Kenjutsu (剣術) is the umbrella term for all (koryū) schools of Japanese swordsmanship, in particular those that predate the Meiji Restoration. The modern styles of kendo and iaido that were established the 20th century included modern form of kenjutsu in their curriculum too.  Kenjutsu, which originated with the samurai class of feudal Japan, means "the method, or technique, of the sword." This is opposed to kendo, which means "the way of the sword".The exact activities and conventions undertaken when practicing kenjutsu vary from school to school, where the word school here refers to the practice, methods, ethics, and metaphysics of a given tradition, yet commonly include practice of battlefield techniques without an opponent and techniques whereby two practitioners perform kata (featuring full contact strikes to the body in some styles and no body contact strikes permitted in others). Historically, schools incorporated sparring under a variety of conditions, from using solid wooden bokutō to use of bamboo sword (shinai) and armor (bōgu).

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