Kendo tips; small things I have from kendo in Japan

Equipment handling

  • Don’t push your baggage around with your feet. Just as you should be careful to not step over someone else’s shinai and show respect for your own equipemnt during a match, you are expected to display a serious attitude with a high degree respect for your own equipment. If you want to press you baggage back against a wall, you should bend down and use your hands.

Dressing for success

  • New uniform for tests. Let the judges see that the test is a serious priority for you. Remember that proper attire is important for kendo and don’t get demerits for formality.
  • A zekken to match your dojo(s). If you are practicing at several places, a secondary dojo may ask you to conform with the rest of the practice group. This is not as obvious as getting a zekken for competitions.

Carbon shinai; don’t use them when…

  • you take a test. Strict senseis may object to them, so don’t take the risk. Use a nice, new bamboo shinai.
  • when you partner has a fancy dou. The polymer coating on a carbon shinai could rub off and leave a faint streak against a dou. Sometimes, dou with fancy (expensive) designs, materials and colors are given as gifts and prizes to kendoka, so those people would prefer to see you using a normal, bamboo shinai.

Men himo length

  • If your men himo is too long you may need to change the style in which it is tied. Tying men himo in the “Kansai Style” requires a longer set of himo.
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Author: Justin

English teacher, matsuri otaku and kendo 4dan.

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