Kendo is a modern Japanese martial art that evolved from the traditional samurai swordsmanship known as kenjutsu. The term “kendo” means “way of the sword” and is also known as “Japanese fencing.” It is a physical and mental discipline that emphasizes the development of one’s character through the practice of swordsmanship.

The origins of kendo can be traced back to Japan’s feudal era, when swordsmanship was an essential skill for samurai warriors. During this time, many schools of kenjutsu were developed, each with its own unique techniques and philosophies. Some of the most famous kenjutsu schools were Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryū, Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryū, and Ittō-ryū.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Japan underwent a period of cultural and political reform known as the Meiji Restoration. During this time, the samurai class was abolished, and the Japanese government encouraged the practice of martial arts as a way to promote physical fitness and national pride. As a result, many of the traditional kenjutsu schools were reformed and modernized into what is now known as kendo.

The first modern kendo organization, the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society), was founded in 1895. This organization established a set of standardized rules and regulations for kendo, which included the use of protective armor (bogu) and bamboo swords (shinai) to reduce the risk of injury during practice.

Kendo continued to evolve throughout the 20th century, with the development of various styles and techniques. In 1952, the All Japan Kendo Federation was established to oversee and promote kendo throughout Japan and around the world. Today, kendo is practiced by millions of people in Japan and around the world, with international competitions held regularly.

In addition to its martial arts aspect, kendo is also viewed as a way of developing one’s character and personal values. It emphasizes the importance of discipline, respect, and humility, and encourages practitioners to strive for self-improvement both on and off the dojo (training hall).