Kendo is a Japanese form of fencing with two-handed swords, called katanas. Kendo was originally developed as a safe form of sword training for samurai. Kendo is included in our curriculum, if you choose to attend!
Our Kendo classes are safe, fun, and educational. Toyama Ryu is taught, although technically, we do more kenjitsu, because it is a cutting class. However, trying to define the difference confuses folks here: there is not much knowledge of Japanese arts around these parts. So we keep it simple and use “Kendo” as the nomenclature for all the sword art classes that we teach. Students begin with bokken (a wood “practice” sword) and learn classic stances, positions and cuts.
After some time (typically at least 6 months to one year) students are introduced to the sword (Katana.) At that time, students begin learning strategy, the history of Japanese Swordsmanship, and culture. This is when students also begin simple “test” cutting. Breaking is also integrated into these classes to help students develop focus, breathing and strength. Forms or “katas” are a base for Kendo classes.
Eventually students learn to make their own cutting targets and begin working with bogu and shinai as part of advanced training. Both beginning and advanced kendo students utilize Chanbarra (a state-of-the-art, soft weapon) to practice and hone their skills during a variety of sparring situations. This unique workout is both safe and fun.