Kendo places proper attitudes into subconcious to make proper reactions
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)
I have found that Kendo has different additional philosophical teaching than karate.
It teaches many things which flow over in to other of lifes challenges:
-Aspect of performing perfectly when exhausted.
-Aspect of committing fully without hesitation after the decision is made to commit. Or to not commit until it is the right time. (i.e. no luke warm attitudes)*
I also find keiko refreshing because with all 'self defense' arts - one cannot fully 'let go' or they will injure their training partner by nature of the art, which is to immobilize the attacker.
In Kendo matches, you can truly test your skills because of its regulations and armor. (Though I have always wished that it also incorporate the full art of kenjuitsu - moves to include the full "wheel": i.e. legs, upward swings, etc. Perhaps someone will figure out how for the future of kendo?)
*The beginner concept of "attack or no attack (defense not considered)" to me encompasses the samurai philosophy of accepting the worst (i.e. "your death") so that you can clearly do what must be done (i.e. live) with complete calmness, and no fear or hesitation. Then with that attitude, the "worst" usually does not happen.
Kendo also imitates life: a living moving thing - what you plan may not come out as you think - you must face the unknown with confidence and awareness without being weakened by fear.
It prepares a mentality of being ready to face illusive challenges with all your faculties and with a calm mind to win no matter what - without wasting energy on the concept of losing.
From opponent to opponent, you never know fully what to expect beforehand. It teaches you to make proper decisions under the pressure of time.
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