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Old 12-31-2007, 08:16 PM   #1
Steve Turner
Location: Michigan
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Ai symbol Aikido training vs Kendo training

Hey,

I am returning to Aikido after a long absence ... and in my quest for more information (dojos, etc) was wondering what the difference in technique between Aikido training and Kendo training? I do realize that much of the basics are the same: strikes, thrusts, etc, (in theory) and that Kendo is full contact. Can someone elaborate further the differences? I appreciate the response. Thanks.

Steve
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:54 PM   #2
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

Kendo is bokken play. Are you refering to kempo?
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Old 01-01-2008, 12:08 AM   #3
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

go to youtube and look at "aikido" videos and "kendo" videos...that is the best description you can get to see the general differences.

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Old 01-01-2008, 01:49 AM   #4
Bronson
 
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

Hey Steve,

Where are you at in Michigan? Maybe some of us locals can direct you to some places where you can watch and ask questions.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

Well, one of the biggest differences between Aikido and kendo is that in kendo they tend to have a rather unstable kamae compared to aikido, because they have no need in moving sideways in kendo when they have this big protective armour thing called "bogu".

In Aikido we always lower our hips and stand in a stable hanmi because we have to move in different directions. In aikido we don't use (or have the access) to an protective armor which prevents us from full-contact training like in kendo. Another thing that differs from kendo is that we tend to not have our backs straight. (I don't really see the point in doing that, but it's just a thing we do).

I remember when we had an "Aikikendo"-day in our club when we did some awaze-techniques in full contact training in kendo armour. Suddenly, the aikido-kamae with "lower your hips" thing became almost unreasonable. Then we did some jigeiko, and then again the aikido-kamae was useless, and so did the "bend your back forward-thing" too.
So if an aikidoka met an kendoka in a swordfight, I think the aikidoka would be chanceless (unless he disarmed the kendoka).

Peace.
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Old 01-01-2008, 01:32 PM   #6
kironin
 
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

the original question was about Aikido vs. Kenpo or Kempo ?

as for other reply about on aikido vs. kendo stances, be careful about generalizing about aikido stances. Kendo is a lot more uniform about what is correct kamae. I wouldn't say kendo stances are unstable at all. Stability has more to do with you internal state of relaxation and how well you physically understand you own center of gravity. All that affects you ability to move in different directions with speed.

There is quite a bit of variability between aikido schools on what is correct stances. Any stance on two legs is inherently unstable in some direction. It's really a miracle that we are so stable on two legs, just asks the robotics engineers. A lot of things go in to your balance you may not even be aware of (try being stable without your big toes). If you tend not to have your back straight (I would say to students, keeping your shoulders resting over your hips), that would be viewed as a mistake in our school.

Quote:
Emil Westin wrote: View Post
Well, one of the biggest differences between Aikido and kendo is that in kendo they tend to have a rather unstable kamae compared to aikido, because they have no need in moving sideways in kendo when they have this big protective armour thing called "bogu".

In Aikido we always lower our hips and stand in a stable hanmi because we have to move in different directions. In aikido we don't use (or have the access) to an protective armor which prevents us from full-contact training like in kendo. Another thing that differs from kendo is that we tend to not have our backs straight. (I don't really see the point in doing that, but it's just a thing we do).

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Old 01-01-2008, 01:52 PM   #7
grondahl
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

I think that if you substitute "In aikido" with "In my dojo" your post would make a lot more sense.

Check out the posture of ex Tomita sensei, Endo sensei, Nishio sensei and you will se that they have very nice posture all the time.

Regarding the slightly forward posture (it varies between different Iwama-style teachers to, just compare Ulf, "Torsbylasse", Lewis deQuiros and Hitohiro), your back should definitly be straight. The forward posture comes from the "hip drop"

Quote:
Emil Westin wrote: View Post
In Aikido we always lower our hips and stand in a stable hanmi because we have to move in different directions. In aikido we don't use (or have the access) to an protective armor which prevents us from full-contact training like in kendo. Another thing that differs from kendo is that we tend to not have our backs straight. (I don't really see the point in doing that, but it's just a thing we do).
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Old 01-01-2008, 03:31 PM   #8
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
the original question was about Aikido vs. Kenpo or Kempo ?

as for other reply about on aikido vs. kendo stances, be careful about generalizing about aikido stances. Kendo is a lot more uniform about what is correct kamae. I wouldn't say kendo stances are unstable at all. Stability has more to do with you internal state of relaxation and how well you physically understand you own center of gravity. All that affects you ability to move in different directions with speed.
When I refer to "unstable balance" in kendo I mean that the kamae is made to be strong in two directions; forward and backwards. So compared to aikido (and other material arts, like karate, where the hanmi is formed lika a "T") where the hamni is made to give a functional stance to move in different directions rather than just back and forwards, I defined it as "unstable" in comparison to aikido. To elucidate what I ment with unstable, I didn't mean that it was unstable, but in comparison to aikido it isn't made to work in other directions than forward and backwards. (Otherwise the attack-steps would be useless)

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
There is quite a bit of variability between aikido schools on what is correct stances. Any stance on two legs is inherently unstable in some direction. It's really a miracle that we are so stable on two legs, just asks the robotics engineers. A lot of things go in to your balance you may not even be aware of (try being stable without your big toes). If you tend not to have your back straight (I would say to students, keeping your shoulders resting over your hips), that would be viewed as a mistake in our school.
Hmm, I guess it differs from style to style then? But I'd say the aikido stance(s) in general is made to provide easy movement in other directions.

Hm, this was pretty confusing to me. Please correct any mistake.

Peace!
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Old 01-01-2008, 05:59 PM   #9
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

I think I would disagree with Emil's characterizations of kendo's stance and hanmi. Kendo's upright, legs close together stance comes from the development and changes in Edo period kenjutsu schools, as they a) moved from armored kenjutsu to unarmored kenjutsu, and b) became more and more specialized, focusing more on simply kenjutsu, rather than being sougou bujutsu that included jujutsu. The kendo stance is extremely mobile by design -- I daresay a kendoka in the kendo stance can move laterally much faster than someone in hanmi.

Hanmi, OTOH, sacrifices lateral speed in order to provide a smaller attack profile. I've never heard lateral speed being given as a benefit of hanmi, but in aikido, karate, and kenjutsu I've heard it recommended to provide a smaller target for the enemy. The wider stance in aikido (and jujutsu, karate and pre-Edo kenjutsu schools) provides a lower center of gravity, essential for arts that expect a lot of close physical contact.

Ellis Amdur's DVD "Ukemi From The Ground Up" provides an excellent example of the difficulty in lateral movement (particularly moving to the left in hidari-hanmi and moving right in migi-hanmi), and contrasts it with the freer movement of shizentai -- a natural, forward facing stance not unlike that of kendo.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:17 PM   #10
Sy Labthavikul
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

Whatever stance I take, I try to identify which one of my legs is the weight bearing leg (its nearly impossible to evenly distribute weight on your legs unless you are standing stock straight, and even then people tend to shift their weight on to one) and orient my upper body to face the same way that leg is pointed. Or rather, the direction that leg's toes are oriented.

Forgot who told me that, but it works for me to aid in stabilizing myself, keeping my balance, and making it easier to move in different directions. I noticed that most of the senior practitioners at my dojo do this naturally, and when I mentioned it, they blinked at me and said "You think too much, but I think you're right."


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train as if the tengu will never visit, execute as if they already have
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:06 AM   #11
BilltheDestroyer
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Thumbs up Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

In my experience, which is somewhat limited in both Aikido and Kendo, I find that the biggest difference between them is in the aggression factor. While both arts encourage a calm exterior and empty mind, attacking your opponent is essential to Kendo; in Aikido it is the defense that is the entire point.

This is not to say that attack is the only element in Kendo, and that defense is not included; they are both part of the art. It is just that the aggression to attack is trained into you.

Now, whether or not that is a compliment to Aikido is probably easily argued both ways, but my thoughts are that the attack training in Kendo makes for a more realistic Aikido uke - one who knows how to cut you down, as opposed to just shaking a stick at you. It's good to have a partner who knows a kissaki from a kashira.

But to address your question more specifically, the technique side of Kendo, in my experience, is very linear. So far as I have seen, tenkan is an unspoken word, and all the ashi-waza are forward or backwards. An exception of this is sayomen-uchi training, which is a practice in hitting just to the right and left of the direct center of the kendo helmet.

Aikido, on the other hand, is very circular, so you may find yourself having to break or adapt older habits if you become a Kendo player.

I would argue that Kendo would benefit any Aikidoka. Besides familiarizing yourself with the Japanese sword a little better, Kendo seems to help you get a firm grip on the idea of an aggressive opponent who is armed and willing to beat you with a stick. Oh, and it'll get you used to being hit with said stick, which can't hurt, right?
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:12 PM   #12
kironin
 
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Re: Aikido training vs Kendo training

Quote:
Bill Landis wrote: View Post
Oh, and it'll get you used to being hit with said stick, which can't hurt, right?
Oh, it can hurt!

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