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Kendo is the brutal looking Japanese fencing where two opponents attack eatch other with a special bamboo made swords called shinai.
Kendo means literally "a way of the sword". Kendo is very closely tied with samurai tradition and bushido, yet more sporty than iaido.
Kendo practisers wear heavy metal helmet with a visor to protect the eyes and a head. Their armour also consists a breastplate and gloves. This armour is called bogu.
Despite their protection, it's not rare that some fingers get broken. Kendoka are most likely to have bruises somewhere their body.
The weapon shinai, used while engaging in actual fencing is not the same one used in the picture below (bokutoo), but are a sensitive pieces of equipment that are made to absorb the hits. It's formed from four pieces to form a cylinder in middle. It is very strong and is bound together. A string runs among the top of the shinai. It's purpose is to keep the top piece in place but also to demonstrate "a blade's direction". To make a valid cut, kendoka must strike the opponent with an opposite side of this string.
In Kendo, points are given from the hits to three vital areas that are the head, wrists, and abdomen. Also, kendoka should shout as loud as he can when striking an opponent to give an impression of strength.
Although it's natural that nobody takes it that seriously, it is said that when you practise kendo, you should keep in mind that victory means survival and defeat means death.
It was interesting to realize that women and men practised in mixed groups.