While football, rugby and in the summer months cricket dominate the sports pages of newspapers, it is the Japanese martial art of kendo that is capturing the imagination in Aylesbury recently.
The Ichi Byo Shi Kendo Club has been promoting the unusual sport in the town and collaborated with photography students at Aylesbury College to ‘combine two art forms’.
Kendo means ‘Way of the Sword’ and is a modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting descended from traditional swordsmanship which originated with the samurai class of feudal Japan.
The physically and mentally challenging activity combines martial arts practices and values with sport-like strenuous physical activity.
And John Bates, head of Ichi Byo Shi Kendo Club, says it is much more than just hitting people with sticks!
“This sport is teaches consistency, a calm mental attitude under pressure and respect,” he said.
“There is only a few ways to score against an opponent and so precision, correct technique, accuracy and intent to score are paramount to achieve success.
“Without these a loss means thanking your opponent for showing your weaknesses.”
Of course those factors makes kendo a particularly challenging topic to photograph. So the creative minds on the college’s photography course had to dig deep to bring out the best in the equipment, movements and club members, as can be seen in Nick Bennett’s fantastic picture (above). Nick hopes the course will be a springboard to a future career in photography.
+ For more info on the club and how to get involved visit Ichi Byo Shi