What are YOU doing to save kendo?

What are YOU doing to save kendo?
(And iaido and jodo and any of the koryū you do…)
By Kim Taylor

Seriously, what are you doing to promote the art, to preserve it for the next generation? Here’s a list of ideas, tick off the ones you do to find out what kind of budo bunny you are.

1. Go to practice. Not just now and then, not just a couple times a week, but every single practice your sensei holds, and then some practices on your own where you do your homework to reinforce what sensei taught you last class. 60 points for “yes”; 5 for “sometimes”; 1 for “was there last month”.

2. Evangelize. If you mention to your girlfriend that you are going to practice if that’s OK with her: 1 point; if you tell your friends you do kendo: 3 points; go online and scream in full caps about the life-changing benefits of iaido at least four times a day: 5 points; bodily drag your friends and your girlfriend to your next jodo class: 20 points.

3. Teach. Have you told your partner that his is a bit low? (And you are right…): 1 point; shown your friends the cool move you learned last class? 3 points; started teaching in your local YMCA?: 5 points; with permission?: 20 points; started your own dojo and joined it to your teacher’s organization and still go to class with your teacher regularly?: 50 points.

4. Support. Do you pay your dojo dues regularly and on time?: 3 points; clean the floors and windows when they need it?: 5 points; buy supplies and forget to be reimbursed?: 8 points; clean the bathroom and showers without being ordered to do it?: 10 points; go to every seminar anywhere, and drive a carful of beginners as well as pay for three of them because they can’t afford it?: 50 points.

5. Pay it forward. Do you make notes after every class?: 5 points; videotape every class, with or without sensei’s permission?: 10 points; edit and collect your notes and/or videos and share them?: 15 points; make sure they are copied and stored where future generations of students in your line can find them and use them?: 30 points.

0-15 points: Miggles on the grass
16-45 points: Easter bunny
46-60 points: Lucky rabbit’s foot
61-155 points: Snowshoe Hare

Kim Taylor
May 1, 2014


  1. Just today before class, sensei and I had a little conversation about how difficult it has become trying to see people with dedication and commitment to their art.
    To many, martial arts are their fantasy or their time to glorify a short lived motivation from a movie they watched. As soon as bruises and/or blisters happen, that is the last time you saw of them. If they really have to work hard for a rank, “it is not worth their time”.
    We wonder how they can succeed in life without a sense for discipline and commitment in the pursuit of a goal.

  2. To me the big issue is in preservation, and the surounding politics.

    I will open my own school and continue in my own way.

    I can only hope someone will take aliking the same as myself and be selfless enouph to continue my way of life. As it was taught to me.

    Uchikawa Ryu.

  3. Well, one of my kids now practices Kendo, so I think that qualifies in, and of, itself.

  4. I scored in the snowshoe hare range so I guess I am doing ok for now.

  5. I’m fairly certain that the best thing I’ve done for my kendou, and kendou as a discipline as a whole, was getting the **** out of that wholly dysfunctional doujou.

  6. We don’t have Kendo in our city. But with help, we are slowly getting sensei to come do demonstrations here…it’s been tough going as many people are not aware of what Kendo is; only a few are actually interested. But when everyone hears there is no “official” dojo, they don’t want to attend, so it’s tough.

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