The Kokusai Budoin, International Martial Arts Federation, is comprised of seven divisions representing the various Japanese martial arts. These include Judo, Kendo, Karatedo, Aikido, Iaido, Nihon Jujutsu and Kobudo. Each division has an extensive heritage rooted in the traditions of classical martial arts.

Historical Overview

The Samurai (traditional warrior class) of medieval Japan were required to be proficient with the yari or naginata (spear), yumi (bow), kenjutsu (art of swordsmanship), and kumiuchi or jujutsu (unarmed combat). However, as the sword was said to be soul of the samurai, Kenjutsu was the art most central the ancient Japanese warrior.

Kendo began to take its modern appearance during the late 18th century with the introduction of protective equipment.

What is Kendo?

Kendo, the way of the sword, is a modern martial art based on ancient kenjutsu (the art of swordsmanship). The word Kendo is made of the characters ken (sword) and do (way or path); a way of life following the practice of Kendo.

Kendo practice is composed of solo exercises, Kata (pre-arranged forms), and training with a partner or opponent. Like other martial arts, Kendo requires discipline and dedication to training. New students begin with learning the basics of etiquette, postures and footwork; and how to properly utilize a sword. Eventually, students begin practicing methods of attack and defense with partners using armor and shinai. As students progress they join regular training which includes competition, kata and other exercises.

Kata are pre-arranged sequences of motions that demonstrate various aspects of the art. Kendo kata are practiced between two people using solid wooden swords called bokken. Repetitive practice of kata leads to increased awareness and deeper understanding of the underlying principles of Kendo.

The purpose of Kendo practice is to:
- cultivate the mind and body
- develop a vigorous spirit
- pursue thorough, correct strict training
- hold in esteem human courtesy and honor
- associate with others with sincerity

IMAF Kendo Division

The Kendo Division has been led by some of the greatest names in the art, including Hakudo Nakayama, Meijin Kendo 10-dan, Hiromasa Takano, Meijin Kendo 10-dan, and Katsuo Yamaguchi, Hanshi Kendo 8-dan.

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