The Concept of Kendo
The concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana (sword).
The Purpose of Practicing Kendo
The purpose of practicing Kendo is:
To mold the mind and body,
To cultivate a vigorous spirit,
And through correct and rigid training,
To strive for improvement in the art of Kendo,
To hold in esteem human courtesy and honor,
To associate with others with sincerity,
And to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.
This will make one be able:
To love his/her country and society,
To contribute to the development of culture
And to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.
(The Concept of Kendo was established by All Japan Kendo Federation in 1975.)
Kendo training is quite noisy in comparison to some other martial arts or sports. This is because kendōka use a shout, or kiai (気合い?), to express their fighting spirit when striking. Additionally, kendōka execute fumikomi-ashi (踏み込み足?), an action similar to a stamp of the front foot, when making a strike.
Like some other martial arts, kendōka train and fight barefoot. Kendo is ideally practiced in a purpose-built dōjō, though standard sports halls and other venues are often used. An appropriate venue has a clean and well-sprung wooden floor, suitable for fumikomi-ashi.
Kendo techniques comprise both strikes and thrusts. Strikes are only made towards specified target areas on the wrists, head, or body, all of which are protected by armour. The targets are men, sayu-men or yoko-men (upper left or right side of the men), the right kote at any time, the left kote when it is in a raised position, and the left or right side of the dō. Thrusts (突き tsuki) are only allowed to the throat. However, since an incorrectly performed thrust could cause serious injury to the opponent’s neck, thrusting techniques in free practice and competition are often restricted to senior dan graded kendōka.