Jukendo, also known as the "art of bayonet fighting," has its roots in both traditional Japanese schools of spearmanship, or sojutsu, and Western bayonet combat. The aim of jukendo is to thrust at specific targets on the opponent's body, including the chest, throat, left shoulder, and left forearm, using the mokuju, a wooden mock rifle and bayonet. Precise thrusts, powered by kiai, and followed by a sharp withdrawal of the bayonet from the point of contact, are required to score a point. The protective armour worn during jukendo is thicker than that used in kendo, with additional protection for the throat and heart. Practitioners study kata, engage in shiai, and cultivate discipline and etiquette to develop their character. Jukendo was extensively studied during the war, but like other Japanese martial arts, it was reinvented as an enjoyable exercise promoting fitness, self-development, and as an exciting sport for people of all ages to participate in.

Jukendo and Tankendo Kata

by Baptiste Tavernier

The ultimate purpose of practising kata is to gain an understanding of the essence of jukendo and tankendo. The kata combines the basic technical components of jukendo and tankendo in set forms with a fixed order. Through kata one can train one’s spirit, posture and attitude; learn combinations of techniques and how to judge maai; understand the different thrusting, striking and cutting opportunities; learn to evaluate irimi-seitai possibilities; acquire precise techniques and experience the exquisiteness of zanshin.

Jukendo and tankendo kata were created in order to teach proper etiquette, posture, grip, footwork, use of internal energy, breathing, opportunities, vigilance, and offence and defence patterns. By studying kata, one will be able to improve posture, correct technical flaws, acquire proper thrusting and striking actions, accurately judge interval, and understand the concept of taking the initiative. The practitioners movement will become sharper and faster, a more dignified attitude will be nurture, a stronger spirit will manifest, and the eyes will become more piercing and alert.

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ーA History of the Bayonet in Japan
ーJukendo and Tankendo Kata
ーKata Overview
Jūkendō no Kata
Tankendō no Kata
Jūken Tai Tanken no Kata
Mokujū Tai Tō no Kata
Tanken Tai Tō no Kata
Appendix 1: Jukendo & Tankendo Training Guidelines
Appendix 2: The Budo Charter

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