WHAT IS "KENDO" (剣道)?
The art of the sword
Kendo (剣道), which literally translates to "the way of the sword", is a traditional Japanese martial that was developed as a form of practice for Japanese swordmen in the 18th century. The Kendo practitioner (known as kendoka / kenshi), is armed with a shinai (a bamboo sword), and is protected by bogu (protective armour). The shinai allows full strength cuts to be made against one's training partner without the risk of injuring or killing them the same way that a real blade or a bokuto / bokken (wooden sword) would.
Kendo practise encompasses a variety of activity such as: 1) solo practise of the fundamental movements; 2) set patterns of movements with a partner; and 3) full-contact sparring in armour.
Because Kendo does not rely solely on physical strength, it is a martial art that can be practised and enjoyed by both men and women of all ages.
In 1975, the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF), the official governing body of kendo, established the concept and purpose of practising Kendo:
The Concept of Kendo:
The concept of kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the kitana (sword).
The Purpose of Practicing Kendo:
To mold the mind and body,
To cultivate a vigorous spirit,
And through 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 make one be able:
To love his/her country and society,
To contribute to the development of culture
And to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.