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The right uniform
The traditional kendo uniform is a jacket, called a keikogi, and a hakama skirt. The jacket is very similar to a judo jacket, as it crosses over, left to right, and is fairly heavy. The hakama skirt is really a long skirt that is divided into two pieces. This allows for an ease of movement and a striking look on the competition floor.
The right equipment
A shinai stick is primarily used for practice and competitions. It is made of four wooden slats, which are held together by three pieces of leather. If the shinai is not properly taken care of, it can injure the user or their opponent, as large splinters can occur and have been known to pierce the armor and the skin.
The protective kendo armor is traditionally referred to as bogu and consists of a face mask and shoulder protector, a body protector, a leg or groin protector, hand protectors and shin protectors. This armor is meant to protect the wearer during competition.
Kendo is basically the martial arts form of fencing. Two opponents square off, each with the correct armor and a shinai stick, and battle each other. The martial art is not only amazing to watch, but it is challenging to the mind and body of the practitioner. A martial artist who has studied Kendo for a long time is likely to be calm and collected, as their main tenants involve promoting peace and prosperity among all people.
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