Kendo is the oldest of the martial arts. It embodies the swordsmanship practiced by the samurai together with their philosophy of life. Today it is a popular sport, practiced with bamboo swords and protective clothing, for the purpose of training mind and body.
“Begin with a bow, end with a bow.” This polite custom reflects the spirit of kendo. Using a bamboo sword instead of a steel one, kendo came from kenjutsu (old-style kendo ) , a kind of fencing only for samurai. Even now there are many kendo fans of the gallant samurai ideal. The concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character thought the application of the principles of the katana (sword).
No longer limited to Japan alone, Kendo is now popular throughout the world ; and the Kendo fans in many countries continue to grow in numbers.
The purpose of practicing Kendo
To mold the mind and body, to cultivate a vigorous spirit, and though correct and rigid training, to strive for improvement in the art of Kendo, to hold in esteem human courtesy and honor, to associate with others with sincerity, and to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself. This will one be able to love his country and society, to contribute to the development of culture and to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.
The kendo tournament is held in a 9-11 meter square area. A match may last for 5 minutes, and goes for 3 points. The winner is the person who gets 2 points first. When the opponent’s head, torso, or forearm is hit, or when a thrust to the opponent’s throat is clearly achieved, one point can be gained.
Men – Head and shoulder protector
Kote– Forearm and hand protector
Mendare – Neck and shoulder protector
Tare – Thigh and hip protector
Tsukidare – Throat protector
Do – Chest protector
Hakama – Skirt-like split trousers
Shinai -Bamboo sword