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  • #46
    The online Free dictionary defines a sport as-

    a. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.

    Kendo falls within these criteria (as do many things) so I'd suggest it's a sport. As soon as you have competition with points and limitations on what you can attack, it becomes a sport. Iaido on the other hand doesn't alter it's remit for competition so I'd suggest it's not a sport.

    But I'm sure there are plenty of other definitions!

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    • #47
      and Iaido competitions!

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      • #48
        Of course iaido is a sport. People need to get rid of the idea that sports are divorced from martial arts, anyway. Javelin is a sport. We don't kill people with javelins anymore, but we sure did through a lot of our history, and that's where the sport comes from. Even the discus and the hammer toss are both primitive ways to kill people. Rowing? I wonder why the Greeks wanted fast rowers... no wait, I don't. It was for war. Marathon was a battle. Everyone knows that. A courier running all that distance to carry dispatches and save lives.

        Of course the word has become devalued over time. That's the way of things. But you arguing that kendo is a sport and iaido is a martial art... na na na boo boo. Olympic wrestling is a sport. No one would deny that. It's a hell of a lot more useful in a fight than iaido is, though.

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        • #49
          People need to get rid of the idea that sports are divorced from martial arts, anyway.
          b8amack, I absolutely disagree with you. Yes, of course all that examples of sports that you listed up (rowing, hammer, etc) were originally created for killing. But I think we should watch only the latest version. For me, martial art cover very practical techniques PLUS thinking pattern pr what is called reigi in kendo and ohter philosophy. The main difference between sport and martial art is, that the athlete thinks about how to win, and the artist how not to lose. Careful, it is not the same. Plus is you are warrior, you develop some different strategies: in battle, to kill. In duel, win. In dojo, be honourable. The athletes, with all respect, train only in decision to win.

          Iaido as martial art? Hard question. If you ask me, it's more like folklore if normal people do it, dance when it's done by someone with talent and meditation in moving if we observe true master. In self defense iaido helps you as mental attitude (but imagine, what would happened if iaidoka get a stick somehow ... ). And I can't imagine Sueyoshi Akeshi to be beaten by some street gangs, when some wrestler could be. My opinion.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Tomoe Gozen View Post
            (but imagine, what would happened if iaidoka get a stick somehow ... )
            My imagination is lacking. What would happened?

            Do not be delusional about "the power of martial arts".

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Tomoe Gozen View Post
              b8amack, I absolutely disagree with you. Yes, of course all that examples of sports that you listed up (rowing, hammer, etc) were originally created for killing. But I think we should watch only the latest version. For me, martial art cover very practical techniques PLUS thinking pattern pr what is called reigi in kendo and ohter philosophy. The main difference between sport and martial art is, that the athlete thinks about how to win, and the artist how not to lose. Careful, it is not the same. Plus is you are warrior, you develop some different strategies: in battle, to kill. In duel, win. In dojo, be honourable. The athletes, with all respect, train only in decision to win.

              Iaido as martial art? Hard question. If you ask me, it's more like folklore if normal people do it, dance when it's done by someone with talent and meditation in moving if we observe true master. In self defense iaido helps you as mental attitude (but imagine, what would happened if iaidoka get a stick somehow ... ). And I can't imagine Sueyoshi Akeshi to be beaten by some street gangs, when some wrestler could be. My opinion.
              Doing martial arts does not make you a warrior. Sorry, but you're deluding yourself. Rei is just another name for etiquette, same as sportsmanship. Yes, they're not exactly the same thing, but they're not that different, either. Sueyoshi Akeshi is not out there taking on gangs of street thugs with his iai. If he did, he would be arrested or shot or both in short order.

              What we do is at best a sport, at worst an obsession, and at least a hobby.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by b8amack View Post
                What we do is at best a sport, at worst an obsession, and at least a hobby.
                I don't know that I necessarily agree with this but it may just be my perspective. I have certainly been involved with a lot of sports, some competitively, some for pleasure, some for health benefit, but kendo is the only one that I do for spiritual growth. When I was playing tennis competitively I had only one concern, that is to be better competitively. When I was surfing and skateboarding a lot for pleasure I just did them without concern for any personal growth. When I was playing football in high school there was no personal growth involved and the same for other sports I have done at various ages and levels of competitiveness. I guess what I am saying is that for me, kendo is not JUST a sport. Yes it has sport qualities and may be considered covered in broad terms as a sport, but it also (once again, for me personally) transcends and goes beyond that and as such I do not categorize it only as a sport as I would hockey, football, swimming. I will take for instance a friend of mine that studies kyudo and another of my friends that is a competitive archer and another that is a hunter. Although all are shooting arrows at a target the intent and reality of each of them is completely different. My friend doing kyudo is the only one of them that reflects not only on the mechanics but the intent and presentation of each shot. A sport that is budo, and is treated as budo, transcends a simple definition of it as a sport.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by MikeW View Post
                  I don't know that I necessarily agree with this but it may just be my perspective. I have certainly been involved with a lot of sports, some competitively, some for pleasure, some for health benefit, but kendo is the only one that I do for spiritual growth. When I was playing tennis competitively I had only one concern, that is to be better competitively. When I was surfing and skateboarding a lot for pleasure I just did them without concern for any personal growth. When I was playing football in high school there was no personal growth involved and the same for other sports I have done at various ages and levels of competitiveness. I guess what I am saying is that for me, kendo is not JUST a sport. Yes it has sport qualities and may be considered covered in broad terms as a sport, but it also (once again, for me personally) transcends and goes beyond that and as such I do not categorize it only as a sport as I would hockey, football, swimming. I will take for instance a friend of mine that studies kyudo and another of my friends that is a competitive archer and another that is a hunter. Although all are shooting arrows at a target the intent and reality of each of them is completely different. My friend doing kyudo is the only one of them that reflects not only on the mechanics but the intent and presentation of each shot. A sport that is budo, and is treated as budo, transcends a simple definition of it as a sport.
                  I don't think the goal of kendo is winning competitions and ranking up, but it does seem to be the point for a fair number of people. I wonder if they would still do kendo without rankings and competitions.

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                  • #54
                    Maybe I'm just against any martial arts-turned-combat sports being in the olympics? (I can't get no satisfaction.) They became sports because we don't use them to kill each other anymore, but at the same time wished to preserve their traditions. I guess my feeling is, why further dillute them so that even what little is left of their traditions lose value?

                    I'm sad that TKD, Judo, Karate and fencing are in the olympics too, but alas, they are already lost causes. Not necessarily because of the olympics, but they certainly didn't help, either. It's hard to come across their "real" counterparts these days.

                    And come on, Iaido and Kendo are supposed to be two sides of the same coin...so why do people forget to flip it once in a while? Is it stuck to the ground with some gum?

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                    • #55
                      I don't watch much of the Olympics. The U.S. gets NBC, which is like getting no coverage at all. It's all fluff pieces and fan-service during Prime-Time.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Obukan_dude View Post
                        I don't watch much of the Olympics. The U.S. gets NBC, which is like getting no coverage at all. It's all fluff pieces and fan-service during Prime-Time.
                        That tells you exactly which demographic they are targeting with the advertisements..... As typically of most TV watching, Nielsens data shows female viewers in the majority. This would explain the number of Chobani, GE, and P&G ads, as it is a matter of marketing faith that women make the majority of household purchasing decisions.

                        In other news, at least that south korean fencer eventually got a silver.

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                        • #57
                          So, I was on Kenshi247.net just perusing...and found this, which may clarify at least a little more about what (some) kenshi have against Kendo becoming an Olympic Sport (I added italics):

                          This is a small excerpt from "Pursuing the Spirit and Modern Kendo" (part 2) (a translated speech by Morishima Tateo)

                          "...Im am not saying that somehow sport is worse than budo. Sport has really great aspects. However, sport has no method nor objective clearly stated. Most people define sport as hobby, competition, body strengthening, etc, i.e. generally exercising and competition. At the end of the day, there might be times when character development occurs, but the fact that this is not stated as a concrete objective is the point that separates kendo from sport.

                          The part: To mould the mind and body, to cultivate a vigorous spirit, and through correct and rigid training, to strive for improvement in the art of Kendo, to hold in esteem human courtesy and honour, to associate with others with sincerity, and to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself in the Purpose of practising kendo is about character development. The rest: This will make one be able: To love his/her country and society, to contribute to the development of culture and to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples is about kendos effect on society in general. Its this that gives kendo its characteristic.

                          About the Mindset of Kendo Instruction

                          The splendid Concept of kendo was devised with great effort but it basically became nothing more than simply words. Because this shouldnt have happened, recently a new Mindset of Kendo Instruction was created. The Concept is looking from the viewpoint of the student, whereas the Mindset is from that of the teacher. It is really splendid. There are 3 sections, and from that the most important is The Significance of the Shinai. In the Concept it states application of the principles of the Katana which of course leads us naturally to the notion that the shinai = katana. This is the tradition of Japanese kendo. What this means is that kendo that began with shinken shobu must, even if we do it in the manner of a combat sport, always keep the spirit of shinken shobu alive. If this disappears, then the entire meaning of kendo disappears. This is what I believe.

                          Up until now the Concept of kendo has been incomplete. I would like all teachers to understand its with the wish that they understand and transmit kendo as a traditional cultural heritage that this new Mindset has been created. Dont let it become simply words (like the Concept became). Depending on how you understand this point we can reform kendo."


                          So in other words, Kendo has already changed greatly; this change is already in the "wrong" direction (IMHO, too). There is already too much desire to win and ego involved as it stands now (for me also, sub/unconsciously). Going to the Olympics would basically put the final nail in the coffin (but then I guess we could just have traditional Kendo and Kumdo for the Olympics if it comes down to it. )

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Shinsengumi77 View Post
                            I'm sad that TKD, Judo, Karate and fencing are in the olympics too, but alas, they are already lost causes. Not necessarily because of the olympics, but they certainly didn't help, either. It's hard to come across their "real" counterparts these days.

                            Karate is NOT an Olympic sport (yet), and whilst I'll agree that (Olympic) Taekwondo is a pile of shit, the Judo isnt that bad.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Wraith View Post
                              Karate is NOT an Olympic sport (yet), and whilst I'll agree that (Olympic) Taekwondo is a pile of shit, the Judo isn’t that bad.
                              Ah, my mistake! Thanks for pointing that out. I once heard that it was. (As for the judo...well.............>.>)

                              I guess that's how it goes when one makes an assumption instead of utilizing the vast knowledge of the internet.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Wraith View Post
                                Karate is NOT an Olympic sport (yet), and whilst I'll agree that (Olympic) Taekwondo is a pile of shit, the Judo isnt that bad.
                                I don't think changing the rules to make judo more TV friendly was the best thing. I think the IJF is more eurocentric, so that didn't come out of Japan. Much like wrestling or BJJ, its pretty hard to just randomly get people to appreciate its subtleties, but clear ippon is hard to miss for the average TV viewer.

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