Kendo : The Samurai spirit and the way of the Sword
Kendo is a way of the sword, it is a traditional Japanese style of fencing with a two-handed wooden sword, derived from the fighting methods of the ancient samurai (warrior class). It is also known as a Japanese form of fencing using bamboo staves, with the contestants wearing head guards and protective garments. Practice armor and the shinai, a sword made of bamboo, were introduced to allow realistic fencing without risk of injury, in the 18th century. Within Japan, today, it is widely practiced and many other nations across the world. In this activity, martial arts practices and values with strenuous sport-like physical activity combine. Kendo, the formal exercises are known as kata were developed several centuries ago as kenjutsu practice for warriors. In a modified form, they are still studied today.
. During the Shotoku Era (1711–1715), the introduction of bamboo practice swords and armor to sword training is attributed to Naganuma Shirōzaemon Kunisato. The use of this armor and established a training method using bamboo swords Naganuma developed. In Japanese schools from time to time, the study of what came to be known as kendo was even compulsory. In 1952, An All-Japan Kendo Federation was formed following the end of the occupation and in 1970, an International Kendo Federation was founded. In area 9 to 11 meters (about 30 to 36 feet), square Kendo matches take place. It is made of four lengths of seasoned bamboo bound by waxed cord and in length, the shinai varies from 43 to 46 inches (110 to 118 cm). Though this is not sharp, all blows use the "cutting" edge of the shinai.
Usually, the shinai held with both hands. Hence, these are the only scoring areas. By the attacker with his or her blow and is verified by judges the name of the point struck must be called out simultaneously. Who scores by the first combatant a contest is won. In Japan and to a lesser extent in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Brazil, Kendo is widely practiced among students (required in high schools), police, and military groups. In this sport, participants must also wear a pair of very loose pants called the hakama, and a thick jacket called the keikogi. When the participants are allowed to strike to the head wrists, the sides of the chest in a match and certain cases (this is often discouraged in tournaments since it can be dangerous if used improperly) to a small flap hangs off the men that cover the throat. In focus, these differences distinguish Kendo from 'Kenjutsu', which is also a Japanese sword art deriving from traditional fencing.
The traditional sword of the samurai, modern Kendoka use shinai, an implement constructed of four bamboo staves bound together at specific junctures with leather bands, in place of the katana. Along with the use of body armor, or 'bogu', this non-lethal weapon as it is referred to in Kendo, enable Kendoka to engage in fencing contests without the fear of death or serious bodily injury. After the traditional armor of the samurai, the bogu is modeled, which unlike the cumbersome metal armor of European knights, was lightweight and designed for optimal movement and flexibility. Traditionally, Kendo practice takes place in a training hall or, 'dojo'. With the master at the top, the Organization of a dojo is hierarchical and beginning students at the bottom. Through the application of the principles of the katana (sword), the concept of kendo is to discipline the human character. To mold the mind and body, to cultivate a vigorous spirit, And through correct and rigid training is the purpose of partitioning Kendo. Kendo is a way, where utilizing the shinai, the individual cultivates one's mind (the self) by aiming for shin-ki-ryoku-itchi (unification of mind, spirit, and technique). kendōka (剣道家) are the Practitioners of kendo, it means "someone who practices kendo", or occasionally Kenshi (剣士), meaning "swordsman".