I wonder if you had live blades, when you would make the decision to ditch the sword and start grappling. When I first came to Japan, I was interested in Kendo, but after joining Aikido and watching Kendo every week as they train at the same time in the same gym, I thought it looked to overcome by sport, and thus not practical enough to hold my interest. But this video was awesome! Here I think a small part of kendo's real merit is shown.
That looks like fun. Unfortunately none of the local groups seem to practice this way.