What is kendo?
Kendo is a type of athletic contest in which practitioners wear kendo-gu (protective armor) and use shinai (bamboo swords) to strike each other.
However, kendo is a budo (martial way) that aims to forge the mind and body of practitioners and facilitate the development of character through continued keiko (practice).
As of March 2023 there are 2,027,257 registered kendo dan grade holders (in Japan), of whom 609,731 are women.
What is iaido?
Iaido is derived from methods of using the nihonto (Japanese sword) that emerged in the Muromachi period (1333–1573). The object of iaido is to learn to draw the sword in an instant to overcome an aggressor. It is a “Way” in which practitioners seek to train the mind and body through developing a spiritual appreciation of the relationship between life and death, movement and stillness.
The connection to kendo is very close, and it is said that iaido and kendo are two sides of the same coin.
As of March 2023 there are 97,220 registered iaido dan grade holders (in Japan), of whom 13,770 are women.
What is jodo?
Jodo is an art in which a practitioner wields a 128cm long and 2.4cm diameter jo (staff). More than just for attacking, the jo is used to control the opponent in response to their movements.
As of March 2022 there are 25,305 registered jodo dan grade holders (in Japan), of whom 4,140 are women.