Here’s some well-known sayings in kendo (also referred to as kotowaza 諺) that I have learned from sensei‘s and fellow kenshi over the years. Pointers to websites with additional sayings are included.
Some notes: Cited references, where present, provide more color to the quotes. This set will likely grow as I remember old ones or discover new ones. The translations may be imperfect. My approach to the translations, rather than being literal, is to convey the sense or intention of the original texts. Enjoy!
- (Kendo) starts with etiquette* and ends with etiquette.
- If you hit, reflect. If you are hit, be thankful.
- Don’t hit to win. Win, then hit.
- Gaze to the distant mountain.
- Sight first, legs second, guts third and power fourth.
- The three “No’s (absences)” of the sword: No unreasonableness*, no wastefulness and no absence of principles**. These are said to be the three “No’s” of the sword – the supreme (principles) of the sword. A sword without sound comes from this state of mind. – Haruo Momoi (19th century swordsman).
- * no over-doing things, ** no absence of rationality or justification.
Additional Sayings (from External Sites)
- A handful of additional famous sayings along with explanations at [Kendo-Guide_Teachings].