Kendo is a modern Japanese martial art, which descended from Japanese swordsmanship. The sword is represented by a bamboo shinai and practitioners wear protective armour 

Why is it good for me?

Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sport-like physical elements. It builds strength and physical fitness, as well as empowering you through mental discipline. It helps teach self-control and respect.  

How much does it cost?

The cost of getting started in Kendo varies from club to club. Many clubs will run a beginners course for a number of weeks to start you on your Kendo journey. You may be able to attend a free taster session before committing to a course. 

Once you are a regular practitioner, you will likely have to pay club fees on a weekly or monthly basis. This may be between £5 and £10 a session. 

What equipment do I need?

To get started, just wear whatever you’re comfortable in. You may want to wear dark colours as the indigo dye within the armour can rub off. 

You will also need a shinai to practice with. This will often be lent or given to you for a beginners course. 

Once you have decided Kendo is for you, you will want to get a hakama (pleated trousers), kendo-gi (jacket). You will also need armour (bogu). Some clubs will be able to lend you bogu to begin with, before you invest in your own. A set of bogu consists of tare(hip/groin protector), dou (breast-plate), kote (gloves) and men (helmet). Bogu can cost upwards of £200.