Why kendō’s game rules are too complex for the Olympics : moral value and body culture in a game of honor / Jingyi Tian

Tian, Jingyi

This article explores body culture in kendō, a Japanese sword-fighting martial art, which features a moral framework and subtleties of honor that set it apart from other modern competitive games. As the globalization of jūdō established the precedent of including martial arts in the Olympic Games, kendō garnered media attention as the next potential Olympic martial art. Many kendō practitioners reject inclusion in the Olympics, however, arguing that conforming to Olympic standards would undermine the esthetic values and spirit of kendō. Based on one year of fieldwork studying kendō practices in Hong Kong, the author uses practitioners' narratives to explain why this is the case.

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