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Group practices Kendo, Lai martial arts passed down from ancient Japan

D’Andre Anderson | Contributing Writer

Have you ever wanted to be calm and at ease with life by getting peace in your mind? A Kendo and Iai sparring club might be for you. Many students might be unaware about this club at APSU.

“This is a Japanese art,” junior chemistry major Phillip Knight said. “There were many ways to sheet a sword. Different clans of samurai dealt with them differently.”

After the unification of Japan and Edo period of peace time, all the swordsmen came together to work through all the details on the best fighting styles.

From there it has been passed down, generation to generation. The club has two fighting styles, Kendo and Iado.

“Iado is far more ceremonial. Practicing certain set of moves, a very much formal thing,” Knight said.

Kendo focuses more on the bamboo the martial artist is using. It is considered the Japanese equivalent of fencing, dueling to hit your opponent for points. They are typically wearing armor.

“Here at APSU we teach this method, but we do not execute it due to the lack of equipment and safety risk it brings forward,” Knight said.

Just like any other sport, this club starts their meeting with a deep stretch.

“Stretching physically helps you stretch out so if you go to do a cut or any basic move, you don’t over strain yourself,” sophomore criminal justice major Rachel Coleman said.

Observers may wonder as to the benefits of studying such an art.

“You learn more about yourself. It teaches you responsibilities and discipline,” instructor of the club Floyd Mullins said.

Though the club is not the biggest on campus, it has a strong sense of community within.

“It feels like more of a family when it comes to the club. Me teaching them is like teaching my brothers and sisters,” Mullins said.

The club meets every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Memorial Health Center.

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