In Koryu (classical schools of Japanese sword arts), each school has its own secrets inherited from the predecessor and they say that, in olden time, such secrets were handed down orally from the master to his eldest son only. However, many of them have now become publicly known. This is mainly because we no longer have a sword fighting at the risk of our lives and, as a result, the necessity to keep them confidential has vanished. At the same time, there have been also a slight fear that they may eventually disappear due to a lack of their successors. The secrets are not only valuable teachings but also great cultural legacies. Under such circumstances, many schools finally came to the decision to disclose their secrets to the public so that they will survive as a part of Japanese culture.
I think that one's progress in Kendo entirely lies in Jitoku (one's own realization of things). Therefore, knowing secrets and mastering them are two different things. In fact, there are some secrets which may apparently sound quite worthless to some people. However, these secrets are definitely the simple but condensed knowledge of what the founder acquired through continuous fighting.
The secrets which I am going to explain here are nothing but my own personal secrets and have nothing to do with those secrets developed by the great swordsmen of the past. Some people may find that they are totally meaningless. However, they might provide you with an opportunity to change your Kendo, or even your life, since, as I said, Kendo is based on Jitoku. The secrets always requires the actual practice to be realized. By reading my secrets, if you find anything useful, please apply it in your Kendo.
At the risk of sounding boastful, I wrote what I believe in a straightforward manner. I would like to hear from what you think about them so that I may also be able to apply your ideas to my Shugyo of Kendo.
written by Ryoichi Shimano
translated by Hiroyuki Otaki (Shidokan Kendo Club)
shimano Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org