Beginners are taken through a structured course, starting from absolute scratch, building from footwork through basic cuts, form exercises and routines, to armoured practices with full sparring. Additionally, practitioners are taught Japanese terminology and the rules of etiquette within kendo.
Do I need equipment? What should I wear?
No equipment is needed at all! Everything is provided by the club to begin with. Just wear some loose clothing.
How much does joining the club cost?
Our usual beginners intake is not required to pay for membership until around the third week of the academic session. Membership for students is comparable to the fees required for most university sports clubs, paid on a semesterly basis.
Do I need to be in good shape to do Kendo?
It helps to be relatively fit and healthy but anybody of any fitness state or size can practise Kendo. Beginners are gradually introduced to the pace of training with fun, involving sessions.
It is hard to find a perfect guide for this: however, through a mixture of the following links (courtesy of OnlineKendo), the Kendo Equipment manual, youtube videos and asking those in your dojo you should manage to work it out.
Parts 1 - 3 are the most relevant for beginners: containing shinai maintenance and how to wear and fold the Hakama and Kendogi.
Folding the Hakama
There are many ways of folding the Hakama and even more websites and videos showing you how to do so.
To start you off here is a link to a good explanation of the way we fold Hakama at EUKC. It also includes a description of what each fold means.
How to wear Kendogi and Hakama
Probably the best way to learn here is to have a combination of written and video instructions. So use the description in part 2 of the Kendo Equipment Manual with this video made by e-bogu's CEO Taro Ariga, 7th Dan (There is a whole set of videos by Ariga which you might find of interest)
How to do kihon keiko-ho?
While there is no substitute for learning in the dojo, there are a few ways to improve at home on what you have learned.
For a list of the movements for both Kakarite and Motodatchi you can read this pdf document.
You can also find youtube videos illustrating Kihon Keiko Ho: This is good but slightly out of date due to recent changes to numbers 5 and 8
How to do Kata?
The single best way to learn the movements of kata is to practice it. You can come to understand it better through talking to sempai, online resoures (youtube) or reading a book from our library. For a full run through of all the kata watch this video.
Why do we wash the floor?
Washing the floor is a Japanese tradition which the club follows as a means of keeping the dojo floor clean and free of dust and sharp objects which might injure our feet as we practice. As other sports clubs train with shoes in the gym hall we use, all sorts of debris can collect over time, and this tradition ensures a safe environment in which to train, and a humble attitude towards the practice—any and all grades will assist in cleaning the floor.