1 Nov 2010


Since we mentioned Junji in my last post, let's discuss this. Time and again, someone would come along and tell me I should do Jodan. The last time it was Shohei's uncle with an anecdote about how his friend used to be crap like me, but switched to Jodan and is now amazing. This time it was Junji. He argued my hands are faster than my feet (which apparently made my Do easier to hit as a counter to my Men), and of course I have the height. Hiroki then joined in the conversation and added that the only reason he's doing Jodan now is because he was shit at Chudan. What a reason. Well ... what if I become an amazing Jodan player but have never tried?

I do enjoy switching into it for a laugh every now and again, confusing people and grabbing a few cheeky Men. However, at the moment I can think of more negatives to this argument than positives. First of all if I really want to be serious about this I would have to completely switch over, meaning do ever single practise in Jodan to get accustomed to the style. I would almost be learning kendo all over again, albeit having some of the concept down ... well vaguely down at least. (for example I wouldn't have to try and learn what mai or seme is and why it's important) By doing that it would mean that my progressively improving Chudan will come to an abrupt halt. Whilst practising Jodan my kendo may continue to grow, but my Chudan will definitely remain as it is. Is this too hefty a price to pay for trying out a new stance? What if my Jodan really is shit and I have to revert back to Chudan? That's just so much time wasted even though they say it'll probably help me with my concept of distance and pressure once I get back into Chudan.
The most concerning thought for me though is that it probably won't suit my kendo. Neil has mentioned this when we've discussed it previously. My kendo is rather laid back, like me. I'm not nearly as crazy enough to be able to do Jodan. You'd have to be mental. It's all about the pressure; you'd have to keep it on all the time and be completely focused. We've just talked about my concentration in the previous post, and we all know how that is. You've also essentially exposed your Tsuki and Do, and possibly both your Kote by going into Jodan. Everything really. It's a very suicidal stance if you ask me. You'd need a lot of courage. Balls of steel and all that to successfully pull it off.
My last concern is that, as it stands, I don't think I can ever reach the level of say ... Shodai or even Ichimiya at Fukyodai doing Jodan. Whereas Chudan, with another decade of practise, I reckon I can edge the current Honda. I have more confident in it. Or may be is that because I'm familiar with it? I'd have to play in a similar fashion to them too, I can't just play it cool like Chiba-sensei does. Sounds tiring to me! May be when I reach 4th Dan ... my Chudan will be stable enough by then. Yes ... we'll talk about it again then. For now I'll stick to my Joke-dan element of surprise.

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