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Aikido & Kendo, The Sporting Way 4:4

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You must do a big stroke, like this, then push it down. Now move backwards. Go back to the same place, then stop for a few moments. In Japan, the tendency, the teacher is not to teach you by a spoken word. He will keep striking you in one place, where your weakness lies. He will keep striking it. So, eventually, you learn the painful way, the hard way, to stop that weakness. In Kendō, my weakness is my wrist. So, the Kendō teacher just continually hits you, strikes you. And, eventually, you learn. You learn, okay? It's really painful. Many foreigners come, and they want to do something, some modern discipline. And the first time they're hurt, or the first time they experience any pain, they stop. They won't continue. And in Japan, the important thing is to continue. No matter how bad you are, or how bad you feel you are, you continue. If a teacher sees this spirit of determination, then you can really, he'll meet you halfway, and you must come the other half. And you can really advance. But Westerners, well, Westerners, they tend to be egotistical. In Kendō, if you get hurt, it's so much your body that gets hurt, it's you ego. Ego gets hurt, so people stop. You know, they've been defeated. They feel "I've been defeated". If you want to overcome others, you must first overcome yourself, your own weaknesses. The rules of Kendō dictate that an attack may only be started with the right foot forward, and attacks must be aimed at areas which are covered in armour. The head, shoulders, chest, or upper forearm. None of which would have been a target in real fighting. People, beginners especially, follow their instincts. And raise their hands to protect their head, which leaves the body open. They make their instict defeat them. You've to overcome your instincts, and stand there, strongly. But, Kendō and Zen basically are the same. Same purpose: to destroy your ego. The atmosphere in a Kendō dojo has a powerful sense of controled violence. The shouts are full of intensity. The fighting is fast and ruthless. The contestants are tuned to a high pitch. Their minds reach a special intensity, both calm and yet racing. Alert to every tiny movement of their opponent. The Japanese call it Ichi-go Ichi-e, which means every time is the last time. This is a real fight, you know, last time. And you're serious. And you're direct. You're not casual in any way. Your attitude must not be casual. No matter even if you've beaten the guy, you must still be alert and aware, and have respect for your opponent. It's like a spring just waiting to go, to see the opportunity of moving. If your opponent shows a weakness, take it quickly, and seriously. No smiling or laughing. It's not a laughing matter. Les Denniston and the late Jim Elkin both had their philosophy of life changed by their contact with the Japanese fighting arts. They're not alone. Theirs is the common experience of serious students who are taught by masters of ability and integrity. At the heart of the old martial arts and the new sporting system is an ideal of self-control and a distaste for violence. Aggression is based on fear. You're basically frightened inside. And after a few years of training quite hard, you lose it, you don't need it. I'm training everyday in fighting. I don't need it anywhere else. I don't want to fight anyone. Only in the dojo. That's all. But before I was... nasty piece of work.

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 1 second
Country: Brazil
Language: English
Views: 130
Posted by: halfleaf on Apr 21, 2010

Aikido & Kendo, The Sporting Way 4:4

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