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In the martial art of Kendo, there are ten kata: seven with the long sword, or tachi, and three with a short sword, or kodachi. The tachi is roughly equivalent to a katana, and the kodachi is meant to be similar to a wakizashi.

Kendo no Kata is often performed with a wooden sword (called bokken or bokuto). Occasionally, especially when a bit of showmanship is desired, real swords are used.

The Kendo no Kata is performed by a two people. One side is known as the uchitachi, and the other is known as the shidachi. The uchitachi is the aggressor, and the shidachi will demonstrate a technique and ultimately win the conflict.

For a rank of shodan (which would be a first-degree black belt in karate), the first five tachi kata are required. For second degree (nidan), all seven tachi kata are required. Finally, for third degree (sandan), all ten kata must be learned.

Also, for all ranks following sandan, all ten kata must be demonstrated. IIRC, at higher ranks, starting at rokudan (6th degree), the kata are to be performed using iaito (dull swords).

Cf. iaido, where the transition is from iaito to shinken (live blade), due to iaido kata being solo endeavors.

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