Originally posted by Greger
In the medieval sword traditions there are a number of kamae/guards - in our system there are 12 basic longsword guards. It's interesting to note that traditional Japanese arts such as kenjitsu and bujinkan have very similar guards, some ryu having more, some less, just like the medieval European traditions we have sources for.
Have a look at the sword guards in our system in original images from the treatise (dated 1410) here:
Some guards are better or worse against thrusting at the face/neck, but from my perspective the standard middle guard I see kendoka using leaves the hands and forearms very vulnerable to front and back edge cuts. We have a similar position, called Posta Breve in Fiore's treatise, and in bouts it is usual to target the hands and arms of a person standing in this position, or to cross weapons with the person, applying pressure and to grab their weapon or hands/arms. I suspect that the nature of kendo rules means that this middle guard makes more sense as a standard guard (kamae), but in a bout with swords, where the loss of fingers could result in incapacitation and death, it is not so useful. In my humble opinion.
I hope this helps understanding - I am in no way trying to denegrate kendo. But you have to understand that kendo is very different to what we do, for a whole bunch of reasons.