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Kendo Kata

Kendo Kata are fixed patterns that teach kendoka (kendo practitioners) the basic elements of swordsmanship. There are two roles, uchidachi (打太刀), the teacher, and shidachi (仕太刀), the student

Kata were originally used to preserve the techniques and history of kenjutsu for future generations. In the past, many ryu or schools of Kendo had their own set of Kata that students used to learn. Kata were first unified in the Keishicho Gekken Kata or Police Department Attacking Motion Kendo Kata, when exemplary kenshi were hired to standardize kata instruction in 1880. Nihon Kendo Kata were finalized in 1912 for use in public school instruction. Modern usage of kata is as a teaching tool to learn strike techniques, attack intervals, body movement, sincerity and kigurai (pride).

In kata, the teacher role always moves first. Both the student and teacher use bokken (木剣), except in some demonstrations which use blunted katana. The first seven kata use tachi, a long bokken, for both student and teacher. The last three kata use tachi for the teacher and kodachi, a shorter bokken, for student. In general, mastery of the first three kata are required for advancement to 1-Kyu and more for Dan grades.

NIHON KENDO KATA IN DETAIL

The video, originally produced by the All Japan Kendo Federation shows the complete set of Kendo Kata, with explanations translated to english.

Tachi vs. Tachi

Kata 1: Ippon-me

Kata 2: Nihon-me

Kata 3: Sanbon-me

Kata 4: Yonhon-me

Kata 5: Gohon-me

Kata 6: Roppon-me

Kata 7: Nanahon-me

Tachi vs. Kodachi

Kata 8: Ippon-me

Kata 9: Nihon-me

Kata 10: Sanbon-me