This is a rough outline of what we expect students will learn throughout their time in the club. However, instruction is subject to change based on student progression.
After 1 semester:
- Big motion strikes( Men, Kote, Dou).
- Have learned basic respect forms.
- Have learned basic footwork.
- Are practicing in gi and hakama (with some exceptions; this is awarded, not automatic).
- Know the basic kamae.
- Understand meanings of the basic Japanese terminology.
- Have an audible kiai.
After 2 semesters:
- Have begun to learn the kata.
- 50-100 hayasuburi without needing a break.
- May begin practicing in bogu.
- Are encouraged to attend and assist with joint practices and away tournaments.
- Recognizable attempt toward ki-ken-tai-ichi.
- Kiai audible when other people are also kiai’ing.
- Footwork is crisper; feet are not regularly crossing.
- Strikes are increasingly precise.
- Individual has the beginnings of zanshin.
- Beginning to concentrate more on tenouchi.
- Beginning to be useful as motodachi (connecting with their opponent, not daydreaming).
- Reiho is sufficient to take them to joint practices without a minder.
After 3 semesters:
- Are practicing in bogu.
- Continuing to learn kata.
- May have participated in their first shinsa.
- Reliable as motodachi; know when to step back, know when to block.
- Have no more engrained lapses of reiho; reflexively bow at door, reflexively bow when encountering seniors, are quick to respond to calls and commands during practice, will correct themselves regardless of if anyone is paying attention.
After 4 semesters:
- Have learned all the kata.
- Are encouraged to attend and participate in shinsa.
- Are strongly, actively encouraged to attend away events and practice with people from other dojo.
- Are assisting their kouhai in beginning to learn kendo.
- Are concentrating on their own personal individual flaws and weak points in practice; during suburi and strike practice are fine-tuning their own habits to control those flaws while not slowing down everyone else’s practice.
- Reiho is perfectly respectable, and they can begin gently correcting others when reiho mistakes are made.
- Are actively paying attention to the welfare of others in the club.
After 5 semesters:
- Fine-tuning their understanding of the kata, teaching the kata to kouhai.
- Individualized demands–do they have minor distance problems, footwork problems, do they need a crisper strike, et cetera. At this point their practice consists of refining basics and pushing toward more successful keiko.
- Actively seek out new opponents at joint practices and goodwill events; do not need to be instructed to utilize their time effectively.
After 6 semesters:
- Individualized demands
After 7 semesters:
- Individualized demands
After 8 semesters:
- Individualized demands.
- Have been put in touch with dojo they can attend after graduation.
- Have become part of the SEUSKF and AUSKF community.