Kendo (lit. "sword way") is a modern Japanese martial art, which descended from swordsmanship (kenjutsu) and uses bamboo swords (called shinai) and protective armour (bōgu). Today, it is widely practiced within Japan and many other nations across the world.
Kendo is an activity that combines martial arts practices and values with strenuous sport-like physical activity.
Swordsmen in Japan established schools of kenjutsu (the ancestor of kendo), which continued for centuries and which form the basis of kendo practice today. The formal kendo exercises known as kata were developed several centuries ago as kenjutsu practice for warriors. They are still studied today, in a modified form.
The introduction of bamboo practice swords (shinai) and armour (bōgu) to sword training is attributed to Naganuma Shirōzaemon Kunisato during the Shotoku Era (1711–1715). Naganuma developed the use of bōgu and established a training method using the shinai.