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Bamboo Blade

I want to talk about several different things.

#1. Japanese Anime is awesome.

#2. English dubs of Japanese Anime is still awesome, but only if the company doing the dubbing is a quality one. eg. The Canadian company "WordFit" is particularly good, but there many other quality companies that do some seriously good quality dubs for Japanese Anime.

#3. For example Bamboo Blade is an awesome show whether you watch it in Japanese or in English. You can stream ALL the English episodes by going to various different websites online or downloading the torrent and I think you will agree that the quality of the dub is extremely excellent.

#4. Just because it is not in Japanese does not make it inferior. I know, I know, there are Anime Freaks out there in North America who think that the shows should be watched in original Japanese with English subtitles because they apparently think that by watching and reading subtitles that their Japanese will improve dramatically.

But the truth is people who believe that are: #1. Fools, because you can't learn a language properly that way. #2. Idiotic Elitist Nerds like the type who play Magic the Gathering in competitions instead of for fun.

You see I studied a BA in Asian languages during university, which included learning Mandarin, Korean and Japanese. I would have studied Vietnamese too if I had had the time. And what I can tell you, and what my Japanese professors most certainly would tell you, is that while you can pick up one or two phrases and some nouns watching TV shows in another language, the truth is you are still converting those words from Japanese into English via the subtitles and you aren't really learning the language. Word vocabulary is not learning a language. Sentence structure, syntax, knowing how to phrase a question, how to pronounce it properly, how to respond, how to say something politely or impolitely... that is learning a language.

So if you are one of those idiots who thinks watching subtitles is somehow superior, pfff! Get a freaking life and go take some courses in Japanese and then you will learn the difference.

#5. Back to Bamboo Blade - Awesome show! Why? Because during the course of the show they actually try and teach you Kendo. However like I have explained above, watching other people do Kendo on TV and actually doing it yourself is a big difference in your ability to learn it.

Watching Bamboo Blade can help teach you some of the terminology and the rules of Kendo. A bit like watching Harry Potter and learning how to play Quidditch, but unless you have lots of friends with flying brooms it really isn't going to happen. But Kendo... well you would actually go out and enroll yourself in a Kendo dojo or join a Kendo club and then learn it for real.

I guess the real thing about Bamboo Blade is that, yes, its a funny show (hysterical at times), and yes it does try to teach you the basics of Kendo, but its true goal is encouraging people to go out and try Kendo for themselves.


#6. I did sword-fighting almost every day from the age of 8 to 18.

I grew up on a farm and to be fair there wasn't much else to do outside except go swimming in our pool or go cycling. Sword-fighting was what I was good at and I practiced it every day using dumbie equipment + practicing with my best friend Jonathan and my younger sister (both of whom also got extremely good at sword-fighting as the years went by). Sometimes I would also sword-fight (for fun) at school with other kids, but it had reached a point where most of them couldn't compete with me because I was on a whole different level then them.

One time during high school I even fought a guy while blindfolded (I was blindfolded, not him) and still beat him. I managed to do it by being unpredictable, incredibly fast and anticipating his moves, despite not being able to see.

During high school I also learned Olympic wrestling and kickboxing, and I later took up boxing and archery as an adult and now teach both boxing and archery (not at the same time, separately of course). I also studied Tae Kwon Do while living in South Korea for a year.

But I miss the amount of sword-fighting I did when I was younger. I have never taken fencing or kendo lessons, but one time in university I did have a chance to sword-fight against a guy who apparently did competitive fencing - and I beat him. He was extremely pissed off when I scored a headshot on him.

I do own a Katana (and several other swords) and keep it in a corner next to my archery equipment. One time I scared the crap out of a would-be burglar trying to pick the lock on my door. She (I think she was a crackhead looking to steal stuff and then get drugs) made too many scratching noises at the lock and woke me up. So I grabbed my Katana, flung open the door and I think she nearly wet her pants in fear.

Unfortunately I didn't get to do any sword-fighting that time, but oh to have a willing partner and have duels... that would be fun. :)

Conclusions?

Japanese is Awesome. Anime is Awesome. English Dubs are still Awesome. Bamboo Blade is Awesome. Kendo is Awesome. Scaring the Crap out of Burglars is Awesome.

Idiotic Anime Nerds can go suck a lemon, get a life and take some actual Japanese lessons.

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