One UW-Madison student organization practices a martial art in which they fight each other with swords. The primary purpose, though, isn’t self-defense. The Badger Report’s Jerome Barnett unsheathes their story.
Wentao Wu: “Kendo Club’s basically like Japanese-style fencing.”
Patrick Merchant: “You’re supposed to hit your opponent in a specific way in order to get a point.”
Wentao Wu: “The sword’s made of bamboo.”
Patrick Merchant: “I don’t do any regular sports or hit the gyms or anything, so this is my form of keeping my body in shape.”
David Jonah Yang: “That’s what attracted me. I was interested in the sport beforehand as my father had practiced it when he was younger, so I’m somewhat familiar with it but not experienced.”
Wentao Wu: “I personally is a huge fan of Japanese culture, and I love those katana and knife stuff.”
Wentao Wu: “It’s about katana. It’s about using bamboo sword to hit each other. I was like, ‘hey, this is my stuff. I’m gonna-I’m gonna join that.'”
David Jonah Yang: “You show a level of respect for your peers, and I think that you can extrapolate that to real life as well and, you know, it’s useful in that regard.”
Wentao Wu: “Kendo trained me to be more reserved. I think this is the most important part of kendo.”
Wentao Wu: “In my daily life, I learned that from kendo, so I can control myself. I don’t-I don’t wanna rush something. I can-I can be more rat-uh-rational and…uh…think about it before acting.”
Patrick Merchant: “In real life, I think it’s really important to also show respect to other people or whatever event happens in life. I think that can really translate well.”
Jerome Barnett: “For the Badger Report, I’m Jerome Barnett.”
The group plans to participate in a tournament in the spring semester.