We have very good coaches at Akai Ryuu with a wide range of experience in Kendo to pass on to all students at the club. As a beginner, one of our coaches will take you through a six week course designed to give you a feel for this great martial way, and will cover:
– Etiquette in the Dojo
– How to grip the sword and stand correctly
– Basic footwork and movement
– Basic cutting
– Awareness of distance
The course is for one hour each week, and the fee is a non refundable £50. This fee covers the tuition and your own shinai which will be yours to keep. You will need to apply for temporary membership with the British Kendo Association who will provide your insurance cover. This is now an online process that can be done at the BKA website.
Students must be a minimum of 12 years old. There is no upper age limit. You just need to bring with you the course fee, and wear comfortable clothing (a T-shirt and tracksuit trousers are ideal), when you arrive for your first lesson. The beginners courses are held regularly throughout the year and each hourly lesson will start at 20h30, but please turn up at 20h on the first lesson so we can issue your new Shinai and introduce you to club members. Refer to the latest schedule on the for current start dates.
Once the course is completed, if you wish to continue your Kendo studies, you will pay the club membership fee of £25 a month for adults, £20a month for under 18’s. Your temporary BKA membership will still cover you for about another two months after the beginners course ends, but after this period you will also be required to pay the full British Kendo Association (BKA) membership yearly fee. The BKA is our governing body and it is very important to our kendo development.
Once a member of the club, you will be included in the main class and will continue to learn from your coaches and your fellow students who will be only too happy to help you through. You will have to purchase a Bokken (hard wood sword) at this stage to use in Kata (set forms) training, and we have them available at the club for about £20. You are welcome to continue to train with us in your normal attire, as you will still have a lot to learn about the basics of kendo, so will not require any more equipment for a while. You may at any time purchase the traditional Kendo uniform which consists of the Hakama (pleated trousers) and Kendogi (jacket), if you wish, and we will help you with this also. We consider it normal for students to be wearing the correct attire within the first few months, and we aim to have you wearing armour between three and six months, but this only an approximation and will be different for each individual.
Buying the protective armour (Bogu) can cost from about £250 for a basic set. We have club armour available for use so it is not essential, or advisable, that you purchase your own armour until you know for certain that Kendo is going to be for you. If anyone wishes to attend one of our training sessions to see what Kendo is all about you are most welcome.
Please contact us for more information.