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THE ART OF KENDO - SAMURAI SWORD PLAY


Kendo means "The way of the sword". This art was developed by the Samurai as a means to practice sword fighting techniques without runing the risk of loosing ones life. A Kendo practitioner is called Kendoka. Practicing Kendo requires armor and a wooden sword. A breakdown of the equipment follows:

THE SWORD
The sword or Shinai consists of four bamboo sections bent and tied together with rope. The tip of the practice sword has leather cap which permits the user to safely thrust against the opponent.


THE ARMOR
The armor is an essential component for a Kendo practitioner because during the practice of the art a person will get hit several times with a great deal of strength. The armor is called bogu and it consisted of a breastplate (do), a heavy metal helmet (men), heavy cotton/leather gloves (kote), a lower waist plate (tare) and a split skirt called the hakama.

Putting the armor on involves a ceremony of its own. The following pictures illustrate the ceremony taking place.




The practitioners of Kendo target certain parts of the body when engaged in a fight. The striking points are divided in six basic categories as follows:


Migi-do Strike to the right side of the breast plate
Hidari-do Strike to the left side of the breast plate
Tsuki Jab to the throat
Hidari-men Strike to the left side of the Men
Migi-men Strike to the right side of the Men
Men Strike to the middle of the head



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