How do I get started?

by Byron H. Fields
(Rutherfordton, NC, USA)

I recently came across your ebook and was amazed and at the same time...somewhat ashamed.

I found that I was not even close to practicing kendo properly. What little equipment I have hasn't been properly maintained or even used correctly.

I never realized there was so much to kendo...which is why I feel I should throw out what I had been doing and learn to practice proper kendo.

My biggest hurdle though, is that I have NO PARTNER and AND NO DOJO! What do I do? Would it be wrong to attempt to learn with just my family/friends?

Should I just postpone training until I can actually travel to a good dojo? Please help me. I want to learn.

Answer: Thank you for your post. It is always hard if you do not have a dōjō near where you live. But it does not mean you should stop knowing how you should train properly.

If you haven't please try to finad a dojo with kendō dojo search. This may help you to find a dojo near you.

I am glad that you've noticed what proper kendō should be. That is a great step, don't you think?

You do not have a teacher, so I think you should not practice with a partner. Do just basic cut without a partner.

Once you have a partner, you will concentrate on "hitting a target" and won't be able to keep the basics right. Of course, this is a typical tendency of beginners and you may be different.

Through my experience, 100% of the beginners lose their basics when they start hitting actual targets. So probably you will too. When those beginners do something wrong, they have their teachers to correct them. But you don't. So…

Go over the kendō basics you know over and over.

Hope this helps.

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