Benjamin - A great lesson in humility and understanding

Photo shown at Waikato Times 13 August 2007, p.3.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Benjamin
Date: 14-Aug-2007
Subject: A great lesson in humility and understanding

Hello Marleen and Sam

I would like to say a big thank you for organising the camp. It was agreat experience, and I am sure I will remember it for the rest of my life. I believe everyone was impressed with how well managed it was, andhow everything went so smoothly. I really enjoyed it, and, because I'm acomplete beginner, being around all those kendo-ka made me want to work really hard to become like them.

Aside from all the great knowledge Inoue sensei shared with us, Ibelieve the most important thing I learnt this weekend was humility.

Before I put on bogu I watched everyone fight, and I watched many videos of fights from all over the world, and I thought that it must not be so hard, and that once I put on bogu I could fight too. Now I have realizedthe horrible mistake in my thinking. Kendo is hard. Very very very hard. And for anyone to be even slightly good at it shows how much effort they have put into it. Realizing this has made me want to put effort into itas well.

I realise too that the effort should not go towards becoming good at fighting like the people I see, but towards doing things the proper way. This is perhaps what I said in an email to Sam a while ago, but now I actually *understand* what it means. Hehe, I got told off by one of the New Zealand sensei when I practised with him. He said "don't try to fight me, you will never beat me, concentrate on doing it properly instead" and now I understand what all this means.

A great lesson in humility and understanding.

I feel that when I am better at kendo (many years from now) what Inouesensei said during the camp will make more sense to me. But now I amjust like a little child, and great wisdom does not yet make sense.

Again, thank you very much :)



Thanks to Benjiman for sharing his lesson in humility and understanding (in Kendo) with us.

For the slideshow made by Waikato Times, please visit:


Sam Tsai said…
Hi Benjamin,

Thank you for sharing your thinking with us.

I am very pleased to hear you say "not trying to fight ..."

This is a very common misconception for Kendo beginners. Also, this misconception is very difficult to be correct by the instructors who are teaching beginners with that idea. That's why I am so pleased that you can make sense yourself and share it with all of us.

The "fighting part" of Kendo is just an approach for us to understand more about us and the humility etc.

It's very nice to read your mail and please continue your Kendo journey. :)

Kind regards,
MrWoody said…
This is all very interesting and encouraging. I am interested in kendo, having practiced aikido in the past.
Thank you for sharing your insights.