Kendo Martial Arts
"Way of the Sword"

Kendo Martial Arts

Kendo martial arts developed in the 16th century from Japanese swordsmanship, in an attempt to unify a large number of different sword techniques. 

Since 1975 the concepts of the Kendo.. 

"have been to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana (sword)"

This martial art with weapons is therefore designed for self-discipline, while the sword art of Kenjutsu explores the functional techniques of fighting with the sword. 

Kendo equipment consists of;

  • Sword
  • Uniform
  • Armor

There are two types of wooden swords used:

  1. The bokken - is a solid wood sword made of oak or another suitable hardwood. It is used to practice basics and for practicing forms or kata. 
  2. The Shinai - is made up of four bamboo staves and leather. It is used for full contact sparring practice. 

In Kendo Martial Arts the uniform or Dogi consists of the following:

Kendo Martial Arts Striking Targets
  • Woven Cotton Top called a Keikogi
  • Pleated Skirt-like trousers called a Hakama. 

Kendo Armor is called the "bogu" and consists of four separate pieces. 

  1. the helmet (men)
  2. the body protector (do)
  3. the gloves (kote)
  4. the hip and groin protector (tare). 

Modern Kendo Armor design is fashioned after the Armor of the Samurai Warrior. 

In this modern weapon art, there are only two types of attacks strikes and thrusts.

Strikes are only allowed against certain areas of the body.

  • the top of the head
  • the right side of the body
  • the left side of the body
  • the forearms

Thrusts are only allowed to the throat.

However, since a wrongly done thrust could injure the neck, thrust are often left out at the starting level and introduced into kendo training 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.

A yell (in Japanese) corresponding to the part of the opponent that is being targeted.

For example, if the opponent's head is the target, a 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.

Practitioner of the Kendo martial arts 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 training. I am sure you will find it very informative, especially if your Kendo warrior journey is just beginning. 

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