.

I must have said this before anything else. You must look neat. Your keiko-gi and hakama should not have many wrinkles, when you wear them. The colour of your keiko-gi and hakama should not be faded too much.

If you wear a set of bogu, put them on tightly so they will not come off when you are testing. Personally I will not pass those whose bogu come loose during their test.

I was involved in the promotion exams as a judge many times in New Zealand. I always felt and still feel that judges need some kind of standard or criteria to judge these applicants.

Most of the time judges rely on their subjective views on kyus and dans. This is true in the most of the countries including Japan.

Different judges place values on different matters. So there are some times when some judges say "This person should be 1 kyu" but others say "No. This person should be 5 kyu".

Usually the judges settle on one grade that everyone can agree upon. That is very common and this happens because we don't have criteria to follow.

However, it is important to have different views because some people realise what others don't and different views improve the grading system and the judges themselves.

But still I strongly feel that we should have some main criteria to follow, so not only judges but also applicants can be on the same page. Then, we have to have different views so that we could thoroughly judge applicants. Besides, the applicants can train more effectively because after all the judges are looking for the good basics and nice kendo.

I hope this article will help you with your next grading/promotion test.

- Comments or Questions -

If you have a kendo related question, please go to Kendo Q&A and use a special form for that.

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Thank you for reading the newsletter. See you in the next issue!

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