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Friday, June 09, 2006

Samurai Christianity

Reggie Kidd, over at Common Grounds, has a great explanation of how his attempts to learn Samurai swordsmanship have actually taught him a lot about his Christianity. The short answer: it demands complete submission to the authority of your sensei. Here's a snippet...
From our first class to the time we were allowed to handle sharp swords and cut tatami (reed floor mats rolled up, rubberbanded, and soaked), it was six months. Six months of tutelage in how to take a dull sword out of its sheath and put it back in without losing a finger. Six months of trying to do “forms” that require our bodies to move in stylized, ritualistic, awkwardly Japanese ways. And then another year before being deemed ready to try to earn our first rank. In all, eighteen months of waiting to do “the good stuff.”

Our sensei’s attitude? “We’re not interested in students of the sword who are not students of ‘the way.’” He’s made it clear that if you’re going to be exasperated at “a long obedience in the same direction,” you’d be better off elsewhere.

Really, though, it’s been remarkably easy to submit to a man who himself has submitted to another.

Go on, read the whole thing...


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