Beginner's Guide to Kendo


Welcome to Boston Kendo Kyokai. You are about to embark on a path of self discovery that will challenge you to persevere in the face of adversity, to accept setbacks with equanimity, and change the way you think about yourself. Kendo is not an easy martial art to learn, let alone master. In fact, put away all thoughts of mastery and focus, instead, on reaching your fullest potential, to whatever level of skill that may lead. In the final analysis, skill is not the measure of success in kendo. Rather, it is the manner in which you conduct yourself in the dojo and out, your respect for others, your compassion for humanity, your humility and self-restraint.

You will need to be patient, keep an open mind, and practice diligently at the dojo and at home as well. We only practice twice a week for a total of four hours, therefore it is critical that you maximize that time. Move quickly during practice, without rushing; avoid milling about waiting for someone to notice you; actively seek out instruction. There is a tremendous responsibility placed on you to determine your own future in kendo. That is not to say that you will be ignored, to the contrary, everyone at our dojo is more than willing to share their knowledge and help you to become integrated into the routine practice. Every member of our dojo, from the highest ranks down to the first day beginner, is equally worthy of respect and consideration. However, sometimes you will have to be proactive in your approach to learning.