Appendix B: Nihon Kendo Kata - Kendo Training Handbook (2022)

Brief History:

 Kata is the essence of a Kendo school, with all the techniques that have been tested in combat

 During Tokugawa period, there were over 200 schools of Kendo.

 Major schools gathered for the first time to establish a Ten form Kata for the Imperial Police in 1886 ( Keishicho Ryu Gekken Kata)

 Butoku-kai established the three forms Kata in 1906 to promote Kendo in schools.  Kendo became part of requisite curriculum in intermediate and high schools in 1911.  A Kata Committee by Dai-Nippon Butokukai introduced the Kata forms in October

1912.

 In September1917, and May 1933 the Kata was revised with additional details to take its present form.

 At this time it became know as Nihon Kendo Kata or Nippon Kendo Kata From the original writing of Noboru Shigeoka Hanshi 9th Dan, and passed on by Jumpei Matsumoto 7th Dan:

Practicing Kata helps one to: 1. Establish adequate Kiai and spirit

2. Understand the principle of Sen (taking the initiative) 3. Control your mind

4. Establish natural Reiho (etiquette) and calmness in behavior 5. Establish correct posture

6. Improve footwork

7. Learn how to read the opponents‟ movements and mind 8. Move and react quickly

9. Correct your bad habits 10. Understand about distance

11. Understand the law, reason, rationality and logic of Kendo

12. Establish your Kihin (elegance in presence), Fu-Kaku (noble presence) and Kigurai (noble bearing – pride in attitude)

Points to remember when practicing Kata:

1) When moving forward and backward you should hold your breath whilst maintaining a good balance of spirit and mind. When moving forward, firstly you should breathe in deeply and continue to move in holding this breath, until exhaling with the utterance of either `Ya‟ or `Toh‟. The strike should be perfected with an awareness of Tanden (the lower part of the abdomen). When moving within Ma-ai, a diaphragmatic breathing method should be exercised quietly so that the opponent will not notice your breathing pattern.

2) In Kata the movements are pre-arranged, however one should exercise a freedom of thought and Uchidachi should consider various ways of potential Seme in the attacks, in order to break through Shidachi‟s pre-arranged defence, strikes or counter-attacks, try to use this imagination to make this as real as possible. This will also create a high level of spiritual tension.

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3) Shidachi should practice all of the techniques with a quick reaction against the strikes made by Uchidachi, but not by hasty or rushed actions. Both Uchidachi and Shidachi should maintain enough tension from the first Rei until the last Rei.

4) Uchidachi should strike when the harmony in the breathing coming from both sides meets and when the level of spiritual tension from both sides reaches an adequate point.

Uchidachi as a teacher initiates his/her spirit and encourages and helps to establish Shidachi‟s spirit and in turn should teach the opportunity for the strikes.

5) Shidachi should maintain the spirit of Seme or Sen and even though the movements are pre-arranged, he/she should not just wait for Uchidachi‟s strikes to happen. When within Ma-ai [see foot note on this particular Ma-ai], he/she should win in spirit by Seme firstly, inviting Uchidachi to attack and therefore creating a reaction against the strike and then to win with technique.

(Video) Kendo Kata 1: Men Nuki Men

6) When striking, always pull the left foot towards the right foot. The shoulders should be relaxed whilst maintaining good tension in the Tanden, this way you can strike correctly with the back and the lower part of the body. Cut by pushing the sword away from the body with the right hand and by pulling it back with the left hand towards the body. Only in this way can a Japanese sword cut.

Foot note on Ma-ai.

According to the teaching of Noboru Shigeoka Hanshi 9th Dan: The Ma-ai referred to here in item 5, is when engaging in the Issoku Itto no Mai, which is a particularly dangerous distance to enter into, as it could become a mutual position where your opponent may also be able to implement a strike from, so extreme caution should be exercised. This also includes any closer distance after Issoku Itto, between and including Chikama.

I have only discussed the first three kata here. There are many good text books available on the subject that you can refer to for more detail.

The reigi is similar to that discussed in chapter 1, except:

 Sage-to - Bokuto held in right hand on right side (blade up)

 Bring bokuto up in front of the chest and swap to left hand and place in Tai-to.  Start and finish at a position where the Yoko-te of bokuto are crossing.

 Metsuke - keep eye contact throughout Kata. Keys Points:

 Practice predefined steps but perform with flexibility.

 Maintain focus from the first Rei to the last, especially when retreating after each Kata.  Uchidachi is the senior and Shidachi is the student, so Uchidachi always leads and S

Shidachi responds.

 Learn not only the steps but also the reasons and logic of the Waza (Riai) and the variation of speed and strength.

 Always look at each other's eyes and not at the target point.  Move forward from the front foot and retreat from the back foot.

 Kata starts after Uchidachi sees a proper opportunity to strike. NB: Kodachi kata starts as Shidachi tries to enter into the Ma-ai (Irimi).

 Shidachi always shows Zanshin after each Kata, and Uchidachi moves after seeing this.  Use Suriashi footwork quietly.

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gait, release shoulder tension, focus power to lower abdomen, and strike from the hip (whole body, not just arms).

 Monouchi must reach the target point with force, stopping just short.

 Coming into Ma-ai or retreating, hold breath to stabilize the body; inhale deeply before stepping forward, approach at once, then strike with Ki-ai (exhale) and power from lower abdomen (while in Ma-ai, breath shallow, quietly, and naturally from the diaphragm so as not to let the opponent sense your breathing.)

 Ki-ai is expressed by the shouts of "Yah!" for Uchidachi and "Toh!" for Shidachi, with loud voice with power from the lower abdomen.

Ipponme - The first LongSword kata Jodan-no-kamae (Kame of Fire)

 Assume Morote (with both hands) Hidari Jodan by stepping left foot forward, being alert; bring hands up without changing the hand grip from Chudan.

 Left fist is one fist away above/front of forehead and above the left foot; sword 45-degrees with body slightly oblique; blade forward but Kensen slightly to the right

 Morote Migi Jodan is similar, except right foot forward, body bokuto and kensen are straight.

(Video) Practice Kendo At Home

"Fire" represents all consuming power, Jodan is primarily attacking Kamae.

 Uchidachi takes Morote Hidari Jodan and Shidachi responds by taking Morote Migi Jodan

 Uchidachi leads from the left foot and Shidachi follows in response from the right foot, both move to correct ma-ai.

 Shidachi shows Sen (pressure), then, at the right opportunity, Uchidachi strikes Shomen to overcome this pressure - "strike" means to "cut through" -Uchidachi attempts to strike through the Tsuka all the way down (fast, strong, large arc), the Kensen may drop to below Gedan position at this time.

 Shidachi avoids this by stepping back and extending the arms up and back in the Kensen's direction (Kensen does not drop down) - Uchidachi leans slightly forward at the end of strike due to force of effort.

 Shidachi strikes back (fast, strong) with forward step (avoiding and striking must be a continuous action.

 Immediately Uchidachi steps one step back with okuriashi, and Shidachi lowers the kensen to the centre of Uchidachi's face (between eyes), then as Uchidachi's retreats another step, Shidachi follows up assuming Morote Hidari Jodan and shows Zanshin.

 As Uchidachi raises sword and straightens up, Shidachi retreats to Chudan. This Kata teaches Sen, power, courage, conviction, faith, justice, truth.

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Nihonme - The second long sword kata

 Both assume Chudan-no-kamae. With Uchidachi leading and Shidachi following in response, both move forward to the correct Ma-ai.(Bokuto cross at about three inches)

 Both sides endure the pressure until Uchidachi can no longer withstand the Shidachi‟s force.

 At the right opportunity, Uchidachi strikes the Kote (fast, strong) with large technique to a point where Kensen is slightly below the fist level.

 Shidachi avoids by stepping back diagonally to left, while dropping Kensen straight down to approximately Gedan (knee) level, then (naturally drawing an arc under Uchidachi„s bokuto) with large swing and large step from the right foot, make a straight strike to Uchidachi‟s right Kote.

 Shidachi shows Zanshin (without bodily motion, so must show this with Ki - spirit)

 Uchidachi‟s Kensen goes under Shidachi's bokuto when returning to Chudan. This Kata teaches endurance, patience, thus Waza is minimal and strike is not fatal.

Sanbonme - The third long sword kata Gedan-no-kamae (Kamae of earth)

 Lower the Kensen, straight down.

 Kensen should be at a level 3-6 cm below the opponent‟s knee cap. Gedan is defensive posture.

 Both sides in Gedan-no-kamae. With Uchidachi leading and Shidachi following in response, both move forward to the correct Ma-ai.

 From this ma-ai, both raise kensen towards Chudan with Sen (being alert, Kiarasoi), with bokuto just crossing.

 At the right opportunity, Uchidachi thrusts towards the solar plexus using Shinogi (blade turned slightly to the right)

 Shidachi parries with the Mine (with blade turned to the right) to control the force, then immediately thrusts back to the chest (blade down).

 Uchidachi deflects by stepping right foot back using the right Shinogi (blade to right down) with arms somewhat extended and Kensen to the throat. (Hidari Shizentai-no-kame )

(Video) Nihon Kendo Kata No.7: Men Nuki Do

 Shidachi deliberately pressures further forward (Kuraizume, not a thrust with arms) with left foot leading, so Uchidachi steps back and uses the left Shinogi to parry the Bokuto (in Migi Shizentai-no-kame) but is unable to withstand

advancement, so lowers the Bokuto to the right and retreats three rapid steps (left-right-left)

 Shidachi quickly follows Uchidachi raising the Kensen gradually to end at the centre of face (between eyes) and show Zanshin.

 After Zanshin, Uchidachi slowly raises the bokuto to Chudan, and Shidachi begins to retreat slowly two steps, so both meet in Chudan (at issoko itto no maai), and continue another three steps back to the centre position (All five steps should be continuous for Shidachi).

This Kata teaches Kigurai and Kuraizume, commanding the opponent without injuring him.

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Appendix C: SUBURI SWING SPEED STUDY

By: Ueda Fumio & Yoshida Yasumasa - Keoi University, Japan Translated by: Matt (Kingofmyrrh - Kendo World Forum)

INTRODUCTION

In your daily practice, to what angle do you swing up the shinai, and to what position do you swing it down to? In Heisei 10, at the 31st Japanese Budo Forum, two pieces of research were presented: 'Changes in suburi - in particular changes caused by kensen position at the apex of the upswing - due to variations in kendo teaching methods' and 'Suburi teaching methods in kendo - variations in arm action at the terminal position during empty striking'.

The researchers were a group centred around Professor Ueda Fumio (kyoshi 7 dan) and Assistant Professor Yoshida Yasumasa (7 dan), both of Keio Gijuku University. Both researchers have since further advanced their research into suburi, and continue to scientifically search for the most effective suburi. Here, they explain suburi that is effective in actual use.

INDEX

 Doubts toward Ambiguous Instructional Methods  Research into the Upswing Movement

 Investigation into the Terminal Position of the Downswing  The Most Effective Suburi

DOUBTS TOWARD AMBIGUOUS INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS

Ueda

I see this every year in my role as kendo club coach at Keio University, but when it come to university kendo clubs, the members gather together from all over the country. Even though we can raise suburi as an example of something that each of the students has been taught, the fact is that it varies wildly according to their home region. I felt that in order to be able to instruct all of them, it would be

necessary to start by teaching them exactly what correct suburi was. At Keio University, there are not all that many students who achieved superb results in competitions during their high school years; in fact, there are many that are close to beginners [this is a somewhat relative description!]. I thought that by having them master correct basics as best they could during their 4 years here their skill level would rise. Taking up a shinai and striking each other is something that cannot be done without an opponent, but suburi is something that you can do by yourself. I feel that important factors in kendo are kamae and suburi. These days we have machines so we can easily do strength training, but in the old days they didn't have such things. It was most likely suburi itself that was strength training back then.

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At every Japan Budo Forum, a research topic is presented. In Heisei 10, Keio University was used as the venue, and we performed the role of hosts. When we then wondered what we should present research on, we hit upon the idea of presenting something about suburi. I looked into the position of the downswing, while Yoshida sensei led those who got to work on the angle of the upswing.

Yoshida

I first turned my eye to the instructional methods of 'swing back until the shinai touches your buttocks' and 'swing up such that the angle of the shinai reaches 45 degrees'.

Ueda

Talking about the '45 degrees' method, we were somewhat concerned as to whether one could discern what angle the shinai was at, since it was in a position behind the body where it could not be seen. We wondered whether it was really necessary to stipulate the angle to which the shinai should be swung back to, and whether it wasn't possible just to teach a naturally flowing backswing

movement without specifying an angle. We also had our doubts as to which stopping position was best for the downswing position. When talking conceptually, suburi is often taught in terms of stopping the right fist at the height of the right shoulder. However, we were aware that when we did suburi we often stopped the kensen at the height of the opponent's head. If you stop with your right hand at the height of your right shoulder, the kensen comes to a halt at quite a high position. I carried out my research into the downswing of the shinai from a stance of trying to find out just which of these suburi methods was most effective.

(Video) Nippon Kendo Kata (Full Version) KENDO PRINCIPLES 5

As far as I am concerned, the suburi method in which you swing back until the shinai touches the buttocks, so called 'jogeburi' suburi, is a method used to instruct children. It's difficult for children to understand if you just tell them to 'swing straight'. By having them line up the shinai with the coccyx, you can teach them a straight shinai path.

In fact, in the suburi described in the All Japan Kendo Federation's 'Points for the Instruction of Young Children' there are only two types, 'jogeburi' and 'sayufuri'. Swinging straight down at an imaginary opponent is distinguished with the name 'shomen strike'. In other words, it is seen not as suburi but a movement that comes at the striking stage. Despite the fact that suburi, where one stops the shinai at shomen is actually carried out, it does not exist as a term. In this research, we used the name 'air shomen suburi'.

Yoshida

Most likely 'shomen strike' refers not to suburi but to the movement that comes at the stage when bogu is worn and actual striking is carried out. In Nakano Yasoji's 'An Illustrated kendo Dictionary' there is something called 'advancing and retreating men strike suburi', which is probably safe to think of as shomen suburi.

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Ueda

Kendo suburi and basic techniques came to be standardised after the war, from around the latter half of Showa 30s to the Showa 40s. The central figure of that time was Nakano Yasoji sensei. Since 'An Illustrated Kendo Dictionary' was put out by Nakano sensei, it naturally became the basis of post war instructional method.

Yoshida

If we go even further back from there, we arrive at Takano Sasaburo sensei's 'Kendo'. This 'Kendo' is the start point. As such, the makeup of many instructional texts that followed was the same as that of 'Kendo', and there are many texts that use almost the same terms.

Ueda

At present, research into kendo is carried out from every possible viewpoint, but surprisingly, there has been almost no research or data on suburi.

RESEARCH INTO THE UPSWING MOVEMENT

Ueda

For this investigation, we obtained the cooperation of five subjects with kendo experience, ranging from 3rd dan to 7th dan, and five subjects without kendo experience. Yoshida sensei also used the same subjects in his research.

Yoshida

Yes, Ueda sensei looked at an electromyogram (EMG), and I carried out analysis of movements using a high speed camera. For these observations, we first divided ways of swinging up the shinai into four types (see illustration). We designated swinging back as far as the buttocks as suburi 1, and from there suburi 2, suburi 3, and finally we designated swinging up to 45 degrees as suburi 4. We selected these 4 classifications based upon photographs of suburi that we had seen in various instructional texts and kendo magazines. Actually, while no matter which book you read the explanatory text is pretty much the same; the photographs of suburi are almost completely inconsistent. We looked at these photographs, and while there was a suburi method in which one touches the buttocks, there was also talk of swinging up such that the kensen would thrust into a wall behind you, with the shinai horizontal. Then again there was some where the shinai was swung so that it pointed diagonally up. We divided these into four types.

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4 Types of Suburi Tested:

 Swinging upward at a 270 degree angle  Swinging upward at a 225 degree angle  Swinging upward at a 180 degree angle  Swinging upward at a 135 degree angle

Ueda

When Yoshida sensei said to me, 'It seems that there's also a method in which you swing back as if thrusting into a wall behind you,' I argued that that was ridiculous. This is because if you swing back as if to thrust into a wall, your elbows will end up going behind your head. I felt that this type of upswing was probably inefficient.

Test Phases

Yoshida

Before starting the investigation, we had our subjects actually practice the four types of suburi. We made the same subjects perform all four types. Next, we measured which of these swinging methods produced the greatest kensen speed at the point of swinging down, measured at phase 8 (see phase diagram).

(Video) Nihon Kendo Kata No. 10 or Kodachi No3.

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Speaking from the results, suburi 3 was found to give the fastest kensen speed. The slowest was suburi 4. If I were to try to explain, it would seem that because with suburi 4 you are in a situation where the shinai has merely been thrust upwards, it is not possible to smoothly switch to a downswing

FAQs

Is learning kendo hard? ›

Kendo is not difficult to learn. It's not as physically demanding or as complex as some other popular martial arts. But it does take at least 3-5 years to master as it's a strategic art that's about learning how to execute “the perfect strike.”

Can you learn kendo by yourself? ›

At the beginning, you must learn something, from how to stand to how to execute a cut. These are the basic of the basics and you can learn these without going to an actual dojo. Once you are ready to put a set of armour (bogu) on, then you need a partner.

Are thrusts allowed in kendo? ›

Thrusts (突き, tsuki) are only allowed to the throat. However, since an incorrectly performed thrust could cause serious injury to the opponent's neck, thrusting techniques in free practice and competition are often restricted to senior dan graded kendōka.

How often should you train kendo? ›

A regularly asked question is “how often should I train to gain maximum improvement in my kendo?” My honest answer would be “at least three times a week.” Once a week and you are not going to make any real progress, twice and you may improve slightly if you already have a strong grounding, but train three times a week ...

Can kendo be used in a real fight? ›

Its unlikely in the modern day that a real swordfight would break out. If it did though, yes, kendo is a sword martial art and could be use in a sword fight. There are strengths and weaknesses to any style of fighting as well as strengths and weaknesses to any individual fighter.

Is kendo useful in a street fight? ›

"Kendo is not applicable in street fighting.

How heavy is a kendo sword? ›

Regulations
SpecificationGenderDaito (long shinai)
WeightMale440g minimum
Female400g minimum
Minimum diameter of sakigawaMale25mm
Female24mm
1 more row

Is kendo good for fitness? ›

There are few other sports in which the entire body is engaged all at once, like it is in kendo. During particularly intense training drills, short bursts of energy can help to train the strength of muscles. It also improves endurance. This is why many practitioners train in kendo partly for physical fitness.

What can you not do in kendo? ›

Violations in Kendo
  • Intentionally forcing an opponent outside the court.
  • Your own feet crosses the court line during the match.
  • Tripping your opponent.
  • Leaving the court without the referee's permission.
  • Dropping your shinai.
  • Calling for a pause during the match without reason.
11 May 2018

Is kenjutsu better than kendo? ›

Of the two, kenjutsu is said to be more restrictive than its kendo counterpart. While both types have their own rules, kendo is more lenient in what it allows.

Does kendo use real swords? ›

No, real swords are not used in Kendo. Rather, practice swords made out of bamboo are used by practitioners. This is to reduce injuries and ensure no fatalities. The sword used is known as Shinai, and it does not look like a real sword.

What do you call a kendo master? ›

KENDOKA: Although it literally means “an expert in Kendo” it is usually applied to everyone training Kendo. Kenshi is used as a more correct term.

Is kendo a hard sport? ›

Kendo training is renowned for its relentless harships. Choosing to practice kendo as a way of life as opposed to only a sport will permit you to enjoy (or not as it may be) a lifelong kendo practice. Kendo training as a 'way of life' is hard.

How long does it take to master kendo? ›

It usually takes an adult three to four years to obtain their sho-dan, while some people who may have had previous martial arts experience will take as few as two. Each successive rank requires training in your current rank for the same number of years as the rank you are testing for.

How do I get good at kendo? ›

How to Improve Your Kendo
  1. Show up.
  2. Pay attention.
  3. Focus.
  4. Do the drills to the best of your ability.
  5. Listen to feedback your sensei and sempai give you and others.
  6. Implement.
  7. Have an open mind.
  8. Be disciplined.
5 Apr 2018

Can you use a katana in kendo? ›

Kendo does not use the metal sword known as a katana and instead is most often practiced with bamboo swords known as a shinai. But Kendo is descended from Kenjutsu, which did use a katana. The shinai is similar but made of bamboo for safety reasons.

Can you dual wield in kendo? ›

Yes, it is possible. However, personally if you do not have a good instructor, I don't recommend it. It is said that if you practice and train chudan (the basic stance of kendo), you will be able to take jodan or nito (two swords).

Does kendo teach self-defense? ›

Kendo is not a martial art that teaches any self-defense techniques for street fighting. We only strike the areas that are well protected by the armour.

Is kendo a sport or martial art? ›

Kendo is one of traditional Japanese martial arts, or budo, that arose from the samurai, or warrior in feudal Japan, fighting with bamboo "swords."Kendo players wear protective gear like armor over kimono-like training wear. Kendo differs from many other sports.

Is kendo like sword fighting? ›

Kendo is a lot closer to true swordfighting, but it's still very much not true combat. Now, it's possible that you aren't trying to talk about the modern versions of the sports, but instead discuss what would happen if their root combat styles were pitted against each other. However, this isn't really possible.

Why does it cost money to train in the martial arts? ›

A teacher might be able to make a fairly significant amount of money from their kids classes, but there aren't a lot of adults willing to put in the serious training required for martial arts training. So, senseis and sifus are forced to charge what they must to pay the bills. Simple as that.

Does a kendo stick hurt? ›

Kendo sticks are easily breakable too and are also used as a method to demonstrate a wrestlers' strength when they easily break it in half. Nonetheless, the weapon can cause a lot of pain and injuries too, but it's nothing compared to what wrestlers can withstand.

Are samurai swords illegal in Japan? ›

Samurai Myth No.

Owning a katana is illegal for the ordinary Japanese citizen. Fact: Ordinary citizens in Japan have the right to own Japanese-made blades that are registered with the Nihon Token Kai (Japanese Sword Association). These swords must exhibit historical or cultural significance.

What is a wooden katana called? ›

A bokken (木剣, bok(u), "wood", and ken, "sword") (or a bokutō 木刀) is a Japanese wooden sword used for training in kenjutsu.

Is kendo good for weight loss? ›

Kendō is not designed for weight loss so unlike those fitness programs it may take a long time to see the result. Of course, you have to think about what you eat and drink as well.

What muscles does kendo work? ›

1: Kendo is a very vigorous martial art that will develop strong cardio, explosive strength, and develop your hamstrings, biceps, shoulders, tris, and chest.

Does kendo require strength? ›

Kendo's explosive movements come from your legs and your core; whilst large and powerful cuts need well devleoped back muscles and grip strength. The key here is muscle strength, not muscle size.

Can you push in kendo? ›

Obviously, Kendo isn't sumo. Only scoring points by pushing your opponents out of the ring isn't good Kendo. However, if there's a reasonable opportunity to “push your opponent off a cliff” (the metaphor I like to use for stepping out of bounds), I think it's warranted.

What do you say when you bow in kendo? ›

Kendo Terminology
  1. Shitsurei shimasu - Said when entering or leaving the dojo.
  2. Hai - Yes.
  3. Hajime - Begin/Start.
  4. Rei - Bow.
  5. Otagai ni rei - Bow to each other.
  6. Shomen ni rei - Bow to shomen.
  7. Onegai shimasu - Please.
  8. Arigato gozaimashita - Thank you.

Do you bow in kendo? ›

Usually it is done in the following order: bowing straight in front, bowing toward the instructors, bowing to each other. When bowing in front, if there is a kamidana (altar for a shinto deity) bow towards that. If not bow towards the upper seat. As written above, kendo “begins and ends with manners”.

What is the highest rank in kendo? ›

In modern kendo, the dan system was recently changed so that 8th dan is the highest attainable rank. Unlike Judo, all dan promotion within the All Japan Kendo Federation, International Kendo Federation and its member countries is by examination.

Are there belts in kendo? ›

Kendo ranks are broken into two main groups: kyu rankings, also known as "mudansha", and dan raknings or "yudansha". Dan ranks are more commonly known, from other martial arts, as "black belt" ranks. This equates 1st kyu with "brown belt" and 1st dan with "first degree black belt".

Is kendo an Olympic sport? ›

Kendo has never been an Olympic sport, and the All Japan Kendo Federation has no plans to make it one. “I personally worry that kendo would become commercialized and all about winning. If the sport becomes just about winning, the protocols and etiquette of the game would die out,” Aoki said.

What is a Japanese swordsman called? ›

Kensei (Japanese: 剣聖, sometimes rendered in English as Kensai, Ken Sai, Kensei, or Kenshei) is a Japanese honorary title given to a warrior of legendary skill in swordsmanship.

How long is a kendo match? ›

Kendo matches are held on square courts (sides are 9m to 11m long). Each match judged by one main and two assistant referees (Shimpan). The winner isplayer who scores two points (ipon) first. Men's match usually lasts for 5 min, while ladies and junior matches last about 3 min.

Who invented kendo? ›

During the Shotoku Era (1711-1715) Naganuma developed the of Kendo-gu (protective equipment) and established a training method using the Shinai (bamboo-sword). This is the direct origin of present day Kendo discipline.

Is kendo done barefoot? ›

Unlike Western fencing, kendo is practiced with shinai, swords made of bamboo. Target areas include sides of the head, wrists, and torso - and they do it all barefoot.

What rank is sensei in kendo? ›

Sensei means teacher and is used as respectful form of address for instructors and Kendoka of high rank with usually a minimum grade of 6th Dan, although it may also apply to a lesser grade who has founded a Dojo (this is more common outside of Japan). They generally sit on the joseki side.

What are kendo matches called? ›

Match in Kendo or Shiai. Match in kendō or shiai is to fight to gain a point by striking a target. This is how to fight in kendō. In kendō match, we call shiai, the targets we aim at are men (forehead), kote (the protection part from the wrist toward the elbow) or dō (trunk) or thrust a throat or tsuki.

How physically demanding is kendo? ›

Just like any other martial art, as simple as that. Kendo may be quite specific regarding the demand on short-term stamina, but other than that, it'll get you sweating just like judo, tennis or football. It's pretty hard on the legs, especially thanks to the specific movement that may seem very unnatural at first.

Is kendo popular in Japan? ›

Worldwide, it's estimated that six million people practice Kendo, with around a third of those in Japan. It is also popular in Korea, the US and parts of Europe.

What age can you start Kendo? ›

Generally from the age of seven and upwards, children become capable of practicing an activity for its own sake. Naturally this will vary depending on the maturity and interest of the individual child.

Is kendo like fencing? ›

kendo, Japanese kendō (“way of the sword”), traditional Japanese style of fencing with a two-handed wooden sword, derived from the fighting methods of the ancient samurai (warrior class).

How long does it take to rank up in kendo? ›

Depending on when you started, it will take 2 or 3 years to achieve Shodan ranking in Kendo.

Is kendo a hobby? ›

Modern kendo is a sport and a means of training the spirit

Modern kendo is used as a means of mental training, but it is also popular as a sport for handling bamboo swords.

Can you learn kendo online? ›

Detailed online kendo guide and instruction. This site provides beginners and intermediate kendo practitioners, especially adults and later starters, with systematic step by step instructions.

Why do you like kendo? ›

Kendo teaches the process of successful life. Kendo teaches how to live with dignity. Kendo is derived from samurai swordsmanship. Samurai lived with dignity, honesty, discipline, respect and love.

How long does it take to master kendo? ›

It usually takes an adult three to four years to obtain their sho-dan, while some people who may have had previous martial arts experience will take as few as two. Each successive rank requires training in your current rank for the same number of years as the rank you are testing for.

Is kendo good for weight loss? ›

Kendō is not designed for weight loss so unlike those fitness programs it may take a long time to see the result. Of course, you have to think about what you eat and drink as well.

Is kendo good to learn? ›

Kendo is a grueling sport, but it's something that can be learned by anyone with enough time and patience. The emphasis on this sport is on ability and technique, rather than aggression or speed. Making it an excellent martial art for all kinds of people to get involved with.

Is kendo good for muscle? ›

The answer for your question is yes. It is a god exercise to improve your physical strength. However, if you want to make your muscles big like body builders, kendō is not for you. Kendō is both aerobic and anaerobic.

Is kendo a hard sport? ›

Kendo training is renowned for its relentless harships. Choosing to practice kendo as a way of life as opposed to only a sport will permit you to enjoy (or not as it may be) a lifelong kendo practice. Kendo training as a 'way of life' is hard.

What is the highest rank in kendo? ›

In modern kendo, the dan system was recently changed so that 8th dan is the highest attainable rank. Unlike Judo, all dan promotion within the All Japan Kendo Federation, International Kendo Federation and its member countries is by examination.

What can you not do in kendo? ›

Violations in Kendo
  • Intentionally forcing an opponent outside the court.
  • Your own feet crosses the court line during the match.
  • Tripping your opponent.
  • Leaving the court without the referee's permission.
  • Dropping your shinai.
  • Calling for a pause during the match without reason.
11 May 2018

How physically demanding is kendo? ›

Just like any other martial art, as simple as that. Kendo may be quite specific regarding the demand on short-term stamina, but other than that, it'll get you sweating just like judo, tennis or football. It's pretty hard on the legs, especially thanks to the specific movement that may seem very unnatural at first.

What does kendo improve? ›

Personal Development

Traditional Kendo teaches a unique way of understanding our relationships with others. It fosters an appreciation and respect for others; our teachers, training partners, family, and community. This leads to self-discovery, self-respect, and a feeling of self-worth.

What are the benefits of kendo? ›

The physical benefits of training in kendo include improved strength, endurance and overall fitness. The mental benefits one experiences are stress relief, improved self-discipline, concentration, mental clarity and calmness.

Can kendo be used with real swords? ›

No, real swords are not used in Kendo. Rather, practice swords made out of bamboo are used by practitioners. This is to reduce injuries and ensure no fatalities. The sword used is known as Shinai, and it does not look like a real sword.

Is kendo a sport or martial art? ›

Kendo is one of traditional Japanese martial arts, or budo, that arose from the samurai, or warrior in feudal Japan, fighting with bamboo "swords."Kendo players wear protective gear like armor over kimono-like training wear. Kendo differs from many other sports.

Is kendo like sword fighting? ›

Kendo is a lot closer to true swordfighting, but it's still very much not true combat. Now, it's possible that you aren't trying to talk about the modern versions of the sports, but instead discuss what would happen if their root combat styles were pitted against each other. However, this isn't really possible.

Is kendo good for self defense? ›

Self-defence is primarily about awareness, avoidance, de-escalation and flight (e.g. running away). Kendo can help develop some of those skills. It can increase your fitness so it's easier to run away. Kendo, like some other Japanese martial arts, teaches and emphasises things like Zanshin.

What muscles do you need for Kendo? ›

The muscles needed for swinging the shinai are the latissimus dorsi muscles, the triceps brachii muscles, and your grip strength. Being able to snap your wrists fluidly is also important.

What muscles does kendo train? ›

1: Kendo is a very vigorous martial art that will develop strong cardio, explosive strength, and develop your hamstrings, biceps, shoulders, tris, and chest.

Videos

1. Kendo : Techniques avancées
(Fighting Spirit)
2. Kendo Basics (Full Version) KENDO PRINCIPLES 1
(KOBY PICTURES)
3. Nihon Kendo Kata No.8 Kodachi No.1: Men Ukenagashi Men (Omote)
(Kendo Guide)
4. Kendo Home Training: Add Variations to Your Kendo Suburi for Home Kendo Workout
(Kendo Guide)
5. Learn this Kendo Footwork to Get into Your Striking Distance (Uchima)
(Kendo Guide)
6. Kendo Study: How to Strike Dō Using The Axis of Your Body
(Kendo Guide)

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