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  1. Fencing v Kendo

    #1112342017-06-25 14:22:15 *Taro_Tanako said:

    Fencing v Kendo


    Someone at my fencing class showed me this photo flic.kr/p/a1BsYL and we got talking about an age-old argument that sometimes comes up between European-style fencers and people who practice kendo, that is, which of the styles would win out against each other?

    Being a pretty keen fencer and having also learned a little kendo, I've always been kinda fascinated by this subject. The styles have never really clashed in history but fans of both sport love to speculate the merits of one over the other.

    Kendo and the use of a katana really represents a powerhouse of the two styles with it's two-handed grip, relatively heavy weapon, and torque-harnessing technique from those torso twists to generate amazing energy through the arms and body.

    By contract, fencing employs a very mobile and lighter attack method, greater reach and versatility, but rarely a one hit one kill outcome. It's more like death by a thousand cuts.

    Well, I have my favourite but I wanted to know your opinions and thought it would make a nice discussion. What do you think?

    Also, here's an exhibition piece of fencing v kendo which is pretty neato:

  2. #1112362017-06-25 15:25:00MrTrain said:

    I don't know much but I feel like using a two-handed style allows one to put in much more strength than a one handed style. In that example video as a viewer it seems like the kendo style should be able to easily knock the sword out of the fencers hand.

  3. #1112382017-06-25 19:59:07 *IrawaWeirHolo said:

    While Kendo has the power side of the two, fencing has an overwhelming reach advantage, if you'll see the stance; this reach makes it easy for the fencer to attack and jump out while the Kendo practioner will find it hard to hit the fencer. Next, the hilt of a rapier(if it'll be the weapon used) or mostly fencing type swords have a good guard covering their whole hands while the katana has an oval shape guard good for minimal defense only. And lastly, what is easier to parry, a piercing thrust or a slash? Simple, the slash.

  4. #1112392017-06-25 20:09:27DarkChaplain said:

    Good luck trying to parry a proper slash with a rapier. If the fencer has to parry at all, he's fighting badly. Kendo's mindset is pretty counter to that of fencing and I'd argue that due to that they'll have time to consider moves more carefully. The whole death-by-a-thousand-cuts style of the fencer paired with constant prancing about is tiring, too.

  5. #1112462017-06-26 02:06:49IrawaWeirHolo said:

    You don't need to parry, as I said, "attack and jump out"; a kendo user has a more front stance while a fencer has a more side stance; a front forward stance has a good balance but the side stance has more "move in and out". The fencer has more target to choose from because two hands are available for pin point thrusting. But a rapier is a thrust sword not a cutting sword.

  6. #1112602017-06-26 17:28:11Taro_Tanako said:

    @IrawaWeirHolo not quite true. Rapiers (well, those from the "Golden Age" of fencing) do have a cutting edge. But you're correct to assume the katana has significantly more power and utility as a cutting weapon, at the cost of reach though. Rapiers are definitely primarily a thrusting blade.

  7. #1112402017-06-25 20:28:04Taro_Tanako said:

    I found this video of some guys sparring with cavalry sabre and shinai (practice katana). The sabre looks way more effective but a lot more tiring.

  8. #1112562017-06-26 15:37:10shafnat said:

    i don't really know for sure but i've been practicing aikido with my uncle for 3 years, and stopped because i don't live here anymore. tho i'm not formally trained in a dojo, he trained me just like in a dojo, and it's not only training about grappling with hands as most people know-- it also consist training using weapons, whether it's one handed or two handed, or sometimes just a random thing--not a weapon at all but can also be used, all the improvement of moves are based on its irimi and tenkan. and it's all about counter-attacks--you don't have power from yourself as you send back the power of who strikes you. at least it's what was taught to me, and it's effective.

    so, i think, i prefer more to kendo as movement and katana as weapon, as i see fencing moves has too much initiatives and uses a lot more power while kendo counters it as effective as much as the power given. I prefer katana as weapon for the shape was made with a lot of advantages of counter attacking more than thrusting and striking. i guess that's my opinion.

  9. #1112682017-06-27 09:56:56Farris said:
    • Reach is often considered a very important factor..
    • To me the movements in kendo seem pretty easy to predict in comparison to the moves in fencing.
    • I think the person holding the sword, and his experiences is the most important factor.

    Side note: Even if katanas mostly look the same, the weight distribution can vary. Even though they mostly have the same shape it doesn't mean that they'll feel the same way in your hand.