March 15, 2012

Let's you and her fight

Throughout the Warring States and Edo periods, women of samurai lineage were specifically trained in the naginata. Demonstration matches pitting a naginata against a shinai (bamboo sword) are commonly held at meets.

The wives of medieval warlords often donned samurai armor, took up the defense of a besieged castle, and occasionally engaged the enemy on the battlefield. Documented examples include Lady Hangaku and Tomoe Gozen.

Judô, archery, and kendô remain staples of the Japanese high school physical education curriculum for both sexes. The Ministry of Education recently made Japanese martial arts a required subject in junior high school.

However, concerns have been raised in particular about the judô requirement, due to a lack of qualified coaches, and students suffering the kind of head and neck injuries often associated with American football.

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