Kendo, Aikido, martial art related

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kendo Introduction I

11:13 PM Posted by author , , No comments

This section on Kendo is more a manual for students than a 'Teach Yourself' attempt. It has been taken for granted that the reader is either a student already or considering starting. True Kendo, in common with older Martial Arts, will lack clarity unless it is practised.

Until the end of the Second World War, the Butokukai (Martial Arts Society) controlled all gradings and teachings and Kenshiro Abbe Sensei was awarded a 6th Dan in Kendo from them, in 1945.

The specific theory or system of Budo (Martial Arts) created by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei is termed Kyu-shin-do and its application is particularly easy to understand through Kendo. Kyu means a sphere, or circle. Shin means the heart, or nexus point and Do means the way or path. There is little space here to deal adequately with this ancient Japanese philosophy but its three fundamental precepts are:

a. Bambutsu Ruten - All things existent in the Universe turn in a constant state of flux.
b. Ritsudo - This motion is rhythmic and smooth.
c. Chowa - All things act in a perfect accord.

Kyu-shin-do is a Japanese equivalent of the Buddhist Karmic cycle especially as far as its application to life is concerned. This is an old Japanese idea but the writer's teacher was the first to grasp its real significance in relation to Budo. To attain perfection in technique means to attain to perfection as a human being and through our studies to become a better person and a useful and positive factor in society.

Kyu-shin-do also states that the accumulation of effort is a steady motion about the radius and centre of gravity and that all things resign to this basic cyclic pattern. The normal perception and focus of awareness in the human being, flies along the outer periphery of existence, events flash past too rapidly for the mind to grasp. By re-discovering the original centre of things, events turn more slowly in perception and the general scheme is more easily viewed. All this refers directly to the original Great Principle of Creation, under which the Universe was first formed. By understanding and harmony with this Principle of God a better purpose of life is brought about. Instead of hopeless repentance or regret for bad things, the human being should strive for good actions.

This does not mean that every student must involve himself in complicated metaphysics but these laws of Material Nature still exist and cannot but become clear during the course of study. Kendo in itself is a vigorous and healthy activity, developing a strong physique and sharp mind. There is no reason why it cannot be practised and enjoyed purely and simply as a sport, or interesting game; even just for exercise. Kendo also has within itself the capacity to include the deepest significance of life and the highest goal of human conception. The student should concentrate firstly on the purely physical aspect of training, since interest in other aspects will occur naturally as they become problems.

The student involved in the sheer physical problems of training will scarcely be aware of his mind, but once the body is reasonably under control it will be seen that the mind is the real bar to progress, for one reason or another. The human being consists of both a spiritual and physical side. Too much concentration on one aspect will lead to an unbalanced life and the student should attempt to develop both parts equally. The student who is too prone to think, should train harder and with greater regularity whilst the student more sluggish of thought should strive to improve his mind and increase his intelligence by thinking things out, and reading.

Once past the first initial stages Kendo is a battle with oneself to catch the mind and force it to obey the will. Over the years the student will pass through periods of elation and depression, keen enthusiasm and lack of interest. The main object is to overcome all difficulties and to press forward with a firm mind and iron will. The student who misses classes because he cannot be bothered to attend, feels tired or thinks that he is getting nowhere has defeated himself from the very beginning. The senior grades and masters are merely those who have had the tenacity of purpose to continue in the face of any difficulty.

source : internet article 


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