Kendo "way of the sword", is the martial art of Japanese fencing.
Kendo embodies the essence of the Japanese fighting arts. Since the earliest samurai government in Japan, during the Kamakura period (1185-1233), sword fencing, together with horse riding and archery, were the main martial pursuits of the military clans. In this period kendo developed under the strong influence of Zen Buddhism. The samurai could equate the disregard for his own life in the heat of battle, which was considered necessary for victory in individual combat, to the Buddhist concept of the illusory nature of the distinction between life and death.
Equipment and costume
Kendo is practiced using "swords" made of split bamboo called shinai and extensive protective armour (bogu) is worn to protect specified target areas on the head and body.