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edited February 2007
So I have signed up to take some Kendo classes. Any suggestions about, well anything? I'm looking at you Katsu... -_-
Get a size 39 shinai. A cheap one will do. Take those thin strings off, as they're only used to secure the shinai during transport.
Did you sign up for classes at a dojo, or some college course?
If there is someone there who knows how to disassemble and reassemble a shinai, then I suggest giving each stave a very light sanding on the edges. Then lightly oil the staves with vegetable or canola oil with a paper towel.
You'll want to hold off on getting a uniform for a few weeks, if they will let you, just so you know whether you want to continue kendo or not. If you do, then the two main online retailers for kendo goods is
(Who has higher prices, but better quality) and
(Who has lower prices, but I can't recommend their uniforms). There are many other kendo suppliers, and nothing beats getting Japan-made equipment direct from a retailer in Japan, but these two are the largest kendo suppliers in the US.
Something to keep in mind: Rather than question what you are told to do, just do it. Whether you suceed or not, you need to keep doing it, in order to improve. If you don't do it, then you won't know what you need to fix.
Second, watch what people do, especially people far up the line from you, and imitate them as best you can.
There's more, of course, but that's a quick list of things to do.
I signed up at a dojo. Their website is
They don't require any uniform until a couple weeks into the Beginner course, and then it is just a hakama and keiko-gi. They don't require a bogu until the intermediate classes. I have been reading alot in order to make the learning curve as easy as possible, if that is any help. Thanks for the advice though, I really appreciate it.
My experience is in Pentjak Silat, But I can give you two important tips - Don't forget to have fun, or else you'll get bored and it feels like a chore instead of something good - And secondly, have three uniforms, as you can afford them. Two for practicing in, and Buy the third for Gradings and demonstrations - close to your first or second grading.That way, you've always got a Pristine uniform for when you have to look good.
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