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What is kendo and why should I let my child begin?

Kendo, or the way of the sword, is a modern Japanese style of fencing. Practictioners wear bogu (protective armor) and learn to make proper strikes on their opponents using Shinai, or bamboo swords. What was originally and still known as a traditional martial art is now often simultaniously considered a competitive sport, practiced by majority of countries throughout the world.

Like other martial arts, the art of Kendo can involve a lifetime of training and dicipline. Physically, a student will often focus on developing their footwork and swings. Mentally, a student will learn dicipline, etiquette, and even the ability to read the minds and motions of their opponents.

Is Kendo violent?
Kendo is rarely considered to be a violent sport. Although it is a contact sport, Kendo is not the random swinging of a sword in order to injure your opponent. The point of Kendo is not to become a violent Ninja or Samurai. Your child will not be training to defeat their opponent, but to challenge themselves both physically and mentally, training their mind to become the strongest person that they can be.

☆ The most important aspect of Kendo is not your physical ability. Kendo is a martial art that can be started at any age, by one of any physical build. However, what one must master is Reiho or Rei, the Japanese idea of etiquette. Every kendo session is said to begin and end in Rei. We are confident that anyone can quickly learn dicipline and respect throughout intensive practices, even as a beginner. At the same time, you can meet new friends and supportors of similar interests within a local Dojo and tournaments, while getting ample exercise doing something that you enjoy.

Officially, the concept and purpose of Kendo is stated as the following:

To mold the mind and body.
To cultivate a vigorous spirit,
And through correct and rigid training,
To strive for improvement in the art of Kendo.
To hold in esteem human courtesy and honor.
To associate with others with sincerity.
And to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.
Thus will one be able:
To love one's country and society;
To contribute to the development of culture;
And to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.

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