Why Jodan?

by Andrew

I'm interested in knowing some reasons why individuals do jodan besides injuries.

Answer: Thank you for your post. There are several reasons.

1. For a shiai purpose

2. To learn more different techniques

3. To learn kendō more deeply

Shiai purpose: Some people are told to take jōdan because their school needs more varieties of players. Some coaches of schools tell their students to take jōdan because they are tall. So it is harder to be beaten and more chance to win.

Learning different techniques: kendō becomes really flexible once you thoroughly learn the basics of kendō (I mean once you become 4-dan or 5-dan). Since the stance itself is different, there are a lot to learn. Hence you can broaden your techniques.

Learning More Deeply: Jōdan is considered to be an advanced stance. You do not have your shinai right in front of you to protect yourself. You have nothing that is defending your organs such as your heart and so forth.

Not only to protect yourself, but also to put pressure you have to do so without your shinai. You have to put pressure with your ki (internal energy). Needless to say, it is very hard to do.

That is why many sensei think less experienced kendoists should not take jōdan.

I personally think that we should learn jōdan as well because we have jōdan in kata. If we don't practice it, we don't know what it is like

Of course there are many senseis who do not think inexperienced kendoists should take jōdan. So it is important to ask permission from them, when you take jōdan against them. Just be polite. It is the key :)

Hope this helps.

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Aug 05, 2014
by: Jörgen Fägerquist

My thinking is that Jodan is full on commitment. Every match is full out. You are there to kill or die. Your choice. It's bring your full game. It's Spartan. It's come home victorious or on your shield.

Kendo-Guide.Com: It is very true that the jodan is full on commitment. Those who take chudan also have to have the same kind of commitment. But jodan, yeah, definitely!

Feb 01, 2014
by: Sam Murray

I have just started taking jodan as my stance due to an injury and it really is difficult without a very strong grounding in the basics.

I had only done kendo for just more than a year now, so was nowhere near the recommended time to take this stance and it was proved quite a challenge! Ask your sensei and especially don't attempt this stance without a instructor who does jodan themselves! Otherwise you will fail, it's not something you can understand just by waving a shinai around in a similar fashion as a video showed you.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing your view!

Dec 06, 2011
to Tanno Sensei
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your further enlightenment Tanno sensei. My sempai is actually taller than me by a large margin (I’m only 5'6 and he's about 6'5) which made it easier for him to strike me during jigeiko. I now understand the reason for this and gave me more insight to this kamae. Hopefully I can be granted permission by my sensei to train in jodan no kamae after I gain more experience in kendo. Thank you so much Tanno Sensei

Dec 06, 2011
Jodan no Kamae
by: Tanno

For the fellow who asked about Jodan no Kamae.

What Imafuji-sensei said is true. In addition, you can't do Jodan no Kamae due of your level. When you become 3rd Dan, you can do it. If you're 2nd Dan and below, you CANNOT do it.

Here's another reason of doing so. That is your senpai might be a lefty. To be a lefty, it's an advantage of using it, but the main problem is the shinai's weight.

That fellow senpai, who did you jodan no kamae had 3 reasons:

1) He might have hurt his right hand.

2) He might have thought you were a bit shorter than he was, and if you were inexperienced, you might not know how to hit the left do. So your only viable target is tsuki.

3) He might have thought to train you in ji-geiko, just in case you get to fight against a 3rd dan and above jodan no kamae fighter in shiais.

Although I do use Jodan No Kamae, I don't use it in shiais, because I'm sho dan (1st Dan). I have lots to do and to learn from all the stances.

My sensei knows about it and told me to train my hands to be stronger. I use even jodan to learn it by myself, and to train the other students in it, because I know there might be a day to come, when they fight a jodan no kamae and I thought of giving them some experience from it.

If you really want to use it, then, as Imafuji-sensei said, you need your sensei's permission to try it out, but first you need to train your left hand more than your right to help you swing your shinai effectively.

I have trained my hands much more than I was supposed, and lately I can do katate wazas (suburis with one hand) by myself due of my right shoulder hurting a bit, just because I depended my right hand too much, and it made me think of trying to use my left hand more to balance out the strength.

My main goal is to do nito ryu, when I get to be 3rd dan, and that's why I wanted to learn Jodan no Kamae to train not only my left(I'm a righty), but to improve my katate attacks with both hands. My sensei also knows it, and that's why I'm training my hands more, especially the left.

Dec 05, 2011
Eye Opener
by: Anonymous

I've been meaning to ask that question as well since I have recently seen one of my sempai's does jodan no kamae during jigeiko.

I've always been curious as to the other stances of kendo including gedan no kamae since I’ve always been comfortable with chudan and been planning to study the other forms.

Thank you for enlightening me Imafuji sensei. Cheers from a Philippine Kendoka

Kendo-Guide.Com: You’re welcom!

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