Jukendo and its subsidiary budo, tankendo, fall under the auspices of the All Japan Jukendo Federation (AJJF).
They were respectively created during the Meiji and Taisho eras and were a component of the modernization of the Japanese army. At first, jukenjutsu was taught in Japan by French officers, but Japanese soldiers were not satisfied with some elements of Western bayonet fencing. They soon introduced techniques derived from sojutsu (Japanese spear) and footworks and methodology closer to Japanese martial arts such as kendo.
Jukendo was further refined after the Japanese experience in the Russo-Japanese War at the beginning of the 20th century. It is also from that experience that their close quarters combat (CQC) system evolved into what is now known as tankendo, using the bayonet in hand, dismounted from the rifle. The army felt that a technical rationale was needed for the bayonet to be used effectively in close quarters combat (CQC) and soon developed an hybrid system which would incorporate short sword technical techniques, notably that of the Toda-ryu.
Both jukendo and tankendo include training in fundamentals (kiso), basic and applied techniques (kihon and oyo waza), kakari-geiko, ji-geiko, shiai and kata. There are 5 different sets of kata which use both weapons and also the military sabre: mokuju (bayonet on rifle) tai mokuju (8), mokuju tai tanken (bayonet in hand) (6), mokuju tai to (sabre) (6), tanken tai tanken (8) and finally, tanken tai to (6). All those kata provide an interesting outlook on Japanese CQC, which is mainly based on thrusting and constitute a rather exceptional system.
An unusual characteristic of tankendo is the use of grappling techniques with the left hand while stabbing with the right one.
In isshu-jiai, the tanken often beats the juken. It teaches a lot about maai (distance), hyoshi (rhythm), and sutemi (attack with commitment) and is thus something worth studying for kendo practitioners. Especially suited to kendo enthusiasts is tankendo: the equipment is almost the same, some techniques are similar and tankendo provides new and flexible responses to a very wide variety of situations which usually occur during kendo matches. On the other hand, jukendo, which is quite an impressive and powerful martial art, is usually more difficult to learn because its apparent simplicity hides in fact a very deep level of refinement and minute details that take many years to master.