The ancient martial art of Kenjutsu is a wonderful way to discover your centred, meditative, self. Training with the Katana sword is a powerful and intrinsically elegant physical artform. Japanese exponents of the martial art have been practicing it for hundreds of years. Samurais fought battles and duels with this distinctive weapon for generation upon generation. This two-handed single-edged curved sword sliced through Japanese feudal history like nothing else. The romanticised realm of Samurais and their katanas has captured the imaginations of young and old boys around the globe, and a few girls as well, I would suggest.
So, how does one approach the correct manner of holding and striking with the katana? Well, it is time to find a sensei (teacher), because the only true way to learn the arts of the Samurai is via direct transmission. Books are well and fine for an initial perusal of the topic, but no real martial artist or warrior made the grade by reading about it. Get into a dojo (martial arts school) and follow the instructions of your master religiously. Remember that it is all about the journey and that getting there is the least of the rewards you will enjoy.
Proper posture is manifestly important for balance and the ability to defeat your opponent. Practicing with bamboo swords will allow you to progress in your learning without losing limbs. A few bruises are always the mark of a true warrior. Help solving problems is always close at hand, when you are a part of a dojo. You are not on your own, but one more drop in an ocean of knowledge and tradition. Train and train, until the training is a part of your brain. Practice katana routines in accordance with your Sensei’s instructions.
Take it all one step at a time, don’t rush ahead, always remember that following guidance is the correct pathway. Whether you are doing Kendo, Kenjutsu or Aikido, it is important to achieve proper form when using a katana. A good grip is vital when welding your sword, with your left hand at the base of the grip and your right hand above this at the top of the long grip. Gedan, Chudan, Jodan, and Hasso are all terms that you will learn for postures involved in the art of Samurai swordsmanship. May you move like the wind and strike like lightning in a thunderstorm.