Dirk follows in the footsteps of the Japanese samurai

Dirk, Warehouse - Waregem

In one fluent movement, the 'samurai' unsheathes his 'katana' from the 'saya', to then swiftly eliminate the opponent with a 'kirioroshi'. These are terms from the Japanese martial arts. Dirk (Employee Warehouse) practises this sport, which requires boundless patience, infinite concentration and uncurbed effort.

 

He is a member of 'Kenshiki Doio Izegem', a club where the Japanese martial arts 'iaido' and 'jodo' are taught. "Jodo and iaido - which are rather unknown to the general public - are actually two of the few remaining traditional Japanese martial arts in which weapons are used", says Dirk to introduce the sport. "Dressed in traditional Japanese clothes, you are taught to handle the staff and Japanese sword with control and precision, in order to defend yourself and others. We not only strive for perfect body control for an efficient technique, but also for complete concentration to assess the opponent's movements.

 

Besides the athletic and competitive aspects, the spiritual and old traditions also remain very important when practising this sport. "Alertness, dedication and flexibility were the virtues of the samurai. That is why you never stop learning. The endless road to perfection is indeed rough, but continually fascinating and rewarding", says Dirk.

 

Dirk has long been fascinated by the mysterious Far East. "Ten years ago, I ran into an old acquaintance who was interested in the subject, that's why I really wanted to practise these martial arts. And now, I already hold a 3rd dan, a degree in the sport.”

Dirk's interest in the sport goes far, even literally. "Last year, my wife Véronique and I, and some club members went to Japan for an apprenticeship, where I passed my Tamiya Ryu iaijutsu exam." He was also invited to give an iaido demonstration in the Yasukuni temple in Tokyo. A big honour, because not every Westerner can simply enter that temple.

 

In addition to these martial arts, Dirk is also interested in other Japanese aspects, like the culture, the art and the Japanese cuisine.

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