Originally published in Kendo World Issue 3.1, 2004 The Meiji Restoration and Kendo The modern art of kendo, now practiced by millions of people in Japan and around the world evolved from tried and tested battlefield techniques. With the advancement of tenka taihei, or “peace throughout the realm” during the Tokugawa period (1600-1868), the martial arts took on new a role for the ruling samurai class. With no more wars to demonstrate martial valour, the military arts were studied as vehicles for self-development, with increasing emphasis placed on aesthetic and spiritual values rather than just as a means to kill. The Tokugawa period saw theRead More →

Following the huge success of the 2007 novel by Honda Tetsuya, which was made into a manga illustrated by Ando Jiro recently, this story about a teenage lass and her journey in the world of kendo has been made into a movie. Kaori has been training in kendo since the age of 3, and is well-known as an elite shiai machine. To her absolute shock and horror she ends up losing a match to an opponent nobody has even heard of. Greatly perplexed by her loss, Kaori gets to know this happy-go-lucky kendo hobbyist, and discovers a side of kendo she had never been awareRead More →

Not quite an Olympic Sport, but sort of… Organization for the world’s first Sportaccord Combat games to be held this year in Beijing from August 28th to September 4th is well underway. The martial arts represented at the games are all from international federations registered with the IOC-related General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF)- now called SportAccord. The kendo event will be held on September 3rd and 4th. Eighty-three of the world’s top kendōka will represent their countries at a number of kendo events conducted over the two days. Open the PDF file to see the schedule for kendo. Although the list hasn’t been made publicRead More →

Introduction Bushidō (literally ‘the Way of the warrior’. ‘bushi’ is the common Japanese word denoting warrior, although ‘samurai’ is more well-known in the West. Nowadays both terms are used interchangeably, however, in this article I refer to the Japanese warriors mainly using the word ‘bushi’) and the warrior culture of Japan are viewed with fascination, not only by modern Japanese, but by non-Japanese as well. The most visible vestige of Japanese warrior culture is the overwhelming international popularity of the martial arts (budō), which are undoubtedly Japan’s most successful cultural export. People around the world practise these arts, not only for self-defence or as sports, butRead More →

For those who are interested in what is required for Renshi… Looking back, it is a little bit corny. But hey, I got a golden certificate to hang on my wall 😀 The Concept of Kendo Submitted for the Kendo Renshi Examination 2006-02-12 The concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana (sword). Why practice Kendo now, and how relevant is the official Concept of Kendo? What benefits can be gained through training in a martial art which has no obvious self-defence applications? What is the point? These are valid questions for any practitioners ofRead More →