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

‘Traditional’ kendo pedagogy and abuse

My area as some of you know is teaching kendo to young people. In high school I teach kendo as an elective subject to 12 and 13 year olds. One tool I have found very useful for firing their imaginations is telling them stories from Japanese history, stories that most of us have read or … Continue reading ‘Traditional’ kendo pedagogy and abuse

Meijin no Waza #1: Kobayashi Mitsuru hanshi’s KATATEZUKI

This is the first in a series that looks at techniques done by those that are as acknowledged as the best executors of them. The individual final of the 1st world kendo championships (1970) was between Toda sensei, twice winner of the All Japan Kendo Championships (1962 and 64, using jodan), and Osaka police’s Kobayashi … Continue reading Meijin no Waza #1: Kobayashi Mitsuru hanshi’s KATATEZUKI

Kendo Places #3: Disposable – The End of Noma

“The night bus to Tokyo: a nine hour hell ride in a muggy sardine can, with an interior that is all too reminiscent of a cheap airport hotel, and a smell to match. This is the chariot of thrifty foreign travelers, poor university students, and gassy old men who snore throughout the night. After an evening of … Continue reading Kendo Places #3: Disposable – The End of Noma