Kendo classes generally restricted to ages 8 and up. Some exceptions can be made for children under 8 years of age. In these cases an interview is required. Visit class to have an interview regarding your child.
Beginning instruction focuses on etiquette (reigi) and establishing a solid foundation in the basics of footwork and proper cutting technique in Kendo. You do not need to bring any equipment to your first class. Just wear loose fitting clothing appropriate for exercise ( e.g., sweats). At the first class, beginners will need to purchase a wooden practice sword (bokken) and, a few classes later, a bamboo practice sword (shinai). Beginners must also pay additional equipment fees of $20 for a bokken at the first class and $25 for a shinai at the 4th class.
Students who pursue Kendo training beyond the first few quarters are expected to purchase a set of the clothing traditionally worn by Kendoists, the keikogi (a thick, loose-fitting coat) and hakama (loose, pleated pants). A set of keikogi and hakama for an adult costs approximately $80.
After a few quarters, new students progress to the point where they are ready to wear protective armor (bogu) and begin fencing with their instructors and fellow students. Used armor may be rented through the class at a cost of $36 per quarter. In the long term, serious Kendo students are expected to invest in their own armor. New armor can be purchased through the club at discounts or off the internet. Used armor is also occasionally available for purchase. The kendo clubs will gladly assist in these purchases and should be consulted to save money and obtain high quality equipment.
All students who wish to go beyond the Seattle Parks and Recreation programs (basic kendo class) will need to join the regional, national, and international kendo organizations. The membership fees for the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation (PNKF) and the All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF) are a combined cost of $90/year for adults and $50/year for juniors aged 17 and under. Membership provides access to all PNKF and AUSKF sanctioned events, including seminars, demonstrations, tournaments (taikai), and testing for rank (shinsa).
The Frequently Asked Questions page answers many of the basic questions you may have about kendo and the club.
If you have further questions, feel free to contact us here.