Kendo - The Way of the Sword
Kendo, which literally translated, means the way of the sword, is the oldest of the Japanese Martial Arts, from actual life or death sword fighting through to the armour and bamboo swords used today. Kendo maintains its traditional Japanese aspects while incorporating elements of modern sports.
The concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character through the application and principles of the sword. To this end, training is physically and mentally demanding. Decisive two handed cuts and thrusts must be made with full commitment which is expressed in the distinctive shout from the Kendo player.
Formalities take place before and after exhausting training sessions in a hall where strict attention is paid to etiquette.
One form of practice is through kata, which are prearranged sword plays between teacher and student. These are practiced with wooden or metal swords without armour. This old and enduring method of training improves and maintains the technical purity of Kendo.