March 09, 2005

The Sword Is the Person

Always remember that your style and behavior in Kendo will accurately reflect your personality. A quick-tempered player will produce quick-tempered Kendo. Likewise, a casual attitude will produce a casual style of Kendo. It goes without saying that you must have a large-scale personality to practice large-scale Kendo. One who performs particularly splendid Kendo will be the product of everything that he has lived and experienced. Your experiences and your life will inevitably affect your Kendo. You must cultivate both your mind and your body if you are to grasp the true essence of Kendo.

Enthusiasm and single-mindedness are the two most important qualities required for successful Kendo. In his Academic Learning as Work, Max Weber writes: “People who do not have the enthusiasm which enables them to feel no regret over the thought of spending a whole lifetime investigating one missing letter from an old moth-eater manuscript are unsuited to academic learning.” In Kendo, too, there are people who say “I perform keiko in order to strike just one perfect men.” The idea behind this is fundamental to Kendo, and shows that if the purpose is not to achieve fame, neither is to boast. A single-minded enthusiasm, with no expectation of material reward, is vital.

“The definitive guide of Kendo”
-Hiroshi Ozawa

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