Kendo (剣道 kendō?, lit. “sword way”), is a modern Japanese martial art, which descended from swordsmanship(kenjutsu) and uses bamboo swords (shinai) and protective armour (bōgu). Today, it is widely practiced within Japan and many other nations across the world.
Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines martial arts practices and values with sport-like strenuous physical activity. (From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendo)
Kendo, meaning “The Way of the Sword”, is based on traditional Japanese swordsmanship and is today a modern Japanese martial art. Kendo is a unique product of Japanese culture and is an offspring of Kenjutsu, the classical Japanese sword art.
Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sport-like physical elements.
Kendo is a lifelong activity. Age and gender doesn’t matter. The purpose when you practise kendo is not only to improve your techniques but also your mind and physical fitness. Kendo is practiced wearing traditional Japanese clothing and armour (bogu), using one or less commonly two bamboo swords (shinai).
A practitioner of kendo is called kendoka, “one who practises kendo”, but is sometimes also called kenshi which means “swordsman”. Kendo is different from European fencing in the way the sword is handled. Kendo employs strikes involving both the edge and tip of the shinai.
Kendo is practiced worldwide and there is more than 6 million people training. In 1970 the International Kendo Federation (FIK) was established and today around 60 national or regional federations are members. The World Kendo Championships is held every three years since 1970.
A kendo match is fought between two competitors in an individual match. In team competition there are three to five persons in each team. In the Continental Championships and the World Championships a team consists of five persons that fight five matches in each team match.
Three referees decide during the matches, who cut or thrust a valid score. The valid score is the IPPON. At least two of the three referees must judge the score to be valid.
To score a point, the blow must be delivered with clarity and precision, using the outer third of the shinai. There are four specified target areas in Kendo, each worth one point in a match. They are strikes to the head (MEN), the body (DO), the wrist (KOTE) and a thrust to the throat (TSUKI).
The referees have to decide according to complicated principles. For example, the offender has to attack in time, with correct strength, and he/she has to hit the opponent at the correct part of his/her body. They decide whether the offender presses his/her opponent with a forceful voice (kiai), and that whether he/she is ready to attack again after a successful attack. If these conditions are met, the referees judge the point. In a match one must obtain two scores.
The duration of the matches is generally 5 minutes. There is a possibility for a drop-out or a pool (where the first and the second best can go on) system of competition. In a team competition teams of five members have to fight one after another. Teams can qualify in the proportion of the team members’ winning
For more information on kendo we recommend you to visit:
To find a dojo in your neighbourhood to start training visit: