The new RKC Dojo training schedule and training format will come into effect from 1 NOV 2023., with the intention to optimise the training times for all members.
The new schedule is as follows:
KENDO TRAINING FORMAT
Kendo, the activity that takes up the most time during our training week, will have the following training format:
This will allow for both beginner / non-bogu members and non-beginners / bogu members to have some focused attention.
The first 40 mins or so will be on "Fundamental Training". This session is important for those new to kendo, and have just joined the RKC Dojo. All training efforts from the sensei and sempai will be directed to this group during this time, and will cover the fundamentals for Kendo, namely ashi-sabaki (footwork), tai-sabaki (body movement) and suburi (usage of the shinai). The various kamae (stances) and kiai ( harmonizing and vocalisation of one's fighting spirit) will also be practised. This class is also highly recommended for non-beginners as it will allow them to further their understanding of the fundamentals. Kendo kata may also be practised during this session by all.
The 2nd 40 mins or so will be on "Fitness and Skills Building". This will include the formalities of lining up, bowing to the sensei and dojo. The standard warmup routine will be used, followed by some suburi practise. Thereafter, there will be various skills building exercises. Those new to bogu will also have an opportunity to put on their armour and perform the basics cuts.
Instruction for the final 40 mins of the class will be dedicated those who are in bogu and have some experience being in bogu. Wazza (techniques) will be instructed and practised. The point will be to focus on 1 or 2 wazza and work on it during the session. Various keiko practise will conclude the session. During this time, the non-bogu members might get to participate to a limited extent with the bogu members, or do some self-training and/or mitori keiko (learning through observation).
KENDO KIDS TRAINING FORMAT
Kendo Kids have also gone through a bit of a restructure. The initial 60 mins of training will be for kendo kids and will have 2 main components, namely fitness & skills, and fundamentals training. This is the staple diet of all the Kendo Kids (and kendo practitioners, alike).
There will also be an additional 30 mins of "Advanced" training for those Kendo Kids in bogu, or are aspiring to get into bogu within the next 6 months or so. session will make the total training time 90 mins and will start conditioning those Kendo Kids who will eventually progress to a standard 2 hrs class (see above).
IAIDO / JODO TRAINING FORMAT
The iaido and jodo class formats will be similar.
The initial 45 mins session will be on fitness and fundamental training. Unlike Kendo which has cardio-intensive exercises built into the training, iaido and jodo training does not. However, being able to perform well in these arts does require a certain level of cardiovascular fitness! Therefore, there will be a focus on it.
Furthermore, Nippon Kendo kata has been added in as an explicit practise. For the iaidoka, kendo kata will allow them to practise safely with a partner so as to have a better understanding of distance, timing and "en" (or connection) - something that can be challenging at times for the solo-kata practising iaidoka. Kendo kata for the jodoka will allow them to exclusively practise the handling of a bokken. What better way to learn self-defence against a particular weapon, than learning how to handle that weapon itself. On a side note, Nippon Kendo Kata (aka Nihon Kendo Kata) allows for all three arts (Kendo, Iaido and Jodo) to have a common denominator that binds them!
The middle session will focus on kata instruction and practise. However, if need be, more practise of kihon (basics) will take precedence over kata. As the one sensei emphasised, "good kata can only come from having good kihon".
Finally, the session will conclude with some shiai (competition) and/or shinsa (grading) practise. Usually this will be done via keiko or embu.
ONLINE TRAINING via ZOOM
Online training is making a comeback! This 30 min session on a Friday morning will focus on fitness mainly. There will be an initial warmup session, followed by a basic 100x suburi (sword swinging). Then, either followed by 1 to 3 HIIT sessions (HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training), or some other activity. The session will be capped to 30 mins, but those who wish to do more, may do so after the session is done.
NB: It should be noted that the training format will vary at times to focus on certain milestone and/or events such as grading opportunities, competition preparation, demonstration practise, etc...
The Ryū Ken Chi (RKC) Dojo train the traditional Japanese martial arts of Kendo and Iaido (sword-based martial arts), as well as Jodo (the art of the short staff), that encourages the cultivation of the human character.
Kendo Kid is also available for children aged 6-12 years old.
RKC DOJO has 2 training venues within Johannesburg - RIVONIA and OBSERVATORY.
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