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About Jukendo

jukendo match

Jukendo, known as the "Way of the Bayonet," merges the traditional Japanese art of spear fighting (sōjutsu) with European bayonet techniques to form a modern martial discipline. This budo shares many similarities with kendo, the art of Japanese swordsmanship. Practitioners don traditional indigo jackets and pleated hakama trousers, don protective armor for sparring, and study both kata (pre-arranged forms) and engage in shiai (competitive sparring) to not only master the physical aspects but also to cultivate discipline and character in accordance with Japanese traditions.

Jukendo equipment

​The protective gear in Jukendo, while reminiscent of kendo's armor, includes unique modifications to ensure safety during bayonet practice:- The men (helmet) features extended throat protection.- The kote (gloves) are reinforced around the thumb for added safety.- The dō (torso protector) includes an additional leather piece to prevent the wooden bayonet from sliding upward.- The tare (waist protector) incorporates a leather loop for attaching the kata, which safeguards the shoulder and chest.- An urabuton, a thick cotton pad, is worn under the left armpit to protect the side of the torso.

Jukendo basic stance

The primary weapon in Jukendo, the mokujū, is a wooden replica of a rifle with a bayonet. Scoring a point, or "ippon," requires a forceful thrust combined with a dynamic leap forward (ki-ken-tai-itchi), followed by an immediate retraction of the weapon and a state of alertness known as zanshin. Valid targets include the chest, throat, left shoulder, and left forearm.


The All Japan Jukendo Federation (AJJF) has been overseeing this martial art since its establishment in April 1956, promoting its practice and values.

About Tankendo

tankendo competition

Tankendo, or the "Way of the Short Sword," is a martial art closely associated with Jukendo, drawing from the ancient Japanese techniques of the kodachi (short sword). While it shares many aspects with kendo, Tankendo distinguishes itself in several key ways:

- Practitioners wield a shorter shinai, measuring 53 cm, designed to mimic a Japanese bayonet in hand.

- The protective gear is largely the same as that used in kendo, but practitioners wear only the right kote (glove) and place the urabuton (protective padding) under the right armpit for specific protection.

- The scoring targets in Tankendo include all those recognized in kendo, with the addition of a thrust to the torso (dō-tsuki) and a specialized thrust to the torso executed at close quarters after immobilizing the opponent's arm (seitai-zuki).

These modifications cater to the unique tactical and practical demands of short sword combat, emphasizing precision, agility, and the ability to engage effectively at close range.

tankendo match

In Jukendo and Tankendo, matches, known as shiai, are a core component where competitors don protective armor and strive to secure two out of three valid points to win. These martial arts also offer opportunities for children to participate in competitions, focusing on the evaluation of their basic technique execution or mastery of kata (pre-arranged forms), rather than just scoring points.


Both Jukendo and Tankendo are inclusive practices in Japan, welcoming participants of all ages and genders. Men, women, children, and seniors alike engage in these disciplines, highlighting the universal appeal and accessibility of these martial arts within Japanese culture. This inclusivity ensures that the traditions and skills of Jukendo and Tankendo are passed down through generations, fostering a community that values discipline, respect, and continuous learning.


jukendo kata

The ultimate goal of kata in both jukendo and tankendo is to grasp their core essence. By integrating basic techniques into predetermined sequences, kata serves as a comprehensive training tool. Practitioners are guided to refine their spirit, posture, and approach, fostering a deep understanding of distance (maai), recognizing opportunities for effective thrusts, employing precise techniques, and embodying the finesse of zanshin (awareness and readiness post-technique).

Kata is divided into five distinct series for systematic study:

  • Jukendo no Kata (mokuju vs mokuju) comprises 8 forms.

  • Tankendo no Kata (tanken vs tanken) – 8 forms.

  • Mokuju tai Tanken no Kata (mokuju vs tanken) – 6 forms that explore the dynamics between weapons with different lengths.

  • Mokuju tai To no Kata (mokuju vs sword) – 6 forms that pit bayonet against traditional sword.

  • Tanken tai To no Kata (tanken vs sword) – 6 forms.

tankendo kata
mokuju vs tanken kata
mokuju vs sword kata
tanken vs sword kata
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