Kendo in Japan

“Begin with a bow, end with a bow” (Rei ni hajimari, rei ni owaru)

This custom reflects the spirit of Kendo.

Using bamboo sword instead of steel sword,kendo came from kenjyutsu:kind of fencing only for samurai.

How they matches?

Players are held in 9-11 meter square area.

Players starts bowing each other,and end of bowing each other as etiquette.

Bow is called “Rei”.

Then, they aim to strike on opponent’s body.

When they strike, they call out the name of the strike zone where they strike on.

Head: Men

Trunk: Do (say as in kendo)

Forearm: Kote

And there is “Tsuki”:part of the throat beneath the head and shoulder protector

If player strike on any other body parts, it would not count as point.

Match itself is 5 minutes long.

Player who scored first 2 points is the winner.


The ranking is determined by ability (skill), length of time dedicated to the sport.

Beginner is called seventh kyu. Then, they take tests to level up themselves all the way up to the first kyu.

After first kyu, they move on to “dan” (name of the ranking) starting from ichi dan (1st dan) all the way up to 10 dan.

What Kendo can teach kids..

Japanese traditional sports such as Kendo, kyudo (archery), Jyudo etc teaches kids great deal when it comes to mental education.

The mental and physical benefits of training Kendo as such are: improved focus, spirit, strength, endurance and overall fitness are well known in Japan.

Therefore many schools in Japan has Kendo , kyudo, jyudo after class club.

The Kendo Championships are major sporting events in Japan and the major championships take place in Nippon Budokan, the main arena for the national championships of Japanese martial arts.

Here is the youtube video you can watch to see what Kendo is like.

Kendo championship..

Here is the good video to see how match starts from Rei (bowing).

Coincidentally,I have found a video of Aichi prefecture (in Japan) Spring Kendo match between the high school I graduated from vs neighborhood high school:-)

Kendo match starting with bowing..

Oct 04, 2017 | 2 | Japan

2 Responses to “Kendo in Japan”

  1. Maurizio Says:

    Hi. I have a question about kendo. Also All Japan high school championship women final takes place at Nippon Budokan?
    Thank you in advance for your answer.

  2. yassy Says:

    Japan high school national kendo competition already took place in Kumamoto prefecture’s Kumamoto sougou taiiku kan from August 3rd to 6th 2019.It is only in Japanese but here is the result.