two of the most popular and well-known martial arts: Kendo and Eskrima. Both entail swordsman’s arts, and both have a great deal to offer.
History & Origins of Kendo & Eskrima
Kendo was developed in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868) and is based on the sword fighting techniques of the samurai.
The founder of kendo, Master Musashi Miyamoto, is often referred to as one of the greatest swordsmen in history.
The art emphasizes tradition and etiquette, as well as fighting techniques that combine cutting and thrusting attacks with defensive blocks.
Kendo is typically practiced as a sport and is popular among men, women, and children.
- More than 2,000 years of history and development
- Great for people of all ages, especially the young and old
- Beautiful form and discipline
- Practical self-defense skill for the average person
- Many kendo schools focus on teaching general fitness as a side benefit
While practicing kendo is fun, it’s not necessarily ideal for developing an unbeatable fighting skill. Most people practice this martial art for recreation or to develop their discipline. Even so, kendo can still be dangerous in the wrong hands.
-Some schools aren’t safe for women, children, or anyone who has a tendency to break it
-Reasons such as injury or apprehension towards training can upset a person’s concentration and cause them to lose focus
Eskrima, also known as Filipino stick fighting, was used by the Igorot tribe of the Philippines in the 16th century.
The art of Eskrima focuses on manipulating sticks and swords to inflict lethal cuts. The sticks are particularly dangerous because they can be used as weapons if they are sharpened.
The sticks and swords of Eskrima are designed to look like deadly weapons, so students practice with great caution and advance slowly in their training.
The art also includes defensive techniques and special training in navigation and navigation.
- Fun and realistic combat training
- Great for self-defense application
- Very adaptable to the individual; combats the body’s natural weaknesses
- Can be practiced with a wide variety of weapons, providing different tactical options
Eskrima isn’t perfect for everyone. While some people love its emphasis on offensive technique, others prefer a more balanced approach.
- Also, Eskrima relies heavily on body movement and timing to avoid cuts. Not everyone has the coordination for this.
- Not for everyone: The art is sometimes intimidating and isn’t friendly to certain body types or ages.
- Eskrima is only as safe as the people practicing it, so there’s no guarantee that they’ll be careful and focused.
- Eskrima can be too aggressive and sometimes leaves the practitioner in a bad mood after training.
Differences between Kendo vs. Eskrima
The biggest difference between the two arts is their level of danger.
- In Eskrima, sticks, and swords are used as weapons in order to inflict cuts upon the opponent’s body. The combatants use a wide range of maneuvers and strategies to confuse their opponent and use it against them. In kendo, the swords are designed to look like weapons, but they’re blunt and dull. Training focuses on speed, accuracy, and attention to detail.
- Kendo is also less intense than Eskrima. The competitors in kendo don’t usually try to score points or eliminate their opponent. Instead, they focus on fighting honorably and striving to do the best they can with the time they have for training.
- The weapons are often confused because they share a name, but there is an immense difference between the two. Kendo is a Japanese art that contains swords, spears, and other bladed weapons for training purposes. Eskrima is a Filipino martial art that uses sticks and knives in conjunction with punches and kicks.
- Kendo is much more rigid than Eskrima because its movements have strict regimentations and require extensive training over a long period. Kendo is more of a sport when compared to Eskrima, which is more practical. If you find yourself in an actual fight and don’t know what weapon to use, you will be better off using Eskrima because it has more practical applications in actual fight situations.
- Finally, kendo isn’t as fun and exciting as Eskrima, which is known for its numerous stunts and tricks.
- Kendo is often practiced as a sport and is popular in Japan, but it is also practiced internationally by non-Japanese. Many schools have large numbers of students from other countries, like China, Taiwan, and the United States. Eskrima is more traditional than kendo, but the art has become a popular martial art for Filipinos in many countries around the world.
- The biggest difference is the focus on practical self-defense in Eskrima, while kendo focuses on developing strong self-defense skills.
- Also, a good portion of the punches and kicks in kendo are made using the same stance, while Eskrima can use any striking technique that involves punches or kicks.
Similarities between Kendo vs. Eskrima
- Both arts give you a wide range of combat techniques that can be used in the case of an actual brawl.
- Both emphasize discipline and physical fitness.
- They both focus on fighting techniques, form, and etiquette.
- They both teach a wide variety of self-defense techniques with a variety of weapons.
Kendo vs. Eskrima: Which Should You Choose?
If you’re looking to get serious about your martial arts training, you should consider studying either one of these arts. Both are popular and well-developed.
While kendo focuses more on developing strong self-defense skills, Eskrima imposes more emphasis on the practical application of skills.
This means that Eskrima is a better choice if you’re more concerned about developing good fighting techniques and you’d like to focus on practical self-defense.
If you don’t intend to learn how to fight, then kendo might be the better choice for you.