info

Fall Schedule
September 28th - December 9th

Kendo
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Wednesday and Friday

Iaido
9:00 - 9:30 PM
Wednesday only

Locations
Wednesday: IMA Gym B
Friday: IMA Studio 216
The IMA is located here!

Find us and pay us
 

What is Kendo?
In two words, Kendo is Japanese Fencing. For a better in-depth definition than we could possibly provide, please go here.

I've never done Kendo, can I join the club?
Absolutely. The club has a very strong beginner program. No prior experience is necessary. The best time to join is the very first class of the quarter, usually the first Wednesday of the quarter. Please arrive at least fifteen minutes early as we begin at 7pm sharp. The class progresses very quickly and all the early basic instruction is necessary to be successful. We will accept new members during the first two weeks of the quarter. After that, no new beginners will be accepted. Also, if you think you will be lonely as the only beginner, fear not! Depending on which quarter you join in, at least 20 other people will be in the beginner class with you awkwardly learning how to yell at the tops of their lungs too. You can make friends with them if you think the higher-ups are intimidating or something.

What should I expect on the first day?
For the first day, you should bring $50 ($15 for club dues, $25 to purchase a wooden sword, $15 to purchase a shinai bag) and show up in comfortable clothes to exercise in.
If you would like to read up on routine basics before you show up, you can find them Here For the most part, you will be taught basics to prepare you for armored practice, which is like regular practice but with +15 defense. You will learn things like footwork, swinging, and how to yell like a crazed monkey. If you are shy and don't think you can yell a lot, then you are one badass nonconformer.

I've done Kendo before, can I join the club?
Anyone with previous Kendo experience is welcome to join the club anytime during the quarter. It is assumed that you know all the basics of Kendo and will fit in with existing class groups. If you're feeling rusty, let us know and you can stay out of bogu until you're comfortable.

Do I have to be in good shape?
No. While it certainly does help to be in good physical shape, it certainly isn't necessary. The act of training conditions the body to do the art. All of those sempai sitting at home playing video games all day attributes to this.

Does it hurt?
A little. The most common injuries for beginners is a blistered left foot. This injury becomes less and less common as footwork improves.
The most common injury that intermediate practitioners suffer is a bruised right wrist or hand. In general, the chance of suffering injury as a result of diligently practicing proper Kendo is very low.

Does the club participate in tournaments?
Yes. The club participates in several regional tournaments throughout the year. These range from local tournaments, such as the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation Annual Taikai in November to tournaments in Canada such as the Steveston Taikai in February. The club also hosts the University of Washington Invitational Kendo Taikai every April.

Does the club sell all of the necessary equipment?
Yes. We sell shinai, bokken, and uniforms. It is also possible to get armor through the club, though we loan out sets to use. If you wish to purchase armor or other Kendo-related equipment, that can also be done through the club. Just be sure to let us know ahead of time when you want shinais, because our president doesn't lug his gun case around every day.

How much does it all cost?
Club dues are $15/quarter. PNKF membership dues are $30/year. AUSKF membership dues are $60/year. Regional federation membership entitles members to participate in tournaments, promotional exams, and seminars. Membership in the PNKF also entitles members to take advantage of the "open door" policy, which allows all PNKF members to practice at other PNKF member dojos free of charge.

Compared to other martial arts, this is relatively cheap. The major cost is in equipment purchases. However, many of these purchases are one-time only. The first purchase a beginner is required to make is a bokken (solid wooden sword used for swinging/form practice) which costs $25. After a month or so, students must purchase a shinai (split bamboo sword used for striking) which costs $25. Sometime in the first two quarters, it is recommended that students purchase uniforms. A complete set consisting of keikogi (light jacket) and hakama (pleated trousers) starts at $70.

This may seem expensive at first, but keep in mind that these costs can be distributed over the period of two or three quarters. Easily the most expensive purchase in Kendo is the bogu (armor). A decent set costs anywhere from $500-$1000. However, the club loans out sets to qualified members for free (free is good).

Keep in mind that much of this equipment will last for several years-- making the overall expense far less than what many different arts charge in monthly dues alone. For a more indepth breakdown of costs, please refer to the Kendo Cost Sheet

I am not a current UW student, can I still practice at UW?
At this time, only students/staff/faculty may practice with the club. The Seattle area boasts a number of excellent dojos, if you are simply interested in learning Kendo and are not affiliated with UW then please see our links page to find out about other local dojos.

Is Kendo like the Boffing Club?
While both clubs may have enthusiastic practices, the similarities end there. Kendo may seem at first to be too restrictive on "swordplay" and movement, but the rewards come from dedication and patience through the practices over time. The discipline and mindset that evolves from Kendo is representative of the points we emphasize--not spontaneous whacking with bamboo sticks. If there is one thing Kendo isn't, it's instant gratification.

Kendo is serious business, will I fit in?
Regular practices are indeed serious and run like any other dojo. Outside of practice, we hang out and have awesome parties and drink awesome bubble tea. Some people just want to do some Kendo and don't go to parties. Others find that Kendo isn't for them but hang out with us anyways because we're awesome like that.

Do you have Kendo in the Summer?
Yes. Summer quarter Kendo starts and ends with Summer quarter at UW. Be sure to purchase a summer IMA pass. For those who are borrowing bogu, summer quarter extensions are available.

I have more questions. Who can I contact?
For questions/issues regarding the club or this site, please visit one of our practices or visit our Facebook Page.

Where is Ted?
We're not really sure, but check here.