While many empty-handed martial arts train with weapons to raise the level of awareness and teach the extension of empty-handed technique further into a weapon, the original warrior disciplines still remain as art forms and sports. The ancient arts of Japan, Kenjitsu and Iaijitsu in particular, were modernized to some degree into Kendo and Iaido. Kendo specifically became a modern sport rather than maintaining the ancient tradition of sparring with live blades whereby beginners often returned home short one limb. Kendo employs competition with a bamboo practice sword, and Iaido focuses largely of the use of katas. Jodo, or training with a staff, and archery also continues to this day. The actual self-defense aspects of these arts may not be immediately obvious, as two swordsmen do not often find themselves engaged in battle to the death on the streets of America in modern times. However, the principle notions of how to use one’s body and train the mind is as beneficial in these forms as empty-handed technique.
Kendo, Iaido, Jodo, Kyudo Classes in Westchester, NY: Availability
Kendo classes are limited in Westchester County, NY. They are at a minimum available in White Plains. Iaido and Jodo appear absent. Kyudo on occasion appears for a seminar class in an upstate monastery annually. NYC might be a better location for some of these arts.