Prefecture: Whole of Japan
Kendo is Japanese-style fencing, which originated from kenjutsu, the most important martial art of the samurai.
Kendo, meaning “Way of the Sword”, is a modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting based on traditional Japanese swordsmanship. It uses bamboo swords which is also known as shinai and protective armour (bōgu).
Kendo comprises both strikes and thrusts. It is made towards specific target areas; primarily on the wrists, head or body which are protected by armour.
Techniques are divided into shikake-waza (to initiate a strike) and ōji-waza (a response to an attempted strike). Kendoka who wish to use such techniques during practice or competitions, often practice each technique with a motodachi. This is a process that requires patience. First practising slowly and then as familiarity and confidence builds, the kendoka and motodachi increase the speed to match and competition level.
When practicing kendo, contestants wear a kendo jacket and skirt-like trousers, both made of cotton and dyed indigo blue. Above these clothes, they wear armor for the face, chest, hands and forearms, and thighs to protect against attacks by their opponent.
The uniform used in Kendo is made up of two parts, a coat-like top (“keikogi” or often abbreviated to “gi”) and a skirt like divided pants called a “hakama”. Several other martial arts (iaido, aikido, judo, kyudo) use similar uniforms or similar parts of the uniform as kendo.
- Kendo Competitions have 3 referees
- World Kendo Championships are held every 3 years
- Only 5 Practitioners have achieved the top rank
- Japan had never lost a championship until 2006