Kendo is the Japanese art of fencing which was started in the eighteenth century. This was from the two handed sword fighting technique of the samurai. Kendo is practiced with bamboo swords. The meaning of Kendo is way of the sword. The fighters who take part in these martial arts wear protective gear for the arms, head, wrists and abdomen.
Equipment for Kendo art:
One has to wear a men or a face mask which works as a bogu or protective gear, a do which is known as the breastplate, kote or fencing gloves. Besides all these three gears one has to wear a tare or an apron cover that helps in protecting the stomach and hips. Besides all this, we have the students who are called kendoka, who need to wear a hakama or a wide skirt that reaches the ankles. The weapon used by the kendoka is called shinai or bamboo sticks. These sticks are four feet in length. These are just not ordinary bamboos. These are four bamboo slats that are bound together to form a hollow cylinder. There is a cord that runs along the entire length of the bamboo stick.
What exactly is kendo?
Kendo is a very aggressive martial art and not suited as an art for self defense. In this martial art one has to attack the opponent quicker than the opponent has time to defend him or herself. The reason is those in kendos there are no blocking techniques and so one has to be on his or her toes and fully alert. Therefore kendo is a full contact martial art and not like any other martial art like taekwondo, karate, ju juitsu or judo. The attack on the opponent is made in the form of a cut that are delivered with a certain amount of restraint. However there can be injuries to the opponent in the form of blisters on the soles of the feet.
Attire of the kendoka
As mentioned earlier the student who learns this martial art needs to have special attire which is worn at the time of performing the martial art. These include a men or a face mask which works as a bogu or protective gear to protect the head, face, throat and shoulders , a do which is known as the breastplate that covers the stomach and torso , kote or fencing gloves that protect the wrist and hands . Besides all these three gears one has to wear a tare or an apron cover that helps in protecting the stomach and hips. Besides all this, we have the students who are called kendoka, who need to wear a hakama or a wide skirt that reaches the ankles.
Purpose of kendo:
- To cultivate a strong spirit through hard and rigorous training.
- To mould mind and body
- To aim for improvement in the field of kendo
- To hold in high esteem the honor and courtesy to fellow men
- To contribute to the development of culture and to promote peace and prosperity.