IMPORTANT: Please message us before you come, just to make sure we have class that day.
We meet at LA Fitness at Atlantic and Kernan. We are now officially part of the AUSKF. (That means we can participate in tournaments, events and testing). Kendo is Japanese sword fencing, based on the samurai system that used the katana. Instead of using metal swords, we use bamboo swords and armor so that it can be a contact martial art. (Metal swords are never safe to practice with. If you “train” (free spar) with real swords like on TV or the movies you will get hurt). It’s a martial art that can be practiced at any age, yet despite that it can be very physically demanding in that it requires a lot of stamina. (You will develop this). In Kendo there is free sparring, techniques and katas. It is also steeped in Japanese culture. If you want to learn more this is a great video about it:
Message us before you come, just to make sure we are having class. As mentioned we practice at LA Fitness on Kernan and Atlantic Blvd. If you are not a member just give them my name (Sharon Bennett) and your ID for a two week free trial. (Otherwise there is a $15 fee per visit unless you become a member). After that to be a member it’s $35 per month with a $49 initiation fee (less per month if you pay a higher initiation fee). You also get free access to the gym. The Kendo class itself doesn’t cost anything extra. You can borrow our equipment for your first class or two, until you can get your own. So please join us! ABOUT KENDO (More in depth details)
Kendo is an intense, fast paced, thrilling martial art but it also teaches you respect, (Japanese) ritual, history and culture, and it also trains your mind, body and spirit. It has contact sparring with a bamboo sword called a "shinai". You also will wear armor called "bogu".
In kendo, in addition to regular practice, you can attend and compete in tournaments (shiai) with dozens of different dojo, as well as gain ranks. Ranks start a 8th kyu, going backwards to 1st kyu. Then they go from 1st Dan (equivalent to a black belt in other martial arts) all the way to 8th dan. Getting up to 6th, 7th, and 8th dan literally takes a lifetime, but that's ok because you can do (or start) kendo at any age, even up in your seventies. In fact, the highest rank, 8th dan, has an age requirement of 65. But I’ve fought a 7th dan Sensei before in his seventies- he’s so good you can not touch him.
What kind of person do you need to be to practice kendo? First of all, your age is not important nor is your gender. Women can compete pretty easily against men, since it is very technique based, speed based and stamina based. It's not about muscle strength as much as it is about speed, spirit, technique and mental quickness. Many older people (forties, fifties and sixties...) can easily start kendo for the first time as long as you aren't completely and totally out of shape (meaning 300 pounds).
Physically it can be a very aerobic martial art and if you train hard, you will see a tremendous increase in your stamina. But some people also take a different strategy, and conserve their energy and stamina for well placed strikes instead. It's up to you and what your body can do.
Kendo is an amazing martial art and I hope you find the time to join us.