This is what Yano Sensei wanted me to pass on to everyone. It was the message that I recited after training yesterday (in his absence due to his surgery).
The difference between Kendo and sport Kendo comes from how we place Kendo in our daily living. For some people, Kendo is just a sport and only exists in a gym or dojo floor but for others it is a part of their daily living. For those people who think Kendo is a sport, all that matters is to learn how to strike a designated body part, but for others Kendo is not just striking the opponent. Unfortunately for a lot of people including very senior grades, Kendo is simply stick fighting and we saw a lot of that over the weekend.
At Monash we don’t learn stick fighting but we learn Kendo and encourage all members to treat Kendo as a part of your daily living. Through Kendo, we learn the process of establishing a connection with the opponent and to understand that person. Creating harmony within yourself and with others is another important aspect of Kendo practice. Over the weekend the Monash team demonstrated their understanding of being a Kendo player and not a stick fighter. We did that on and off the court. Our techniques are not that refined and our experience is not that long, but our understanding of Kendo is far more profound than just stick fighting teaches us. This is the backbone of Monash Kendo.
It has been a great honor to be associated with Monash Kendo Club, its members and senior instructors. Congratulations again on your great achievement.