What is Kendo?
Kendo can be translated as the way of the sword. It is a Japanese martial art or sport that is based on the principles of Samurai swordsmanship. Kendo developed out of the traditional techniques of Japanese swordsmanship known as kenjutsu. The underlying philosophy of the martial art is derived from the tenets of Bushido. It is through the study of Kendo that practitioners strive to improve themselves to be an asset to their family, community and country.
Kendo is both physically and mentally challenging, requiring a great deal of technical skill. People who practice kendo are called kendoka or kenshi. Kendo can be practiced by both women and men equally, as well as any age or physical condition. It is a minimally dangerous sport, despite outward appearances.
Kendo is practiced wearing kendogi and hakama which are traditional clothing and protective armor (bogu). The kenshi use one or two bamboo swords (shinai) as weapons. Kendo training is noisy because the kenshi use a shout, or kiai, to express their spirit, and when a strike or cut is performed on one of four targets – head, wrist, abdomen, or throat – the footwork is very dynamic.
Kendo has a long and rich history that is interconnected to the broader Japanese culture, but at the same time, in the years after the Second World War it slowly started to spread beyond the borders of this island nation, and gradually found its place in the modern society and many different countries all over the globe. And it’s easy to understand why – practicing and training Kendo is a very fulfilling activity. Participants that range from 3 or 4 years of age to those who are over 90 and still practice Kendo regularly are a proof of its broad and lasting appeal.
Instructors and 2017 Club Officers
Moline Kendo Club members are fortunate to study under several excellent instructors, each specializing in different aspects of kendo practice. The instructors are experienced in guiding beginners to advanced kenshi and are eager to help students advance their kendo goals.
Dr. David Birdsell
President & Lead Instructor
Vice President & Assistant Instructor
Secretary & Treasurer
Would you like more information about our club? We are excited you are interested in Moline Kendo and will answer any questions you may have.