Kendo (剣道), meaning the way of the sword, originated in Japan and is based on a mixture of different sword styles and schools dating back hundreds of years. Kendo is a mix of traditional martial art and modern sport - providing an opportunity for character development and improvement through discipline and respect, as well as challenge players through friendly competitions at various levels across many divisions – as individuals or teams.
The concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the katana (sword).
Kendo senior practitioners wear protective gear (bogu) designed after the traditional samurai armour, and use bamboo swords (shinai) to practice the strikes. Despite being a full-contact combat sport, techniques in Kendo are very controlled, with a large focus on proper form and elegance in the way we move our body. Kendo is a group sport that emphasises teamwork where members must learn to practise with each other.
Four target areas of Kendo: men (head), kote (forearm), do (torso), and tsuki (throat) for advanced players.
Kendo allows practitioners to work on self-improvement and discipline, improve their fitness, and participate in the growing local, interstate, and international community of Kendo or fans of martial arts in general; as well as experience a unique aspect of the Japanese culture, woven into our own Australian lifestyle and values. Kendo in Australia is practised by over 1,200 members, growing steadily.
For Beginners, Kendo training will mostly consist of footwork, swinging exercises (suburi), and some non-contact partnered work. Occasionally Beginners may have the opportunity to practise striking Seniors in armour, however Beginners will not get hit at all.
For Seniors practising in armour, Kendo is considered a full-contact combat sport. While sparring is a part of Kendo at this point, the majority of the training consists of drills where players are partnered up and take turns hitting one another, practising one specific technique at a time. This allows for a very controlled approach to safe training, as the emphasis is always on correct form and using the proper techniques, with minimal strength.
Target areas are completely covered by the padded armour. Additional protection such as wrist pads can be worn if desired. Occasional misses can happen, resulting in small bruises - however in most cases, the worst you will experience is getting blisters on your feet and hands. Kendo is probably the safest full contact sports there is.
As our club is affiliated with the national organisation Australian Kendo Renmei, all our members will be covered by any injuries and personal liability insurance, should anything happen during training or formal club events.
Kendo is one of the most accessible martial arts and combat sports available to everyone. In Japan and some parts of the world, Kendo is taught to children as young as 5, and practised by people up to their 80s and 90s. The average age of practitioners is usually around mid-30s, with many "late-starters" well in their 50s.
Physical fitness, speed, and flexibility are always an advantage, but they do not necessarily beat mastery of skill, sense of timing, and mental prowess. It is common for older Kendo masters to easily surpass younger players purely out of skill.
The recommended age to start is above 12 years old; however, we are happy to discuss options for younger children.
If you have any special needs or concerns, please let us know and we would be happy to have a chat. We have experience in assisting a student under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
"The sword is a powerful equaliser", which allows Kendo practitioners to reach a fair middle ground. Whether you are young or old, male or female (or anywhere in between), fit or unfit - you can learn something from Kendo.
Kendo 4th Dan, BIG BOSS
Kendo 4th Dan, MINI BOSS
Kendo 2nd Kyu, OFFICIAL CLUB CHUMP
Kendo 3rd Kyu, VICE PRESIDENT
Kendo 5th Kyu, SECRETARY & TREASURER