What is Jukendo?

Jukendo means the “Way of the Bayonet” and it is a modern budo that can be traced back to the traditional Japanese schools of sōjutsu (spearmanship).

Jukendo is in many respects similar to kendo, Japanese fencing:
– practitioners wear an indigo jacket and large, pleated trousers called hakama
– practitioners also wear armour when engaging in matches
– practitioners study kata (pre-arranged forms) and engage in shiai (competitive matches)
– through abiding to Japanese etiquette and committing to austere training, practitioners pursue character-building

The armour looks similar to that which is used in kendo. However, each separate part has its own distinctive features that are required to practise safely.
– the men (helmet) has a wider throat protection pad
– the kote (glove) also features some extra-padding around the thumb area
– the (chest and abdomen protector) features an extra piece of leather designed to prevent the bayonet sliding up under the arm pit.
– the tare (hip protector) has a loop of leather used to attach kata, a special piece of equipment to protect the shoulder and heart.
– the urabuton is a padded rectangle of thick cotton which is slung under the left armpit to cover the left side of the torso.

The weapon in jukendo is called a mokujū (a mock rifle with an affixed bayonet made of wood). An “ippon”(valid point), is achieved by thrusting with a strong spirit and a powerful forward leap (ki-ken-tai-itchi), followed by a sharp withdrawal of the bayonet and a period of vigilance called zanshin. The targets in jukendo are the chest, throat, left shoulder, and left forearm.

The All Japan Jukendo Federation (AJJF) was formed in April 1956.


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