Kendo is practiced by modern-day martial artists. It is a sport that uses bamboo swords, which are also known as Shinai. Armor is also used, which is called Bogu.
This modern-day Japanese martial art was inspired by the ancient Kenjutsu. This sport is a combination of traditional Kenjutsu methods and contemporary strategies.
This sport originated from Japan, and many people around the world have embraced Kendo as a new martial arts exercise. Behind its widespread popularity are the fundamental principles and philosophies that can also be applied to one’s day-to-day activities, short term objectives and long term goals. This modern-day martial arts activity, coupled with ancient Kenjutsu, can teach you a lot of things that can improve your life.
Kenjutsu VS Kendo
The main distinguishing point between Kenjutsu and Kendo is its scope of practice. While Kenjutsu is a general term for all schools that teach martial arts, Kendo is a specific style of martial arts. There are hundreds of schools teaching Japanese martial arts, but Kendo refers to a specific way of wielding a sword.
Another thing that sets Kenjutsu apart from Kendo is that the former mainly teaches the principles in theory, while the latter pertains to the actual use of the sword during battle. Kendo is a result of the application of various Kenjutsu teachings and leans more on the sport aspect of the activity.
Lastly, these two differ in terms of admission. Since Kenjutsu involves formal training, it’s extremely difficult to find a school outside Japan. When it comes to Kendo, there are several local Japanese schools and international centers that offer training courses for the said sport. It’s relatively easier to be admitted to Kendo schools because it’s more open to the general public.
What Benefits Can You Get From Kendo?
Kendo is primarily used to train you in martial arts. However, this can also be used to strengthen the human mind through rigorous training of self-discipline, and also with the application of fundamental katana principles.
By engaging in this activity, your mind can be sharpened, and your character can be fully developed. By practicing Kendo, you’ll be able to better understand yourself.
After all, the main goal in practicing Kendo is to develop and improve oneself. The basic principles used in teaching this specific style of martial arts can be related to the daily life of any person. This can teach you the virtue of patience and perseverance in terms of successfully achieving your goal.
This practice can also help you realize your love for your country, since it’s founded on patriotic philosophies. Kendo can help you achieve inner peace and prosperity.
Kendo & Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings
The Book of Five Rings, which was written by Miyamoto Musashi in the 16th century, is still very popular in today’s modern world. This book doesn’t just talk about Kenjutsu, but also Kendo.
This style of martial arts can also teach you about the most basic (yet often forgotten) life principles. Miyamoto used the five elements of nature to better explain the strategies in fighting against opponents using Kendo. Here is a brief discussion on each of the elements and its impact to your life as a martial artist or to your business, work and family life:
- This is the very first element that’s mentioned in The Book of Five Rings. This element is often symbolized by stone. This element can be linked to Kendo with respect to its guiding principles and philosophies. When practicing Kendo, you need to know all its basic principles for you to fully understand its purpose and significance. In life, if you are fully aware of the fundamental principles of survival, then you can face ordeals without too much trouble.
- This element is characterized by naturally flowing fluids and liquid objects without any definite shape. This represents flexibility and adaptability, which are essential traits that must be possessed by every warrior. When in battle, you have to quickly adapt to the changing strategies of your opponent so you can effectively launch counter-attack tactics. In life, you sometimes face difficult moments that are almost impossible to bear. If you aren’t flexible enough (open-minded), then you might suffer from emotional and mental breakdowns.
- The element of Fire can both be powerful and dangerous at the same time. It can either help you, or harm you. In martial arts, the element of fire is seen as heat or energy used by a warrior. You must convert this energy into certain actions that can lead you to victory. The element of fire could also mean passion. This represents a great desire to win or to achieve one’s goal. When practicing Kendo, you need this passion to drive you further to defeat your opponents.
- Wind is an extremely powerful element, which is often linked to the human mind. Your ideas can strengthen your skills in Kendo, once constructed correctly.
- Void, in its most literal sense, refers to oblivion. This is beyond what the human mind can comprehend. This element is often associated with entities and objects of divine origin. The most important thing about this element is to know and acknowledge the presence of these entities and objects. You need to fully understand or know what exists before you can determine which doesn’t. This element is extremely useful in Kendo since it represents your natural abilities to think in any situation and comprehend your environment. You need these traits in order to assess your opponent’s skills and techniques during battle.