Saturday, August 09, 2008

Five Years And Counting...

The month of August marks the 5th anniversary of when I started Kendo. It's hard to believe that I've been with this for all that time, considering the big changes that have happened in my life during the time span.

As many of us know, it's hard for one to keep interested in one activity for so long and Kendo is definitely no exception. The plethora of options for things to do, work and school are the biggest killers of prospective college Kenshi, but I fought it. For those that can dedicate the time, sometimes people realize that Kendo is not really what one expected it to be or took too much commitment, but I fought that too.

I pretty much started Kendo because I wanted something to do when I was in college to break the monotony of studying and slaving. To be honest, I originally wanted to do Aikido. But I found out about Kendo and considered trying to do both. But when school started, the Kendo callout came first so I went with that one first. I would have done Aikido as well, but the classes clashed with the advanced classes that I wanted to eventually attend at the time. In short, I only had room for Kendo.

It seems like only yesterday that I walked into the Stewart center as a wide-eyed, timid freshman spending two hours a week going back and forth on the floor before moving on to spending those same two hours a week making our arms fall off.

What made me stick with Kendo? At first, it got me out of my dorm so it was pretty much something to do and something to pad my resume with. But despite the difficulty of coming back with sore feet and arms every week, I still had some mysterious force calling me back. What really made me stick with it was when I saw my first tournament in Chicago. Seeing people in the mysterious armor and uniform whacking away at each other gave me a preview of what we were going to do if we stick with things long enough. It probably helps that I had no expectations of Kendo whatsoever. Sure, I went to the callout the week before the first practice, but I was going into it pretty much blind at this point.

Fast forward five years and I'm still doing it with abilities that I never thought possible. I've visited various dojo across the country and participated in my fair share of tournaments with no signs of stopping any time soon.

Where do I see myself in the future? I want to be able to continue Kendo for as long as my body is able to allow me. In the present time frame, I want to do my best to develop my own style and improve on the skill set that I have now. I also want to increase my Kendo competency enough to be able to do my best by spreading the knowledge of Kendo by teaching those that are willing to learn.

Well, I got 5 years down. Now lets hope for 5+ more!


Ivan said...

A nice reflection on your motivation for kendo, keep it up+++!

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