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At first my interest was only in Kendo, but as I started learning the language ..

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Note: This study guide reflects general concepts agreed upon by many Kendoists, however, there will always be those who have their own viewpoints and ideas. To fully learn about the philosophy and concepts of Kendo, one must continue their own education by studying all aspects of Kendo and not only limiting their study to this "guide".

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I believe all people have a cornerstone in their lives. A cornerstone is an art, practice, discipline, passion, or pursuit that serves as a type of foundation for our existence. It is something we can base our actions on, and whose teachings affect our every decision. For some, this cornerstone is religion. For others, it is a certain sport. Or an art form. Or a role model. For myself, however, it is kendo; which encompasses all of those previously mentioned. Kendo has made more of an impact on my growth as a person than just about anything else, and it continues to do so with every passing day. I have learned a great deal in the 4 ½ years that I have been practicing…more so than I could possible describe. Achieving 2nd Dan has been an incredible milestone, but there is no shortage of things for me to improve upon and learn in the art of Kendo.

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The work begins with a history of kendo in Japan, followed by a study of basic equipment and its proper care and use and a detailed description of forms and rules - essential aspects of any martial art.

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The written examination asks the candidate to either discuss or list concepts, principles and even opinions on the various aspects of Kendo. This section will present the material in a discussion and a factual manner. It is up to the candidate to read and absorb the material such that the test questions can be answered.

is one of the fundamental learning tools used in Kendo. It contains 5 elements which are described by the metropolitan police as the following: 1. , 2. , 3. four forward followed by five backwards, , 4. four forward followed by five backward, 5. followed by .
Conceptually develops strong and breath control, large motion, correct cutting angle (), correct grip (), correct footwork () all with . It also limbers the muscles, promotes harmonious action of the whole body and correct , follow through with . is said to provide 10 virtues to the attacker and 8 virtues to the receiver. It makes the sharp and swift, strengthens the cut, builds stamina, relaxes the stroke and body, improves the motion of the body, improves dexterity and grip, improves the vision of the partner, improves the , teaches mental tranquillity, improves observation of the opponent, makes the grip firm yet flexible.

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, what is The typical answer given is "remaining spirit". This is correct, but there are more meanings and feeling to than the simple definition implies. It is very simple. However simple does not necessarily mean easy. It is a concept unique to martial arts and it is to the kanji that we must look for further clarification.

The kanji and can be read two ways. which means "I consciously do the action of getting my spirit to remain" and which means "My spirit remains unconsciously, spontaneously."

The first definition is appropriate to the beginning Kenshi and the latter to the practiced Kenshi. In effect, it means that if you must think about it, it is too late. The action is always slowed by the thought. If you think about preceding the cut, the cut will not be good. If you think about after the cut, an unexpected attack can occur in the split second that your are thinking of keeping your pressure.

Application of the principle of is most easily exemplified in the . In all ten the begins immediately after the cut and continues until both the and returns to . This is stated specifically on and in Takano Sasaburo's book on Kendo. " Immediately after the cut, if there's any movements, my says I am ready to strike at any moment, until we both return to ."

Therefore, does not mean only to take the position of after the cut, as in , but it is the spirit of which must be present immediately after such a cut.

Then how can be identified in Kendo? Does anyone in Kendo normally take or display the stance emphasizes in the Obviously the answer will be no. It is spiritual awareness that is important, not the final stance,, a naturalness. thus means that the Kenshi is always prepared, even when exhausted, even when the match is over, the spirit remains.

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can be awarded at the dojo level depending on the regional federation. Other federations formally test for these grades and some have age restrictions for children. and above are done through the formal examination process. While it is normal to have both adults and children testing for the same level of kyu there can be a great deal of difference in the basic skills between the adults and children. Most often the children have been doing Kendo much longer and have much better basics than the adults. However when the mental maturity of the adults is factored in this should not be a problem. An experienced examiner will understand this kind of situation and grade accordingly. (see attachments for skill guidelines used by some regionals)

requirements: enter and leave the court properly, strike with , good energy and 1 or 2 .

: same as above with included.

: demonstrate the use of , and . Obviously the occasion may not arise to use most of the mentioned , but the candidate should show better basics than the level and be able to use more advanced technique as above. The Kenshi at this level should not be obsessed with the use of but start to master the opportunity of attack. Cuts should have good vertical motion with the use of both hands and

: Use and to initiate attacks and have sharp . Particularly the use of type of should be incorporated in the candidates Kendo.

: should display very solid Kendo and , display mastery of a variety of techniques, , excellent footwork and posture. An attacking full of spiritual energy should be displayed rather than a waiting that reacts to the opponent.

: starting with the Godan examination the candidate must truly exhibit the use of and to create the moment of attack. Often failure is caused by the candidate doing style of and trying to win points. One must demonstrate the control of the center, the opponents spirit, and mastery of the footwork and shinai. The Kendo must be logical without unnecessary strikes and actions. The strike is followed by that is true mental alertness.

Rokudan: the same as Godan, but even more, the must be demonstrated. Strong control of the center, efficient use of and footwork, mental control of the opponent and situation.

: all aspects of the previous ranks must be present and an essence of dignity that speaks to quality Kendo. This dignity shows both on and off the court in the persons life.

Kendo is not only just winning a strong , strong or beating an opponent in the . You must express your Kendo with the correct , strong , reasonable , smooth flowing footwork, body movement and a strong, smooth stroke in your strikes. This must be performed in one rhythm with sharp .