Jukendo is a form of Japanese martial art that focuses on combat with a bayonet. A bayonet is the knife, sword, or spike that is mounted at the muzzle of a long barreled weapon such as a rile or musket. This enables the firearm to also be used as a spear and was the primary weapon for infantrymen from the 17th Century until World War I.
Developed as a military art in the 1700’s, Jukendo is primarily taught to the Japanese military as part of their physical education regime. There are four main elements of Jukendo: Kihon, Kata, Shiai Geiko, and Kumite/Sparring.
Kihon: Practicing basic offensive and defensive bayonet techniques
Kata: Practicing bayonet patterns and forms
Shiai Geiko: Practicing Jukendo in full armour
Kumite/Sparring: Competitive sparring matches and tournaments
As you can see in this video of the 2010 Finals of the All Japan Jukendo Championships, practitioners of the art wear full armour when they compete in tournaments and sparring matches. This armour consists of five parts:
The Men (helmet): offers wide protection for the throat
The Kote (glove): features extra-padding around the thumb area
The Dō (chest and abdomen protector): also has an extra piece of leather designed to prevent the bayonet sliding up under the arm pit.
The Tare (hip protector): a loop of leather used to attach kata, a special piece of equipment to protect the shoulder and heart.
The Urabuton: a padded rectangle of thick cotton which is slung under the left armpit to cover the left side of the torso.
Despite Jukendo being primarily reserved for the military, there are a small amount of clubs around the world that still teach this art!