What is Kendo

Kendo is a form of Traditional East Asian fencing that typically uses body armour and bamboo swords. Widely practiced in Japan and Korea it is a highly popular martial art that is enjoyed by school children, university students, professional athletes, and amateur adults. 

Target Areas 

There are four main target areas in Kendo that constitute a valid cut or strike. 


The head

This can be cut in either the centre of the forehead - Shomen or the left and right sides of the head - Yokomen. 


The body

This can be cut on either right or left sides of the body- Migi Do or Hidari Do.


The wrist 

This can be cut on the right hand only if the player is in the standard stance Chudan no kamae or on both wrists if the player is in the rarer Jodan no kamae, stance with arms raised above the head. 


The throat 

This is the only stabbing technique in Kendo. It is a small sharp thrust to the Tsuki pad (throat protector). It can be done one handed (katate) or two handed (morote). 


Kendo equipment is divided into clothing, armour, and weapons. The clothing consists of a heavy duty wrap over jacket Keiko-gi similar to that used in Judo, and a pair of traditional pleated trousers Hakama similar to those used in Aikido. The armour bogu, as you can see in the various pictures below, is made up of four components: 


A protective helmet with a metal face grill and a throat pad


Thick padded gloves


A bamboo breastplate


A thick layered hip protector

Watch kendo in action