The Kendo art of Japanese swordsmanship, developed in the 16th century to unify a large number of different techniques. Since 1975 the concepts of Kendo have been..
"to discipline the human character through the
application of the principles of the Katana(sword)"
This martial weapon art is therefore a self-discipline, while Kenjutsu is the actual techniques of fighting with the sword.
The equipment of a this warrior art consists of the swords, uniform and armor. There are
two types of wooden swords used.
First, the bokken is a solid
wood sword made of oak or another suitable hardwood. The bokken is used to practice basics and when practicing forms or kata.
Second, the shinai, is made up of four bamboo staves and leather. The shinai is used for full contact sparring practice.
The uniform or dogi consists of woven cotton top called a keikogi and pleated skirt-like trousers called a hakama.
The armor or bogu consists of four pieces: the helmet (men), the body protector (do), the gloves (kote), and the hip and groin protector (tare).
Modern Kendo armor design is fashioned after the armour of the Samurai Warrior.
In this modern weapon art,
there are only two types of attacks:
Strikes are allowed against only certain areas on the body - the top of the head, the right and left sides of the body, and the forearms.
Thrusts are only allowed to the throat. However, since a wrongly done thrust could injure the neck, thrust is often left out at the starting level and introduced later.
In sparring or tournament matches, points are only awarded when the attacks are done firmly and properly to the allowed targets with good control and a yell (in Japanese) corresponding to the part of the opponent that is being targeted.
if the opponent's head is the target, an shout of "Men" should be bellowed.
For an attack to the wrist, "Kote" should be shouted.
For an attack to the trunk "Do"
and for a thrust at the opponent's throat "Tsuki" should be shouted.
The first to score two points wins the match.
The International Kendo Federation (IKF) has members in 44 countries. The international championships are held every three years since 1970, when the IKF was founded.
The practitioner of Kendo are called kendoka
All Kendoka need equipment, whether it be a shinai, armour or a good book on the subject. I do much of my shopping with Century Martial Arts Supply.
Below is a short video featuring Kendo. I am sure you will find it very informative, especialy if your Kendo warrior journey is just beginning.