Kendo is a modern Japanese martial art with roots in kenjutsu. The idea was to safely practice kenjutsu with bamboo swords (shinai) and armor (bogu). Bogu for kendo consists of a helmet (men), gauntlet (kote), cuirass (do), and the faulds (tare). Subsequently, these are the hitting/scoring areas in kendo, the men, kote, do, and tsuki (throat area of the men).

Kendo had a somewhat turbulent history, like many martial arts in Japan, due to the ban during the WW2 occupation from 1945 to 1952. Since its revival with the establishment of the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei in 1952, Kendo has flourished into modernity as less of a martial art and more as an educational sport.

kendo today

In Japan, kendo can be started at a very early age at school and can be done all the way to university. Some jobs, such as policemen, require regular kendo training.

The popularity of kendo has also spread internationally, especially with the establishment of the International Kendo Federation (IKF) in 1970.

Fun fact: In Dutch Kendo Renmei (NKR) is actually older than the IKF being established in 1966!

Foto: T. van de Wetering

Photo: T. van de Wetering