Welcome to “Kendo Guide for Complete Beginners”. In this section, I'll explain your goals. You have no bōgu on. Before you put your bōgu on, what you have to get is coordination. You've got to learn coordination; your hands motion and footwork. You have to coordinate everything so you can execute good strikes.
Of course, you should work on etiquette and manners. If you have a keikogi and hakama, then you need to work on your appearance. Don’t focus on the movements. Without etiquette, manners and appearance, you’re no longer doing kendo.
Now here are the goals for you to accomplish before you put yourbōgu on.
It's at page 86 of "Kendo Guide for Beginners". Your sensei might call it chōyaku shōmen uchi. It is the same thing with the different names. And this is your first goal. If you can do this well, then you have been doing all the suburi correctly. You can check out the article on Haya Suburi here.
Kirikaeshi is your goal as well. Kirikaeshi is a combination of shōmen uchi and sayū men. To do this well, you need a good coordination. If you haven’t watched the three different kirikaeshi, please watch "Different Kirikaeshi for Different Levels in Kendo" below. Kirikaeshi is not a warm up exercise you do at the beginning of training. It has all the important essences of kendo and when you do it correctly, your kendo will be spurb.
And also when you learn how to receive in kirikaeshi properly, you will be prepared to learn ōji waza (counterattack). Watch "A Practical Way to Receive KiriKaeshi" below.
Those two things are your goals, while you are not wearing your bōgu.
If you can reach to the level that you can do haya suburi and kirikaeshi well within 3 months, it is very ideal. But of course, it depends on your situation. You might take longer. But don't worry about it. It's not about time. It's about how correctly you can learn the kendo movements.
You must learn everything correctly, so you won't struggle in the future. Take your time. You don't want to skip anything. You will improve step by step. People try to go through the basics too quickly to go to the next step. But in the future, you will notice that you will have to go back to the basics because you went through too fast.
It doesn't matter how high you became in Kendo, you do haya suburi and kirikaeshi at different level. In kendo, we are never done with the basics. What we do is to polish up the basics to improve our applied techniques.