We strongly encourage you to visit a Friday or Sunday practice first, so that you can understand what the environment of a kendo class is like, and to see if the physical demands suit you. Then, sign up for the next beginner’s class. Classes are limited to approximately 25 persons at a time.
Do I have to purchase a keikogi and hakama (the blue clothing) right away?
No. It is important, however, that you wear comfortable workout type clothing so you can move freely and easily Most people purchase their keikogi and hakama after several months of practice, when Sensei advises them that it’s the right time to do so.
Please DO NOT purchase a shinai or wear a hakama or keikogi to the beginner’s classes.
In the case of hakama and keikogi, you will not need them until sometime after you complete the class and join the Kendo Club (sensei will tell you when you are ready) For shinai, you need to have a shinai of proper size and we will fit it for you at the first class. A shinai that has been modified or not properly taken care of can be dangerous and will not be allowed in class.
Are beginning classes for all ages?
Yes. All ages are welcome and encouraged. In fact, we have many families doing Kendo together. Young children (through age 9) will require pre-approval from the Chief Instructor.
What about women or girls?
Many of the top Kendo practitioners are women. That’s perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of kendo in that men and women of all ages and abilities can practice together and learn from each other.
How soon can I practice in armor (bogu)?
That depends entirely on how hard you practice. If you’re like most people, you can expect to spend anywhere from 4-8 months working on “basics.” During this time, you’ll be progressing from beginners drills and footwork on your own to more advanced strikes delivered to other more senior club members (sempai). You will also be watched carefully by the Sensei (instructors) who will determine when it is appropriate for you to transition into bogu.
Why can’t I put it on right away?
This is as much for your safety as it is for the safety of others. Kendo is truly a lifelong pursuit when done properly and one must master the basics. The basics in this case include not only wearing the armor, but learning to deliver and receive strikes safely and with appropriate force.