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Start kendo

We welcome complete beginners to join the club, from aged 12 upwards. There is no upper age limit, as long as you have the drive and dedication to learn kendo you are eligible.

The best way to try out kendo is to join on of our beginners' courses, which run once or twice a year. If you'd prefer to start kendo as soon as possible, please contact us to register your interest and then follow the steps below.

Watch a practice

Once you have contacted us about your interest in kendo, we will arrange a suitable date for you to come along and watch a practice. We always ask beginners to attend and watch first so you can see what kendo is like and whether it is something you would like to try.

Current practice details

Sunday: 10.30am-12noon (Oak Tree Leisure Centre, NG18 3RT)

Thursday: 7.30pm-9pm (Dukeries Leisure Centre, NG22 9JJ)

Join the British Kendo Association

In order to practice kendo at the club, you will need to join the BKA (British Kendo Association). By joining the BKA you will be insured to practice kendo with us, take part in gradings, attend BKA seminars and compete in kendo tournaments.

You can join as a temporary member for three months when you start rather than committing to an annual fee. Further details can be found here.

Beginners' courses

As a result of the COVID pandemic the British Kendo Association risk assessment, and it’s insurers, have affirmed that those participating in a beginners' course must be members of the BKA. The commitment is only to join as a temporary member for three months at £10. If you decide to continue kendo after that time then you will join as a full member. Please select 'Kashi no ki Kenyu Kai' as your host dojo.


Another new development is the offensive weapons act 2019. This affects the martial arts possession and use of weapons. We can only possess or trade in these weapons if we are members of a recognised governing body (BKA). The wooden replica swords (bokken or bokuto) probably fall into the category of offensive weapons, so if we sell you one you must either maintain membership of the BKA, even if you don’t practise kendo, or sell it back to someone who is.

In view of this we will run the course as described but you must join the BKA as a temporary member and we will loan you a bokken to be handed back at the end of each session. The cost of the course will be £50 and will include a shinai (bamboo sword).


Don't buy anything!

When you first start kendo there is no need to rush out and buy any expensive equipment. The club will let you borrow everything you need until you are ready to purchase your own kendo gear.

When you begin to attend practice you will need to wear loose-fitting clothing - you won't be in armour for at least the first three months or until you have developed an understanding of basic footwork and striking. 

When you are ready to buy kendo equipment, we can advise you on suppliers and the type of equipment to invest in. Please see a list of recommended suppliers here.

Membership fees

During the first three months of practice, you can pay per session, at a cost of £7 per adult (18 or over). Concessionary practice fees are £5 per session (pensioners, students, unemployed, under 18s).

After three months you will be required to set up a standing order for £30 per month - this will provide you with access to all club practices (2 per week).

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