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Thread: Is Shinkan-ryu Kenpo online classes a good way to learn Kenjutsu?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2022
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    Default Is Shinkan-ryu Kenpo online classes a good way to learn Kenjutsu?

    I found a so-called "Shinkan-ryu Kenpo" website that offers online Kenjutsu classes. I will link it below. In short, I'm wondering whether learning Kenjutsu online is a good start. I also have an interest in Judo, which I hope to cross train with a weapon system like Kenjutsu. Let me know if you all have any advice.
    Ethan Andrew McNeil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    Before the internet and videos/film, probably the most common response would be "don't try to learn kenjutsu from a correspondence course or from books!" and that was pretty much true. You can't really learn anything like that without at least an audiovisual medium to study. With virtual training, you can learn quite a bit, especially if you have direct communication and feedback from teachers, and if you start a study group so you have live bodies to train and interact with, it can be even more productive. But at some point, IMO, you need to have physical contact and training with higher level people in your art so you can FEEL it, and develop the sensitivities that come from first-hand experience with the teacher. Otherwise, there's only so far that you can go. If he offers seminars, clinics or workshops, try to get to at least one (preferably more) a year. Something to think about.

    The other and more pressing matter, is the qualifications of the organization and instructors who are offering online lessons. Who did the head instructor study with? In Japan at a koryu (classical) dojo? Get his credentials. He is straightforward in stating that he is not part of an established art or system, and is not affiliated with any official organization -- that he is doing his own thing. Nothing wrong with that, but do your research and find out what his "thing" is, first. There are a number of great teachers with great skills that are composites of years of intelligent study, practice and research in multiple martial arts, or even just one authentic art that they eventually broke off from, but there also are a lot of ... not so great ones with sketchy, self-taught origins. To a beginner, they may seem good, but if you can, find someone with experience to help you vet this teacher and school.
    Do your homework before turning over any cash.

    Beyond that, "feeling is believing." If you have any opportunity to get to this person's dojo or seminar and observe and feel his technique, and his students' skills (important!), do it and get a first-hand experience.

    Cross training is great, you just want to do it right.
    Cady Goldfield

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