What is Kendo?
Kendo is the Japanese martial art of sword fencing. Kendo is a fun, exciting, and challenging martial art that combines both physical and mental training and development. As one progresses in their training, the challenges of kendo become more mental than technical. Due to this aspect, progression in kendo achievable by anyone; unlike other martial arts or sports, one does not need to be athletic, strong, young, or quick to succeed.
Kendo is a great way to get in shape, meet new people, and develop yourself for the better.
Can anyone join Kendo?
Yes! New students are accepted any time. If kendo is new to you, we recommend attending one or two practices prior to joining so that you will get an understanding of how we train. Starting at age 5, everyone is welcome and can do kendo. It doesn’t matter how old you are when you start, but more so how you apply yourself during training and how often you train.
What equipment do I need?
You do not need anything at first. When you attend your first practice, wear comfortable exercise gear. Don’t worry about purchasing equipment just yet. Our instructors will help you when you are ready to begin wearing a uniform and bogu (armor) and will guide you in the purchase of these things. We will lend you a sword (shinai) so you can try it out with no obligation.
Does kendo have a ranking system?
Kendo, like other martial arts, has a system of ranks. These are referred to as Kyu and Dan. The Kyu ranks are attained leading up to Dan. The Dan ranks are attained and referred to in the Western world as black belt ranks.
To attain a rank in Kendo, there is a promotional examination. Within the Midwest Kendo Federation, examinations are offered 3 or 4 times per year, usually joined with tournaments. Each test is different and our instructors prepare students far in advance. There is no outward indication or clothing to determine what rank a kenshi has attained.
How much does membership cost?
The dues structure is as followed – $50 per month for full access to unlimited classes. Discounts offered for family members and children. Please inquire with Dr. Birdsell for information on discounts. Payments can be conveniently made online via our payments page.
Next Steps …
We are excited to welcome anyone to our Kendo club. First class is always free. Click here to find out location and class times.