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What are the rules of Kendo?

by Madara

I want to learn kendo, but it looks kinda confusing. One person shouting and hitting his/her opponent's head several times while the opponent doesn't do a thing...


Answer: Thank you for your post and sorry for the delay of my reply. The question can be answered in several ways here and I am not sure what exactly you want to know.

If you want to know how one can gain a point, I have to explain criteria to be satisfied to gain a point.

If you want to know why the other person did nothing while he was getting hit, then I need to tell you why.

First of all, kendō is not about who hits what first. This is truer for the more experienced kendoists.

To get a valid cut (a point), just hitting a target is not good enough. Your body, mind (kiai) and striking should be integrated at the moment of striking. This is a “must have” criterion to get a point in a shiai and it is what we train for.

On top of this, matches between more experienced such as 8-dan tournaments (8-dan is the highest grade in kendō), the process of striking and the opponent’s reaction to the process and actual strike are great parts of valid cuts.

So we often witness strikes that could be valid in “normal” matches are not considered to be valid in the high rank matches.

It may be confusing for those people who watch but in my opinion these are unique aspects of kendō and those make kendō more attractive and challenging; thus we can and have to keep training.

Hope this helps.

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