Shiraoka Kendo Kai

Beginner’s Course Syllabus and Equipment Guide

Beginner’s Course Syllabus

Week 1

  • Fundamental etiquette (Rei)
  • How to warm up
  • Terminology
  • The correct way to move
    • Ayumiashi
    • Suriashi
  • How hold the shinai
  • How to perform a basic cut

Week 2

  • Various cutting practices (suburi)
    • Jogeiburi
    • Shomen Suburi
    • Kote Men Suburi
    • Renzoku Men Suburi
    • Sonkyo Suburi
    • Haya Suburi
  • Tenouchi
  • Japanese Counting

Week 3

  • Advanced footwork
    • Hirakiashi
    • Fumikomiashi
  • Fundamental Attacks (Uchikomigeiko)
    • Men Uchi
    • Kote Uchi
    • Do Uchi
    • Kote Men
    • Men taiatari Hiki Men

Week 4

  • How to wear and care for equipment
  • Kirikaeshi
  • Consolidate previous lessons

Equipment

After finishing the course you should look to buy your own equipment. You will need the following:

  • Kendogi or gi – A cheap single layer chemical dyed gi is fine.
  • Hakama – Again, a cheap synthetic “tetron” hakama is sufficient.
  • Shinai – Make sure you get the right size.
    • Adults
      • Men use size 39
      • Women use either size 39 or an “adult ladies” 38
    • Juniors
      • Size 29 to 31 for under 7’s
      • Size 32 to 36 for under 7 to 12 year old’s
      • Size 37 for 13 to 15 year old’s
      • Size 38 for under 18’s.
  • Bokken – Any kendo bokken is fine.
  • Weapons bag.

Please use a reputable supplier like those linked on the Links Page.

Longer term costs

To help beginners get a grip on how much starting kendo will cost here is a timeline projecting your costs. I’ve opted for the cheapest reasonable choices available at the start of 2017. Obviously there are ways to make savings (I tend to share 2nd hand armour sales in our facebook group) or you can spend much more if you wish. To be clear, these costs are approximate.

Please note that from the 5th week on you will also be paying £5 per session you attend.

  • Prior beginner’s course
    • British Kendo Association Temporary Membership: £10
  • First week
    • Beginner’s course session fees: £20
  • Fourth week
    • Purchase 2 shinai, 1 bokken, weapon bag, kendo kendogi and hakama: £150
  • Third month
    • Upgrade British Kendo Association Membership: £35
  • Past six months (or at instructor’s discretion)
    • Purchase kendo bogu (armour, priced for 4mm stitch set): £340
  • Total cost: £555