The martial arts are known as a set of procedures and methods of struggle and combat that have existed for centuries and that with the passage of time have created different styles that are based on principles codes and aesthetic . One of these types of arts is known by the name of kendo, a martial art that has two meanings sword and path.


What is kendo?

It can be said that kendo is the version of Japanese fencing . It is a type of martial art that derives from the handling of the katana of the ancient samurai , a discipline that indicates ” the way of the sword “ to represent the performance of an activity with humility , compassion and honor.


What does it consist of

Kendo is a type of modern martial art that involves performing a series of duels using bamboo sabers . It is art that comes from Japan and is derived from the ancient technique of the samurai sword . This type of combat also has as its main objective to develop the morale and physical strength of those who practice it.


Kendo characteristics

Among the main characteristics of kendo, the following are mentioned:

  • It integrates several techniques that come from traditional Japanese fencing and the Ono-ha Ittō-ryū school which is characterized by combat with sabers.
  • The fighters use a kind of armor and a saber made of bamboo.
  • The duels that are already pre-established are known by the name of tasting.
  • The saber must be held with both hands and the opponents have a frontal location.
  • Use a series of quick , precise and definitive movements .
  • The sword that is used is known by the name of shinai .

What is kendo for

Kendo is a type of martial art that serves to develop a series of important physical , spirit and mental abilities in those who practice it.


According to the history of martial arts, only samurai had the ability to carry two sabers with the intention of defending themselves personally or protecting the noblest . The katana, for its part, was considered the warrior’s own soul and was an instrument that was inherited from father to son, symbolizing a code of ethics. In the school of Ono-ha Ittō-ryū , it was sensei Itō Ittōsai who had the task of teaching the original essence in a school that did not use a sword and based more on the mind of the warrior .

From the period called Tokigawa , which comprised the period from 1603 to 1868, the duels that were carried out with katana were prohibited and for this reason the martial arts schools decided to start using the bamboo saber also known by the name of shinai , which was invented in the XVI century as an instrument helping to train samurai. Over time, this combat became more popular and is considered the forerunner of modern kendo.

In the year 1896 , the martial arts of Japan began to be included in the modern system of combat and even in the year 1941 , before it was so important in the practice of this sport was mandatory since the children started primary school. In World War II , kendo was banned and in 1952 it could be put into practice again .

Kendo types

When we talk about the types of kendo we are referring mainly to the way in which this sport is practiced. Based on this the following are types of kendo:

  • Waza-geiko : learning techniques are practiced here with another partner.
  • Uchikomi-geiko : consists of receiving blows from the adversary at the moment that a specific area to hit is taught.
  • Butsukari-geiko – This is a type of shock practice and is an endurance exercise.
  • Kakari-geiko : This is a shorter but intense attack practice and teaches skills to increase spirit and physical stamina.
  • Ji-geiko: it is based on a free combat practice where everything learned is practiced.
  • Hikitate-geiko: it is a free fight that takes place between a higher level practitioner and a lower level practitioner.
  • Gokaky-geiko : the practice is done between 2 practitioners who have a similar level


The main fundamentals of kendo that must be learned are:

  • Tandoku Dosa : a type of personal training that is done to learn the basic movements individually.
  • Sohtai dosa : it is a couple training whose main objective is to be able to learn the changes of directions, the shomen uchi, kote uchi and do uchi.


The combat techniques used to practice kendo are integrated into a philosophical system that includes a series of ethical codes. One of its main techniques is known as ” KI-KEN-TAI NO ICHI ” which includes the strength of the spirit (ki), the sword (ken), the body (tai) and the energy necessary to achieve an adequate balance in life.

The ” laido ” technique is the art of being able to draw the sword correctly, of making cuts and a balanced movement that is also clean and precise. At present this technique is practiced through different katas which must be precise, subtle and harmonic. These techniques must be learned by practitioners from the beginning as well as the techniques to mobilize the feet which are known as ” tai sabaki “, the techniques to mobilize the body properly or “tai sabaki” and the different types of cuts ” suburi”To achieve in this way to achieve perfection in the use of the saber.

The “ kaisen ” method included all the different cutting techniques that must be learned in order to know the appropriate tactics to be able to attack , perform counterattacks , evaluate the situation that arises, move quickly and tactically, thus achieving optimal performance. of discipline.

Kendo degrees

The grades are shown by means of different belt colors and are established by the International Kendo Federation . There are two basic divisions in terms of grades:

  • First kyu : here are the lower grades.
  • Dan : groups the upper grades.

When a practitioner just begins her practice , then the following categories or degrees are awarded:

  • 6th Kyu (Rokkyu): white-yellow belt
  • 5th Kyu (Gokyu): yellow belt
  • 4th Kyu (Yonkyu): orange belt
  • 3rd Kyu (Sankyu): green belt
  • 2nd Kyu (Nikyu): blue belt
  • 1st Kyu (Ikkyu): brown belt

Then, there are several more degrees which are based on Dan and are the following:

  • 1st Dan (Shodan).
  • 2nd Dan (Nidan).
  • 3rd Dan (Sandan).
  • 4th Dan (Yondan).
  • 5th Dan (Godan).
  • 6th Dan (Rokudan).
  • 7th Dan (nanadan).
  • 8th Dan (Hachidan).
  • 9th Dan (Kudan).
  • 10th Dan (Judan).


I need to practice kendo is the following:

  • Sword : also known by the name of shinai , it is a type of bamboo sabers made up of 4 rods that make it quite flexible. It has a leather grip known as a tsuka, a paste guard. It weighs around 5 kg.
  • Armor : they are known by the name of kendogu and can vary in order to better cushion blows. This armor is made up of four parts: men (head and neck protector that has a mesh to protect the face), tenugüi (sweat-absorbing head scarf), kote (protector for forearms and hands) and  (protection for the thorax and abdomen).
  • Kendo kimono : it consists of a jacket called Keiko Gi and a Hakama , which is wide pants that can be white or indigo blue.


It should be taken into account that the total weight of the equipment used is around 5 kg and that it is a high-impact exercise that generates an important cardiovascular exercise . At the beginning, it should be practiced without the armor and the techniques of foot and body movements must be learned , the main cuts to achieve control of the saber and strong blows against the opponent must be learned. There are not many cutting techniques but they all need to be refined.


Among its main representatives are the following:

  • Kobayashi, Japan.
  • Sakuragi, Japan.
  • Soulas, France .
  • Konishi, Brazil.
  • Park, Korea.

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