Kendo in Korea ✥

I have started Kendo in Montréal in September 2015 and really got hooked with it ! Kendo is a Japanese martial art, inspired by the samurais of the Edo period in Japan.

My little gift to the club when i left

Kendo is a modern sport where you use a shinaï (bamboo sword) or a bokkuto (wooden sword) instead of a katana. You also have an armor as protection.

It was extremely interesting for me to experience the Japanese kendo in Montreal and its Korean equivalent called Komdo, in Korea.

It was a little bit difficult for me at first to adjust to the training and the Korean vocabulary.

Spring is really beautiful in Asia, and it was nice being with a kendo team full of girls, since we never would have had a “photo session” in a normal team ;)

But the Ewha University Komdo team was amazing. The girls there were very welcoming — and surprised that i kept coming to the morning practice at 7:30am ! Practicing at least 3 times a week was really nice and quickly became a habit.

At first, it was not that easy to feel truly accepted into the group, since i couldn’t really speak Korean and that having friends in Korea is really different with having friends in France or Canada. There, friendship takes times, but is worth it !

Our club president practicing a “sword dance”, specific to Korean Komdo (left) and our club doing a Komdo show (right)

So after a few months, a few club dinners and some group drinks, i finally became — in my mind anyways — a true member of the Ewha komdo club. I became more self-confident and finally agreed to take part in the Komdo tournament of Yonsei University.

Competing in Kendo was a first for me. The atmosphere in a Korean tournament is very different from what i expected. Actually, the people around me were quite macho — but maybe it was also because i was used to training with girls.

The fights between men were really impressive ! Some girls also had a very good level, but the fights were “cleaner”. The guys were both fast and — sometimes — more violent. It was very entertaining to watch.

What i also love about kendo — and martial arts in general — is the mentality that goes with it. Kendo is full of respect and it is even more fun to fight, even if you loose the match.

In this tournament i met an Italian girl who was very nice. We were the only two foreigners !

I rarely had that much fun while competing. I think the best in a sport is to never be too serious about it, otherwise you’ll loose the reason why you started practicing in the first place :)

⤐ If you want to know the precise locations of where the pictures were taken, you can find them on my Instagram account, where i gathered all of the shots i took during my journeys ;)

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