We practice Kendo on the unceded lands of the people of the Wooi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation and we acknowledge their elders past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge the traditional custodians and ancestors of those lands we visit when travelling around Australia doing Kendo.
Nanseikan Kendo Club was founded in 2002 to spread the practice of the Japanese art of Kendo in Melbourne (Naarm), Australia.
Our dojo ethos is 修正一如 which means "Practice and Enlightenment are One". To put it another way, the goal is the journey, the journey is the goal. This means that although we set targets for ourselves we know that it is the process of getting there that is the point of Kendo, indeed of life itself. For a more complete discussion of this term, have a look at this short article.
We recognise that everyone has different goals and capabilities, and that the Way of the Sword is a personal journey of challenge and self-development that is life-long.
At Nanseikan we welcome people of different ages, abilities, genders, ethnicities and religions. Kendo is not a religion itself, but please be advised that correct practice of Kendo requires bowing as part of its historical and cultural traditions.
- In the dojo, the only student response to the teacher's instructions is affirmation ("hai!") and then full commitment. However questions, discussion and personal research are encouraged outside training. After every training we have a time for this called 'shugo'.
- Intellectual analysis of technique or training methods is discouraged during training. The Western style 'Socratic method' (where understanding is arrived at through the student asking questions) is not part of Kendo or indeed Japanese culture. But again, discussion and analysis is definitely encouraged outside training.
- In the dojo, personal adornment and expressions of individuality in dress or appearance are considered a distraction: for the wearer most of all! This is not meant to limit a person's individuality or creative expression. What it can do instead is emphasise the things that we have in common. Paradoxically the thing that you notice most when people are all dressed the same is how fundamentally diverse they are! Not just body size and shape but the way every person moves in space is unique. It can also allow the individual to step out of what may be their everyday persona and find a new and different expression of who they are through the medium of Kendo.