Last February, my friend – a fellow karate nerd – and I participated in the Martial Arts Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We demonstrated some kata, learned some new tricks with the jo, had much fun in the workshops by Takeda Ryu… and then, the unexpected happened. 😉 I fell in love. With kendo.
Excited about the prospect of a new special interest to comfort me and help me regenerate, I placed myself on the waiting list. And waited. And waited… until April came, finally, and I could join a kendo group. And it was even more immense than I had imagined it to be. 🙂 But wait, what is kendo, you might ask. Great question and all answers I can think of fail to describe its essence. But to give you a rough impression: kendo is a Japanese martial art, with swordmanship techniques related to methods of Samurai warfare, that can be traced back to the 13th century.
The purpose of kendo, as articulated by the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) in 1975 is as follows:
To mold the mind and body.
To cultivate a vigorous spirit
And through correct and rigid training,
To strive for improvement in the art of Kendo.
To hold in esteem human courtesy and honor.
To associate with others with sincerity.
And to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.
Thus will one be able:
To love one’s country and society;
To contribute to the development of culture;
And to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.
In case this catches your attention and you would like to read more about kendo, just follow the links below. They have been selected by the members from my kendo group, for which I am of course very grateful. I hope you enjoy following them and please let me know if you have an addition to this little list!
Yushinkan. Our kendo group! ❤
Kenshi 24/7. The enormously extensive website of George McCall sensei.
On iai, kendo and life, its shadow. Beautifully written, poetic observations by Inti.
Kendo World Forum. Crossing swords and borders.
Nine Circles. Europe’s leading supplier of traditional Japanese Budo Equipment.
Striving for perfection when perfection is impossible. A blog by Koichi.
Wikipedia Kendo. Always a good starting point and it features a nice brief history of kendo.