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The Japanese Samurai Sword Sport Today – Kendo

The Japanese are well known for their affinity with religion and martial arts. In many of movies that are viewed in today’s audience, we always see a deep connection between religion and martial arts. Martial arts are considered to be the way to bring justice to those who have been wronged. However, in the eyes of faith and culture, martial arts are seen as a way to clear the mind and bring peace to the soul. Martial arts in Japan and any other country with Asian culture. They include the all famous, karate, Kung Fu, Aikido and as well as the lesser known but all the while practised Kendo. Kendo, however, like most styles and types of martial arts does not use the force of strength; instead, it utilizes weapons such as swords.

The Japanese Samurai Sword Sport Today – Kendo

The Japanese Samurai Sword Sport Today – Kendo

Kendo and Swords

Known for their clacking training swords made of wood, Kendo is a sport and art that is difficult to master. It consists of a person covered in armour fighting against another as they wear black metal masks. When seen from a distance, the scene seems as though it came straight out of a star wars movie, but only upon closer inspection can one see the technique and the fluency of the art form. Kendo is a practice on using the sword, and to the onlooking eye, can seem to be entirely an accident. However, it is only upon experiencing the practice for yourself that one can understand the intricate movements of Kendo.

The Bokkuto

In the olden days, warriors used to use Katanas, the long sword of the samurai in martial arts, this is precisely so in Kendo. Kendo was known to utilize live blades with sharp edges when practising, and this was to create a more realistic environment and to promote more agility while also seeing how one deals with a situation when under immense stress. However, the idea was soon abandoned when officials decided that the incisions and cuts that came from practising with live swords took too long to heal. This led to the introduction of the Bokkuto. The Bokkuto is a sword as well. However, it is made of wood and is easier to use. Though the bokkuto is made of wood, it can still damage an opponent very seriously, and it is hard enough to break bones and sometimes causes injuries that can take months to heal.

The Bokkuto

The Bokkuto

It was due to the risks of injury while using the types of swords that kendo dojos finally decided to train their students effectively, instead of pitting the students against one another as soon as they know how to fight. Kendo teachers are known to teach their students different forms that can help a student in fights. These forms were known as Kata and were the result of mimicry of real-life battles. And the students would not be allowed to duel unless the teachers were confident in their student’s progress and were convinced that the forms were committed to muscle memory. However one of the many misconceptions of this aspect of Kendo is that it will be more than enough to protect the student, this is wrong, as the Bokkuto is extremely hard and can cause damage, which brings in the Armor and helmets used in kendo duels.

Posted In Blog, Japanese Culture

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