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The Samurai and Their Swords

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Kendo is the Japanese fencing art and is derived from the two-handed sword techniques of the samurai. Kendo is a mental and physical training discipline and is not a self defense discipline.

From the 14th to the 16th century, there were many schools that taught sword skills. By 1600, swordsmanship was not a necessary skill and the schools turned to the moral and spiritual elements of the art. The sword arts faded for a little while but, in 1912, a martial arts committee formalized the katas and Kendon was formally developed. In 1939 Kendo was included in elemntary schools physical education curriculum.

During Kendo matches, practitioners wear protective gear called "bogu". The set includes men: face mask and head protector , do: glove with wrist protection, kote Heavy quilted waistband with hip and groin protection. The weapon is called a shinai and is an approximately 4 foot long bamboo sword.

In competitive matches, the winner is the first to score 2 of 3 points and are five minutes long with possible extensions. Points are scored by landing the traditional prescribed blows.

General Information

Japanese Swords Arts FAQ

The Etiquette of Kendo

Kendo Kata


Kendo Panama


A Brief History of Kendo
Good history but a little hard to read.

The Creation of the Kendo Kata
Timeline with the names of the contributor's.


All United States Kendo Federation

All Japan Kendo Foundation


Pictures and description of the pieces of Kendo armor.

How to hold and fold your hakama
Includes cleaning instructions.

Kendo Armor, Hakamas, Weapons and Shinai cases and more @ KarateDepot.com


Match (Shiai) Rules
The setup, scoring points and prohibited acts of Kendo competition.

Kendo Dictionary

The 10 Precepts of Kendo

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