Kendo literally means ‘The Way of the Sword.’ Originally developed in Japan, Kendo has gained popularity in Korea, the United States, Brazil, Canada, and is practiced by approximately 8 million people worldwide. Created in the 15th century to train warriors in the use of the sword, modern kendo holds true to its traditional traditions by teaching students to develop a strong spirit, healthy body, and a sharp mind. Kendo has no gender barriers or physical limitations and may be practiced by people of any age and ability.
Kendo is practiced by using a bamboo sword (shinai or jukdo) for contact work and an oak wooden sword (bokken) for kata (practice forms). For sparring, particpants wear protective gear for the head, body, groin, and hands. A traditional uniform is worm, consisting of a gi (top) and hakama (wide pants).
In short, the concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana (sword).
The purpose of practicing Kendo is:
To mold the mind and body,
To cultivate a vigorous spirit,
And through correct and rigid training,
To strive for improvement in the art of Kendo,
To hold in esteem human courtesy and honor,
To associate with others with sincerity,
And to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.
This will make one be able:
To love his/her country and society,
To contribute to the development of culture
And to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.
(The concept of Kendo was established by All Japan Kendo Federation 1975.)