The modern form of the Japanese art of sword fighting, based on the more traditional Kenjutsu.

Kendo is the modern day equivalent of Japanese sword fighting to classical or Olympic fencing.

Practioners of the sport are usually called ''Kendoka'' or ''Kenshi''.

The sport is a very physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial-arts values with sport-like physical elements.

Equipments consist of:

* Keikogi - The jacket worn under the bogu. Similar to Judo/Karate Gi, but thicker.
* Hakama - Traditional japanese trousers.
* Tenugui - A traditional Japanese head towel, worn on the head under the Men.
* Bogu - Armor set, which consists of:
** Men - The grilled mask that serves as the head protector.
** Kote - The gloves.
** Do - Chest Protector.
** Tare - Protective flaps worn on the waist.
* Shinai - Bamboo sword for training and sparring.
* Bokken - Hardwood katana, made for kata practices. TropeMaker for WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter.

There are several types of acceptable striking targets in Kendo:
* Men - Strike to the head. Yoko-Men or Sayu-Men are strikes to the either sides of the head.
* Kote - Strike to the forearm.
* Do - Strike to the torso area.
* Tsuki - Thrusting strike to the throat.

Most schools in Japan typically have a Kendo dojo, and inter-school tournaments are very common in the country. The sport is also practiced in several other countries around the world and governed by the International Kendo Federation. In Korea, the sport is referred to as [[InsistentTerminology Kumdo]] and for [[ImperialJapan obvious reasons]] its Japanese origins are downplayed, though there are some minor stylistic difference between Korean Kumdo and its more "orthodox" Japanese cousin. Many schools overseas that trace their orgin to Korean Schools also use the name Kumdo.

A related art is ''Atarashii Naginata'', which uses similar equipment and rules, but which arms its participants with bamboo [[BladeOnAStick naginatas]] rather than swords. It used to be that kendo was for boys and Naginata for girls, but this has broken down since the TurnOfTheMillennium. Naginata adds an additional bit of protective gear, the ''sune-ate'', which covers from the knees to the ankles, and an additional valid attack ("Sune"), to the sune-ate. Kendo and Naginata actually sometimes compete against one another, in matches known as ''isshu jiai.''

!!Tropes involving Kendo:

* AttackAttackAttack - There's a saying in Kendo: "''bogyo no tame no bogyo nashi''" ("there's no such thing as defense for defense's sake"). Kendo practitioners are trained to respond to attacks by themselves attacking and trying to get there first, rather than focusing on defense. The drill called ''kiri-kaeshi'', which consists of a total of 21 ''men'' strikes done in succession, on the move. There's also the practise called ''kakari-geiko'', where the protagonist makes continuous attacks against a defensive opponent yielding openings for strikes.
* BladeLock - Also known as ''tsuba zeriai'' in the sport.
* CallingYourAttacks - Arguably the TropeMaker, if not TropeCodifier. In Kendo sparring matches or tournaments, points are only given for attacks that are properly called and executed properly.
* CounterAttack - Nearly half of the techniques are based on this trope. Bonus points go to ''debana waza'', in which you counter attack ''before the opponent has even moved''.
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome - The counterattack called ''men-nuki-do''. In that move your opponent aims his strike on your head. You take a small side-step, avoid the blow, and ''simultaneously'' strike horizontally his right side torso, effectively cutting him in half. ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISCCpURPgc4 Men-nuki-gyaku-do]]'' is the same on your opponent's left.
* DualWielding - The style called ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHgBVCy1MPs&feature=related nito-ryu]]''
* LighterAndSofter: Modern Kendo compared to Pre-WWII Kendo, which is much more aggressive and violent. Legal moves included grappling, chokeholds, tripping the opponent, and picking him up bodily and tossing him out of the ring.
* KendoTeamCaptain - Usually one of the top tier fighters in the dojo.
* {{Kiai}} - Related to CallingYourAttacks, and a very important element of proper Kendo technique.
* KidSamurai - Practically all young Kendo practitioners.
* MasterSwordsman - Modern real-life incarnations of the trope.
* {{Samurai}} - Kendo is the modern evolution of Kenjutsu, so many Samurai traditions and concepts survive through the sport.
* SingleStrokeBattle - Quite common during sparring matches. Kata #7 is a very good example of this.
* SuicideAttack - There are some higher level moves that, essentially, only work if you are comfortable with dying: the trade off for success is leaving yourself very open during the attack. Sort of a cross between TakingYouWithMe and DeathOrGloryAttack. They're for times when (a) you'll probably lose the fight anyway and/or (b) when your opponent dying is more important than your survival.
* SwordFight - Self explanatory.
* TwinkleToesSamurai - Basic Kendo footwork is this, also known as ''Ashi Sabaki''. Its purpose is to make it harder for your opponent to notice that you have begun charging towards him
* WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter - Basically the entire concept of the sport.

!!Media that portrays Kendo, or is inspired by Kendo:

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/{{Asahinagu}}'' - Similar to ''Manga/BambooBlade'', but following the adventures of a naginata club rather than a kendo team.
* ''Manga/BambooBlade'' - The main premise of the series.
* ''Manga/{{Kurogane|2011}}'' - A ShonenDemographic manga centering around a HighSchool student that enters the world of kendo competitions through [[SupernaturalMartialArts unique circumstances]].
* ''Anime/RurouniKenshin'' - Kamiya-Kasshin Ryu is a Meiji era Kendo dojo.

* The noir film, ''Film/TheCrimsonKimono'', directed by SamFuller, has an exhibition kendo match between the two protagonists that degenerates into a violent brawl through their rivalry over a woman and racial conflicts.
* ''StarWars'' - Lightsaber duels from the Original Trilogy are based on Kendo movements.
* ''TheYakuza'' - One of the main characters runs a kendo school, and his skills become important later.
* The bad guys in ''Film/AvengingForce'' are shown participating in a kendo exhibition.
* Chang in ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' is kendo practitioner who works for Drax as an enforcer. He uses the style in his fight with Bond which costs him his life.

[[AC:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Hex}}'', Jez challenges Leon to a "friendly" kendo match with the clear intention of killing him. Ella turns up instead and beats Jez bloody before strangling him to death.

* The music video for "Too Close" by Alex Clare uses footage of Alex Clare's singing intercut with a kendo duel.

* In ''Literature/SnowCrash'', Hiro swordfights an opponent in TheMetaverse. He recognizes that his opponent is fighting according to the rules of kendo and promptly defeats him.

[[AC:{{Web Original}}]]
* A DiscussedTrope in ''WebVideo/GameGrumps'', as the kendoka is always that one friend who is eager to show off their kendo moves, in comparison to more quiet and reserved martial artists.