I have been reflecting on Kendo since my first lesson in Feb 2021. On Sunday, I shared one of my reflection with my church members in my sermon and I thought, I'd share it with my fellow Kendoka too.
During my first Kendo lesson, Sensei Sam explained that Kendo is the "Way of the Sword" and not the "Way of the Knife". This is because the sword has two cutting edges. One that cuts your opponent and a second imaginary edge that cuts at ourselves; cutting away our bad habits and traits and making us a better person.
I shared with my church that Christianity has a similar teaching. We teach that we are like a grape vine and God cuts away any branch that doesn't bear fruit. However, He does not just stop there. He also prunes the branches that bear fruit so that it (we) will become even more fruitful.
As I reflect on this, it seems to me that we are not being diminished as we are "cut" away, instead that cutting away produces a fuller person, a more fruitful and productive person. As we cut away our laziness, we become more dilligent. As we cut away our ignorance, we become wiser.
As I practice Suburi, that cutting exercise makes me more disciplined, more focused and more committed. I have to "cut" away other distractions and priorities so that I can practice. But that produces, greater skill, fitness and understanding.
In the same way, I recognise that in my life although it is God who does the cutting and pruning to make me more productive, I must play my part also and keep developing the fruitful part of me and cutting away the unhealthy and dying part of my life.
As a beginner, I want to keep reflecting on how Kendo's imaginary edge can cut away at me and make me a better Kendoka and a better person.