Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi
I am now the holder of the 6th Dan (or rank) and have the license to teach Kendo. Maybe I am the only non-Japanese getting all my Dan grades in Japan. If I am wrong, please let me know.
The 8th Dan (in Japanese hachi-Dan) is the highest rank attainable through a test of physical Kendo skills. Kendo examinations typically consist of a demonstration of the skill of the applicants and for some Dan grades, also a written exam. The 8th Dan Kendo exam is extremely difficult, with a reported pass rate of less than 1 percent. All candidates for examination face a panel of examiners. A larger, more qualified panel is usually assembled to assess the higher Dan grades.
Harder than becoming a lawyer or a surgeon in Japan is becoming a 8th Dan Kendo swordsman. This Japanese documentary which is divided into five parts will tell you why. Two men and their attempt are shown to reach that peak – one is a former National Kendo Champion who has failed the very 1st step of the test 4 times who I personally know. The other is a 78 year old man who has been taking the test for 24 years!!!
Although the narration is in Japanese, English subtitles appear on the bottom of the screen. I recommend these videos to beginners and advanced students of Kendo. Also to people who study Japanese.
Since my arrival to NY last year I didn’t have the time to practice or teach Kendo in NY due to my busy music and publishing activities. When I have time I go to the park and practice Kendo by myself.
Sore ja video o mio ka! (in Japanese: let’s watch the videos!)
Check out this video!!!