About Kendo

Kendo - the way of the sword

Kendo is a Japanese martial art descended from the ancient Japanese swordsmanship of the samurai. Kendo is practiced to improve the mind and body through application of the principles of the katana by means of continuous mental, physical, and emotional training. Today, kendo has been adapted such that people of all ages and gender may practice this dynamic and competitive sport while maintaining the cultural and spiritual aspects from its roots.

Modern kendo employs bamboo swords, called "shinai" and bogu, the protective gear, to safely permit full contact during practice and competitions. There are three cuts - the head (men), the wrist (kote), and the stomach (do), and one thrust to the throat (tsuki). During practice, kendoka, people who practice kendo, wear gi and hakama and bogu. Bogu is comprised of the men, kote, do, and tare.

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Etiquette and Manner

In kendo, we have high expectations on your etiquette and manner.The dojo is the place where you practice and you should pay respect to it. Before a practice, your shoes should be lined up neatly outside of the dojo. When you enter or leave the dojo, you should do a bow. Always have a clean rag ready and be prepared to clean the dojo floor. During practice, show respect to your peers and demonstrate good spirit with kiai. Respect your sword and carry it properly using your left hand. Never let the tip of the sword hit the floor. The most important thing is to be humble and respectful.

Matches

A standard kendo match has a time limit of three minutes. The side that first scores two points wins the match. There are usually three judges (one as the head judge). A point can be scored by gaining a majority vote from the judges. In the case where there is a tie, either judges will decide the winner or a time limit extension will be given.