WHAT IS KENDO?
Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial art. The word Kendo in Japanese is made up of two characters that translate as "Ken" meaning sword, and "Do" meaning path or way, giving a direct translation as Kendo: The Way of the Sword. Although Kendo is an athletic contest that requires strength, speed, skill, and fitness, it also follows the Budo (martial arts) tradition of forging the mind and body of kendoka (practitioners of kendo) and the development of discipline and character through continued Keiko (practice).
KENDO TRAINING IN CANADA
Kendo was brought to Canada by Japanese immigrants in the early 1900’s in British Columbia. Today, there are nearly sixty dojo all across Canada registered with the Canadian Kendo Federation. Kendo is widely regarded as a life-long endeavour and most dojo will accept students from seven or eight years of age. Through the various stages of life and development, students can continue to practice throughout their lives. In Canada, many dojo include a mix of students young and old.
Although the schedule and style of training differ from dojo to dojo, typically a new practitioner will initially learn proper etiquette, handling of the shinai, body movement, footwork, and striking techniques. Once a practitioner is able to perform these basic fundamentals properly, the instructor will graduate the student to wear armour and begin sparring (keiko) with opponents. Sturgeon Kendo operates in Saint Albert, Alberta, and is a member in good standing of both the Canadian Kendo Federation and the International Kendo Federation (FIK).