Sawaki Kodo (沢木興道, 1880-1965) is considered by some to be the most important Japanese Zen master of the 20th century. His parents died early and he grew up being adopted by a gambler and an ex-prostitute. When he was 16, he ran away from home to become a monk at Eiheiji, one of the two main temples of Soto Zen. At first unsuccessful, he was finally ordained as a monk and began his Zen studies.
Kendo is the art of forging your true self, of becoming a better person by channeling your full spirit and determination into the here and now battle for ippon between your opponent and yourself (who is doing the same) using the sword.
The sword, therefore, is simply a tool for disciplining the self.
– Sawaki Kodo (1880-1965)