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Dec 13, 2010
Martial Art for Self Defense
by: Anonymous

I believe any art that trains one to be aware and confident can help a person avoid dangerous situations. Criminals will look for easy targets. Kendo can also keep you out of danger by improving your spirit - giving you the strength to avoid drugs and keep a clear mind.

How often does one actually encounter a physical challenge? It is much more common to deal with stress at work, rage on the road, intimidation, peer pressure, etc. Succumbing to those can put your life at risk. In that sense, I think kendo is practical in keeping one safe.

Also, a very skilled martial artist can still be killed by a nervous 15 yr old with a gun. There is a limit to every martial art for self defense. Becoming a strong, centered person is the best defense, in my opinion.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you. People who are interested in martial arts are thinking about self-defence against "physical" attacks. As you wrote, there are far more "psychological attacks" in daily life. Thank you very much for mentioning that.

Oct 30, 2010
True Nature of Kendo
by: Santiago B. Tejada

Reality is Kendo, per se, is not a "true" martial art in the sense of currently been taught and practiced as a system of self-defence or for real sword combat. Although many kendo techniques could be effective in a sword fight, this is no longer the use for Kendo.

Kendo is a sport from Japanese origin, based on the use and principles of the sword (katana.)

Throughout its history Kendo has experienced many revisions from which techniques and movements have been refined or modified to accommodate for its safe practice.

Kenjutsu instead, is a true martial art intended for real sword combat. Kendo derives from it and was created for being able to practice 'sword fighting' without getting injured.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Unfortunately, in English, there is only one word, martial arts, for budo  and bujutsu.

If people are using the term, martial arts, to refer to a fighting system to teach how to physically defeat others, then kendo does not fall into that category.

If sports are something that people play when they have spare time, then kendo does not fall into that category either.

Kendo is originated from samurai swordsmanship and carries the Japanese ancient teachings to discipline ourselves physically and mentally in order to improve our own human characteristics.

I do not deny that kendo has sports aspects because we do compete in tournament. And also we do have “martial arts” aspects because many of us know that training is just not for fun! If it is just for fun, who would do kakari  geiko until you throw up?

However, kendo is now widely trained by many different age groups and it is true that many train kendo to keep themselves healthy. Just like many do sports for their health.

Kendo is budo. And budo is from bujutsu. Nothing more or nothing less. What kendo means to people varies. For some, it is a mere sport. For some it is a hobby. For others, it is a job. For me, it is a mile stone of my life now. It may change in the future.

This topic seems to be an ongoing subject. If you do not know why you are doing kendo or cannot see what kendo really is anymore, this video might help you.

Aug 20, 2010
I did it
by: Tony

I have to admit to having tried something like this. What is said is right, thinking about kendo as a real sword fight is losing the purpose of kendo.

It's like racing a flight simulator against a real submarine and thinking which is better.

That said, I have a friend who is a kung fu instructor and we put our protections on and tried kendo vs. Chinese sword style and then kendo vs. bo stick.

The reason kendo won so easily has nothing to do with if I am a better martial artist or no. The reason is that in kung fu weapon practise (at least in this school) all they do is spar.

They feint, tap and slap each other, whereas we deliver "killing blows", so we have a spirit they are unable to possess.

Our economy of movements, simple strategy and straightforwardness is hard to cope with by someone used to spinning, intimidating or just doing decorative movements.

Had they been real weapons, I was prepared for a real fight and he despite 20 years of training, wasn't.

In that session I did not feel superior or better, I just learned a lot about kendo but to be honest I would not do something like that again It's just against the spirit.

I must admit that if it had been a real fight without rules he would have used unarmed combat to turn me into a dojo decoration :-)

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing your experience.

Many want to know what is the best martial art, if they can use it in real fight or martial arts should be used in real fight; otherwise, it is no use.

That?s an opinion.

And my opinion is that I do not want anyone to use kendo to hurt others and it is not the purpose of kendo that I know of.

Aug 19, 2010
Martial Arts
by: Anonymous

Excuses are always being made for traditional martial arts, often in the form of what I've read here on this page.

Bear in mind that I don't claim Kendo is ineffective, but am rather pointing out the dishonesty of claiming that any martial art should continue to exist without scrutiny of its effectiveness in real life.

If I were to take up a martial art, I would at the very least like to know that what I'm learning could have potential use, should I encounter such a rare situation as to be attacked.

Simply stating that the art is a means to hone oneself as an individual, with no bearing on one's ability to fight, is a complete cop-out, and if the art truly has only such a basis for its existence, then it is fraudulent; it is a farce.

~A Kyokushin Karate student

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing your opinion. In your opinion and point of view, kendo is not in your martial arts category.

I would like to share my opinion.

I admit that kendo is not for self-defence because we do not learn how to protect ourselves by blocking, punching, kicking and throwing.

Kendo changed its form to be safer. Now we do not have throwing, kicking, sweeping and etc. Those are really old techniques.

Thus, my answer to people who wonder how effective kendo is in real fighting situations is ?not effective?.

We, kendo practitioners, also train hard not like hitting tress to train fists or anything like that, physically hard as well.

You chose karate because it is useful in case you have to defend yourself. That is really good.

I train kend? because it helps me to control my ?short temper?. It keeps me on the right track. It makes me strong physically, mentally and as a human. Also there is something I cannot explain in kendo.

Kendo is very useful and helpful in my real life. But not in your real life.

That is all.

Dec 23, 2009
It depends!
by: soyuz

It was said that a true "knight" never actually "kills" any one. And that the true intention of knighthood was to secure peace.

And to be "sword-worthy" is to be able to fully control oneself. (Or else, how would an ill-tempered person be allowed to walk around with a sword on his side?)

I believe that this is what kept kendo alive up to this time (unlike some numerous long lost swordsmanship of the world), which is no longer used for fighting, but to help control oneself.

(I do watch the matches between shinai and long sword or naginata just to compare the techniques used).

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for your post. It is important to study and learn techniques but we always should remember the purpose of kendo.

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