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What is kendo

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What is Kendo?


Kendo, is the art of Japanese fencing. "Ken" or tsurugi is from the character meaning sword. The character for "Do" or michi includes the meaning way or path which translates as "The way of the sword". A path in life which is followed through the training of kendo.

It is a martial art that involves physical development, mental and spiritual development, and sport-like competition.

Basically, kendo involves the use of some sort of sword or "shinai", body armor or "bogu", a face mask or "men", and clothing for underneath (the top is called a "gi" and bottom is called a "hakama"). Most parts are made specific for kendo, but some can be used for other martial arts. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 August 2009 12:35

MSU Kendo Club Mission

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MSU Kendo Club Mission

In Japan, many kenshi (a person who practices kendo) start practicing at age six. In the U.S. this is not the case. Most kenshi in the U.S. start their kendo journey in their college years or even later. The M.S.U. kendo club is in a unique position to introduce a large student community to kendo. We recognize that our function is to:



  1. Introduce newcomers to the art of kendo, and instill in them a love and appreciation of the art of kendo that will stay with them past the end of their college career.
  2. Provide challenging practices for those who are already experienced kenshi.
  3. Build an understanding of the true nature and spirit of kendo in all who practice with us.
  4. Place graduating members with other dojos so that their kendo journey doesn't end with graduation.

Due to MSU Intramural sports policy membership in the MSU kendo club is limited to members of the MSU Community.  This includes students, faculty and staff, as well as people who hold degrees from MSU and are eligible for an alumnus ID.

NOTE: Visitors are welcome, but please contact us in advance so that we can arrange entry to the facilities.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 16:34

Practice Information

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Meeting times and places (Winter Semester 2014)


Time Place
Sundays noon-2pm IM Circle 2nd floor gym
Fridays 6-7:30 IM Circle 2nd floor gym


First practice of FS 2013 will be Sunday August 25, 2013

Academic year 2013/2014 dues will be $100 for 2 semesters

Beginners: At first all you will need is some exercise clothing (or equivalent). A shinai (bamboo sword) will be provided to you.

Later: You may want to purchase a kendo uniform (gi and hakama) and a bokken (a solid wooden sword). These can be bought online along with other accessories like shinai bags.

All levels are welcome to attend all practices, however Sundays will be used to focus on kihon (basics) which will be the most useful for beginners.

As your basics improve, you will be phased into armor (bogu). Once you wear all the bogu your training will include sparring and, if you want, competition. MSU Kendo club has a limited number of sets of bogu which can be borrowed initially. We encourage all serious kendo practitioners (kenshi) to buy their own bogu. See Kendo Stores in the links page for sources.

Anyone who is part of the MSU community1 is welcome to attend as long as they have a strong desire to learn Kendo and to have fun. In addition, we encourage you to join the Midwest Kendo Federation or the All US Kendo Federation. They are the regional governing bodies of Kendo in the United States. Achieving a rank in Kendo requires membership in these federations. More information for either of the groups are available on their websites, along with information on how to join.

1MSU Community members are defined as students, faculty and staf, MSU retirees as well as people who hold degrees from MSU and are therefore eligible for an Alumnus ID

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 18:48