Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kendō (剣道, 劍道) is the modern martial art of Japanese fencing, developed from traditional techniques of Japanese swordsmanship known as kenjutsu. Since 1975 the goal of Kendo has been stated by the All Japan Kendo Federation as "to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the katana (the Japanese standard sword)". However, Kendo combines martial arts values with sport elements, with some practioners stressing the former and others the latter.
Taught using "swords" made of split bamboo (shinai) and extensive protective armour (Bogu), practitioners are called kendoka. Kendoka also use bokken (wooden swords) to practice set forms known as kata. On formal occasions, real swords or metal swords with a blunt edge, called habiki, can be used. There are 10 basic kata. Kendoka are divided into eight major grades, or dan, with eighth dan, or hachi-dan, currently the highest awarded. In modern kendo, there are two types of attacks - strikes and thrusts. Strikes are allowed against only certain areas on the body - the top of the head, the right and left sides of the body, and the forearms. Thrusts are only allowed to the throat. However, since a wrongly done thrust could injure the neck, thrust techniques are often left out at the starting level and introduced later.
In matches, points are only awarded when the attacks are done firmly and properly to the allowed targets with good control and a yell (in Japanese) corresponding to the part of the opponent that is being targeted. For example, if the opponent's head is the target, an accompanying cry of "Men" should be bellowed. For an attack to the wrist, "Kote" should be shouted. For an attack to the trunk "Do", and for a thrust at the opponent's throat "Tsuki" should be shouted. The first to score two points wins the match.
- All Japan Kendo Federation
- International Kendo Federation
- Kumdo(The Korean Art of the Sword)(Kendo in Korea)
- Australian Kendo Federation(Kendo in Australia)
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