Thursday, July 20, 2017

Motivation, Kendo Videos, and Female Samurai

“there is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” ~ Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings.

I have been scanning YouTube for the best videos related to Kendo.  Some are quite good, and I am posting them below so I can find them again.  

I liked Kendo the minute I saw it.  I wish there was more I could add to that statement, but there isn't. I just liked it.  I like swimming for the same non-reason.  I just do.  But, there are other sports I like to watch but have no desire to play (ice hockey, European soccer).  But for swimming, I knew the minute I saw water as a tot than I wanted to be in it, on it, around it, near it, and under it.  I find much peace in or by water.  For whatever reason, I felt that same peace when I saw Kendo for the first time even though it is absolutely more aggressive than swimming or kayaking.  

When I went home to do research (once a geek...always a geek), I learned that Kendo is a trifecta practice of mind, spirit, and sport. The videos I am most drawn to aren't the ones that showcase technique (although I am grateful for the ones that taught me how to put on the keikogi and hakama).  The ones about developing character and inner peace are the most engaging, and I think about them when I do my practices here at home.  I do wish I had the tall ceilings of my Connecticut house, though.  I have to practice without the shinai if I am inside because I keep hitting the ceiling.  

Side Note:  An interesting fun fact that I stumbled over...there were, in fact, female samurai (Onna-bugeisha). They, like the men they fought battle with, were part of the nobility, but used a slightly different kind of sword.  Interesting.  

But, I digress.

I really think I can learn the most from Master Song in regard to the sport. Watching the videos is helpful because the more I see and hear it, the more I get used to what is going on, but the actual learning of the sport will require his guidance and expertise. He has the patience of a Saint which I most appreciate.  He also seems to have abundant energy which is exactly what I want to have when I am his age.

I have one more practice night before I leave for two weeks of work travel.  I couldn't order a case for my shinai in enough time to take it along, so I will have to practice without it. Sensei Simon gave me some good exercises to do, and if Master Song has time, I might ask him what I can do since I can't take the shinai.  However, he is a very busy man, and he has a range of students from totally newbie (me) to folks like Sensei Simon who are way up there in the Dan level.  I don't want to tax him or make him tired of teaching me, so I think I will not try to tax him with too many questions.

Anyway, here are some videos that I found really helpful:

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