Jukenjutsu – the art of the bayonet

Jukenjutsu (the art of the bayonet) is a Japanese martial art developed before the beginning of the twentieth century from spear and staff arts, for use in bayonet combat.


The Japanese soldier of WW2 received extensive close combat training, especially in bayonet fighting, and considered himself to be the finest bayonet fighter in the world. According to “Imperial Japanese Army Bayonet Fighting Tactics in World War 2”: The ordinary Japanese Army rifle company spent almost half of its time at bayonet practice. An American company commander who was caught without a training program usually sent his troops out for close order drill. The Japanese company commander in the same circumstances gave them bayonet practice. Thus, Japanese Army infantry was afforded more practice with a superior bayonet fighting technique than many other armies.

And which other army had bayonet lugs on light machine guns?! 😯

After the end of World War 2 jukenjustu was banned by the allies. In the 1950s it returned in the modern form of jukendo (the way of the bayonet). The armour used is similar to Kendo but instead of swords a mokuju, a wooden mock rifle is used. Jukendo is still practised by both Japanese military personnel and civilians today, albeit it is rare and in no way as popular as Kendo.

Two jukendo clips

I guess being skilled at jukendo would be very helpful for IJA reenactment events, chaaaaargge!!!   😛

~ by m1pencil on July 5, 2011.

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