Kendo – Way of the Sword

This is how Samurai trained without killing one another.

Kendo 剣道, meaning “Way of the Sword”, is a  Japanese modern sport and martial art that focuses on swordplay. Originating from Japan, Kendo can be traced back to the Shotoku Era of 1711 to 1715 when the introduction of bamboo practice swords (Shinai) and armour (bogu) was used in training.

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The purpose of Kendo is to teach discipline of the human character through the use of the Katana with non-lethal means. As of 2007, there are 1.48 million registered kendōka members.

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The rules of Kendo are simple. Strike your opponent on either the head, throat, chest or wrist before the opponent strikes. Before striking, one must shout the area the strike is aiming for.

It takes two points to win a match of Kendo by striking these areas.

Strikes with powerful thrusts are effective at landing blows to the opponent and shouting to express fighting spirit.

Kendo is fought barefoot and usually on well-sprung wooden floors.

Kendo is Dan grade recognised by the International Kendo Federation.

There are eight Dan grades available. The eighth Dan grading requires a panel of reviewers to put the candidate through a physical test and is known to be extremely difficult with a pass rate of less than 1 percent.

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