Kendo’s Healing Message for March

Today, the second Basho of the year begins – a Basho being a Sumo Wrestling Tournament.

Sumo encompasses many aspects of what Kendo Nagasaki encourages us to reflect upon, as we live our lives – there is strength, strategy, and focus, of course, but Sumo originates in a Shinto ceremony whereby negative influences are overthrown, and good fortune and generous crops are harvested that year.

There is still a fascinating tradition of ‘One-Man Sumo’, wherein an amateur Sumo wrestler battles (imagined) negative forces, ensuring that only positive energies smile upon the local farming community; these almost-unheard-of rituals are very popular ‘off the beaten track’ in rural Japan, because the people there remain keenly aware of the need to be in harmony with nature, and do everything possible to support it.

All the foregoing can be seen in Kendo – his indomitability is an example of how strong we must be to be able to ‘fight the good fight’ for ourselves, our families, and our communities, his focus is an example of how all one’s strength can be mindfully applied to a task, and he is an excellent example of how the intuition can be empowered to yield right action quicker and more ‘right for the moment than the mere conscious mind could possibly come up with, and his sympathetic relationship with that most elegant of ‘big pictures’ – nature itself – leads to positive progress in life.

Watching Sumo itself can be a meditation, reflecting upon all these qualities, and particularly its spiritual roots – as he studied Kyu Shin Do (as well as judo, kendo, and Zen) under Kenshiro Abbe, the man behind Kendo’s mask was also brought to exquisite focus by also studying Sumo under his sensei.

This month, Kendo would encourage you to visualise yourself as strong as a sumo wrestler, and as focused, as intuitively strategic, and as empowered by your harmonious roots within nature itself – this is how Kendo is, and how he would aspire for us all to be, as we battle for right against the challenges of life.

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