An introductory guide to Kendo for junior high school students: Detailed explanation from how to start to choosing a dojo

Starting a new hobby or sport can be a very exciting experience for middle school students.

Kendo is one of the best options for developing physical strength, concentration, and etiquette.


This guide provides comprehensive information on the benefits and appeal of kendo for junior high school students, how to get started, what equipment you need, and how to choose a kendo dojo.

I hope that this article will serve as a first step into the world of Kendo for junior high school students and their parents who are considering taking up Kendo.



What is Kendo? Basic knowledge that is easy to understand even for junior high school students

Kendo is more than just a sport or martial art; it is an activity that symbolizes Japanese tradition and culture.

In this section, we will explain the unique charm of Kendo and its basic rules.

By providing easy-to-understand explanations for junior high school students, we will help them become interested in the world of Kendo and understand the deep spirituality and depth of its techniques.


What is the charm of Kendo?

Kendo’s appeal lies in both its formal beauty and spiritual growth.

Through Kendo, students not only develop physical skills, but also develop their mental maturity.

Especially for middle school students, it is a great opportunity to learn self-control, improve concentration, and learn the basics of leadership.

Although kendo training is tough, you can learn etiquette, cultivate a spirit of respect, and develop perseverance.

These are all very valuable skills for school and future social life.


Overview of the basic rules of Kendo

In a Kendo match, the aim is to strike effectively in four areas: the men, the torso, the kote, and the tsuki.

The rules are simple, but effective hitting requires more than just hitting, it must be done with the right posture and spirit.

Matches are usually supervised by three referees, and points are awarded for valid strikes.

In most cases, the winner of the match is the player who gets two points first, but sometimes the player who gets the most points within the time wins.

In this way, the rules of kendo are clear, and while maintaining the fairness and tension of the competition, it encourages the growth of technique and spirituality as a swordsman.



Advantages of junior high school students starting Kendo

Kendo is more than just a physical activity, it offers multifaceted benefits for middle school students.

In this section, we will delve into how Kendo contributes to your physical and mental growth, and what benefits it brings to your school life.

Understanding these points will help junior high school students and their parents when choosing Kendo.


How to contribute to physical and mental growth

Kendo greatly contributes to the mental and physical growth of junior high school students.

Physically, Kendo practice is a full-body workout that increases muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination.

It also develops reflexes and speed, which helps build physical confidence.

Mentally, Kendo training is a great place to develop self-control, concentration, and determination.

A culture that values ​​courtesy and respect fosters the ability to respect others and control one’s own emotions.

These skills are the basis for future success in society.


Benefits of Kendo in school life

Kendo often has a positive impact on school life.

For one thing, the concentration and patience cultivated through Kendo can also be useful in studying, contributing to improved academic performance.

Practicing Kendo can also be a healthy way to release stress, which can be effective in maintaining your mental health.

Furthermore, the friendship and teamwork skills gained through Kendo also contribute to building relationships in school life.

The social connections gained by belonging to a kendo club can enrich student life and encourage participation in a variety of activities.



Basic equipment for Kendo: What junior high school students should prepare

When starting Kendo, it is very important to have the appropriate equipment.

This section provides a list of the basic equipment junior high school students need for Kendo, how to choose it, and specific advice on how to keep costs down.

This information will help junior high school students starting Kendo and their parents make wise choices.


List of necessary equipment and how to choose

The basic equipment required for Kendo includes the following items:

  • Dogi (Kendo Gi) : Choose a material that is easy to move in and absorbs sweat.
  • Hakama : It is important to have a width and length that does not restrict movement.
  • Shinai (no) : It is necessary to choose the appropriate size according to the user’s height.
  • Armor : Includes men, dou, kote, and tare. Each piece must fit properly and provide protection.

Accurate sizing is paramount when choosing these pieces of equipment.

Protective gear, in particular, needs to fit snugly to your body.

It is also important to check the quality and durability, so choose one that will ensure safety and allow you to practice comfortably.


Advice to keep costs down

Kendo equipment can be expensive, but you can save money by:

  • Purchasing used kendo equipment : Many dojos and online shops sell quality used kendo equipment. Especially if you are a beginner, choosing a used product is a smart choice to reduce your initial investment.
  • Take advantage of group purchases : You may receive discounts by purchasing equipment in bulk at your dojo or kendo club.
  • Take a long-term view : Choosing equipment that is a little more expensive but more durable will reduce the need for repurchasing in the long run, resulting in better value for money.

By considering these points and choosing equipment wisely, you will be able to practice Kendo safely and comfortably, which will lead to improved technique.



How to choose a Kendo dojo for junior high school students

For junior high school students, choosing a kendo dojo will directly affect the quality of their kendo life and growth.

Choosing the right dojo will provide you with a safe and fulfilling place to learn, and will help you maintain your training over the long term.

In this section, we will introduce important points to check when junior high school students choose a kendo dojo and recommended dojos.

Based on this information, we will help middle school students and their parents find the best dojo.


Checkpoints when choosing a dojo

The main points to consider when choosing a Kendo dojo are:

  • Mentor qualifications and experience : Check how much experience the mentor has and what qualifications they have. It is also important that the teaching style is suitable for middle school students.
  • Facility safety and cleanliness : We check whether the dojo facilities are kept safe and clean. It’s also a good idea to check the condition of the mats, changing rooms, and shower facilities.
  • Class size and composition : Make sure the class size is not too large and that each student has enough individual instruction. Another point to consider is whether there is a class specifically for middle school students.
  • Location and accessibility : It is also important that the location is easily accessible from home or school. When choosing a dojo, take into consideration the route and time of commuting.


Recommended dojo introduction

Here we will introduce some Kendo dojos that are especially recommended for junior high school students. These dojos have cleared the above checkpoints and provide an environment that is easy for junior high school students to learn.

  • Tokyo Kendo Academy : Located in Tokyo, offers high quality instruction and excellent facilities. We have a wide range of programs for junior high school students, from beginners to advanced students.
  • Osaka Youth Kendo Club : Located in Osaka, this dojo is especially focused on nurturing the younger generation, and also works with local junior high schools.
  • Nagoya Kendo Center : Located in Nagoya City, this dojo has good transportation access and offers a discount system for families, making it highly cost-effective.


At these dojos, junior high school students can learn not only kendo techniques, but also the way of life and way of thinking through kendo, so they are recommended for everyone from kendo beginners to those with experience.



Kendo practice plan for junior high school students

For junior high school students starting Kendo, a proper training plan is essential for improving their technique and maintaining their continued interest.

In this section, we will explain in detail how to start with the basics and practice methods that you can practice at home.

This information serves as a guide for middle school students to help them master the basics of Kendo so they can continue practicing at home.


How to proceed with practice starting from the basics

Kendo training begins with learning basic techniques.

At first, we will focus on correct posture and foot movements (footwork), and then learn the form of basic Uchiwaza (men, torso, kote, and tsuke).

In the early stages, the goal is to instill in your body the proper way to use your body and the timing of strikes by repeatedly practicing these basic movements.


For junior high school students, it is important to continue practicing while responding to the physical changes that occur during the growth period.

Instructors must take this into consideration and provide instruction in accordance with each individual’s progress.

In addition to practicing basic techniques, students will also incorporate kata training to deepen their understanding of the flow of movements and the spirituality of kendo.


Kendo practice methods you can do at home

In addition to practicing at the dojo, you can improve your Kendo skills by incorporating practice methods that you can do at home. The following methods are effective for practicing at home:

  • Suburi : Suburi using a Shinai sword is perfect for honing the basic techniques of Kendo. By swinging the bamboo sword in a certain rhythm, the way you use your arms and move your body will naturally improve.
  • Footwork practice : Kendo footwork is directly linked to quick movements and stable posture in matches. You can use a small space in your home to practice forward, backward, and turning movements.
  • Use video materials : By watching high-level kendo matches and instructional videos on platforms such as YouTube, you can learn technical points and tactics that you can use in your own training.


By using these practice methods that you can do at home, you can aim to improve your kendo techniques not only at the dojo but also in your daily life.

Through this, junior high school students are expected to deepen their understanding and interest in Kendo.



Competitions and matches in Kendo

A Kendo match is an important opportunity to test both technical practice and spiritual growth.

This section provides an overview of the types of competitions middle school students can participate in, as well as specific tips for succeeding in the competition.

This will help junior high school students prepare properly for Kendo competitions and help them compete with confidence.


Information on competitions that junior high school students can participate in

Many Kendo competitions are held all over the country, and there are also many competitions for junior high school students.

These competitions are extremely important not only to improve technique, but also to promote the etiquette and spiritual growth of Kendo.

For example, there are national junior high school kendo tournaments and junior high school tournaments held in each region.

These competitions provide an opportunity for junior high school students to test their skills, interact with other students, and expand their Kendo circle.


Tips for success in the match

The following tips will help you succeed in the match:

  • Stay true to the basics : Practicing basic techniques is the basis of success in competition. Correct posture and accurate strikes are directly linked to scoring points in the match.
  • Mental preparation : It is important to be mentally prepared before a match. Finding ways to relax and practicing focusing can help you win.
  • How to create a strategy : It is important to analyze your opponent’s skills and habits in advance and create a strategy that takes advantage of your strengths. During a match, you must be able to respond flexibly and think flexibly.
  • Physical strength management : Physical strength is consumed rapidly in matches, so physical strength management is also an important part of strategy. Prepare for optimal performance with proper nutrition and hydration on game day.


By using these tips, middle school students can perform better in their Kendo matches.

Also, the experience gained through repeated matches will be a great asset in the future.



Tips for continuing Kendo and how to stay motivated

Kendo is a martial art that requires long-term practice and effort, which can sometimes feel like a setback.

However, the mental and physical benefits of continuing Kendo are immeasurable.

This section provides tips and tricks to keep you motivated to keep practicing Kendo, as well as specific advice for overcoming setbacks.

This will help junior high school students make their Kendo journey long and fulfilling.


Setting long-term goals

Setting long-term goals in Kendo is a great motivator for continuing.

Goals should be specific and achievable, such as “get a black belt” or “compete in a national championship.”

It is important to set your goals in small steps and self-evaluate while checking your progress at each step.

This process builds confidence and motivates you to practice daily.


Advice for overcoming setbacks

While practicing Kendo, you may experience setbacks, but by overcoming them you can expect great growth. To overcome setbacks, keep the following in mind:

  • Reflection and positive correction : Failures and setbacks are learning opportunities. Calmly analyze what went wrong and think about how you can improve next time.
  • Use your support system : It’s important to actively seek feedback and support from your mentors and fellow students. Encouragement and advice from them can be a great source of strength when overcoming difficulties.
  • Regular short breaks : Sometimes you need to take a break. Overtraining can be counterproductive, so giving your body and mind the right amount of rest will give you a newfound motivation to practice long-term.


Through these methods, you can overcome setbacks when continuing with Kendo and continually improve your technique.

The difficulties experienced in Kendo also make one more resilient to challenges in all other aspects of life.



What parents should know

Kendo is more than just a sport; it also serves as an educational tool to encourage children’s physical and mental growth.

As a parent, it is very important to understand how to support your child through Kendo and how to deal with its safety.

This section details information about the safety of Kendo, how to support your child through Kendo, and the importance of communication between parents and children.


Kendo safety and how to support children

Kendo is a relatively safe martial art, but proper equipment and learning the correct techniques are essential to staying safe.

Parents should always make sure their child is using the appropriate equipment and learning in a safe practice environment.

It is also important to help ensure that your child is properly physically and mentally prepared for Kendo training.

For example, they are required to monitor their daily health management, such as making sure they are getting proper nutrition and getting enough rest.


The importance of communication between parents and children through Kendo

Strengthening communication between parents and children through Kendo supports children’s passion for Kendo and encourages them to continue doing it long-term.

When parents take an active interest in their child’s Kendo training, acknowledge their progress, and share their thoughts, the child will feel that his or her efforts are appreciated.

In addition, by watching tournaments and matches together, you can share the joy of Kendo and strengthen the bond between parents and children.

These shared experiences build children’s confidence and strengthen parent-child relationships.


Kendo is not only a place to improve technique, but also a place to foster a spirit of courtesy and respect.

When parents understand these values ​​and discuss how their children apply the lessons learned from kendo to their daily lives, it makes kendo all the more meaningful.

Parents’ support and understanding during this process will lead to their child’s growth not only in Kendo but in life in general.


Kendo glossary

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