Tag Archives: The wisdom of kendo masters
I have a great interest in understanding the methods and wisdom of the great swordsmen of Japan and using that wisdom and knowledge to perfect my kendo. It is my thought that kendo as it is practiced today is not just a sport and not a pale reflection of what was kenjutsu. I’m sure this is contrary to current thinking in describing sport kendo. We all know of Miyamoto Musashi and his great duel with Sasaki Kojiro. The duel was decisively won by Musashi with a simple wooden boat oar. Granted, Musashi’s skill was unmatched, but killing with a boat oar? Why? Clearly Musashi was a man who thought outside of the box, a master who did not need a steel blade to destroy his opponent. I do not dismiss his opponents great skill but Musashi could have killed his opponent with a broom stick. Musashi and many other masters put more emphasis in the mind and body rather than what the actual sword was made of. In sport kendo today we also put more emphasis on the mind and body mechanics rather than dwelling on the bamboo nature of our sword. I have come to realize and understand that all the methods of strategy and all of the teachings of the masters are and can be directly translated to be used in today’s sport kendo. In fact the transition between a live blade to a wooden sword and bamboo sword allows the freedom to experience directly the masters wisdom, we only need to have the courage to use the teachings. Still there are many differences the obvious with a real sword it was a life or death match, there was no room for error or even practice, a point system, and the permitted hitting areas. Given the potential for creative insight along with the study of kata, sport kendo can be a great way for cultivating a mind that is laser sharp.