So, I had a mad urge to take up a sword recently. It’s not the first time this has happened to me. Experienced something similar while at college, but tried fencing, which seemed kinda pointless – pardon the pun.
Therefore, my urges to slice things in two have been sublimated for many years, until I discovered a Kendo group close by.
OMG. Who would ever have imagined that hitting things on the head could induce such a blissed out calm? Seriously, I’m one of those people who would like to meditate, but am totally incapable of doing so. But give me 20 minutes of focussed hitting things on the head, and it’s a total Zen zone….. Go figure.
At the first session, I did a lot of watching. Kendo is rather fascinating. It’s about efficiency and focus, as far as I can see. The art seems to be in causing as much damage to your opponent as possible, while expending a minimum of energy. It differs from anything else I’ve seen because ‘spirit’ is expressed through a kind of yowl called a Kiai.
Actually, it’s not that different from one other thing that I’ve been a keen observer of for many years.
The ancient art of Kat Fu Fighting.
Anyone who lives with cats will know what I’m talking about. The facing off, the use of peripheral vision, the stamping, yowling and swift movements. The sharpened weapons, capable of slicing right through your opponent.
This should in NO way be interpreted as a slur on Kendo. Quite the contrary. It makes me an even keener student than if I had not seen these similarities. (I love my cats….)
You know I once remember reading a phrase that was advocating meditation. “Even a cat can do it.” For some reason, that phrase always bothered me. Even a cat? What’s that supposed to mean. If I could remember the source, I would advise the author to revise the wording. It should read ‘Especially a cat can do it.’
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go and hit things on the head.