WHAT IS "KENDO" (剣道)?
The art of the sword
Kendo was developed as a form of practice for Japanese swordmen in the 18th century. The Kendo practitioner, or kendoka, is armed with a shinai, a bamboo practice 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, a wooden sword, would.
Kendo (剣道), which literally translates to "the way of the sword", is a traditional Japanese martial art which now focuses on disciplining the human character through the application of the principles of the katana, the traditional Japanese sword used by the samurai who rose to prominance during the late Heian period until the Meiji Restoration.
According to the All Japan Kendo Federation, the official governing body of kendo:
The purpose of practicing Kendo is:
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.
(The Concept of Kendo was established by All Japan Kendo Federation in 1975.)