Koryu: Jujutsu | Kenjutsu | Battojutsu | Bojutsu | Iaijutsu/Iaido | Naginatajutsu | Sojutsu | Kyujutsu
The sword was the most notable weapon associated with the samurai, and it only follows that Kenjutsu, literally meaning “art of the sword,” was the most popular martial art of the samurai.
Kenjutsu was created in the 15th century and it's primary goal was to prepare soldiers and samurai for battlefield combat. Swordsmanship was it's essential focus, however various weapons and styles were incorporated into the kenjutsu. The katana (steel sword) was mainly used, as also the bokken (wooden sword) when sparring to develop skill in true battlefield combat. Some other weapons that were fought with were the spear, staff, and halberd were used.
Kenjutsu practitioners usually garnered the tradition wear of the “hakama (split skirt trousers), keikogi (a heavy weight jacket worn tucked in) and obi (belt). Various belt colors did not exist, as in other martial arts such as karate, yet ranks were used; “Deshi (student), Renshi (instructor), Kyoshi (teacher) and Hanshi (master).”
The complicated styles of Kenjutsu were usually mastered through the art of Kata (prearranged forms or exercises). This was usually done with a bokken and katana. Solo practice was normal, however pairs and in some cases multiple kenshi (swordsmen) was used.
Some believe that a main focus of Kenjutsu was not losing, however most consider it's goal ultimate victory over the enemy.