The WORLD of
 C. A. Wolski





KENDO

The Way of the Sword

Sword fighting has interested me since I was a kid and I became fascinated with Japanese culture and history when I was in college (through a double dose of Akira Kurosawa films and an outstanding Japanese history class), and when I found kendo—I was hooked.

It may seem impractical to study and become proficient in sword fighting in the age of the AK-47, but kendo is more than a fighting style. Like all martial arts—kendo is about building confidence, stamina, and discipline.

The only martial art in which men and women compete against one another—kendo is not about strength, but precision and integration.

Exotic, exciting, explosive—kendo is a 400-year-old sword fighting system developed, initially, to help samurai hone their skill during times of peace. The heavily armored combatants were the traditional garb of a samurai—gi and hakama—fighting not with live blades but flexible bamboo “swords” called shinai.

I’ve studied kendo in Los Angeles since 1999, and earned my blackbelt or shodan rank in 2004. Currently I practice under Cary Mizobe-sensei at Westside Kendo Dojo, Venice, California.

For me kendo is the perfect balance of control and explosive power; beauty and violence; and order and chaos. It is a martial art in which you have to push yourself to the very limit mentally and physically.

We may live in the age of the gun—but the lessons the way of the sword has taught me—discipline, perseverance, the appreciation of process over end results, how to integrate mind and body, and how to be a better person—makes kendo as practical a pursuit as it was 400 years ago.


                                       





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