is the umbrella term for all (koryū
) schools of Japanese swordsmanship
, in particular those that predate the Meiji Restoration
. The modern styles of kendo
that were established in the 20th century included modern form of kenjutsu in their curriculum, too. Kenjutsu, which originated with the samurai
class of feudal Japan, means "the method, technique or the art of the sword." This is opposed to kendo
, which means "the way of the sword" and uses bamboo swords (shinai) and protective armour (bōgu).
The exact activities and conventions undertaken when practicing kenjutsu
vary from school to school, where the word school here refers to the practice, methods, ethics, and metaphysics of a given tradition, yet commonly include practice of battlefield techniques without an opponent and techniques whereby two practitioners perform kata
(featuring full contact strikes to the body in some styles and no body contact strikes permitted in others).
Although kata training was always the mainstay, in later periods, schools incorporated sparring
under a variety of conditions, from using solid wooden bokutō
to use of bamboo sword (shinai
) and armor (bōgu
). In modern times sparring in Japanese martial art
is more strongly associated with kendo and is mainly practiced by students or the police force. Although kendo is common in Japan, it is also practiced in other countries around the world. Read more...