Prospective Students

What is Kendo?

Kendo is a Japanese martial art descended from the sword practices of the samurai. Several hundred years ago, practitioners developed a training sword (shinai) and protective equipment (kendo-gu) that allowed for full-speed practice of sword techniques without risk of injuring one’s training partner. Modern kendo continues this tradition, as well as incorporating a competitive sport aspect.

For additional information, please visit the following links:

How do I join?

If you are thinking about joining, we encourage you to come and observe some of our practices. Please contact the dojo ahead of time to let us know of your visit and answer any questions you may have.

Once you have decided to join, please fill out the Application and Liability Release forms below.

What can I expect?

Beginners spend the first several weeks being instructed in the proper stance, footwork, and basic strikes using a wooden sword (bokuto). Over the next few months, they advance through the next stages, which include striking with the bamboo sword (shinai), wearing the uniform (gi and hakama), and finally, donning the protective equipment (kendo-gu or bogu).

At each stage, students will be evaluated to determine if they are ready for advancement. It depends on the individual, but it may be six months or more before beginners are ready to engage in full sparring practice.

©2019 Palo Alto Kendo Dojo

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