5 Things You NEED to Know Before Starting KENDO!

hi my name's Andy and welcome to the

kendo show today we're gonna be talking

about five things that you need to know

before you start Kendall before we get

started though I just want to make it

very very clear that I'm not trying to

talk anyone out of kendo quite the

opposite and I just want to make sure

all the cards are on the table before

you begin

lots of people jump into Kendall without

really knowing exactly what's involved

so this video is here just to help kind

of combat that a little bit and even if

some of these things that I'm about to

tell you are different to what you're

expecting and they can put you off a

little bit please just give it a try

anyway I do add you to do that Kendall

really is a wonderful thing and there's

loads to be gained from it so without

further ado let's get into those five

things that you need to know before

starting Kendall


number one kendo is always practiced a

barefoot we don't wear any sort of

footwear there's no indoor shoes no

socks anything like that it's a barefoot

activity okay so we're always barefoot

occasionally if you have an injury or a

blister or something like that there are

sort of special socks that you can get

that just cover the front part of your

foot but in general and we always

practice barefoot and those sort of

things you're not supposed to wear in

tournaments either so and tournaments

are almost always barefoot too and I

know that in some other martial arts and

there are sort of indoor shoes and stuff

that they wear like sort of kick shoes

and stuff like that we don't have

anything like that in Kendall so and in

Japanese culture you may or may not know

but when you enter a building and you

generally take your shoes off at the

entrance and you leave them at the

entrance whilst you and sort of enter

the building and do whatever you're

supposed to be doing in there whether

it's your house or whether it's a public

building a school it could be anywhere

but often you leave your shoes and at

the entrance I go inside do your

activity and then and pick your shoes up

again once you leave kendo is exactly

the same way we take off our shoes at

the entrance to the dojo we never wear

our shoes inside the door because we

don't want the floor to get dirty

because as I said we're practicing it

barefoot number two kendo is loud it's

shouty you shout a lot in Kendall that

is both before you make strikes and at

the moment you make the strike as well

basically in Kendall that the kind of

idea is that we make strikes that are a

perfect unification of the sword the

body and the spirits and the sword of

course is how we swing the sword our

body is moving and our spirit manifests

itself through our voice it's as very

practical applications but before and we

start an encounter when we face off

against an opponent we'll start with a

loud shout or what's called a kakigori

yeah so often referred to as ki I yeah

like this towards our opponent this

might help offset them it helps build up

our spirits so that we're ready to get

involved in

stuck in with the fight also when we

make strikes we call out the name of the

target that we're striking not

beforehand okay because then they'll

know what we're gonna hit yeah but at

the moment that the strike lands we

shout the name of the target those names

are men that's the head Hodel forearm

door that's the body and ski that's this

thrust to the throat don't really do

that technique until later on wolf that

means that when you hit in the head you

shout man or you hit the forearm this is

called cold air cold air if you hit the

body this is called dole dole like this

and the thrust to the throat is called

ski ski like this okay so you have to

get used to shouting it's a bit

embarrassing at first I totally

understand I felt the same myself when I

first started out in Kendall but

everyone goes through it you do get to

kind of you get used to it and it gets

it certainly gets easier once you start

wearing the armor as well and you've got

got a kind of mask there but yeah it's

you know you

I understand it's a little bit

embarrassing but if you push yourself

through that you'll definitely and get

used to it and you won't feel so

self-conscious about it once you realize

everyone else is in the same boat number

three Kendall is not completely painless

okay so we have the armor it's called

the Borger or kendo ger that's there to

protect us from the strikes from the

bamboo sword the shehnai and those

strikes generally don't hurt so much it

depends on how hard the other person

hits if they hit too hard sometimes it

can be a little bit painful but the the

Borger itself the armor itself is quite

good at protecting you and there are

other things though that are a little

bit painful sometimes and it's things

like blisters you get blisters on your

hands and swinging the shin-hye a lot

and until you get used to it it's a bit

like a guitar player I don't play the

guitar but I've heard

the guitar plays get sort of blisters or

pains on the end of the fingers from

pressing there the strings against the

fretboard until their skin hardens here

and that goes away the same thing

happens in Kendall you tend to get

blisters here until these sort of hard

calluses develop like I've got on my

hand that's sure if you can see on the

camera but these and the you know so the

blisters sort of stop happening with

practice same thing happens on your feet

as well unfortunately and especially if

your footwork isn't correct and if your

footwork is bad then it's easy for the

skin on your feet to tear and and it's

just a matter of time really whilst you

get the technique right for that to stop

happening um obviously as well it is a

full-contact martial art so sometimes

accidents happen people fall over people

pull muscles that's probably the most

common cause of injuries like muscle

strains or you know that's sort of thing

pauline muscles what-have-you

occasionally you might fall over and but

the actual striking within reason again

if somebody's a little bit overzealous

with the shaking sometimes that can

sting a little bit but that's just a

good point for you to remember because

when you're striking somebody you've got

to remember that at some point they're

gonna be striking you back okay

number four perhaps the most

controversial point of all Kendall will

not make you into an expert sword

fighter a duelist or a samurai I've

talked about this a little bit on my

channel already

well basically kendo is indeed the way

of the sword that's literally what it

means and the purpose of Kendall is

actually to improve our character

through the applications of the

principles of the sword okay that means

that what we are doing we're striving to

overcome our own deficiencies our own

troubles and to improve our own

character through hard and rigorous

training and and applying the principles

of the sword what that means is it means

that we're not trying to figure out

what's the best way to win a sword fight

the shinai or the bamboo saw

it's not a direct replacement for a

katana or a Japanese sword hence it's a

different size it's a different weight

instead it exists as a tool to help us

achieve something more than simply

fighting for actual self-improvement as

well as learning to respect ourselves

and our fellow human beings I know that

does sound like a lofty goal but it

really does work and it's super

rewarding so even if you thought you

were gonna get into kendo and become an

expert duelist and I still recommend

going along giving it a try because

there's so much still to be gained from

it ok number 5 this is the last one

number 5 is all about the cost how much

does Kendall cost definitely something

you need to know about obviously there's

the equipment but there's everything

else as well it's attached to Kendall

and the practice of it that does indeed

cost money the first thing you wanna

need to think about of course is the

practice fees when you go along to a

Kendall Club that Club is generally

renting the space from another body

usually it could be a school or a Sports

Center sometimes there are some clubs

that own their own properties but

they're quite rare but even in those

situations they still have overheads to

cover bills to pay and all that sort of

thing so that means that to have a

Kendall Club in that practice area means

that it's gonna cost money generally

most clubs tend to collect a practice

fee these practice costs really depend

on the area as well as the other

overheads that the club has to cover I

don't know where you're based in the

world so your currency may vary but it

depends it could be anything from a few

dollars a time five or ten dollars a

time it could be or euros five or ten

euros pounds whatever you probably tell

I'm British from my accent maybe they'll

have a monthly fee so I have twenty five

thirty forty fifty a month something

like that and the best thing to do is

get in touch with the club and find out

what that is they might even have it up

on the website in order to practice

Kendall safely and with peace of mind we

all have to be associated with some kind

of insurance this is all done through

the Kendall Federation now the Kendall

Federation works in a way that there's

an International Federation that governs

kendo across the globe then you have

member Federation's that are attached to

each country

they're they they sort of linked to the

International Federation and then the

the country Federation's govern Kendall

in the specific countries that they're

in in some countries where there's a lot

of people practicing Kendall then maybe

further Federation's under that and so

perhaps a regional Federation or even

even more so like a city federation or

something like that

these Federation's generally also

require some kind of membership fee and

it's usually some sort of annual fee

again it could be really dependent on

the area could be anything from sort of

fifty to a hundred and whether that's

dollars euros whatever a year it could

be a monthly thing you'll need to go and

check with the Federation it's probably

got a website might even have the fees

listed on the website but if not and you

best ask in the club that you're gonna

join they'll know all about it because

they'll need you to be part of that

Federation in order for you to be able

to practice Kendal properly in that club

that's not money wasted though because

membership of the Federation means that

you are legit practising Kendall and

you're also able to participate in

things like tournaments gradings we have

a grading system in Kendall it's not

like some martial arts where and there's

different colored belts we don't have an

outward expression of our grades but you

don't tend to have a series of what

called cue grades which is what would be

that representing their colored belts in

a martial art like judo or karate and

then you have the Dan grades which would

be representative of the black belts in

compared to other martial arts like judo

or karate actually the first done or

what would be the first black belt is

generally set a reasonably lower level

compared to other other art it doesn't

take so long to get there because we

tend to consider the higher Dan grades

as our kind of senior grades and then of

course there's equipment you could

probably tell by looking at Kendall

that there's quite a lot of equipment

involved generally the equipment would

consist of a shin-ae

that's the bamboo sword that we used for

striking practice at BOC door we

is a solid wooden sword which is used

for cut a'practice and is not used to

strike anyone and perhaps a bag to put

them in these will be the first pieces

of equipment that you'd need to get

started though I expect you wouldn't

need them the first time you went along

to the club many clubs even have ones

that they can lend out for you to use

for the first few weeks a uniform or a

kendo gear and hakama that's the top and

the bottoms that we wear for kendo

practice would usually not be required

for the first few months the armor or

the auger or kendo go would not be

required for several months after

starting your Kendall journey as with

anything when it comes to equipment

there's a huge range of prices you could

expect to pay my advice on this is if

you're really serious about Kendall you

really do want to continue practicing

it's not to go too cheap right from the

start there are some places out there

you can get super super cheap stuff but

unless you want to buy it twice I you'll

be better off spending a little bit more

from the start and getting something

that's gonna last you that little bit

longer of course the biggest financial

outlay comes from the armor or the Borgo

there are loads of options available for

this there are some very very cheap sets

available online and some people even go

and buy them secondhand and although

this seems at first like it's a great

way to save money what people who do

this find is that they have to buy

another set within a year or two of

having bought that one that's because

the quality is so low or the fit is so

bad that they can't continue to practice

seriously and certainly not well enough

to get through things like gradings or

tournaments you don't have to go out

there and get the most expensive armor

that you can but it's definitely worth

saving that little bit extra and getting

something that's going to last you so

that you don't have to buy twice so that

was five things that you need to know

all about Kendall if you are gonna go

and start Kendall I really do think you

should even if some of those things are

a little bit contrary to what you were

thinking originally definitely get down

to the kendo Club and give it a try make

sure you subscribe to the kendo show as

well because I post loads of content

about Kendall and now he's starting

Kendall you're gonna learn loads and

loads from the videos that I put out

there it's definitely worth looking at

our back catalogue of videos as well

because we've got loads of instructional

videos about the basics of kendo as well

as some of more advanced techniques and

I also post up frequent

style videos where I take questions from

the audience

people cut write them in the comments on

our Facebook group stuff like that

and I answer them on there too finally

this channel is made possible because of

Kendall star Kendall Starcom is a kendo

equipment website so we talked about the

cost of kendo equipment earlier in the

video you can get onto kendo starcom

right now and you can check exactly what

sort of prices you'd be looking at for

decent quality kendo equipment that's

gonna last you a long time kendo star is

a company that I for myself after

working in Japan for several years has

some of the top manufacturers I decided

it was time to make a brand of kendo

equipment that was specifically designed

and tailored for Kendall practitioners

around the world all orders have free

international shipping so get over to

Kendall starcom and check out what we've

got finally don't forget to Like share

subscribe all that sort of thing and

I'll see you all next time in the next

video thank you for watching