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Kendo and reality

by Olga
(Ukraine)



One of my friends was doing kendo about 3 years and quit.  He says that kendo is not real.

That we have rules in kendo but in real world samurais had no such rules as not to hit leg for example or not to strike from behind etc.

He doesn't understand the concept of kendo.

He says that in the days of old every fight was to win no matter how and now we train not for winnings but for ourselves. To win in shiai we have to make very standard strike.

So in kendo we are kept within the bounds, he says.

I don't know how to make him understand kendo better and see profits not only bounds. Can you suggest something?

Answer:  Thanks for your post. Many people think like him and I think that’s what they want to do and that’s their perspective.

What he wants to do is to hurt others, it sounds like. If he wants to talk about “reality” he should not even strike on protectors, don’t you think?  Some people like him think that if martial arts cannot be used in real fight, then it is not real martial arts.

Many get frustrated by kendō because it is so hard to even control their own body. If they could control their own body, they can control a shinai with no problems. Thus, they could see the real benefits of kendō.

But unfortunately they quit before they get to that level. That is why I wanted to teach the kendō movements more easily.

If they can learn the kendō movements, they will enjoy more in kendō.

Also I think we should train harder and harder because then people do not think that kendō is just a sport.  I wrote somewhere but we train really hard until we pass out. Why?

All the kendō mates of mine and I trained hard every day and night. We even train as hard as we can.

We do not get paid for just doing kendō like that. But we still train hard and challenge ourselves. Why?

Once people see how hard we train, probably they will realize what kendō really is some day.


We do not have to make them understand. They will have to see it and understand it by themselves.

Hope this helps.

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