The way of the sword
Kendo cannot be traced back to a single founder or given an exact starting date. It translates to ‘way of the sword’ and has its roots based in kenjutsu. Samurai wanted a way to still practice their skill and perfect their sword techniques without the use of real sword.
Kendo values mental and physical development, this ties into bushido ‘way of the warrior’ that stresses the virtues of bravery, loyalty, honour and self discipline.
Kendo is a martial art based on traditional sword fighting where a double-handed bamboo sword (shinai) is used to practice a full contact sport on someone wearing protective armour (bogu).
Kendo in the Western Cape
Maties kendo dojo, based in Stellenbosch, was the first and only dojo in Cape Town for a long time. It was started in 2007 by four members, one of which was Jürgen Beck. It would be eight years before new dojos opened up in Cape Town.
In 2015 Kenshin was founded by Jürgen Beck and Andrew Ingle and opened its doors for the first time. The dojo aimed to cater to the northern suburbs.
In 2016 Shishigashira was started by Marcas Hendry, a former member of Mushin kendo dojo, and catered to the southern suburbs.
Currently Kenshin is the only active dojo in Cape Town. We hope to be able to open both Shishigashira and Maties again in the near future.