North Raleigh Kendo Club

Kendo, the art of Japanese swordsmanship

Kendo, the art of Japanese swordsmanship, has a long and rich history. Japanese swords were originally not the curved swords we see today but were flat straight swords of a very primitive construction used for thrusts and simple strikes. 

In modern kendo, we wear Kendo Armor and we use the bamboo sword, known as a Shinai, to practice the two types of attacks, strikes and thrusts. Strikes are usually allowed to only three points on the body; the top of the head, the right and left of side bodies, and the forearms. Thrusts are usually permitted only to the throat. Unlike western fencing where the two opponents show each other only their sides, in Kendo the opponents stand face to face and these four striking areas were chosen. 

Is there anything in particular I need to bring for my first time?

Most new Kendo students start by coming in to try a class through our introductory program. This program includes a new student uniform and three classes. In the first class you will do a little bit of practice with the beginner students and will get the opportunity to watch the more advanced students. 

Can I start at any time, or is there a set time or day for beginner level classes?

We start beginners by having them come in 15 minutes prior to class time to do a brief orientation. Class times vary by location but are available in the Raleigh location and in Apex. The beginners are all taught as part of the class. You will be grouped together by skill level. 

What can I expect from the beginner level classes?

Beginner students will participate in some simple stepping instruction and learning to hold a wooden or bamboo practice sword. Some drill type work will be offered to you in the first class, along with a bit of watching.

What age is appropriate for Kendo Classes?

Because Kendo is a striking art and involves contact, we have always directed our classes at adults. We do have teens who have shown an interest in the art and we welcome them into the introductory program to see if it is a good fit for them.


Most new Kendo students start by coming in to try our introductory program to give Kendo a try. We have a short introductory program that allows you to try out three classes before you make any decisions.

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