What is a Kendo Armor?

The kendo armor protects the head, throat, fists and abdomen; They are the only parts of the body that have the right to touch. The helmet is called the men. An oval-shaped metal grille protects the face; The protection of the throat, formed by a thick and resistant leather tongue, descends from the grid towards the chest by a few centimeters and provides the target for the "Tsuki" (shot of the shinai tip). A wide band of reinforced fabric protects the head from one shoulder to the other and takes the form of the helmet by attaching itself to the bead of the metal mask. Traditionally, the fabric band was made with horsehair, but modern bogu (armor) use a thick felt that is padded with cotton. The whole is stitched very tight. The space between each point indicates the quality of the equipment:

The tenugui is a fine cotton rectangle wrapped around the head just before placing the men. It is used to make the wearing of the men more comfortable and to absorb perspiration. The tenugui have printed motifs, usually kanji, and they are offered as souvenirs. Materials manufacturers also give them as promotional items.

Tare is the protection of the belly, the groin, and the hips. It is a rather thick belt in quilted fabric from which hang five sides. There is no option of the legal target on the tare. Usually, the tare bears the name of the kendoka as well as that of his dojo (it is an obligation for the competition). These are inscribed on a small cover called zekken that is threaded on the central panel.

Protection of the trunk is ensured by the C which overlaps the tare. The do consists of forty-eight to sixty-four bamboo strips, covered with leather and then lacquer. The low-end do are made of fiberglass. The C protects the whole of the chest and extends on the flanks approximately from the hip bone to the first ribs. The abdominal part of the C is the target of the only lateral striking at the kendo, the "do". The part covering the heart (called the mune) becomes in some cases a legal target for the "Tsuki".

The kote protect the hands and wrists. The upper part of the hands and joints with the fingers are covered in a thick padding with leather on the outside. The high-quality kote has a buckskin padding while cotton and synthetics are used for low-end kites. The part of the kote protecting the wrist is made of the men from a very thick fabric stitched. The palms are covered by a piece of leather that is a suede skin smoked in very high-end kote.

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