For all the talk about it being a new year or new decade, today is just a new day like any other day.

Humans are good at creating meaning where none existed previously. Dinosaurs, dolphins, and antelope never celebrated a new year. They just lived their lives until they were over.

We create meaning from nothing. That’s our “thing” as humans. Every day we search and yearn for meaning to explain our world.

Kendo has a meaning unique to everyone. I do Kendo for my own reasons and my own meaning. What does Kendo mean to you?

While I don’t need to hear the answer to that question, I have one request of you. Honour that meaning. Whatever the meaning of Kendo is to you, respect it and honour it through your thoughts, your words, your actions. If Kendo is important to you, act in a way that honours that importance to the best of your ability. Do what you can to act in accordance with your Kendo beliefs.

Some reading my words might interpret them to mean I expect to see them in the dojo more often. I don’t. You can honour Kendo without setting foot in a dojo.

Kendo promotes respect. You can respect yourself and everyone in your life. Anytime. Anywhere.

Kendo promotes discipline. You can choose to be more disciplined. Anytime. Anywhere.

Kendo promotes self-improvement. You can choose to be better. Anytime. Anywhere.

I expect nothing of my students. I expect nothing of myself. What I hope for in myself and others is improvement and polishing of skills, behaviours, and character.

That hope is why I do Kendo. It is why I offer training in Kendo. I hope I will be able to improve myself and be able to help others improve themselves. I can’t make anyone a better Kendoka or a better person. My role is to provide an opportunity for myself and others.

Welcome to 2020. It’s a new year, a new decade, a new day. I hope you will choose ways to make yourself and the world a better place.

To that end, I hope to see you in the dojo.