Kendo training is quite noisy in comparison to some other martial arts or sports. This is because kendōka use a shout, or kiai (気合い?), to express their fighting spirit when striking. Additionally, kendōka execute fumikomi-ashi (踏み込み足?), an action similar to a stamp of the front foot, when making a strike.
Like some other martial arts, kendōka train and fight barefoot. Kendo is ideally practiced in a purpose-built dōjō, though standard sports halls and other venues are often used. An appropriate venue has a clean and well-sprung wooden floor, suitable for fumikomi-ashi.
Modern kendo techniques comprise both strikes and thrusts. Strikes are only made towards specified target areas (打突-部位, datotsu-bui?) on the wrists, head, or body, all of which are protected by armor. The targets are men, sayu-men or yoko-men (upper left or right side of the men), the right kote at any time, the left kote when it is in a raised position, and the left or right side of the dō. Thrusts (突き, tsuki?) are only allowed to the throat. However, since an incorrectly performed thrust could cause serious injury to the opponent's neck, thrusting techniques in free practice and competition are often restricted to senior dan graded kendōka.
Kendōka perform sonkyo after combat.
Two kendōka in tsuba zeriai.
Kendo target areas, or datotsu-bui.
Two kendōka, one (left) is playing in nitō (two sword style) and the other (right) is playing in ittō (one sword style).
Once a kendōka begins practice in armour, a practice session may include any or all of the following types of practice.
- Kiri-kaeshi (切り返し?)
- Striking the left and right men target points in succession, practising centering, distance, and correct technique, while building spirit and stamina.
- Waza-geiko (技稽古?)
- Waza or technique practice in which the student learns and refines that techniques of Kendo with a receiving partner.
- Kakari-geiko (掛稽古?)
- Short, intense, attack practice which teaches continuous alertness and readiness to attack, as well as building spirit and stamina.
- Ji-geiko (自稽古?)
- Undirected practice where the kendōka tries all that has been learnt during practice against an opponent.
- Gokaku-geiko (互角稽古?)
- Practice between two kendōka of similar skill level.
- Hikitate-geiko (引立稽古?)
- Practice where a senior kendōka guides a junior through practice.
- Shiai-geiko (試合稽古?)
- Competition practice which may also be judged.
Read more about this topic: Kendo
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