Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial art. It is considered elegant and refined in the world of the martial arts. The kendo, or Japanese fencing, arose from the natural evolution of the techniques of using the sword. Those practicing kendo wear combat armor (bogu) and a bamboo sword (shinai), and perform predefined ways or “kata” with a wooden sword or “boken” and rarely fight with a real sword or “katana”.
Kendo is a training for combat method, using bamboo slats for swords (shinai). This practice seeks to be more than a traditional martial art and more than a competitive sport. A kendo practitioner would define it as a way of life. Besides, its philosophy can face any kind of adversity.
At first, kedo was performed with real swords and unprotected, which made it dangerous, but currently the teams have to use a helmet (consists of an iron grating mask with side skirts, tightly padded and with rigid protection for the neck). The breastplate (do), high hardness, it often has bamboo inside or outside to protect the trunk. A short padded skirt (tare) covers the belly and hips; wrists and hands are protected by padded, thick gloves (kote).
The differences between kendo and fencing are important. In the West, the weapons (swords, foils or sabers) are held with one hand and the body is positioned sideways, to present to the opponent the smallest target possible. In kendo, the sword is held with both hands and the position of both combatants is front so the edge blows have a secondary role. This entails the fewest stroes possible and be able to kill the opponent with one swift, accurate and definitive movement.