“That’s a very thin sword. Is that your secret, Golan?”
He did not look pleased. I suppose he was disappointed.
I didn’t pay him any mind as I took in its beauty.
“Hmm. It’s…just as I had ordered. A splendid job.”
The pattern on the blade was like a Japanese sword.
The Corps Commander didn’t know about its potential. What would happen when I held it.
After all, I had trained in a dojo every day since I was a child.
The master there was a bald man with intimidating eyes.
And while he was thin, he was very strong when it came to judo.
I remember that many students were not able to keep up with his strict lessons, and so people seemed to come and go constantly.
“Listen. With kendo, footwork is important. Don’t rely on your upper body strength alone.”
And so before lessons started, I had to go back and forth from one side of the room to the other and practice moving my footwork.
Back then, I had no idea why I needed to repeat this so many times.
If you didn’t understand the purpose of it, then you’re heart wouldn’t be in it.
I just loosely tried to do what he said.
“Don’t just move what’s below your knees. Use all of your legs!”
We would line up side by side and race while sliding our feet. That was the only fun part.
However, as everyone was doing the same thing, I didn’t understand why some were faster than others.
It was just a small thing.
He would get angry if my back wasn’t straight, and so I leaned back so it was slightly arched, and moved my legs as I always did. And then he hit the back of my legs with his bamboo sword.
My legs pulled back as a reflex, and it finally hit me.
When I looked at him, he was smiling.
Pulling back with your feet in that position allowed you to move as if you were teleporting.
I still can’t forget that feeling. It was like I had reached a higher step.
“Now, let’s do this.”
I had mastered this footwork. It was art. Do you understand why?
I pointed my sword at his face.