Monthly Archives: March 2012
A friend passed on the following passage to me written by Professor Okazaki, founder of the Okazaki style of jujitsu also known as Kodenkan Jujitsu. The passage reinforces many of the goals and practice of kendo. Use Your Mind When anyone speaks of himself, he nearly always means my physical self, or existence. He knows that his body has weight and shape. Through his five senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch, he is always conscious of his physical self. By contrast his mind has neither color nor form. We wash our faces each morning but how many of us wash our minds as well? Precious few! There are many people who train their bodies but few who train their minds. Apparently few realize that the mind like the body becomes soiled if it is not washed, weak if it is not trained. Another important fact to remember is that actually the mind rules the body. It is the mind that leads and the body that follows.
In the words of a beginning kendo student “a cut is a cut,” meaning any strike that hits the mark should be the deciding factor for a point. Unfortunately there are many that have this idea and even apply this notion to kendo. Cutting is different from the random act of slashing. Of course in kendo we see cutting as a precise action, striking with spirit, body, mind in unison, the intent is what matters. So why is this difference important? It is a difference of the quality of the strike and its perfection. Perfection of form ensures that the spirit, mind and body can strike instantly. Not surprisingly perfection of form is the same ideal in iaido and all other budo arts. Beginners and others often decry the fact that kendo has so many rules about proper striking making kendo more a sport than a martial art. It is this exacting striking standard that helps keep the focus on precise and perfect form. In martial arts perfect form and exacting standards, does not mean one practices a sport instead it is evidence of personal discipline.