Origins of Kendo
Kendo is the modern Japanese budo (martial) discipline of fencing based on techniques of the samurai warrior's legendary two-handed sword (katana).
The sword has been a part of Japanese culture since the earliest surviving records of the country.
References to swordsmanship can be found in the Record of Ancient Matters (Kojiki) and the History of Japan (Nihon Shoki), two of the oldest chronicles of Japanese history.
The use of the katana as a system for combat (Kenjitsu) became established, when schools such as Shinto Ryu, Chujo Ryu and Kage Ryu codified battlefield techniques in formal schools of martial skills (bujutsu) during the Sengoku period (1467-1568). Many branch schools subsequently evolved from these early schools (ryuha).
Over many centuries of evolution, Kenjutsu developed into Kendo, a means for human education and self-development. The appellation "Kendo" first became widespread in the 1920s.
Kendo practitioners wear thick cotten protective armour know collectively as bogu or kendogu to protect the body from the opponent's attacks.
Developed over a long period of time, this protective armour consist of a protective mask (men), torso protector (do), gauntlets (kote), and a lower-body protector (tare).
Practitioners compete with each other to score points by using a bamboo sword (shinai) to strike four valid target areas, namely the head (men), wrists (kote), torso (do) or thrust to the throat (tsuki).
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