Monday, June 19, 2006

what's the deal?

Read this! I came across it while surfing/gestapo-ing/whatever you want to call it. I think it's quite well-written. Here are some bits:

"If you've ever wondered about rank in kendo, the general bottom line is that rank doesn't matter. In my experience, no one really cares too much about it. Everyone's goal really is just to get better at kendo and perhaps you've noticed that no one in kendo wears anything special to denote their rank."

"...rank (and achieving rank) can be a positive thing in kendo. It can give us a sense of where we are (in terms of kendo ability/knowledge) and where we're headed or what we can look forward to. In our goal-driven society, rank can be a source of encouragement as well."

"So... should you worry about testing? The first testing can be a bit stressful because you want to do well. You know what the judges expect you to be able to do, but you may not know how well the judges expect you to do it! In the end, it's nothing to get worked up over. In my past as taekwondo student, I went through several testings which lasted anywhere from one to three hours. This is simply not the case with kendo. At best, you may be on the floor in front of the panel for 5 or 10 minutes. This obviously may add to your stress as you feel you don't have enough time to fully demonstrate what you can do. Promotional panels have a lot of experience, though, and are very able to see potential even when you're not "picture perfect". So, when you go in for testing, simply do what you know how to do and let the judges do their thing. No sense in worrying about it! Whether you hold a rank of 4.kyu or shodan, you'll always find yourself practicing and sparring people with more experience and higher rank and anyone, of any rank, can score a point or win a match against anyone else on any given day.

Regardless of rank, kendo is an ongoing learning experience. You might consider using promotionals as an encouragement to better your kendo, but ultimately, rank is not the end-all/be-all of kendo.

Something to keep in mind...."

Pictures from PeePee's wedding(s) will be coming soon. Congratulations to PeePee and his lovely wife, Joanne!

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