Styles of Kendo: Origin/Style Traceable Through Manners?

by Santiago B. Tejada
(Margate, Florida, USA)

According to our sensei, a particular style of kendo could be traced to its origin depending on the way how the bogu is set on the dojo floor and the initial rei after the bogu is put on.

Many dojos set kote on the floor in the left-to-right direction and then the men is placed on top with its center line in the front-to-back direction, with tenugui on top.

Both (kote and men) plus do and tare are then placed on the front-right position with kendoka seating behind, slightly to the left and leaving clear space in front to do rei from that location. (Tare is placed outside of do facing forward until kendoka puts it on.)

In my Kendo club we set kote on the floor in the front-to-back direction with men seating face down on the floor between both kote, with center line in the front-to-back direction as well and tenugui over them. Do is then placed behind both, with tare inside until it is put on.

Kendoka seats directly behind bogu and stands up to move (around, to the right side) and seats in front of bogu to do rei. Is the manner how we do it familiar to you or any reader of Kendo-Guide?

Answer: This is very interesting topic. Thak you! I hope many can contribute to this post.

I am sure that we probably still can trace “ryuha (school)” of your kendo by etiquette and manners your dojo follow. However, since the International Kendo Federation (FIK) integrated these manners for introducing kendo to the world, I think it is much harder now.

The way I learned to place my kote and men is your way, I think. I place men on top of kote in the front to back direction slightly on the left side of my left knee. However, I think FIK decided to place kote and men in front of the right knee with kote in the left-to-right direction.

With the kote and men and bogu in front of them, it is easy for us to get up from the right knee. Tare is wrapped around do with showing our name.

Post your way of placing your bogu at your dojo here!

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