Kendo, literally meaning “way of the sword” is essentially the art of “Japanese Fencing.” There came a time when the services of the samurai were not needed, so in order to maintain the martial arts that were utilized on the battlefield, the samurai turn towards kendo, in which bamboo rods formally known as shinai were used in replacement of katana’s. In addition, kendo was a product and development of kenjutsu, in which it emphasized self-discipline to mold the character of its practitioners.
Kendo is a martial art that exercises and requires a strong mind and body. Before one can wear a set of full armor for kendo, one must master the basic style and technique of the kendo. This requires someone to be able to swing a shinai a certain number of times without stopping. As easy as this sounds, to swing a shinai properly takes grueling, hard work, and even at that, much more strength and stamina of yours is still required.
Many of those who practice kendo fail to complete a month of its work, with the
frustration of simply swinging a wooden stick a number of times, and the extreme difficulty in doing so. However, the secret of kendo was not how skilled you became. Yet, the focus was how you used that knowledge outside of those practice sessions. How even in the midst of utter defeat, in the midst of the most difficult time, one could find the strength and will to move on and overcome those obstacles. It didn’t matter whether you did it with a “shinai or a ballpoint pen in your hand,” but what did matter was that you would never stop believing you couldn’t succeed, never stop finding your limits, and ultimately going beyond them.