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September 26th 2012
Published: September 26th 2012
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For those of you who don't know what Kendo is. It is the Japanese "Way of the Sword".....Literally. In Japanese "Ken" means sword and "Do" means way or path. It originated from Kenjutsu practiced by samurai in the Feudal Japan. It is considered a martial art and is very challenging mentally and physically. In a way it is like a religion but without a god or deity. It is a moral and physical practice.

The concept is "Kendo is a way to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the katana." And is purpose is:

To mold the mind and body.To cultivate a vigorous spirit,And through correct and rigid training,To strive for improvement in the art of Kendo.To hold in esteem human courtesy and honor.To associate with others with sincerity.And to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.
<dl><dd><dl><dd>Thus will one be able:</dd><dd>To love one's country and society;</dd><dd>To contribute to the development of culture;</dd><dd>And to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples</dd></dl></dd></dl>

<dl>I just got back from my second practice with the NCCU team. Monday was the first meeting and introduction. There are about ten newbies like me and five or six team members. I am the only American but I met a couple exchange students who are attending for a semester or year. There is Allister, or Al, who is from the UK (from somewhere around Manchester). He was only there for the first meeting but he will come to the Friday practice I think. Then I met Masturi from Japan. She has done Kendo and she speaks English. I'm really excited because I can practice my Japanese! We hung out a lot today in practice. It's a lot of fun because we can speak in a mix of English and Japanese.</dl>
The sensei, or lao shi in Chinese (it means teacher in both languages), doesn't speak any english but he can speak Japanese. Luckily for me the captain, Yo Yo, speaks near perfect English and he acts as a translator most of the time. I found out that he was actually born in North Carolina and moved to Taiwan when he was six.

The Kendo team practices three times a week, Mon, Wed, and Fri, from 6:30pm to 9 pm. After practice we go out for dessert. I can't remember the name of it but I will post pictures soon. It's very strange for Westerners, that's for sure but it is delicous. I'm glad the team is welcoming and I was actaully included in some of the fun and conversations today, and people talked to me! Some of the newbie guys talked to me too! (note: Taiwanese guys are very shy around foreign girls. So that was a big accomplishment for me.)

I technically only have to go to two sessions of a club for Kerry's assaignment but I'm going to keep doing it for the rest of the stay. Technically I don't go to NCCU on Fridays but I will now so that I can practice with the team. Also, lao shi has a dojo in Taipei that is only 15 min away from NCCU by bus. Yo Yo offered to take Al and I on a saturday to observe a real dojo practice!

I will keep you posted on my Kendo adventure.

P.S. I encourage you to watch videos of matches on Youtube, but please note that I am not wearing the uniform or striking against a oppenent.


26th September 2012

Use that Japanese!
Kendo sounds VERY interesting, and right up your alley. Nice to hear you are able to use some of that Japanese you studied at Beloit. Also, very proud to hear you are able to interact with the local & international students. Keep up the good work. Don't get behind on the rest of your studies because of your interest in one subject. That was the Dad in me talking! I know you are doing a good job and I look forward to hearing about more adventures. Love you bunches!!
26th September 2012

Nice job explaining kendo!
what a diverse group of people..... very cool...super you are using your Japanese!!!

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