Kendo is a highly ritualised art, both efficient and inefficient. It teaches the very basics of landing a strike to four different areas of the body and little deviation thereupon. However, in a swordfight, you would hardly need to use any other techniques unless your opponent was a better kendoka than you, so I think it’s quite cool. The lack of variation or embellishment is disheartening, though I understand the necessity of simplicity.
Stamping the foot and shouting the name of the area you plan to strike are, I feel, more for point-keeping rather than to improve the art itself. It would more than likely alert your opponent that you’re about to strike and, if they’re particularly adept, allow them to prepare to defend the area/s you’re striking at. Plus, after hours of training, I imagine one’s voice would get very hoarse. Furthermore, shinai are very, very different to katanas and so I believe learning to fight with them can hinder swordsmanship itself.
The sensei himself is a terrifying man. He is of little patience and demands great respect and discipline, expecting utmost obedience from all of his students. While I respect him as a swordsman, I would not want to learn from him for any extended period of time.
So no, I will not be picking up kendo for the moment. Tryouts for Wushu were moved to a time I couldn’t make, but my first lesson for karate is on Tuesday.
Couldn’t find the capoiera or judo club, but I’ll keep looking.
Also something important I’d like to mention…
These past few months I have let my arrogance consume me. While I still respected and sought to learn, I did not allow myself to see just how very much I have yet to learn. I aspire to once again humble myself, as I did in January 2007, and return to my roots as a warrior. I remember now, and must do so always, why I learn the arts: