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Six K-Drama Actors With Kendo Skills

BY Julie Jones | Feb 18, 2015 12:36 PM EST

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Song Jae Rim is busy brushing up on his kendo skills for his role in the KBS drama "Unkind Women."

Already the actor has earned praise from bystanders for his perfect kendo moves and focus. And that's good because he is playing the role of Ru Oh a kendo instructor.

If you're wondering what kendo involves, it is a Japanese martial art descended from swordsmanship. Instead of swords, kendo practitioners now attack each other with bamboo sticks. Although that means it's not likely to result in casualties, it can still be physically challenging and exhausting.

Several k-drama actors have learned the martial art for roles.

Lee Min Ho learned the moves for his role in "Boys Over Flowers." And lessons may have been easy to acquire since the father of his best friend, Jung Il Woo, runs a kendo academy.

Lee Min Ho not only demonstrated his kendo skills in the popular drama but here was a scene where his character's sister, played by Kim Hyun Joo, wielded a wooden kendo sword. She uses that sword to force him to get into her car. No wonder his character needed to practice.

Lee Joon Hyuk, who played a prosecutor in Lee Min Ho's next drama, "City Hunter," trained in kendo as well as boxing and hapkido for the role. The actor recently played the second lead, wooing Choi Soo Young in "My Spring Days," but no martial arts skills were required there.

A few actresses have also mastered the moves. Ha Ji Won is an acknowledged expert at kendo. But then she performs most of her own drama and film stunts, whether the script requires boxing, rock climbing, table tennis or horseback riding. She brushed up on the basics of kendo for her role in "Secret Garden," when she played stuntwoman Gil Ra Im.

Jun Ji Hyun also studied kendo for three months to play the heroine, only known as The Girl, in the film "My Sassy Girl." In that film she played a quirky character that excels at several physical activities, including racquetball and fencing.

Another actress who had to learn some kendo moves was Wang Bit Na. She played the cool, sophisticated restaurant owner Kim Bu Ki in "The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry," which also starred Kim Bum and Park Jin Hee. Besides looking chic and dispensing advice, her character also burned off some energy doing kendo moves. The character learned kendo as a form of self-defense after being treated badly by the man she loved.

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