Who can practice Kendo?
Anyone can practice Kendo! Men and women, boys and girls. You can start at any age. The youngest age is probably around five or six, depending on the size and maturity of the child.
When can I start Kendo?
You can start Kendo at any time. Just stop by the dojo when you are ready to join, and our instructors will get you started.
Feel free to come to the dojo to watch our practice until you decide to join.
What do I need to begin Kendo?
When you first begin your study of Kendo, a uniform is not required. Comfortable gym-type clothing will suffice, feet are bare. The first thing you will be learning is footwork. Depending on individual ability and how much you practice at home, this can take anywhere from 2 to 4+ months. The Head Instructor will determine when you are ready to purchase your uniform. Footwork may seem repetitious and boring, but it is a very important and integral part of Kendo.
What equipment will I eventually need?
The Kendo uniform consists of the keiko-gi (jacket) and the hakama (skirt like trousers). Beginners should wear a white keiko-gi and a dark blue or black hakama. The cost of the keiko-gi will be around $50+ depending on size. The hakama will be around $70+ depending on size.
The first piece of equipment you will need to buy is the shinai (bamboo practice sword). The Head instructor will determine when you are ready to buy one. These can be purchased from the Dojo, or from a martial arts supply store for $20-$40+.
The Kendo armor, called bogu, consists of four pieces of equipment: the men (head gear), kote (gloves), do (chest protector), and tare (hip protector). Kendo bogu come in a variety of quality and price ranges: machine stitched vs. hand stitched, bamboo do vs. fiberglass do, Japan- made vs. Korea-made vs. Taiwan-made. It is generally true that YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!! Expect to spend at least $500- $600 for a decent set of armor. A good set will last at least 20 years.
Once again the Head Instructor will determine when you are ready for armor. In the meantime, you will want to set funds aside to prepare for your armor purchase. Usually you won’t require armor for 6 months to 1 year after you begin Kendo.