Rivonia Kendo Johannesburg is the Japanese martial art of the sword where the practitioners use wooden Kendo swords (bokken) for kata, and bamboo swords when sparring full-contact. Practitoners also wear protective armour (bogu) that covers the head, torso, wrists.Our dojo is based in Johannesburg, South Africa
Rivonia Kendo Club was developed as a form of practice for Japanese swordmen in the 18th century. The Kendo practitioner, or kendoka, is armed with a shinai, a bamboo practice sword, and is protected by bogu, protective armour. The shinai allows full strength cuts to be made against one’s training partner without the risk of injuring or killing them the same way that a real blade or a bokuto, a wooden sword, would.
Kendo , which literally translates to “the way of the sword”, is a traditional Japanese martial art which now focuses on disciplining the human character through the application of the principles of the katana, the traditional Japanese sword used by the samurai who rose to prominance during the late Heian period until the Meiji Restoration.
According to the All Japan Kendo Federation, the official governing body of kendo:
The purpose of practicing Kendo is:
To mold the mind and body,
To cultivate a vigorous spirit,
And through correct and rigid training,
To strive for improvement in the art of Kendo,
To hold in esteem human courtesy and honor,
To associate with others with sincerity,
And to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.
This will make one be able:
To love his/her country and society,
To contribute to the development of culture
And to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.
“ Rivonia Kendo Johannesburg students face each other in standing positions to determine victory or defeat wearing protective equipment (Bogu) and holding a bamboo sword (Shinai). Iaido (way of drawing and sheathing the sword) is the art of cutting, thrusting and defending with the real sword (Katana) using diversity of applications against imaginary opponents. From kneeling, sitting, standing or walking, and being attacked from all sides, the swordsman had to anticipate, defend and retaliate. Iai is concerned with attack and defence in terms of Ma-ai (distance), Hasuji (the path of the sword stroke) and Te-no-uchi (grasping the Tsuka or the hilt of the sword).
In unity with the same is the spirit of entering into the opponent’s attack with harmonious sword and body action, to defeat the enemy through his psychological weakness. This is true self-defence. Nakayama Hakudo, a very important Iaido master of the 20th century, regarded Kendo and Iaido as inseparable, comparing them to the wings of a bird. To master the art of the sword, he was convinced that if one of the two was missing perfection could not be obtained.
Yet greater than technique is spiritual training. Iai does not necessarily mean to cut an enemy, but rather to cut the enemy within yourself. Victory in Iai is the non-revengeful heart and the cessation or conflict through not drawing the sword. Thus, you may understand why the Iai of old was called Saya-no-uchi – invincibility without drawing the sword. In other words, Iai is a training process toward human perfection, never of murderous intent, but peaceful-minded. The modern significance of Iai is peace and tranquillity for human life. In the larger sense Iai means the Way of Dwelling in Harmony: through endless practice by seeking harmony with the Universe.”
Today most people who encounter Jodo find the All Japan Kendo Federation Jodo quite extant throughout the world. These Kata have become established as standard modern Jodo and are to be found in many Kendo Federations around the world affiliated through membership to All Japan Kendo Federation and ultimately FIK (Federation International Kendo).
The main target to which hits and thrusts are aimed is the solar plexus. Beside this the temple, the point between the eyes and the sides of the trunk are also important targets. Unlike Kendo no protection is worn when practising and so concentration and focus become extremely crucial to avoid any accidents. The actions of the Jo are, when executed in combined series, very effective as a defence against attacks by the Japanese sword.
Another remarkable aspect of Jodo is the rapidity and the frequency by which the Jo is handled. This is due to the fact that the Jo has the versatility to be used without releasing your grip and by utilising both sides of your body to initiate attacks from. The Jo is as such an excellent way to develop dexterity.
In like-minded terms the philosophy of Jodo which is shared with Kendo and Iaido is the purpose of practice to cultivate the human spirit as well as train the body. In the All Japan Kendo Federation Jodo instruction manual these benefits are summarized as developing respect, sincerity, integrity and patience, thereby contributing to a valued human being in society.”
Kindly visit our Rivonia Kendo Club Sandton website for more info, or mail [email protected]
Rivonia Kendo Sunning Sunninghill 47 Achter Road, Paulshof, Sandton, South Africa