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Why The Way of Samurai is popular amongst women?

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  • Why The Way of Samurai is popular amongst women?

    Hello ladies

    My name is Lucia Kadaroesman from Melbourne, Australia.

    I am currently doing a research on Kendo from women's perspectives.

    Women have long been attracted to martial arts as Judo, Aikido, Muay Thai etc, often out of a desire to equip themselves with some form of self-defense skills. However, Kendo requires the use of bogu and shinai and it does not fit into this self-defense motives.

    I assumed women are taking it up for other reasons. I'm very interested to explore these other reasons. Are there any differences in motives between Japanese Kendoka and non-Japanese Kendoka?

    Any one can help me?

    Many thanks, Lucia

  • #2
    have you seen what we wear?! how beautiful the bogu is! the hakama and gi are beautiful too, at least to me. but seriously, there are not too many physical endeavors that girls can compete with boys on equal ground. i believe that this probably draws a lot of women to the sport/art.
    Last edited by neko; 13th September 2006, 10:32 AM.

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    • #3
      Probably mostly the same thing that draws guys to the art.

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      • #4
        ...Been watching too much Kill Bill, obviously...

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        • #5
          I liked kendo for the cultural value it has, the fact that women and men compete against eachother, you get to wear bogu and stuff, it doesnt really matter how tall you are or how fast you run.

          Mostly, I was attracted to it because its DIFFERENT and its DIFFICULT. That really sums it up. I wasnt interested in self defense, I can already kick someone in the nuts.

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          • #6
            Life-long Challenge

            Well for me, Kendo has a lot of philosophical depth and profoundness but can also be fun and playful. I think doing Kendo is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself. Not just your physical abilities but what your mental strengths and weaknesses are. Kendo disciplines/challenges you unlike anything else. Kendo has really stimulated my mental growth and challenged me to become better in all areas of life.
            Besides that who would refuse something that allows you to hit, knock down, and kick some serious a#* and not get seriously injured? Its just too much fun to quit once you really get into it!
            I am not sure about Japanese Kendokas motives. It would be great to hear about them though.
            BTW Kendo is "the Way of the Sword" not the "the Way of the Samurai." "The Way of the Samurai" is related but quite different than Kendo.
            Good luck with your research!

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            • #7
              i started as a way to get fitterer and also to help improve my iai, and because it looked interesting
              i started iai because it was next door to the judo and i needed something to do for my gold duke of edinburgh award thingy. it looked interesting, different, and you got to play with swords. i stuck with it because its interesting, a life long learning process, and because of the culture etc that comes out of it
              i started judo because it was on blue peter when i was 7 years old, and i asked if i could try it.

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              • #8
                For me it's just about anger control and stress control. I'm a really, really conflict girl, so kendo help me stay in control with myself and try to argue without getting mad and realxes me. But it's not the only reason of course, that you can do it with almost all martial arts in the world (including Capoeira)

                I also got intrested in Kendo for the same reasons than Alison: "I liked kendo for the cultural value it has, the fact that women and men compete against eachother, you get to wear bogu and stuff, it doesnt really matter how tall you are or how fast you run.

                Mostly, I was attracted to it because its DIFFERENT and its DIFFICULT. That really sums it up. I wasnt interested in self defense, I can already kick someone in the nuts."

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                • #9
                  I began kendo last year just because I've always been a Star Wars fan and I knew it was the basic tecnique they used to create Jedi duels.

                  However during this year I've learnt to love kendo itself, caring no longer why I began it. That's for a lot of reasons, most of them related with self-confidence.

                  In everyday life people are expected you, woman, must be subdued. It can sound ridicolous, but in first months I did kendo I was corrected more about position of my head than hands or feet. They always tell me I must never feel inferior to my opponent. They taught me not to keep the head bowed and to look directely into other people's eyes. I'm still not able to watch myself into the mirror on the wall of dojo, but I begin to hold my head up even out of dojo.
                  The training is quite demanding, but since everybody think you can do it, at last you yourself start to think you can.
                  Although our sensei spends a lot of time in yelling at us, he always let you know if he is proud for some improvement. In everyday life, either my husband or Church ministers never do it. I know it's quite childish, but the wish to be praised make me to push much far beyond my strength limits.

                  Plus, I like how all people in dojo take care to help each other. For example you can receive and then give a lot of good advices about how to wore at best dresses and bogu and how to put it away after training. When I played football no one cared if you wore your shin guards well, although you would probably hurt yourself badly if they were out of place.
                  At last, when you are training you are filled of adrenalin and so you actually feel better: happier and more relax. I'm beginning to think it give you a sort of natural addiction, in fact during the summer break I really felt the lack of the thrilling feeling so much adrenalin gives you.

                  I hope this can help you with your research

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                  • #10
                    My Way to Kendo

                    Kendo found me, I didn't find it.
                    I can't really explain how I got into kendo. I was stressed from a promotion into a more demanding job, and I stumbled, by chance onto the Midwest Kendo Federation Website. I am very much into Japanese culture. I looked for the closest class, and I called and went for a visit. There I found a family. I consider them to be closer than my real family and my husband understands my committment to the art and extended family. Through kendo I found an outlet for stress and a Japanese language tutor that has become my soul sister.
                    I have a high stressed and demanding position, since I work in a male dominated industry (I manage the commercial division of the 3rd largest tree service in Michigan). I have to deal with male posturing on a daily basis.
                    When I am in class or practicing kata, I think of nothing but kendo. So it puts my mind at ease and I am in my own world, shaped the way I wish it to be.

                    It also helps when dealing with burly and unruly tree men the fact that I have pictures of me in my bogu on my desk with my fellow "family" members.
                    That helps them to remember whom they are dealing with.

                    Unfourtunately I have been off due to a recent birth of my son, Toshio, and I will finally be returning to class in November.
                    I may have not been in class but my son has been to class since he was 2 weeks old.

                    Ps-- Toshio means " One with fighting spirit" - he was conceived at a tournament in chicago.

                    ~Koori

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                    • #11
                      ....because we've lost thousands of years in a blink of an eye.
                      My people no longer have foundation, all we have left is flourish... flourish that most of us can't even really understand.

                      there for I must teach myself to walk again, perhaps for the first time.

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