Kendo as Character Building

Kondo-sensei (Hachidan, Kyoshi) is one of Aichi Prefecture’s most well-repected kenshi.  He often discusses kendo in terms of character building and its benefits to modern society.  In this brief post, I have attempted to covey some of his feelings on these topics. 

剣道とは、相手と気を合わせることを学ぶ第一歩である。そして人の心を大切にすることにより完成し、「武士道」は「もののあわれ」日本人特有の感情である。無常感である。思いやり、繊細、風流、風雅さなど。ここにいたって諸行無常という仏教の根本的思想やキリスト教の愛の精神と一致し、一種の宗教的境地まで達したのである。

人と会ったら挨拶する、何か教えを受けたら感謝する、集団の中ではお互いを思いやる、人として最低限必要な礼儀、心を重視した教育を実践致します。

近藤勁助 剣道教士八段 
財団法人 全日本剣道道場連盟理事
愛知県剣道連盟参与
愛知県剣道道場連盟副会長
名古屋市剣道連盟居合道部相談役

KENDO RIPENS MINDS AND BUILDS CHARACTER
KONDO Katsuyuki, Sensei (Hachidan, Kyoshi)

Kendo is the first step in learning how understand your opponent’s intentions. By considering an opponent’s mind, our own mind will also be natured. Bushido is monono (もののあわれ), which is one of Japan’s most significant values. Monono means awareness, compassion, feeling. It can be said mujo (impermanence), which conveys the idea that all the things are transient, also includes the feelings of compassion, sensitivity, furyu (the fleeting beauty that combines compassion with humanism which can only be experienced in the present moment/shonen 正念), and elegance.

Originally a Buddhist expression, shogyo mujo means everything is ephemeral, nothing remains unchanged, and here it can be said that Bushido meets Christianity’s spirit of love. So, is a sense, Bushido has reached common ground with Christianity because both are concerned with compassion and concern for the other’s mind and in so doing, we can improve ourselves and grow as human beings.

When we meet people, we greet them; when we are taught, we thank our teachers. As human beings it is necessary for us to consider others. Through the serious study of kendo we can improve our manners, attitude and consideration of our fellow human beings in addition to building a strong, considerate character.

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Joseph Pielech

Hello All. Thank you for looking over my profile. Originally, I am from New Jersey but I have been living in Nagoya since 2002 where I work at a small college as the International Program Director. I currently practice kendo (yondan) 3 times a week and aikido (sandan) 3 times a week. Please feel free to comment and criticize my articles and posts. See you all at the next Eikenkai event!

2 thoughts on “Kendo as Character Building”

  1. Nice post… and well timed! I’ve been without a net connection for a few weeks now so have been unable to moderate the site as I would like.

    Cheers!

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