Is previous martial arts experience required?
No, most individuals that start their kendo journey do so at an older age than most other martial arts. We will teach you everything you’ll need to know to do kendo.
Who can practice kendo and is there an age limit?
Anyone at any age can start with kendo. It is a sport practiced by men, women and children world wide. Feel free to join in on any class to see if kendo is for you.
What equipment is needed to start doing kendo?
When you start, you only need tracksuit pants and a comfortable shirt. Shinai (bamboo swords) will be provided during class. When you decide to continue on with kendo, you will have to invest in your own shinai, bokken, and traditional clothing.
When do you start fighting in armour?
Normally it can take from 6 months to 1 year before you enter bogu (armour). Though this time is dependent on your own personal progress. Your senpai will decide when you move over to bogu based on skill level and ability to practice kendo safely. Advice on how to purchase your own armour will be provided when the time comes.
Do you wear belts?
No, kendo does not have any external markings of grades. Though our grades correspond to traditional belts, 8th kyuu = white belt while 1st dan = black belt.
Is kendo a full contact sport?
Yes, but the full contact part only starts once your senpai have decided that you can execute basic techniques safely.
Does kendo make use of real swords?
No, only shinai (bamboo sword) and bokken (wooden sword) are used in kendo.
Are there competitions?
Yes, every dojo hosts an interdojo competition where members can fight other kendoka in different types of competitions. Most of the dojos are located in Gauteng, meaning most of the competitions occur in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
How easy is it to grade?
Members are eligible to grade every 3 months, gradings are held at seminars and interdojo competitions throughout the year. Since 2018, it is possible for members in the Western Cape to grade up to 1st kyuu without having to attend a Johannesburg interdojo/seminar.