Welcome to the Markham Kendo Club! We are glad that you have decided to learn the martial art of kendo. Our dojo is built on a foundation of respect, both for oneself and for others. There are some club rules and other notes that are important to be aware of and to follow to be a part of our dojo.

  • Punctuality:
    Please arrive to the practice at least 15 minutes prior to the start time. This is to ensure that there is enough time to change and to help with the practice area clean-up.
  • Proper Manners/Etiquette:
    The dojo is a place of respect; for the dojo space itself, your fellow students, your instructors and yourself. It is important to bow into the practice area when entering and leaving. It is also important to greet the sensei (instructors) and other students politely and with a clear voice. The shinai represents the sword, and, as such, it must be treated respectfully. It is never kicked, thrown or used as a walking stick or a bat.
  • The first month of lessons:
      • What To Wear: Please wear loose clothing such as a plain shirt and shorts or appropriate athletic pants. Kendo requires a sliding footwork technique so pants that are too long or too stiff will not be appropriate.
      • What Not To Wear: Please do not wear watches and any jewelry such as rings, bracelets, large necklaces or large earrings. Stud earrings and small/thin necklace chains are acceptable.
      • Equipment: The club will loan the “shinai” (bamboo sword) for you to use during practice. It is to be returned at the end of practice.
      • Cost: The kendo club operates as a drop-in class at the Centennial Community Center. The drop-in fee is paid directly to the Center; please see the representative from the Center who will in front of the practice area.
  • The second month and beyond
      • At this point, you will be asked to formally join the kendo club. This means you will be required to:
          • Purchase your own shinai. The shinai is your sword so it is important to have and to care for your own. The club does have shinai for sell.
          • Purchase a club T-shirt ($15). Please wear the T-shirt to practice as a kind of uniform until you decide to purchase the actual kendo uniform.
          • Start paying the membership fee. We collect fees four times a year (3 months payment). The fee is $30 per month, with any additional family members to pay $20 per month. Depending on when you join, your first payment may be a prorated amount so that you can catch up to the payment cycle.
          • Kendo Uniform: The club does not have a specific timeframe for when you are required to purchase the actual kendo uniform (keiko-gi and hakama) other than it is required for when you become ready to wear the full equipment. Please discuss with your instructor.
          • Kendo Equipment: You will be advised when you have achieved a sufficient proficiency of basic skills to be ready to wear the full kendo equipment (armor). Please discuss with your instructor.

Glossary of Common Terms Used In Kendo

Shinai = bamboo weapon used to represent the sword
Sensei = teacher / instructor
Rei = to bow
Seiza = sitting position
Sonkyo = crouching position
Mokuso = meditation
Kamae = ready-to-take-action posture (body and mind)
Kiai = the vocal expression of your spirit
Suri-ashi = sliding footwork
Arigato gozaimashita = “Thank you very much” in Japanese
Onegai shimasu = “Please let me practice with you” in Japanese
Keiko-gi = kendo jacket
Hakama = kendo pants / bottoms
- Ichi =one
- Ni = two
- San = three
- Shi = four
- Go = five
- Roku = six
- Shichi = seven
- Hachi = eight
- Kyu = nine
- Jyu = ten
Suburi = shinai swinging exercise(s)
Men = striking target area at the top of the head/forehead
Kote = striking target area at the opponent’s right wrist
Do = striking target area of the side of the body/torso
Maai = distance between you and your opponent
Issoku-itto-no-maai = Distance between you and your opponent where it is possible to strike with one forward step
Ki-ken-tai no ichi = Kiai, shinai and body striking together as one