Kendo was born from the devotion of the Japanese Samurai to the Japanese art of Swordmanship(Ken-jutsu).
Training with a real sword can be very dangerous.A lot of Japanese Swordmanship Schools tried to create some methods to reduce the danger. These methods are the origins of Kendo. The first weapon that replaced the Japanese Sword (Katana) was the Bokuto, a wooden sword that was used in the practice of Kata( Forms). The practice with Bokuto remained not safe and was painful, since Bokuto was made of wood. That's why the second weapon was created. Made of bamboo, it is called Shinai. Through the years, Kendo equipment was also developed resulting to the equipment we are using now.
The benefits of Kendo
The physical benefits of training Kendo as improved strength, endurance and overall fitness are well known in Japan. But a more important benefit when practising Kendo is the mental training that is a natural part of Kendo.
The mental training involved in Kendo has always been a part of Bushido which means that the importance has been known for centuries. The Bushi (warrior), also known as the Samurai, often practised Kendo in connection with their studies of Zen.
To get maximum out of mental training you have to be focused. And that is one “secret” of Kendo, all the time you practise you develop your focus. If not you will never be able to deliver your perfect Ippon.
When faced with stressful situations the Kendoka know how to maintain mental calmness and balance because of the Kendo training. Another aspect of the mental training is that even if the odds are against full spirit is a much when you act.
While the physical and technical exercises are critical aspects of Kendo practice, a high value is also focused upon performing with full spirit, even if the odds are against winning the match.
But more important is to understand that when you adopt modern Kendo it is also a way of living and much more than winning over an opponent. (source )
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