Chanbara is a Japanese martial art, which means "sword fighter." This style of fighting was founded approximately thirty years ago by Tanabe Tetsundo. Tetsundo originally called this school of fighting "Goshindo," and it was later nicknamed Chanbara.
Tetsundo's group consisted of some of Japan's greatest swordsman. While they were very traditional in nature, they were well aware of today's changing society. Instead of using traditional swords to instruct their pupils, they utilized swords made out of flexible plastic materials and foam like material. It proved to be the safest and most effective method for instructing contact weaponry fighting.
Today, certified Chanbara dojos can be found all around the world. Children and adults alike partake in education and fighting. The founder, Tetsundo, is still a very active participant in the martial art. He is the founder of the ISCA (International Sports Chanbara Association).
Chanbara is a fast-paced martial art that utilizes padded-weapons in safe-platform to instruct expert weaponry and sword training (types of chanbara swords). Basic principles and terminology that are commonly used in this martial art include the names of Japanese swords such as iaido, knouts, kendo, and iaijutsu.
The safe weaponry used in this martial art includes knives, spears, clubs, and various passive weapons. Some practices may even include the use of a bokuto (wooden sword) while wearing a uniform that consists of a Keikogi (cotton top) and Hakama (pleated pants). Kneepads, belts, and badges are all part of the attire for Chanbara. Chanbara has also inspired movies in the Samurai cinema genre which have been called “sword fighting” movies.