Study materials

Shinai and bogu maintenance

Fukuda Budogu kendo equipment manual (PDF)

This book is the end-all-be-all guide to kendo equipment. Since its creation it has been translated into many languages and it has answers to most of the questions any kendoka could have about their gear.

  • How do I put on a tenugui?
  • How do I attach new himo to my do and men?
  • How do I put all this stuff on?!! ( ;O_o)
  • How do I fix a broken shinai?

All these questions and many more are answered using images and text.

Chiba Budogu also have a few additional tips, like how to break in new kote, or how to pack your bogu bag.


Etiquette and glossaries

Our own teachers have put together an extensive kendo glossary, explaining all of the Japanese terms and commands used during class. Along similar lines, they have also written an article outlining what beginners will need to know about kendo and about etiquette in the dojo.

Since the inception of our new website we also run a series of articles, going in-depth on kendo terminology. These are linked below and new articles will be added semi-regularly.

The Oregon State University kendo club has written a formal manual for their members, outlining similar information: terms, etiquette, guidelines, rules, basic equipment maintenance. It makes for some very useful reading.

The Belgian branch of Hontai Yoshin Ryu have produced an outstanding, 188 page glossary of budo terms. While the main focus is their branch of jujutsu, the glossary also includes terms from kendo and many terms apply to all budo.


Kendo techniques

Here is a diagram showing all the different waza that we learn in kendo. The schematic shows the division between shikake versus oji waza.

We have also written an extensive explanation of kendo waza.


Kendo kata

Stephen Quinlan wrote a thorough analysis of the Nihon Kendo no Kata and the Kihon Bokuto Waza. One of our own students wrote a dutch translation of this book, which is available here. We also wrote an article about studying kendo kata.

YouTube has many clips about kendo kata. This account has copies of classic, Japanese instruction videos for all ten kata. These can be found here.