2015 NSK Beginners’ Course Outline

2015 NSK Beginners’ Course Outline

Most weeks the class content is cumulative, i.e. everything listed for that week, plus all the relevant techniques of the previous weeks

This year the emphasis is on thoroughly drilling and embedding the following skills:

1.      proper suriashi on the balls of the feet, not walking on heels
2.      left heel always raised when going both forwards and backwards
3.      snapping of the left foot back into place
4.      large swings (above the head)
5.      straight swings
6.      swings that finish at the correct height
7.      relaxation­–tension–relaxation, (tenouchi, ‘jo-ha-kyu’)
8.      smooth transition from fumikomi to zanshin-ashi
9.      swings using left hand for power, finishing with arms outstretched (no bent left elbow)
10.   ki ken tai itchi*

Week 1

v  taiso (with everybody, learn by watching)
v  reiho (zarei, ritsurei, mokuso)
v  kamae (plus tachiai)

Week 2

v  ashi sabaki
v  joge buri

Week 3

v  tenouchi
v  shomen uchi

Week 4

v  fumikomiashi
v  kikentaiitchi
v  maai

Week 5

v  kihon waza (against opponent)

Week 6

v  wearing do and tare
v  uchi-kaeshi

v  uchi komi geiko

It is reasonable to expect that at least the first nine of these qualities be consistently part of your Kendo before being able to wear full bogu.


Unknown said…
Hi Ben,

have you tried starting directly from men uchi instead of jogeburi? Do you have your clubs beginners do jogeburi from the back?
Nanseikan said…

Thanks for your feedback and your question.

I've run beginners' classes many different ways over the years. My aim with this one was to go very slowly and methodically through the basics. The idea of teaching jogeburi one week and shomen the next is to take into account how much difficulty most beginners have with co-ordinating their upper and lower body movement. In fact, the emphasis that you can't really see in this Course Outline is the emphasis on the core muscles (hara), legs and feet.

When you say "from the back" do you mean bringing their shinai all the way to their buttocks on the backswing? I suggest it and demonstrate it as a possible way to check the straightness of one's swing, but I don't demand it. This style can produce other grip and tenouchi problems later on.

What do you do at Sei Shin Kan?

Unknown said…
Hi Ben,

the two previous beginners courses have had shomen as the first swing / cut. I think this helps with keeping the grip correct all thru the cut and also helping out in projecting the cut forward, not down.

When I began kendo, we started with jogeburi and I think this is one of the reasons that it took quite some time to get dipping the shinai point down on the backswing out of my system. The new beginners do not have this problem too much.

Having said that, jogeburi is a really good suburb and I think it is beneficial provided the swing is extended. Meaning that the arms are straight on men and kote.

Best regards,

Unknown said…
Yes, the jogeburi from all the way back. In our club, we start from shomen and introduce jogeburi a bit later. This is supposed to ingrain the habit of cutting forward not down. In previous beginners courses I have noticed that when starting from jogeburi the cuts are down and it is difficult to get them stopping in the correct height.

Later, when it is understood that the cut should be forward jogeburi is a good suburi.

best regards,

Unknown said…
Great outline! It's been a while since I have taught beginners courses back in Ireland. But I always found it challenging/rewarding!

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