Japan Data Archive

About Japan > Life and Customs > 

What kind of traditional martial arts of Japan are practiced as sports?

Among traditional Japanese martial arts which are practiced as sports today, judo and karate are ones in which no weapons are used.
Judo developed from jujutsu. and karate was introduced from China and developed in Okinawa.
Kendo, a kind of fencing, was born from the martial arts of warriors.
Shinai, or bamhoo swords, together with men (face masks) and do-ate (body protectors) began to be used in the Edo period (1600-1868).
Kyudo, or Japanese archery, acquired its name in the 20th century, although its origin dates back to ancient times.
Two different kinds of shooting ranges, a shorter one in which competitors shoot at a target while sitting, and a longer one in which competitor shoot standing, are used in kyudo matches.
One feature of sports derived from Japanese martial arts is that they emphasize courtesy and mental discipline.