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Meiyo
08-06-2003, 11:43 PM
I was just wondering what the viewpoint of aikido practitioners is on the martial art of kendo? I happen to have an interest in both, and I can't seem to decide which would be better. I like the spiritual concepts of both. Kendo seems more entertaining to learn, but aikido seems better fit to aid you when some local goons don't know the meaning of peace. So, what do you think?

kironin
08-07-2003, 12:19 AM
In general Kendo is done as a sport and Aikido is not done as a sport.

Neither is better. It depends on what you want to spend your time doing. If you find Kendo entertaining to learn and that is more important to you than being able to defend yourself against some hypothetical local goons , then go for that. You can always walk with a bokken strapped to your back on streets that worry you :)

In Kendo, there are very specific rules about where you strike to make points in competition. Like Western fencing it is often about being very aggressive. Offense, offense, offense. It can be rather expensive to buy all the equiptment you need but usually a club will have some loaners for beginners. A note, the armour isn't enough not to feel pain from a good powerful strike so you had better like pain :)

On the other hand, if you are really worried about being caught without a weapon and aikido's approach to defense appeals to you, then go that way.

You really ought to try at least one class of each. And since they really don't overlap in many ways, you wouldn't have a problem choosing to do both if you have the time and money.

Craig

PeterR
08-07-2003, 12:53 AM
I was just wondering what the viewpoint of aikido practitioners is on the martial art of kendo? I happen to have an interest in both, and I can't seem to decide which would be better. I like the spiritual concepts of both. Kendo seems more entertaining to learn, but aikido seems better fit to aid you when some local goons don't know the meaning of peace. So, what do you think?
If you can afford the gear or find an old set - do both.

Unfortunately he's in China at the moment or I'ld get him to respond directly, but one of my students after spending 17 years in TKD and the Chinese martial arts found himself in Japan wondering what to do. One of the first things he said to me was that he wasn't that impressed with Japanese martial arts but he's loving it now. He's doing both Kendo and Aikido and one of his favourite topics of conversation was how well they compliment each other.

Of course the style of Aikido I do has many drills in common with kendo. Several other of my students from a kendo background will also agree with Craig that the pain of Aikido is less than Kendo.

Most Aikido dojos are generally too passive in their training, especially at the beginning levels. Kendo will definately do wonders for your speed and will toughen you up far faster than Aikido would.

Kent Enfield
08-07-2003, 04:28 PM
As kendoka and non-practicing aikidoka, I might be qualified to answer this. I agree with Peter. Do them both. If you end up not liking one, just do the other. If you like them both, stick with both.

The only disadvantage to doing kendo is the cost of the gear, but that's a one-time expense. When it comes time to start wearing bogu, do not skimp on the bogu to save money. Doing so will definitely affect your enjoyment of practice. ;) With proper equipment kendo doesn't hurt very much, though you do know when you've been struck.

As for the whole "kendo's a sport" line, if you want to learn to play shinai-tag, you certainly can, though most adults don't train that way.

TheFallGuy
08-07-2003, 05:15 PM
In general Kendo is done as a sport and Aikido is not done as a sport.

It depends on which club/Kendo dojo you join. Some of them do the Traditional/classical style of kendo, others do the 'sport' style or the modernized version or whatever. In the traditional you learn a lot about the history, and learn techniques and stuff that 'Modern Kendoists' can't compete with it becomes a really cool art. The modern kendoists seem to do more of the sport, going for speed and looking for points instead of learning some really cool stuff. The traditional seems to have more parts of the body open for 'points'. To me it makes sense because if these were real swords and you cut off a hand or sliced the belly open on any side it wouldn't matter, you got him. But in Modern Kendo you have to worry about side and which hand is forward -- yadda yadda yadda.

I've been to a traditional school. It was a lot of fun. I had no clue what I was doing other than whacking people on the head. I didn't know about points or anything so I just went after my opponents. Needless to say I felt like Darth Maul after being hit on the men so many times. (Thanks David Sensei!!!! :D )

I went up against one of my friends who also does aikido. She'd been doing aikido for a year and kendo a year and a half. And this was my first time trying it out. I did get through to her before she could get me a couple times. (But like I knew what I was doing, I was just going in to attack!! Die Andria, Die:D !!) I'll point her to this and see if she'll add anything since she's doing both.

Aikido is fun, Kendo is fun (wish I had more time and $$$$ for kendo). Go with whichever pleases you most. Remember they're both martial arts, there's a martial side as well as an art side.

:ai: :ki: :do:

leefr
08-07-2003, 09:34 PM
I heard from someone I know that he had two friends who knew kendo and boxing spar with each other to see which was better(the kendo guy was barehanded). He said the kendo guy was able to evade and deflect all of the boxer's punches. And there are plenty of stories of kendo people being pretty much untouchable if they happen to have something like an umbrella handy, so I wouldn't say kendo isn't good for self defense...