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NASHVILLE KENDO CLUB

Welcome! Please use our site to learn more about us. Kendo is a Japanese martial art that is practiced around the world and the Nashville Kendo Club is where to you can learn in middle Tennessee! Below are three reasons many people practice kendo.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Kendo helps to build and maintain fitness and is practiced by people of all ages. In fact, kendo has many practitioners from 6-80 years of age and beyond!

MENTAL DISCIPLINE

Kendo helps build strong mental discipline through rigorous training. This carries over into day-to-day living, helping us navigate successfully on both the dojo (practice hall) floor and in the world at large.

COURTESY AND HONOR

Kendo has a strong focus on reiho (the Japanese word for etiquette).  Therefore, you will see a very organized and structured approach in our class and demonstrated respect for all - both new and advanced.

“ Determine that today you will overcome yourself of the day before, tomorrow you will win over those of lesser skill , and later you will win over those of greater skill”

 

- Miyamoto Musashi

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is kendo?

Kendo is a Japanese martial art focused on learning principles of fencing with a samurai sword.  Instruction is focused on studying techniques derived from traditional concepts used by the samurai in combat.  However, modern kendo has also evolved these techniques into a fast-paced sport.  Practitioners use swords made of split bamboo called “shinai” and wear padded armor called “bogu”.  Strikes are limited to the head, hand, and upper torso.  Points are awarded by judges during a match for the proper execution of a technique.  Kendo students also learn a series of prearranged strikes and blocks called “kata” which are practiced with a partner.

Who should train in kendo?

Kendo is for anyone interested and willing to train hard in a traditional martial art for the purpose of self-improvement. In Japan, children begin studying from an early age in elementary school and may continue practicing for life.  Nashville Kendo Club trains children and adults alike within a wide range of ages.  The minimum age to begin instruction for children varies depending on their ability to pay attention and follow instructions.  A typical age for a child to begin is around 10 years old.  However, it is the sole discretion of the teacher to determine the suitability of a child for joining practice.  As well, minors must have a parent or guardian in attendance for each class.  Adults may begin practicing at any age.

What is a typical practice session like?

A typical practice session involves students working in pairs to execute various strikes and other techniques in rotating sequences.  Training is intense for more advanced practitioners, who wear full armor to absorb the impact of partner strikes.  Practice can also get quite noisy as students give spirited shouts known as “kiai” to help project their techniques.  Beginning students (without armor) focus on building basic skills and learning etiquette. Since we also compete in regional and national tournaments, we also train for competition.

What do beginners need to start practice?

People interested in kendo are asked to come observe for their first class.  Afterward, they may join the regular practice on the following class date. No special equipment is needed for the first few practices. It is highly encouraged for prospective students to train for several sessions before making a commitment to join the club. Potential students should just wear comfortable clothing appropriate for exercise. Practice swords are available for loan for the first few classes.  Once a prospective student decides to formally join the club, further instructions will be provided as to how and when to purchase necessary clothing and equipment.

What should I expect during the first months of practice?

During the first few months, practitioners do not wear armor.  However, they should acquire a practice uniform “keikogi” and “hakama” and a bamboo sword “shinai”.  Such equipment can be purchased online from a number of recommended suppliers usually for less than $100.  Repetition is the primary word to describe kendo training for beginners at this stage.  As a traditional martial art, kendo practitioners must learn to execute techniques with a high level of precision.  Training focuses mainly on etiquette and on drills that isolate the various components of striking and footwork.  Beginners must be patient to learn both concepts and the fine details of kendo movement.

Can I earn rank in kendo?

Yes.  Most kendo practitioners earn rank at some point in their training.  Students are given the opportunity to test for rank in kendo at various annual events held across the Southeast and other regions by the All U.S. Kendo Federation (AUSKF).   The AUSKF is the governing body for kendo in the United States and is affiliated with the International Kendo Federation.   Unlike other martial arts, kendo practitioners do not wear colored belts or any other markings to denote their rank.  Skill in the training hall (dojo) is the most important determinant of rank.

When should I get my armor (bogu) and how much does it cost?

Beginners are typically given permission by the instructor to wear armor in practice after training for about 6 months.  However, there is no precise timeline for when students may be given permission or for when they must purchase armor.  Each individual progresses differently and may have extenuating financial circumstances that dictates when it is possible to get their equipment.  A reasonable set of bogu goes for around $200 - $300 and can range much higher for better quality.  Students should consult the instructor or other senior members of the club for assistance with selecting armor before purchasing anything from an online kendo supplier.

How much does it cost to train?

The Nashville Kendo Club (NKC) is operated as a non-profit organization. The primary goal of NKC is to promote the spread of kendo as a martial art form and not to generate revenue. Instructors and club administrators are unpaid. Monthly dues are$30 for an individual and $40 for a family. Dues are collected quarterly.  No contracts are required to join. The only other financial requirement is a $100 annual dues payment for adults ($60 children) to the AUSKF. It is required for all NKC members to join the AUSKF for insurance purposes and for rank testing requirements.

SOME OF OUR MEMBERS...

LUCAS SPALVIS

STUDENT AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Authoritatively iterate tactical core competencies for cross-media supply chains. Holisticly seize client-based supply chains rather than global innovation. Enthusiastically pontificate team building e-tailers.

MARIAN GUSTO

DESIGNER TREEWORKS

Authoritatively iterate tactical core competencies for cross-media supply chains. Holisticly seize client-based supply chains rather than global innovation. Enthusiastically pontificate team building e-tailers.

CAROLINNE

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Authoritatively iterate tactical core competencies for cross-media supply chains. Holisticly seize client-based supply chains rather than global innovation. Enthusiastically pontificate team building e-tailers.

MANU WELF

DEVELOPER

Authoritatively iterate tactical core competencies for cross-media supply chains. Holisticly seize client-based supply chains rather than global innovation. Enthusiastically pontificate team building e-tailers.

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