Concepts, Theory, & Ideas

Concept & Pupose of Kendo

What is the Purpose of Kendo? This is an interesting question as modern kendo is both a "sport" as well as a "budo". While the sport aspect is easy to understand (exercise, camaraderie, competition, etc..) the "do" in kendo is much more complex. The All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) officially set down the "concept and purpose" of kendo in 1975. This definition embodies the modern concept of a "do"


The Mindset of Kendo Instruction

This is a supplement to the AJKF's "concept and purpose of kendo". Where as the "concept" is directed toward the student or general populace, the "mindset" is directed toward instructors to help guide them during dojo practice and instruction. The "concept" and the "mindset" together form the core ideals of modern kendo. The All Japan Kendo Federation officially set down the "mindset of kendo instruction" in 2007.


Defeating Jodan

This is an article addressing the often asked "How do I fight against jodan?", but with emphasis on addressing some of the more common methods, and their assumptions, used when doing so.


The Fundamental Theorem of Kendo?

Does such a thing exist? As one practices kendo more and more, one's understanding of it changes drastically. This article explains some of the ideas regarding shikake waza, oji waza, seme, ki ken tai no ichi, kamae, and kihon kendo and how they relate to one another.


Mitsu no Sen, San Satsu Ho, & The Four Sicknesses

When do I??! Why do I?!? How Do I?!?! These are questions often left burning in many a kendoka's thoughts when it comes to being able to deal with an opponent. This is a small excerpt from the KKC's Dojo Manual regarding the "san satsu ho", "mitsu no sen" and "the four sicknesses". These topics give some insight into the (principles oriented) answers of when, why, and how you can attack (or be attacked by!) an opponent.


Mistakes in Practice

This is a small excerpt from "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki. The connection between 'zen thought' and kendo is very apparent, as are the similarities in their practice methods. While the subject of the book is that of practicing 'zazen', the advice it gives is equally applicable to a kendoka in their practice.


Meaning of the Hakamas Pleats

The pleats of the hakama are said to symbolize a number of important aspects from both Confucianism and Bushido. The five front pleats symbolize the five fundamental Confucian Virtues (Gojo). The rear pleats are said to represent Chu and Ko which in turn gives rise to the Confucian five bonds of filial piety (Gorin). Alternatively, it is said they represent Yu and Meiyo from Bushido.


Hover for a larger image.
Symbolic meaning of the hakamas pleats.

Defensive Keiko

Often times people succumb to their natural instincts to block, especially in shiai (tournament). This both begins and ends during regular (dojo) practice, meaning those who make it part of their kendo make it a part of their dojo keiko. This short article very bluntly attempts to address the downside of incorporating this into one's practice, as well as sketch out the areas where if one placed their focus, blocking no longer becomes necessary.


Copyright © S.D. Quinlan & C.W. Quinlan. 2006-16. ✉: [email protected]