People who hasn't understood swordsmanship often has many misgivings concerning it. Let me tell you something:
The real purpose of practicing swordmanship are:
- To make the sword inseparable from us. In fact, it becomes nothing else but a continuation of our own body. So we'll be able to wield it as easy as we eat, walk, etc.
- The higher one. To make the sword actually unified with us, body and soul. So it even exists in our heart and mind. This way, we can even use a blade of grass as our sword, and attack an opponent from 10 paces distance.
- The highest purpose. Sadly, many people tend to dismiss this level of achievement. Either they forget it, or despise it, just overlook it, out of fear avoid it, or simply don't realize it. It is: to make the wielder comprehend the nature of sword so much that he feels enough of it, sort of fed up with it, so he "throw" the sword away from his hands and his heart and mind. Thus, he find tranquility, solace, peace...with God and all His creation under Him. Including with himself, the swordsman.
If these all sound absurd to you, you better dare yourself to get the taste of it. Practice it. There's a good site to add to my explanation on this subject. You can find in in the right "Interesting Links" column in this blog, but i'll give it here anyway too: www.jidai.jp
Mind you, swords are not to be always taken literally. Swords here, as in our life, could mean anything we can wield to show, uphold, exert our power. That would include rifle/firearms, even nuclear weapon, and our positions, be it in the office, society, etc.
So you see...there's more to it than just martial art related matter. It's life itself. And ourselves.