When It’s OK to Hit the Students

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How’s that for a creepy title? So, when is it ok to strike the students with sticks? The answer is when you visit their after-school club… if they are in the Kendo Club (剣道部).

Kendo is a Japanese sport, but most folks would recognize it as a martial art. Rattan swords are used to score points by striking your opponent on the head, the wrist, or the belly. Padding is worn in the target areas for protection. Whether the padding is sufficient is a matter of conjecture. The number two student wears an extra wrist guard under his right gauntlet; and I have three red contusions on my hand.

I guess that last sentence lets you know that I got involved. I have joined two morning training sessions and one afternoon practice. They spend about 30 minutes in the morning doing various exercises and about 3 hours in the afternoon practicing various skills. During the activities I was holding back a lot because I would feel bad if I injured a student. The number one student, who may be the top in our prefecture, gave me some pretty severe whacks. A couple seventh-graders were challenging me during exercises, I raised my sword high and gave them a fixed stare, which frightened them horribly. I’ll have to be careful about that too, I guess.

Today a teacher told me that her students had to write about recent experiences. One of them wrote about me being at the club meetings and that he thought I had a special skill at it. It is a lot of time commitment, but I am interested in learning, and if it helps motivate the kids…

The throat is also a valid target, but only at high school and adult level. Throat guards are pretty strong, but thrusting can be very dangerous if something goes wrong. Perhaps I will post more details if folks are interested.

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One Response to “When It’s OK to Hit the Students”

  1. When it’s OK to Throw the Students « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] burned” because there is more burning tomorrow, but I wanted to link back to my “hit the students” […]

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