Iaido/Kendo - Stress Management Program
Our Iaido/Kendo - Stress Management Program utilizes Eastern sword training (iaido and kendo) combined with mindfulness mediation and warrior self-hypnosis to create a mind-body program specifically designed for those interested in sharpening mental and physical acuity.
Sword training is especially congruent with mindfulness practices as it demands total concentration and mental clarity. Once the sword is drawn, there are only three alternatives - to strike down the enemy, to be stuck down by the enemy, or for each to simultaneously strike down the other. Two out of three, you lose. Those aren't good odds at any time, but especially when your life is on the line. Our executive program is a mind-body modality that anchors one in the moment, free from psychological and physiological concerns that exist outside of the moment.
The art of the sword also teaches mental acuity and facility. Miyamoto Musashi, the 17 Century Japanese demi-god who fought over 60 duels by the time he was 30 and eventually died of old age, and presumably boredom, said that the way of the sword was unique because it was based on overcoming other men. The art of the sword is the art of strategy. Facing the point of another man's sword, the mind must be constantly flowing, adapting itself to your opponent's strategy, seeking weaknesses and exploiting them to your advantage. This is the reason that Musashi's treatise on the sword, Go Rin No Sho (The Book of Five Rings), is often used by Asian businessmen - it is a text on winning strategy.
Facing an opponent with a sword makes errors in judgement and lapses in concentration quickly obvious. If you make a mistake or if your mind wanders, you get hit. If your assessment of your opponent's strategy is flawed and you cannot compensate, you will be forthwith defeated. There are plans within plans. Attacks are made in second and third intention. Mental acuity is essential. Mental facility is required to adjust to and overcome your opponent's ever flowing strategy. You pay for your mistakes, and you immediately pay for them. Within the training hall, this immediate reward (striking your opponent) and punishment (being struck by your opponent) sharpens the mind by honing the mental reflexes. These same mental reflexes may be used in business situations.
The art of the sword teaches mental (and physical) awareness, mental acuity and mental facility. These skills and abilities are the basis for true executive action. Yamoaka Tesshu, the founder of the Muto Ryu, said that, "Outside the mind, there is no sword," effectively yoking both the mental and physical aspects of swordsmanship. Outside the mind, there is no sword. The art of effectively using the sword is the art of effectively using the mind. And that is the root of the Haedong Kumdo - Stress Management Program.