Do you fight with real swords?
No. That would simply be irresponsible and dangerous. Even with blunted edges, katana are known to shatter very easily if used incorrectly. We use bamboo swords known as shinai during practice. During kata, a wooden sword known as a bokuto is used.
Is kendo dangerous?
No. There's always risk involved in any sport but in some ways, kendo is one of the safest martial arts you can do.
Am I too old to start kendo?
Nope! As long as you're over the age of eight, you can do kendo. We have people of all ages and walks of life doing kendo.
Can women do kendo?
When do I get into armour?
The average student will get into armour between 6 months to a year after beginning training. It's all up to your sensei's discretion as to if they feel that you are ready. Fighting in armour is very different from the basic training so you should already be proficient in the basics before you add on another level of complexity.
I don't see any coloured belts in the photos. Does kendo have grades?
Kendo does have a grading system similar to other martial arts but we don't use coloured belts to show your grade. After all, in a battle, the samurai would have fought whoever was in front of them, not according to skill.
I haven't done any other martial arts before. Is that a problem?
Not at all. Kendo is very different from other martial arts so everyone will be starting from scratch. We'll teach everything you need to know.
What do I need to start?
To start with, all you will need is your body, a dojo shirt and black tracksuit pants. After the introductory lessons, all you'll need is a shinai and bokuto though your sensei is usually able to provide you with these until you decide to invest into your own set. Eventually, when your sensei feels that you're ready, you'll also need to invest into the hakama and gi and then armour.
When do you train?
Shi Hoko trains twice a week.
Tuesdays: 19:00 - 20:00
Thursdays: 19:00 - 20:00