Kendo, my way of saying "if someone throws a punch, take it and move on."
I'm a 15 year-old Native American who’s been training in the Japanese sword style since 2005. When I first started I had actually asked my cousin who is a few years older than me and had already been training for a few years.
When I had first asked him to teach me the way of the sword he said "Go pick up a stick and learn from some movies," I had then told him "You're no fool and neither am I. You know well that one can only learn after he has already learned the basics from someone with more knowledge than them."
After a quick three minute match he said he had seen enough and said he'd train me for one month then I must start learning on my own. In that one month he taught me the basic stances, how to hold a sword, how to block, parry, counter, and he taught me three basic downward slashes. Once he was done with me he said to pick up the book "the book of five rings," which he studies.
Since the day he stopped training me, I’ve studied from the books of "The book of five rings," by Miyamoto Musashi, "Bushido," by Inazo Nitobe and "IAI the art of drawing the sword," by Darrell Max Craig. I’m also a fan of many anime and manga to learn more about the sword and some ideals artists have of them.
To sustain good training I spar on a fluent basis with a 22 year old friend of mine who
took fencing back in his college days, to date he still trains in fencing on a frequent basis. He surpasses me in grace and technique but I have much more endurance and sheer stubbornness so our matches have a habit of dragging out a little bit.
I've indulged myself in many studies and I've had many things go wrong in my life but training in the way always helped me avoid digging myself into a rut.Kendo-Guide.Com:
Thank you for sharing your story. Training alone is very hard thing to do and you have been doing it for a long time. It sounds like you are not practicing kendo but more like kobujutsu, though.
The old kendoists said, “Avoid a fight/dangerous situation”. It is more important for us to obtain an ability to predict danger so we can avoid ugly situations. So you do not even have to take a punch. ;)
If you can train alone for 4 years, you must have a strong will and discipline. If you can find a good kendo instructor, you will be a great kendoist.
I must say this though. The movements you learn from anime, manga and other resources can be very dangerous. There are many reasons why we do not do these techniques in kendo now.
We train very hard not to get hurt but still get hurt. That is why you need a good instructor and you need to know how to train.
As I said above, you are very determined so find good resources and most importantly good teachers.