The History of Kendo

Kendo undoubtedly is one of the longest standing sports known to man. It dates as far back as the 16th century when the sword was the ultimate battlefield weapon in Japan. And there was a need for a reliable training system that involved fewer risks but was as close as possible to the real sword fight.

Introduction of Kenjutsu – the kendo predecessor

There came a point where the leadership of the day realized that the training system was obviously not working. It produced unskilled warriors who unknowingly made rookie blunders and paid with their dear lives while those that lived through the battles passed the test.

This resulted in training their men with wooden swords. And this was the first instance of Kendo, only that it was called Kenjutsu at the time. The armor was so heavy that even the warriors avoided it even in the battlefield. As a result, it did not make it to the training grounds either. However, this move paved the way for a bigger and better army of swordsmen.

Emergence of Kendo Schools

As rivalry among the Japanese people heightened, the demand for better warriors also increased. So, the people of Japan saw a need to open and run a Kenjutsu school. That right there was the beginning of something great – except that they didn’t know it. However, it turned out to be a recipe for disaster. The battle of Sekigahara is a perfect example of Kenjutsu’ s by-products; it wounded the nation so deeply, that it marked the end of a rivalry – though not entirely.

Shortly after that battle, the leadership at the time banned Kenjutsu altogether. But, it didn’t take them long to realize that it was not the solution. So, they reinstated it under the name Kendo, as we know it. Today, it has changed from being battlefield skill to an art.