Kendo equipment consists of the swords, uniform and armor.
Two types of wooden swords are used.
- The bokken or bokuto, a solid wood sword made of oak or another suitable hardwood. The bokken is used for basics and forms practice (kata).
- The shinai, is made up of four bamboo staves and leather. The shinai is used for full contact sparring practice.
The uniform or dogi consists of woven cotton top called a keikogi and pleated skirt-like trousers called a hakama.
The armor or bogu consists of four pieces: the helmet (men), the body protector (do), the gloves (ko-te), and the hip and groin protector (ta-re). While the equipment provides protection against the strikes and thrusts received in kendo practice, it is light enough to allow free movement.