Kendō is style of sword fighting developed by Fleet Admiral Diane in an attempt to master swordsmanship. It's argued to be the most rudimentary form swordsmanship in the world, emphasizing on the basic principles of wielding a blade. For this reason, the World Government has standardized the way of combat and teaches it in many marine academies.
Although Kendō only provides fundamental skills even at a master's level, the sword style encompasses an dozens of sub-classes that revolve around different methods and styles. Many spend their entire life becoming a master in a singular style; rarely does anyone master more than three. To this date, there's only been one Supreme Grandmaster to have mastered each of the sub-classes, the Greatest Swordsman in the World.
The term Kendō (剣道 Kendou?, literally meaning "Way of the Sword") was developed during Diane's visit to the land of samurai where she studied swordsmanship and samurai culture in her quest to master swordsmanship. During her research, she uncovered the and dubbed the five primary principles of swordsmanships. Firstly, kamae (構え literally meaning "Posture"?), which as the name suggests, promotes different stances while wielding the sword. Secondly, gara (柄 literally meaning "Grip"?), which shows practitioners how to wield their blades. Thirdly, kata (型 literally meaning "Form"?), which incorporates varying striking sequences and patterns, the literal method of swinging a blade. Next, ashiidō (足移動 literally meaning "Footwork"?), which emphasizes balance and control for various in relation to the users feet. And finally, tenpo (テンポ literally meaning "Tempo"?), which as the name suggests, determines the tempo of the cumulation of the former.
Upon identifying these foundational elements of swordsmanship, Diane cultivated a system which appropriately teaches aspiring swordsman proper practice and discipline. Similar to her sense of chivalry, Diane found that samurai also possess an honor driven system known as bushidō (武士道 literally meaning "way of the warrior"?) which stresses ideological practices and respect alongside their skill with a sword. As such, she implemented a philosophical motto that practitioners of this style must adhere to in order to practice. Throughout the decades, various sub-classes of Kendō have been developed with differing ideological beliefs and approaches to combat. However, these many sub-classes still adhere to the overall concept that Diane decreed during the original development of Kendō.
In recent years, Kendō has acquired global popularity as the World Government has standardized it among its many military branches, similar to Rokushiki. In this time, Kendō has acquired hundreds of practitioners, some have risen to the rank of master, even fewer have reached the rank of Grandmaster, and only one maintains her status as Supreme Grandmaster.
Many forms Kendō are taught all throughout the many seas. While each variation has its own respective benefits, it is commonly believed that a swordsmen should learn traditional Kendō before venturing into sub-styles as it'll make them an all-around better combatant.
Even among the most gifted and determined students, learning Kendō usually takes about three years with very few exceptions. First years will primarily focus on meditation and physical training; the recommended training regimen is usually five hours of zazen, five hours of physical training and two hours of philosophical teachings per day. The training is difficult, demanding and non-eventful which is why there is an incredibly high drop-out rate for first years. By the end of the first year of training, a practitioner should have outstanding dexterity, possess well-rounded physical attributes and understand and abide to the teachings of Kendō.
During their second year, students will focus on learning the traditional components of Kendō.
- Kamae (構え literally meaning "Posture"?): Practitioners should already understand the importance of posture through their zazen instruction. During Kamae instruction, practitioners will learn the five basic stances: jōdan, chūdan, gedan, hassō and waki. While these are not the only stances, most believe all others derive from one of these five. By the end of their Kamae instruction, a practitioner should be able to switch between the five stances with ease.
- Gara (柄 literally meaning "Grip"?): While grip training comes into play during their Kamae instruction, Gara training varies from the latter drastically. During Gara instruction, students will study different grips with bokken of different weight and lengths; designed to teach users how different variations of the blades feel. Users practice these different grips along with the five Kamae stances which promote further adaptability. By the end of their Gara instruction, user should be able to switch between the many one and two-handed grips while alternating between the stances.
- Kata (型 literally meaning "Form"?): Unlike Kamae which involves switching between the stances, Kata involves learning specific sequences to strike or counter a target. There are hundreds of different striking patterns thus it's implied that a user learns one almost everyday; most sequences are relatively basic in concept. Kata instruction requires both previous components to perform as certain sequences will require practitioners to switch between grips and stance simultaneously. By the end of their Kata instruction, users should have over one-hundred fifty different sequence to draw upon.
- Ashiidō (足移動 literally meaning "Footwork"?): After completing the previous lessons, the user will begin their Ashiidō training. In laymen's terms, Ashiidō instruction involves Kata training while continuously moving in different terrains. While managing to maintain their stances and grips in harsh circumstance, users will practice the many sequences at their disposal. By the end of their Kata instruction, users should be able to fight in any environment and on any surface.
- Tenpo (テンポ literally meaning "Tempo"?): Finally, the practitioner compiles all the training undergone until this point and practices different tempos and rhythms. In order to demonstrate to practitioners tempo how can drastically alter the types of movements one produces, students must work on through their many stances while maintain rhythm to the beat. Once again, this further's their adaptability and promotes a degree of efficiency in their movements, allowing the student to determine what speeds works best in what sequence.
Third year usually encompasses tons of sparring. While practitioners are theoretically users of Kendō by the end of their second years, it's heavily recommend that students stay and gain experience utilizing the sword-style. By fighting against their classmates, users will break bad habits, learn new sequences and improve from live combat. This extra year of training has decreased the mortality rate of novice swordsmen exceptionally. By the end of their third year, users will be given their own blade and be dubbed as practitioners of Kendō.
Five Basic Elemental Kendō
Following the initial development of the Kendō, the Fleet Admiral strove to improve on her well-balance yet simplistic sword-style. In her efforts, Diane developed five sub-classes which emphasize different characteristics of the foundational elements of Kendō. These five-basic subclasses are regarded as the five Elemental Kendō types. These five rival sword-styles represent different forms of approaches and tactics when utilizing a blade along with varying ideological perspectives.
- Hidō (火道 Hidō?, literally meaning "Way of the Flames"): is characterized by its aggressive and tenacious nature. The element of fire represents power; the unyielding will to achieve any task. Notable features of Hidō include relentless attacks, numerous strikes coming from any direction, abrupt turns, but a lack of defense.
- Kazedō (風道 Kazedō?, literally meaning "Way of the Wind"): is characterized by its passive and light nature. The element of wind represents passiveness; the ability to adapt to any situation. Notable features of Kazedō include read and reacting, evasion, untethered movements, précised strikes but a lack of force.
- Mizudō (水道 Mizudō?, literally meaning "Way of the Water"): is characterized by its controlled and fluid nature. The element of water represents control and tranquility; the ability to remain level-headed and act without being affected by external forces. Notable features of Mizudō include long-sequences of attacks, consistent movements, incredible fluidity but a lack of emotion.
- Raidō (雷道 Raidō?, lliterally meaning "Way of the Thunder"): is characterized by its powerful yet controllable nature. The element of lightning represents fear; the overwhelming sensation that can cause anyone to submit. Notable features of Raidō include blitzing speed, précised attacks, linear movements, pivoting but a lack of stamina.
- Tsuchidō (土道 Tsuchidō?, literally meaning "Way of the Earth"): is characterized by its fortitude and endurance. The element of earth represent determination; the ability endure and take on any task no matter its difficulty. Notable features of Tsuchidō include impregnable defense, counters, one strike victories but a lack of speed and versatility.
- This page was mostly based on the user's Naruto version of the fighting style: Kendō.
- The hierarchy for Kendō mastery works as follows:
- Practitioners: Those who have completed the initial three-year regimen to master the fundamentals of Kendō.
- Masters: Those who has completely mastered one of the many sub-classes of Kendō and developed a new technique for their respective style.
- Grandmasters: Those who have become masters in three or more sub-classes of Kendō.
- Supreme Grandmaster: Has mastered every sub-class; the Supreme Grandmaster is the only master of Kendō.
- This fighting style will soon be free to use exclusively for World Government employees.
- Mastery requires permission from the creator.
- Do not edit the page without permission.
- If you wish make your own sub-class of Kendō, you must reach out to the creator.