Joe - My Journey in the Way of the Sword

For the longest of times I have always had a passion for the art of swordsmanship and how it is expressed and performed across the many cultures around the world that have a history in the art. For me I experienced sword fighting (mainly for fun) as a teen doing what was considered as European martial arts. I started learning the sword and board and its many techniques which were used in European warfare. 

I remember getting bashed around, thrown of my feet, feeling great swords slam upon the steel helm. Literally half an inch from concussion, it certainly was great fun! Now these people were twice my age and twice my strength, I knew it would be a long journey ahead and I simply wanted to defeat them. However, there was one difference, I wanted to use Katana. No European swordsman could defeat a Samurai, right? At least this was how I thought and my obsession with samurai and legendary swordsman like the great Miyamoto Musashi. I mesmerized over thoughts of doing unbeatable techniques, and then and only then I may not get launched off my feet, and actually stand a chance dueling against these brutes. 

I remember google searching “Samurai Martial arts”, seeing the results such as Kenjutsu and Laido. But one stood out. Kendo! This is it! I thought. However, such dreams couldn’t be fulfilled. Life got the better of me. I got a job, I moved to a new town, and left, smothering the flame and desire to learn the way of the sword. Until now.

Almost a decade has gone by since then and I finally have found an opportunity in my life to practice Kendo. To rekindle my teenage dream of being a swordsman. But to my utmost delight it is even more than that now. Kendo has introduced me to an environment I could not have imagined being part of. The amazing people I have met, whom are full of energy and passion, respect and discipline bonded together with an unbreakable spirit. It’s a place where after each visit, after each practice I feel mentally physically and spiritually stronger, although minute, you can’t help noticing the changes it makes on you inside the dojo, but also I think more importantly outside the dojo. I have only just stepped into the world of Kendo, the journey is long, difficult and extremely tiring. But let me tell you it has been worth it! Thank you so much Waikato Kendo Club!   

Joe Bath