Kendo and Kenjutsu

by Robert Chaffins
(Burnet, Texas, US)

What is the difference between Kendo and Kenjutsu, besides the difference in gear?

Answer: Kenjutsu is "the technique of the Sword" and kendo is "the way of the sword".  Kenjutsu has old techniques including very dangerous techniques that are not seen in kendo.  More specifically, kenjutsu is to kill opponents and kendo is to make others live.

Now those who do kenjutsu practice for their personal development and discipline  not for killing anyone. At least in Japan.

Kendo was a method of training kenjutsu. Ancient Japanese warriors invented shinai so they would not get hurt while training. Then shortly after, they invented armour that was close to the one we have now.

(ref: Who practice Kendo in the Edo Period?)

Kendo took its own way and became the kendo we have now. We used to have old techniques such as foot sweeps and all but they are not used nowadays even in training.  The reason is easy. We do not kendo to hurt others but train and grow together.

Kendo and kenjutsu now have the same purposes and concepts, which is to discipline and develop ourselves to become better self.

Kenjutsu is basically kata (form) oriented (with or without a partner), while kendo involves more physical interaction with a partner.

Hope this helps.

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