Friday, April 12, 2013

A to Z: Kendo and Celebrate the Small Things

My theme: fencing and swordplay.
Kendo: Japanese fencing with two handed swords.
A story of my tiny brush with Kendo. At the club where I first fenced, there were two exchange students from Japan who fenced foil and kendo. They did one demonstration for us. And it was awesome. They were amazing fencers with either weapon. The interesting thing I noticed was that the younger (by one year) fencer would beat the older fencer while at fencing club meetings, but at competitions, he seemed to allow the older (just by one year) to win. They both stated that the older fencer became truly competitive at competitions, but my coach always felt that the younger one held back out of deference to his older opponent in a competition where placement mattered.
So, obviously, I don't know much about Japanese culture. Anyone who does, can you enlighten me on this question: would a younger fencer be expected to allow an older fencer to win?
I'm not trying to be offensive, I just would like to know.
From the International Kendo Federation

"The Concept of Kendo

The concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character through
the application of the principles of the Katana.

The purpose of Kendo 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.

Thus will one be able
To love his country and society,
To contribute to the development of culture,
And to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples."

Celebrate the Small Things (I almost forgot again)

1. Almost mid-point for A to Z! Wow!

2. Back to regular life refreshed from last week's vacation.

3. Lots of tap dancing going on in my house lately as my daughters are choreographing pieces for a talent competition . . .I love tap dancing.

4. I got a hair cut from a hair stylist who doesn't scare me. Yay! (and I don't think I need to wear a hat afterwards - double yay!)

5. We might have time to see a movie this weekend as a family. . . maybe even tonight.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kendo is fascinating to watch.
I actually own two of those swords.
And sorry, I used to live in Japan, but I don't know the answer to your question.

Samantha May said...

Well Alex just gained about 10,000 cool points :D

I don't actually know a lot about Japanese culture or Kendo. I would love to know the answer too!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Since so much of their culture is based on honor, I imagine the younger ones lose on purpose.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I will be impressing my boys with this knowledge later ;)

jaybird said...

That Kendo is awesome. Very impressive.

I know in the Asian culture, that your elders are always revered and looked up to. It may very well have everything to do with that.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - Wow! That's really cool!!! You definitely win 10,000 extra cool bonus points!

Samantha - Alex definitely wins some cool points with his knowledge! And our cultures our so different in so many ways, so many different nuances.

Diane - I think it's possible, but I wonder what that means on a larger scale - like when competitors prepare for events like the Olympics.

Elizabeth - Cool!

jaybird - It is very awesome and impressive. I knew that about the Japanese culture too, but I'm not sure how that plays out in sports.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Thanks for introducing me to Kendo. Had not heard about it.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

I can't answer your question. But the Japanese sure took the whole "sword culture" to a whole 'nother level.

S.K. Anthony said...

Kendo seems fascinating!

Yay for feeling refreshed after some time off. And getting a haircut that doesn't require any hats to cover it? Awesome ;)

Enjoy the family movie outing!

Mark Means said...

I really like watching goes way to fast for me to ever try, though.

Congrats on the little things :)

VikLit said...

Ooh enjoy the movie and yay to hair cut. I'm always intimidated by hair stylists too!

The Golden Eagle said...

From what I understand (and I haven't lived in Japan or another Asian country) their society is partly based on deference to one's elders. That's just what I've read . . .

Nick Wilford said...

That's very cool! It does seem that honour and respect for elders plays a big part in Japanese society.

M Pax said...

I love their outfits.

Yay for refreshed and great hair and movies.

The tap dancing sounds fun.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Rachna - You're welcome!

Michael - yes, they did!

S.K. - Yes, it is, and although I love hats, I like not feeling like I need one.

Mark - Thanks!

Viklit - glad to know I'm not the only one scared of those who wield scissors and hair products.

Golden Eagle - That's what I've read too . . .

Nick - Glad you liked it! I've heard that, but I'm not sure how far it goes.

M Pax - yes, kendo fencers know how to dress the part.

Julie Flanders said...

I never heard of Kendo before. Interesting! And fun to watch.

It's always a thrill to find a hair stylist who doesn't leave you feeling like you need to wear a hat. Definitely worth celebrating LOL.

Al Diaz said...

I had a Japanese friend and we could say my religion comes from Japan. Hierarchies are extremely important to them and they do hold elders in the highest respect.
Congratulations on all your celebrations!! I love tap too.