Searching for Meaning in Kendo

by Tony
(Texas, United States)

I apologize if the title seems a bit overdramatic, but I was wondering if someone could answer a few questions I have.

Firstly, I've been a victim of the infamous "McDojo" schools, where the "senseis" and "masters" look to profit off of their students and not provide meaning, context and an appreciation for the art, history and skill involved in their teachings.

I'm hoping that kendo does not have those of institutions, but does it?

Secondly, I am unsure of whether I can start kendo or not. I'm 18, physically fit, but I fear I'm too old to really learn and succeed in kendo.

Am I too late to start?

And lastly, I'm in a dark place in my life right now. I feel lost and lost, and I was hoping that kendo could be a path to regaining confidence and control over my life.

Answer: Thank you for your comment and questions.

The answer to your first question:

It is up to owners. I see many Japanese martial arts dojos here and there but I don’t feel like they are teaching what they are supposed to teach.

Many can teach “movements” but not what you should look for in the martial way that they chose to pursue. And also it is true that students do want to learn the movements not philosophy and principles.

So you must learn how to look for a good teacher. A good teacher here means that your ideal teacher; who shows you philosophy and teachings of kendo as well as its movements.

The answer to your second question:

You can start kendo at any age. You are not too old. You are only 18 and if you are physically fit, you should start right now.

When you say, succeed in kendo, what do you mean? What is success to you in kendo? This leads me to your next question.

Kendo has many teachings that lead you to a light. But like you said, you need your ideal teacher to accomplish that.

If you can stay on the way of the sword, I am sure you can see a light. But it is all up to you.

I have seen many who were saved by kendo and also many could not be saved by kendo.

You should want the right things from kendo.

Hope this helps.

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