Fundamentals Of Kendo

Kendo is a martial art that entails various actions. Technically, the basics are really emphasized. The movements look really simple to the eye. You learn the right footwork, the proper posture, how to swing - these are basically the things that you need to know. But then you have to practice performing these actions a hundred times over or more. The reason for this is because these actions need to come out by reflex. This concept is what is behind any other type of martial art. The only difference with kendo is that a weapon is being used which is the shinai. The practitioner has to become so familiar with this weapon that it would become an extension of his own body. This mastery is where difficulty comes in.

Kendo originated in Japan and it always has been identified with that culture. But nowadays, there are Kendo dojos or schools all over the world. You would think that with this set-up, this martial art would become Westernized or tainted with impurities. That is not the case, however. The technical level of the martial art has remained excellent regardless of where a dojo is located. There is a worldwide uniformity of the basics of the art. Whether it's in America or whether it's in Europe, the fundamentals being taught are the same. It is only in the advanced training wherein the differences in certain schools become evident. But such disparity is not vital to the elements of the martial art. The 1970s paved the way for international competitions to become more available to Kendo followers. Nowadays, there are more than fifty countries in the international competition circuit.

The practitioners of Kendo use different body protectors - the kote for the hand, the man for the head, the do for the chest and the hakayama. These protective gears make Kendo different from other martial arts. Their uniform is the embodiment of the Samurai spirit and can be paralleled with the European knights who wear metal armors.

We can apply the principles of Kendo in our life through etiquette, manners, patience, and discipline. Of course, this is pretty much like any other martial art. But there is one principle that is only taught in Kendo, and that is, once you attack, you keep constant pressure by striking consistently. In real life, if you focus on your target, nothing can stop you.

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