Kendo 101: Commit, Sacrifice and Persevere To See Clearly and Win
I'm not sure who wrote this, but I found this quote among some old kendo learning literature on "Mei-kyo-shisui" my dad kept from decades ago.
"The moon reflects on the water, and the water mirrors the moon. The moon and the water are void of thought, and so one can see the present clearly. Similarly, persevere through repeated practice, striving to reach the goal of a mind void of thought so the opponent's spirit reflects on you bright and clear like a stainless mirror."
Last weeks Kendo 101, we mentioned briefly the 3 Key Times to Strike, that was
1) As the opponent is striking
2) When they block
3) After they finish their attack
It can be hard to see the right timing for any one of those three moments to attack if you're thinking too much. Often times people ask me how they can get better at shiai. Well according to mei kyo shisui you can get better through repreated training. And not just getting through, the word persevere suggests that it could be difficult, taxing, stressful, painful because anything that we have to persevere through is never comfortable and it lasts for an indefinite amount of time. Getting better requires a commitment and sacrifice. Commitment to training over time and sacrifice of your comfort.
Once you can accept that, you can begin the training until your mind becomes void of thought, clear and unhindered. Then you can see your opponent clearly and know their every move even before they do.