Kendo is a kind of fencing. It was born from the martial arts of warriors and took its current form around the middle of the Edo period (1603-1867).
In a kendo match, the two combatants wear "bougu (protective outfits)" and attack with "shinai (bamboo swords)." They score points by striking at the opponents throat with "shinai." The match lasts no more than five minutes, and the winner is the first to score two out of three points.
Kendo is well known overseas as a sport that can discipline mind and body. The International Kendo Federation was founded in 1970. It has 31 member nations and there are some seven million practitioners worldwide today. People are ranked in "kyuu" and "dan" by level of proficiency. More and more women are taking part in this traditional sport.
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