Je Maintiendrai

"... Le refus de la politique militante, le privilège absolu concédé à la littérature, la liberté de l'allure, le style comme une éthique, la continuité d'une recherche". Pol Vandromme

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Location: Portugal

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Despite passing through various stages of development, the essence (honshi-tsu) of Kendo has remained constant: one person faces another, ready with the shinai, mind meets mind, and the opponents strike. By training one's spirit and performing keiko correctly, honestly, and full of vigor, an ennobling of human nature takes place. This may initially appear paradoxical, for how can human nature be enno­bled by the act of looking for an opponent's unguarded moment and execut­ing a strike?
To appreciate this it should be realized that Kendo today is practiced in an environment removed from the everyday world. The act of attacking and par­rying is carried out with the implicit understanding that no one actually intends to kill or wound an opponent. Rather, in engaging in such an act, opponents both compete and cooperate with one another. Always remember to respect your opponent and to recognize his or her human nature, while at the same time resisting with all your might. In this way, each can ennoble the human nature of the other. Competition rules exist precisely to help maintain this vital balance. In addition, while winning a match is important in Kendo, it is equally important to conquer yourself in the difficult situation in which you are placed. In other words, it is essential when learning Kendo to form a spirit of self-denial, which will lead to an ennobling of the self”.

Hiroshi Ozawa - Kendo

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