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Kendo (Japanese swordsmanship) is a martial art based on swordsmanship. This direction traces its history from the traditional techniques of samurai swordsmanship. Surprisingly, for a long time the sword was not used as the main weapon of the samurai. It was used solely for the purpose of self-defense, when the main weapon of the samurai warrior was absent.

Stages of development and formation of kendo

If you follow historical references, then for the first time they started talking about such a martial art in the 10-11th century. At that time, Emperor Kammu created and personally led the training camp, which was located in the capital Kyoto. In this camp, future samurai learned to wield a sword, invent secret techniques and honed their psychological stamina. Mass competitions were held in the camp every year.

For several centuries, the martial art of kendo developed at an active pace, but a turning point occurred in the 15th century. During this period, the legend of kendo, Miyamoto Musashiya, was born. He was the best swordsman: on his account not a single defeat. His main principle in combat is to make the opponent believe in his weakness. At the same time, samurai could only officially carry swords, which means fencing was raised to a new level.

In 1895, the official name "kendo" appeared. The first part of the word means "sword", and the second - "art". Thus, at the end of the 19th century, a special system of education for young people was created in Japan in the spirit of the best traditions of the samurai.

The main goals of the martial art of kendo

This martial art is based on three key principles:

strong character and fortitude;

respect for people;

strengthening the physical body of a warrior.

These were the main goals and objectives at the same time. All this was achieved through regular training and personal desire to improve. During training, the student had to fully concentrate on his body. He demanded the utmost care and dedication.

In the practice of kendo, a technique such as "kata" was often used. This is a fight between student and teacher. At the same time, both warriors in this duel are without a protective suit.

Warrior equipment

The equipment of a warrior consists of the following key elements:

men: special protection for the head;

tare: body protection;

kote: protection for arms and shoulders.

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Regarding the main weapon of battle, for many centuries wooden swords were used, which often inflicted severe injuries on fighters. From the beginning of the 18th century, bamboo swords - shinai - began to be used in fencing. They were less traumatic and consisted of 4 bamboo strips, which were fastened together with pieces of leather and rope. But the length of the sword is different. It all depends on the age of the warrior. If a warrior is 10-14 years old, then the shinai is 109 cm long, and at the age of 14-16 years, the sword is 112 cm long. After reaching the age of 18, the length of the sword increased to 118cm.

The sword in the hands of a samurai was considered not only as a combat weapon, but also as a means of internal education.

Attacks in kendo: types

How did the warriors compete with each other, having a sword in their hands? There are two types of attacks in kendo:

chopping: sword strikes in areas such as the crown, arms, head, torso;

stabbing: blows exclusively to the throat.

The warrior had no right to make a mistake. The mistake could have cost him his life.

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Kendo today

Nowadays kendo is also very popular. In the context of modernity, it is no longer seen as a unique technique of fencing with a sword, but as an art of special spiritual education and development in students of a strong spirit of a warrior, fortitude of his character.

In training, a classic bamboo shinai sword and special equipment in black or white are used.


See also

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