How to Start
Martial arts can look deceptively easy to do as the initial contact with the relative art is usually via a demonstration by an expert or a feature in television or film. In common with most things, experts tend to make the difficult look easy. In Kendo the beginner must learn the basic stances or kamae associated with the use of the sword, the mechanics of the cut itself and basic attack and defence techniques prior to going into armour and taking part in actual contests. This process usually takes about three months assuming training three times per week. This can be longer or shorter depending on the individual.
Frustration about lack of progress or lack of initial coordination is common and is the first obstacle to be overcome by the kendoka (kendo practitioner). From attaining this initial coordination progress is rapid and a reasonable standard of swordsmanship can be attained. Kendo as with all other martial forms utilises the Kyu / Dan system of grading where beginners progress from kyu grade through to shodan (first degree or black belt ) and beyond. Taiseidokai is a member of the British Kendo Association which is affiliated to the ZNKR (All Japan Kendo Federation). The BKA administers the grading process and grades obtained are recognised worldwide by all individual country Kendo Associations.
Perseverance is everything and a Japanese view on the learning process can be had by reading the Noma Hisashi document on this site.
Best wishes on your training….
Gerry Kincaid, Kendo 6-Dan, BKA National Coach, TSDK/GU head coach
“Train hard, fight easy”