The All Japan Kendo Federation, the bedrock foundation of modern Kendo, has produced a document called ”Meaning of Kendo”. It’s intended to explain and emphasize the values of Kendo as a contemporary martial art. Through its core values, represented in several ideas about how one should act in the martial art, but also in their lives, Kendo demonstrates that it is truly an activity which combines the notions of physical, intellectual and spiritual, without forcing any of these upon those who desire to practice it. The purpose of practicing Kendo is:
To mold 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 honor,
To associate with others with sincerity,
And to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.
Thus will one be able to love his country and society,
To contribute to the development of culture,
And to promote peace and prosperity among all people.
Watch the motion graphic video below and see the same ideas represented in a visual environment.
Kendo has a spiritual aspect for those who seek it. Every training starts with a short meditation pause, where Kendokas (Kendo practitioners) take a minute or two to look inside and leave their everyday worries. This isn’t unique to Kendo – every top athlete goes, in essence, through the same process before she or he start their activities of choice. Kendo just recognized and incorporated this philosophical aspect into itself a long time ago.
For those who want to find a new inner balance, Kendo is a good starting point.