Kendo meaning “Way of The Sword”, is a modern Japanese sport/martial art, which descended from swordsmanship (kenjutsu) and uses bamboo swords (shinai) and protective armour (bōgu).
Today, it is widely practiced within Japan and many other nations across the world. Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines martial arts practices and values with sport-like strenuous physical activity.
Practitioners of kendo are called kendōka , meaning “someone who practices kendo”, or occasionally kenshi (剣士?), meaning “swordsman”.The old term of kendoists is sometimes used. The “Kodansha Meibo” (a register of dan graded members of the All Japan Kendo Federation) shows that as of September 2007, there were 1.48 million registered dan graded kendōka in Japan. According to the survey conducted by the All Japan Kendo Federation, the number of active kendo practitioners in Japan is 477,000 in which 290,000 dan holders are included. From these figures, the All Japan Kendo Federation estimates that the number of “kendōka” in Japan is 1.66 million, with over 6 million practitioners worldwide, by adding the number of the registered dan holders and the active kendo practitioners without dan grade.
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Gyeorugi , a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s as partial combination of taekkyeon, Okinawan karate, and other traditions.
The name taekwondo was coined by Choi Hong Hi (of the Oh Do Kwan). The World Taekwondo Federation claims that taekwondo development was a collaborative effort by a council consisting of members from the nine original kwans, while the International Taekwon-Do Federation credits Choi Hong Hi solely.
Sport taekwondo was developed in the 1950s and may have a somewhat different focus, especially in terms of its emphasis on speed and competition (as in Olympic sparring). Sport taekwondo is in turn subdivided into two main styles. One style is practiced by International Taekwon-Do adherents and was created in 1955 by Choi Hong Hi. The other style derives from Kukkiwon, the source of the sparring system sihap gyeorugi. This style is now an event at the summer Olympic Games and is governed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters) is the traditional center for WTF taekwondo and was founded in 1973 by Dr. Kim Un Yong.