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What keeps you motivated in Kendo?

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  • What keeps you motivated in Kendo?

    I am curious as to what exactly keeps everyone motivated enough to keep going to kendo practice and strive for improvement. I have read on the forums, and herd multiple stories of why people started kendo, but what I really want to know is what keeps you going in kendo. The numbers astonish me of how many beginners it takes just to get a few dedicated kendoka, let alone a shodan, or even a sensei. But what force drives you to get off your butt at least once a week and take time away from your social life, school, or work and become involved in something that focuses on nothing but improvement and a perfection that is impossible to reach.

    So what keeps you motivated to keep striving for that untouchable perfection in kendo?

  • #2
    its fun, im still quite new so i dont really need any motivation yet...


    • #3
      I'll repeat an answer... it's fun.

      And I think that all continuing kendoka are people who have a good sense of dedication. Practices can be repetitious and so to keep going with that requires people to be dedicated to their club and themselves. Continuing kendoka have a desire to improve and the ability to see small increments of progress. Your average person usually quits at something when they do it for a long stretch of time and don't make any progress. Continuing kendoka are able to see that gradual improvement (no matter how gradual) to encourage themselves to keep going and we have a desire to achieve that ever elusive perfect men.

      I think it's these characteristics that keep a lot of us going, or at least me.

      One thing personally for me is that I keep doing kendo to thank all those who have taught me so much so far. A lot of people put a lot of effort into training us and to quit would be a crappy way of showing our appreciation of their efforts. Granted if someone is miserable doing kendo then they shouldn't, but this idea of showing thanks through improving and persevering helps to motivate me sometimes. It's like saying "I'm gradually improving and I wouldn't be doing so without all your help so thank you."


      • #4
        Kendo is deep and never-ending. In my view, to be motivated is to have a strong desire to learn (which transcends personal pride). To be motivated also means never giving up.


        • #5
          To be motivated also means never giving up
          this reminds me of a motto i read on a badge..

          rehab is for quitters.. :>


          • #6
            I personally started kendo because my brother told me it is an art that helps one improve.

            improve?? HECK yea.

            I feel a lot better as a person, because it's taught me social skills that I probably won't find easily anywhere else. I've learned patience, persistence, humbleness, respect, and so much more...I keep wondering every practice what it is that I'll learn next.


            • #7
              I agree with tapioka. I learn something new every practice, whether I think I am or not. There are so many benefits to doing kendo (probably any martial art, really) that it would seem silly to stop once you start.

              A friend of mine, who does Jujutsu, described kendo as "full-contact chess." I think, aside from the physical techniques you learn, you also benefit from a sharpening of your senses, response time, and intuition, which could be used anywhere, in any situation. With kendo, you're always sharpening that intuition to a fine edge.

              Granted, you may never reach that absolutely perfect point; but in kendo, that intuition will always get sharper after the next practice, almost to the point where you can read the other person's intentions... that increase in mental ability (and the knowledge that it's always getting better) is what keeps me going!
              Last edited by Gohan-kun; 23rd August 2004, 10:24 AM.


              • #8
                I also agree.....and wat else keeps me motivated is the thrill and excitement of kendo...i also agree that u do constantly keep learning new things.


                • #9
                  first and foremost i do kendo because i enjoy it. if i didn't then i wouldn't be at all motivated and wouldn't practice as often as i do. also, as cheeseman asked about dragging yourself away from your social life to practice, well that's an easy one to answer. here in japan kendo is my social life. i now very rarely go out on the beer and certainly not on saturday nights as i have a 3 hour practice on sunday morning. going to kendo also helps my japanese improve and is a chance for me to make japanese friends.

                  many people have mentioned kendo as being about personel developement and i agree with this. when i was in england the sport i loved the most was football and together with a few friends i used to play in a sunday league team. however, i was by far the worst player on the team and only made a handful of appearances and did awful in all of them. i even got a league and cup winners medal one season but i don't feel that i deserved it. what kendo offers me though is the chance to work on my own. if i become good it is because i worked hard at it and if i don't get anywhere it is because i haven't put enough time or effort into it. i still need to have good teachers of course.

                  another motivation is knowing just how much i can learn. sometimes it might seem daunting but it spurs me on. after all, the 'do' in 'kendo' means road, way or path. now i am a little bit further away from the start of the road but not much closer to the end.


                  • #10
                    Bragging rights.

                    Nah, just kidding. I do kendo for the fun of it, and my dojo has a community of kind people who forgive my scatter-brain antics. But mostly for the feeling after I've had a really good time at kendo(generally happens a lot.). I can only describe it as 'cloud nine'. It makes me stick to it. Lucky kids who do kendo for normal P.E. in school...

                    Originally posted by mystic_kendoka
                    this reminds me of a motto i read on a badge..

                    rehab is for quitters.. :>


                    • #11
                      i have 2 other badges, one says "Nobody knows I'm stoned" and "Jezus is coming. Look busy!"


                      • #12
                        Love. I love everything about it. Even the pain.


                        • #13
                          amen to what Charlie said!

                          but my sensei also mentioned that part of the thrill in kendo comes from competition, mostly coming from taikais and shinsas. even though martial arts isn't about the winning/losing concept, I have to agree that if tournaments didn't exist, I personally might not find kendo AS INTERESTING as I do now. (I'd still continue though, 'cause I just love it. naturally.)


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tapioka
                            I have to agree that if tournaments didn't exist, I personally might not find kendo AS INTERESTING as I do now. (I'd still continue though, 'cause I just love it. naturally.)
                            I make my tournament "debut" next month...

                            For those of you with tournament experience, what was your first tournament like? I'm trying not to get overexcited about it, but I don't know what to expect. I've watched a handful of taikai since I've been here in Japan, but they're going to put me on the roster for the team we are entering in the Fujiyoshida tournament here. I dunno what to make of it...

                            On a side note, Reina: how did you get a custom avatar so soon?!? Don't you need like 100 posts???


                            • #15

                              1- well it's fun

                              2- i've yet to have a chance to be bored with it

                              3- gives me an excuse to hit my friends with a stick

                              4- hard to be a 2 pack a day smoker and do kendo at the same time.. so switching one for the other is good and kendo pays for it'self completely if your buying class time instead of cigarettes.. actually end up with about 100 bucks in my pocket a month more now then before i started

                              5- number 3 again

                              6- always something new to learn or improve.. it's a never ending thing.. love that aspect of it and always am looking forward to the next class