Kendo originates in the discipline of Kenjutsu, the mastery of swordsmanship practised by samurai for centuries. In the 18th century, core elements of kendo such as the bamboo sword and armour became tools for those training in Kenjutsu and the practice grew from there. After the samurai class was disbanded in the 19th century, there was concern that the sword disciplines would disappear. Interestingly, it was the police force that took it upon themselves to preserve, standardise and teach this form of swordsmanship named kendo in 1920. Although it may not be the best known of Japan’s martial arts, there’s still a significant community of kendo practitioners in Japan. The sport is still primarily associated with the police force, although the art is also taught to students. It’s estimated that around 1.66 million people in Japan practice kendo. Like so many Japanese activities and sports, kendo has also taken off abroad and now counts as many as 6 million participants worldwide. kendo is also visible across countless films, tv programs, manga and anime. Today Many Japanese children enjoy practising kendo, keeping the tradition of the samurai spirit alive while getting engaged in healthy competition to train their minds and body.