At some point, the vast majority of babies figure out how to walk.

They crawl around a lot before they start walking. Then they grab onto furniture to steady themselves. Eventually they master the skill of balancing and propelling themselves around on their own two feet.

Most babies figure out walking between 9~12 months. So, what happens if they don’t master walking after 12 months? Do we tell them to give up? Just stop trying? Tell them they’re below average and they’ll never amount to much? That they should perhaps consider a different mode of transportation as walking might not be for them?

No. We let them figure it out and eventually, they get there. Babies have it right. They know what they want to do, and even in the face of multiple failures they put in the effort to achieve their goals.

Kendo is challenging. You will move your body in ways it hasn’t moved before. It’s a process, and you’re going to fail many times before you get it right.

Life is challenging. You will have to do things you’ve never done before. It’s a process, and you’re going to fail many times before you get it right.

People sometimes need help getting through life. Overcoming challenges and obstacles in the dojo can help when facing real world challenges. It helps by providing opportunities to strengthen one’s resolve, determination, and spirit. Kendo builds resiliency in ways other activities do not.

Unlike many organized sports where nobody keeps score, you know when you lose in kendo. One of your challenges is to be able to gain from the experience so you will be less likely to lose next time. That’s a skill more people need to develop.

Babies don’t give up when it comes to learning how to walk. What great teachers these little failure monsters are.

Now, be like a baby, pull up your diapers, and get your bum to the dojo.