Many aspects of my life, personal experiences, and accomplishments have contributed to who I am. All have made me proud of whom I have become. However, that which has given me the most determination, strength, and patience, allowing me to be who I was fully intended to be, is Kendo. Kendo means, “Way of the Sword,” and is a modern Japanese martial art. Its roots lie in traditional swordsmanship, while Kendo itself relies on the use of bamboo swords and armor. I began practicing Kendo when I was ten-years-old. Initially, I hated it.
Practice was difficult. As a child, I was used to instant gratification. Kendo, in comparison to most of my leisure activities, was something I had to practice. I was not prepared to do this, but something within me urged me forward. As I grew, practicing Kendo began cultivating many characteristics within me that may have otherwise lain dormant. For instance, I learned patience. Much of Kendo did not come easy and I was forced to be patient with myself as I learned. Consequently, my patience while learning Kendo also taught me dedication and the impact efforts can have once they have paid off. My tenacity toward Kendo did not go unrewarded.
Because I committed myself to learning Kendo, and remained patient, I was eventually able to earn my 2nd dan. Though I am highly skilled in the use of a sword, and in the ways of Kendo, training has also taught me personal restraint and self-control. Kendo is not an aggressive trick to show my friends, but an art I was lucky enough to use in order to better myself. Though it was difficult to stick with it numerous times throughout my training, I feel honored to be a part of the Kendo system. If I had never practiced Kendo, I would not be the person I am today, patient, dedications, and disciplined.