The Japanese sword is perhaps the best known weapon of the feudal ages. In Japan, the sword has a unique status and an important role in Japanese culture. It was the main weapon of the samurai, the knights of feudal Japan. In comparison to Europe, where knights were defeated at the battle of the Golden Spurs (1302) and body-armour was becoming largely unpopular, knighthood in Japan existed until the end of the Meiji-era (1868).
The focus of a ken jutsu kata is to learn to fight against an opponent with an equal weapon.
Both students are armed with a boken (wooden sword).
Ken jutsu consists of 4 kata for beginners (Omote no tachi), in which the students learn the primary attacks and counterattack
Secondly these techniques are expanded with another 5 kata for advanced students (Gogyo no tachi) and at last another 3 kata with more refined techniques (Gokui hichijo no tachi).