Your answers to my two polls have been interesting, but not surprising;
Why you started – There was a almost a 50:50 split between the cultural and the physical with 30% attracted by an interest in Japanese culture and 28% looking for an enjoyable way to keep fit. 10% of you added kendo to your study of martial arts, 8% enjoy fighting, and a few people were inspired by manga or Star Wars. The individual reasons you gave were clearly individual, and ranged from interests in fencing, to role play; to seeing it as a replacement for rugby. Two respondents went for character building and self improvement. My favourites were “Was interested in the Katana from an engineering viewpoint” and the Cantonaesque “To find a better path for my sword walk”.
Kendo objectives – The winner was self-improvement at 30%, with making friends and enjoying the social life a close second at 25%. Perhaps because of the social life aspect, fitness waned as an ongoing objective, slipping down to 10% of the vote. Working toward gaining higher grades, got a mixed response with 12% of you indicating satisfaction with a 4th or 5th dan end game, 9% aiming for 8th dan, and 7% ,7th. In the individual answers section one person reminded me that 6th dan was also an option. Further variations on self-improvement were flagged up here as well as the superbly zen-like “train without objectives”. My favourite answer here was,” to be able to perform a perfect cut at will”.
There was only one example of hero worship in the answer “To be as good as” not Eiga, or Miyazaki, or Ishida, no! the role model was none other than “Andy Fisher”.