What is Kendo?

Martin Mieloszyk is the president of L’Marc International, Inc., a financial services company based in New York. In his free time, Martin Mieloszyk practices and competes in kendo, or Japanese fencing.

Literally translated as “the way of the sword,” kendo is derived from traditional swordsmanship techniques developed centuries ago by the samurai, who combined fighting arts with spiritual training. Modern kendo was established in the late 18th century with the introduction of protective equipment and safer bamboo swords. Today, kendo is a combination of martial arts and rigorous physical exercise that strengthens body, mind, and character. It is a well-known international sport, and since 1970, world championships are held every three years.

Practitioners of kendo are known as kendoka or kenshi, and they are ranked according to their skill and length of practice. Two types of swords are used in kendo: a shinai or bamboo sword is used for sparring and a bokuto or wooden sword is used to practice basic techniques called kata. In addition to a kendo jacket and trousers similar to culottes, kendoka wear armor that protects their face, chest, hands, forearms, and thighs.

During a kendo competition, there are seven designated strike zones on the body: the top, left, and right sides of the head; the left and right torso; the right wrist in any position; and the left wrist when it is raised. Strikes on other parts of the body do not win points. Competitors vocalize loudly before they strike not only to express their fighting spirit, but also to indicate where they will strike their opponent. Typically, in a kendo match, the first competitor to score two out of three points wins.


About martinmieloszyk

Fluent in English, Polish, Russian, and French, Martin Mieloszyk has traveled the world in pursuit of education and cultural enlightenment. Currently residing in New York, Martin Mieloszyk started his career as a Regional Manager at Porsche Cars North America, Inc., in 1998, followed by a four-year tenure with First Allied/Wells Fargo Bank managing public relations and subsequently its investment banking departments. In 2004, Martin Mieloszyk accepted a position as Chief Corporate Officer with SSMC Bank and later joined the Royal Alliance division of AIG, where he contributed to the development of the company’s marketing and sales strategies. As a result of his efforts, the average investment amount increased to exceed the established company quotas. Most recently, Martin Mieloszyk served as President for L’Marc International, Inc., as the head of the Mergers & Acquisitions Division. In this capacity, he performed multiple business analyses; consulted with business owners or management teams who intended to sell, acquire, or merge their companies; and developed targeted marketing strategies for those businesses. An alumnus of Paris-Sorbonne University, the largest school of literature, languages, culture, and art in France, Martin Mieloszyk earned a Bachelor of Science in Information and Communication and Slavic Studies. While living in Great Britain, he attended University of Oxford and obtained a Master of Computer Science in Programming and Software Engineering. Finally, Martin Mieloszyk graduated with honors from the University of Warsaw in Poland, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economic Sciences. A Board Member of the Polish Slavic Center, Martin Mieloszyk is also affiliated with Polish American Congress and The Kosciuszko Foundation (formerly the Polish-American Scholarship Committee), which was founded by Dr. Stephen Mizwa in 1923 to connect Polish students with American universities. In his spare time, Martin Mieloszyk serves as a member of the Polish National Fencing Team in epée and sabre. He also practices Kendo, meaning “Way of the Sword,” and takes part in Kendo tournaments, displaying a contemporary Japanese martial art of sword fighting derived from the traditional samurai swordsmanship.
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