Beginners

If you are interested in starting kendo, please read this section carefully, take a look around our website and Facebook page for more information.  Beginners are always welcome. You can first come for a taster session, and then apply for our beginner’s course if you like it.


Detailed Information

* Beginners are accepted year round and are expected to attend at least 5 consecutive calendar week sessions.
* After the 5 weeks are up, those successfully completing the course may move on to the regular class timetable.
* Beginners can buy their own kendo-gi (jacket) and hakama (trousers) should expect to wait a few months before bogu (kendo armour) may be worn. We will offer you a bogu try-out session before moving towards and purchasing your own armor.

*In order to start prompt on your first session, we would appreciate if you could , complete our online membership form.

Duration

5 calendar weeks. If a class in cancelled due to a holiday or unforeseen circumstances then a week will be added in lieu.

Course Content

During those 5 weeks, a beginner will be practising the following:

Reiho (etiquette), Suburi (cutting action), Ashisabaki (footwork), Tenouchi (correct grip), Datotsu (correct cutting), Kirikaeshi (Basic cutting and blocking practice).

You should expect a typical lesson to be up to 90 minutes. Most lessons will include at the end a Mitori-geiko section (watching practise), where you can watch more experienced members in a free practise.

Costs

There are two charges totalling £55*, and a temporary BKA (British Kendo Association) membership (£10):

  • £20 for the 5 week course including all tuition.
  • £35 to cover necessary equipment, namely a shinai (bamboo sword) and carry bag. *If you have your own equipment then you do not need to pay £35, just £20 for the 5 week course is needed only.

Please register as a new member with the BKA to obtain a “Temporary (3 month) membership” to obtain personal  accident insurance. You can register with the BKA with their BKA temporary membership.

We accept cash or cheques but prefer bank account transfer (for details please get in touch with our treasurer to find out the information) or you can pay into our paypal account which is Edinburghkendo@gmail.com; fees are payable on the first night prior to practice.

You should wear a loose t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms. We train in bare feet on a clean sprung gym floor.

At the end of the course

Assuming you have attended all 5 weeks, you may wish to become a full member of the club – details and fees can be found HERE.

After your 5 weeks beginners course is finished you will be asked to purchase the uniform: Navy blue kendo-gi (top) and navy blue hakama (bottom). You can find examples in the following UK-based shops:

NineCircles.

Kendostar.

Eurokendo.

Please note…

You must contact us in advance either via our Facebook page or email if you wish to attend a session.

As mentioned above, you are welcome to watch and/or have a taster session, prior to starting a beginners course.

Additional resources

If you’re interested to find out what is expected at each level then the following weblink will help (http://www.britishkendoassociation.com/grading-requirements/).
It is the official grading guidelines released by the British Kendo Association (BKA).
If you’d like more resources then the BKA’s webpage on resources has a good variety of information (http://www.britishkendoassociation.com/resources/).
A beginner’s booklet was written and released by the late Terrry Holt 7th dan sensei which would be of great help to you http://oxford-kendo.info/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/BeginnersBooklet.pdf
If you’re interested in obtaining information about kendo kata please refer to this video. They break down the common mistakes, slows down the kata and also shows the kamae (postures) from different angles.
Aside from reviewing your kata, we highly recommend practising suburi (swings) at home with a mirror in front of you to get direct feedback on what you’re doing vs what you think you’re doing. A good source of information for practising at home can be found on a video by Andy Fisher and ex team GB member who now lives in Japan.