El Concepto de Kendo
concepto de Kendo es:
a través de los principios
de la Katana.
El Propósito de Practicar Kendo
El propósito de practicar Kendo es:
moldear la mente y el cuerpo,
cultivar un espíritu vigoroso,
y mediante la práctica correcta y rigurosa,
esforzarse para mejorar en el arte del Kendo.
Apreciar la cortesía humana y el honor,
relacionarse mutuamente con sinceridad,
y perseguir siempre el desarrollo de uno mismo.
Así uno será capaz de:
amar a su país y a la sociedad,
al desarrollo de la cultura
la paz y la prosperidad entre todas las personas.
(Tomado de la Federación Internacional de Kendo)
The Concept of Kendo
of Kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana (sword).
The Purpose of Practicing Kendo
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,
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.)
What is AJKF
Outline of All Japan
Kendo Federation (AJKF)
The Establishment of AJKF
AJKF was established on October 14, 1952 and it was authorized by the Ministering of Education as
a judicial foundation on February 22, 1972. The purpose of the establishment of AJKF is defined as ‘As an organization which exercises
general control over and representing the amateur Kendo (including Iaido and Jodo) circles, AJKF strives for the promotion
of Kendo, infiltrates the spirit of Kendo into the Japanese people and distributes to the improvement of national physique.
The Major Functions of AJKF
・To uplift and promote the spirit of Kendo
・To research and guide the techniques
・To hold seminars and to train leaders
・To foster the local Kendo groups
・To hold the All Japan Kendo Championship and other national tournaments
・To establish the regulations on matches and amateurism
・To hold Shogo & Dan/Kyu examinations and issue the certificates
・To transmit Ko-Budo to posterity and to collect the related materials
・To publish monthly magazine and books
・To be affiliated with International Kendo Federation as a representative organization of the Japanese
The History of Kendo
When looking back into the History of Kendo, there are several fundamental points
that cannot be overlooked.
The first point is the advent of the Japanese sword. The Japanese sword that emerged in the middle of the 11th Century (middle of the Heian Era〔794-1185〕 ) had a slightly arched blade with raised ridges (called
Shinogi). Its original model was presumably handled by a tribe that specialized in cavalry battles in northern Japan during the
9th century. Since then, this sword was used by the Samurai and
production technology advanced rapidly during the period of early Samurai-government
reign (end of the KamakuraEra in the 13th Century). In this manner, it is not an exaggeration to say that both its wielding techniques using Shinogi which produced the expression of Shinogi-wo-kezuru, engaging in fierce competition and the Japanese sword were Japanese born products.
After the Onin War occurred in the latter
half of the Muromachi Era (1392-1573), Japan experienced
anarchy for a hundred years.
During this time, many schools of
Kenjutsu were established. In 1543, firearms were brought
to Tanegashima (Island located off the southern tip of Japan). The Japanese sword was made using the Tatarafuki casting method with high quality iron sand obtained from the riverbed. However, it did not take long before large quantities of firearms were made successfully using this
high quality iron sand and the same casting method to produce swords. As a result, the heavy-armored battling style that prevailed up to then changed dramatically to a lighter hand-to-hand
battling style. Actual battling experiences resulted in advanced development
and specialization of sword-smithing as well as the establishment of more refined sword-handling techniques and skills that
have been handed down to the present through the various schools such as the Shinkage-ryu and Itto-ryu.
Japan began to experience a relatively peaceful period from the beginning of the Edo Era (1603-1867). During this time, techniques of the Ken(the Japanese
sword) were converted from techniques of killing people to one of developing the person through concepts such as the Katsunin-ken which included not only theories on strong swordsmanship,
but also concepts of a disciplinary life-style of the Samurai. These ideas were compiled in books elaborating on the art of warfare in the early
Edo Era. Examples of these include: “Heiho Kadensho (The Life-giving Sword)” by Yagyu Munenori; “Fudochi
Shinmyoroku(The Unfettered Mind )” by Priest Takuan
which was a written interpretation of Yagyu Munenori’s “Ken to Zen
(Sword and Zen)” written for Tokugawa Iemitsu, Third Shogunate for the Tokugawa Government; and “Gorin-no-sho (The
Book of Five Rings)” by MiyamotoMusashi. Many other books on theories of swordsmanship were published during the middle
and latter half of the Edo Era. Many of these writings have become classics and influence
many Kendo practitioners today.
What these publications tried to convey to the Samurai was how to live beyond death. These teachings were to be used for everyday life. The Samurai studied these books and teachings daily,
lived an austere life, cultivated their minds, and devoted themselves to the refinement of Bujutsu, learned to differentiate between good and evil, and learned that in times of emergency
they were ready to sacrifice their lives for their Han (clan)
and feudal lord. In present day terms, they worked as bureaucrats and
soldiers. TheBushido spirit that evolved during this time, developed during a peaceful 246 years of the Tokugawaperiod. Even
after the collapse of the feudal system, this Bushido spirit
lives on in the minds of the Japanese.
On the other hand, as peaceful times continued, while
Kenjutsu developed new graceful techniques of the Ken created from actual sword battling skills, NaganumaShirozaemon-Kunisato of the Jiki-shinkage-ryuschool
developed a new foundation in techniques of the Ken. During the Shotoku
Era (1711-1715)Naganuma developed the of Kendo-gu (protective equipment) and established a training method using theShinai (bamboo-sword). This
is the direct origin of present day Kendo discipline. Thereafter,
during theHoreki Era (1751-1764), NakanishiChuzo-kotake of Itto-ryu
started a new training method using an ironMen (headgear)
and Kendo-gu made of bamboo, which became prevalent among
many schools in a short period of time. In the Kansei Era
(1789-1801), inter-school competition became popular and Samuraitraveled
beyond their province in search of stronger opponents to improve their skills.
In the latter half of
Era (beginning of the 19th Century), new types of equipment
were produced such as the Yotsuwari Shinai (bamboo swords
united by tetramerous bamboo). This new Shinai was more
elastic and durable than the Fukuro Shinai (literally, bag-covered
bamboo sword) which it replaced. Also, aDo (body armor) that was reinforced by leather and coated with lacquer was introduced.
During this time, three Dojos that gained great popularity
became to be known as the “Three Great Dojos of Edo.” They were:Genbukan led by Chiba Shusaku; Renpeikan led by Saito Yakuro; and Shigakkan led by Momoi Shunzo. Chiba attempted to systematize the Waza (techniques) of bamboo sword training by establishing the “Sixty-eight Techniques of Kenjutsu” which were classified in accordance with striking points. Techniques such
as the Oikomi-men and Suriage-men and other techniques that were named by Chiba are still used today.
After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Samurai
class was dissolved and the wearing of swords was prohibited. As a
result, many Samurai lost their jobs and Kenjutsu declined dramatically. Thereafter, theSeinan Conflict which occurred in the 10th
Year of the Meiji Era (1877) was an unsuccessful resistance
movement of Samurai against the Central Government that
seemed to give an indication of Kenjutsu’s recovery
mainly among the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. In the 28th Year of the Meiji Era (1829), the Dai-Nippon Butoku-Kai
was established as the national organization to promote Bujutsu
including Kenjutsu. At around the same time in 1899,
“Bushido” was published in English which was
considered a compilation of Samurai’s thoughts and
philosophy. It was influential internationally.
In the First Year of Taisho (1912), the
Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kendo Kata (later renamed to Nippon Kendo Kata) was established using the word Kendo. The establishment of the Kendo Kata provided for the unification of many schools to enable
them to pass on to later generations the techniques and spirit of the Japanese sword, and to remedy improper use of hands
which had been caused by bamboo sword training and to correct inaccurate strikes which were not at the right angle to the
opponent. It was thought that the Shinai(bamboo sword) was
to be treated as an alternative of the Japanese sword. And, in the Eighth Year of Taisho(1919), Nishikubo Hiromichi consolidated the original objectives of Bu (or in other words Samurai) under the
names of Budo and Kendo since they conformed to them.
After the Second World War, Kendo
was suspended for a while under the Occupation of the Allied Forces. In 1952,
however, when the All Japan Kendo Federation was established, Kendo was revived. Kendo presently plays an important role in school education and is also popular among the young and old, men and women
alike. Several million Kendo practitioners of all ages enjoy participating in regular sessions of Keiko (Kendo training).
Furthermore, Kendo is gaining interest all
around the world, and more and more international practitioners are joining the Kendo world. The International Kendo Federation
(FIK) was established in 1970 and the first triennial World Kendo Championships (WKC) was held in the Nippon
in the same year. In July 2003, the 12th
WKC was held in Glasgow, Scotland. Kendo practitioners from forty-one different countries and regions