Benefits of doing Kendo.
- What is Kendo?
Kendo originated in Japan and was invented by the Samurai as a way to combat each other but not kill one another. It's a form of fencing and martial art that has four target points. Do, Men, Tsuki and kota. In kendo you would use a bamboo practice sword called a Shinai (Ito) and can be used by itself or with a short version called a Nitoryu (however using Nito(two swords) is more for the people who have been doing Kendo for sometime.) The uniform has two parts, the shirt in called a Keikogi and the pants are the Hakama. Lastly there is the body armor, the Bogu. Consisting of a helmet(Men), gloves(Kota), torso(Do) and the groin cover(Tare).
- Elements of Kendo
- Manners. There are ways to do things in Kendo that make it proper and not look like a bunch of people trying to hit each other with sticks. You bow to the sensei's (teachers) and the high seat before you start and when you end, there are also ways you ask someone if they want to keiko(spare) with you and you never show the bottom of your feet to the people on the floor (sparing) and in a tournament you have to enter the ring the proper way (take a step in bow, take three big steps in and then make Maai, which is striking distance.)
- Footwork. Literally the bases of Kendo, having the right stance and foot work is what makes the your kendo. If you put both of your feet together then turn your left foot to a 90 degree angel then straighten them both you will have the basic stance. Foot work is also connected to Fumikomi, which is kind of a stomp that you make when you strike.
- Posture. The posture is what really makes the foot work, well, work. It's normally described as having a wire running through your body and being attached to the ceiling. Good posture also helps you from getting hit (as much).
- Kata. You have probably heard of kata through Star Wars. Kata are meant to help the student learn practical applications of the strikes through seven basic
There are many other things to cover such as striking, putting on the gear and so forth. But somethings have to be learned in the dojo. If you look below there is a video of one of my Sensei's, Stroud Sensei, who is the highest ranked Sensei outside of Japan (At least in the PNKF, the Pacific North-West Kendo Federation.)
Bogu can be very expensive, so getting a good deal on some cannot be pasted up.
After awhile the people you do Kendo with become a kind of family that you get to spar with on a weekly bases, they will seem like the craziest people in the world but you will feel better knowing them.