Kendo which translates literally to 'The Way of the Sword', is a contemporary Japanese martial art that evolved from the traditions of the samurai, the warrior class of ancient Japan, based upon sword fencing techniques developed over centuries of combat. Like many Japanese martial arts, the philosophical foundations of Kendo revolve around the precepts of Zen Buddhism, and the guiding belief that enlightenment and heightened awareness, flow from the ability to focus and calm the mind. Following in the footsteps of the samurai, modern practitioners of Kendo, or 'Kendoka', as they are called, strive not only to master the physical techniques of the Japanese sword, but, also, the mental and spiritual aspects as well. Although Kendo’s roots lie with the ancient samurai, the art has evolved over the centuries, adapting as societal conditions changed, to its present form where competition between practitioners involves not life and death combat with razor sharp blades, but controlled matches governed by strict rules of conduct, and non-lethal instruments. This difference in focus, distinguishes Kendo from 'Kenjutsu', which is also a Japanese sword art deriving from traditional fencing. Unlike Kendo, whose techniques are updated for practice as a non-lethal aesthetic, Kenjutsu’s primary focus is combat and warfare, and as such, closely parallels the actual lethal techniques employed by the samurai on the field of battle.
In place of the katana, the traditional sword of the samurai, modern Kendoka use shinai, an implement constructed of four bamboo staves bound together at specific junctures with leather bands. This non-lethal weapon, along with the use of body armor, or 'bogu', as it is referred to in Kendo, enable Kendoka to engage in fencing contests without the fear of death or serious bodily injury. The bogu is modeled after the traditional armor of the samurai, which unlike the cumbersome metal armor of European knights, was lightweight and designed for optimal movement and flexibility. Kendo practice traditionally takes place in a training hall or, 'dojo'. Organization of a dojo is hierarchical, with the master at the top, and beginning students at the bottom. As in the other Japanese martial arts, the belt or 'kyu' system is employed, with the highest rank or 'dan' being the black belt. Students train in Kendo through the practice of 'kata', a series of formal exercises passed down through time that replicate the movements and techniques required in traditional combat. In addition to learning and practicing the different kata, Kendoka also engage in informal matches known as 'keiko' or 'kumite' which are moderated by senior members of the dojo, and test the practitioner’s live combat ability.
by Fighting Styles January 20, 2011
Sport/martial art orginating from Japan. Kendo translates to 'the way of the sword', and practicioners are called kendoka.

Participants in this sport use bamboo swords called 'shinais' and wear armor called 'bogu'. This armor includes a face mask/helmet called 'men' a pair of thick gloves called 'kote' a chest protector called a 'do' and an apron-like peice called a 'tare'.

Participants must also wear a pair of very loose pants called the hakama, and a thick jacket called the keikogi.

When in a match, the participants are allowed to strike to the head, wrists, the sides of the chest, and in certain cases (this is often discouraged in torunaments since it can be dangerous if used improperly)to a small flap that hangs off the men that covers the throat.
Kendo is the way of the sword.
by Dan Stuart June 20, 2005
japanese fencing. The objective of this sport is to hit the opponent with your sword/sinai (duh). Valid targets are head, hands, waist or torso, and neck. equipments used in kendo: helmet, body armor, gauntlets/gloves, hakama.
shoute iku shoute whena you a swingu! leta youra kiai rerease!

..err ...rawr.. /..\

no nota shoute likea girr. shoute likea RRRAAAAAAAWWRRR!!!

oO "paralyzed"
by ikubaru May 14, 2005
Normally used name of the sport Ice Hockey in Finland...
Shall we go see kendo(=Ice Hockey) ?
by margarettanne June 27, 2009
A great sport requiring much spirit, discipline, and all of that jazz. Unfortunately, a lot of samurai/ninja-wannabes tend to participate in this sport. Also, fencing is better than kendo. One would not be shocked to see one who participates in kendo as one who participates in band, and one who participates in LARPing.

Kendo makes your feet smell too.

Oh and kendo stemmed from kenjitsu in response to Ieyasu Tokugawa pwning Japan.
Kendo seems cool. What a great example right?
by Tzeentch May 25, 2007

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.

×