First lessons for kendo kindergartener?

by Kate Duff
(Moline Kendo Club, Illinois)

Hello Hiro Sensei, greetings from Moline Kendo Club.

My five year old daughter, Lot, watches your videos every day and loves them.

She has been training for almost a year now - learning kendo before learning how to read, even!

Our question is this - what are the first lessons taught to kids in Japan?

What should our group be focusing on with a kendoka so small?

Thank you for any advice you have for our little Lot.

Thank you,


Answer: Thank you for your question. You do not know how happy I am to hear that your little daughter watches my videos to learn kendo!

Training methods vary from dojo to dojo so I cannot advice you on behalf of each dojo in Japan. Having said that…

5 year old kids are very obedient so they will learn as they are taught. So it is very important for instructors to teach them right.

Even so, most important thing for them is, in my opinion, being loud. Just have them shout as loud as they can. You do not have to be too picky about “the form”. That will distract their attention.

So… due to their attention span, constantly they need to do different things. You should prepare different types of footwork exercises. And let them strike a lot! They like that, don’t they?

Reigi or etiquette must be done properly though. They should know how to show respect to their teachers and senior students.

So in short, “Cheerful, Active and Fun” are the keys.

Hope this helps.

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