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  • Gear for a Beginner

    Ok...I went and observed a class.

    Other than the constant Kiai'ing....I thought it looked like alot of fun.

    I wanted to participate so much....

    So....I want to start.......but.....it looks like the equipment is going to cost me an arm and a leg......is there anyone who can suggest some decent quality moderately priced equipment.

    I want to wear the equipment to class, not have to live in it.


    Thanks

  • #2
    Don't worry about the equipment yet. You shouldnt need it for awhile.
    Get started, then buy you own shinai (cheap one will do).
    After a few months, you might want to get a hakama (the pleated split skirt) and the keiko-gi (the top).
    As for armor, when you get to that, you can usually start out borrowing dojo armor and then start to look into getting your own. You're probably, at that stage, looking at at least $400 for a cheap korean made one., but I wouldnt worry about that yet.

    Cheers,

    Jakob

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    • #3
      I agree. You don't have to worry about getting the gear. From my experience I borrowed a set then bought one later on a year later. For me it was a year before I put the borrowed set on.

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      • #4
        I rented armour from my club until I was shodan. Ronin - does your club have no spare armours? This is a problem for most clubs, but I'd say its paramount for a club to have enough armours available to hire so that beginners like Ronin-postcode don't have to buy until they can afford a decent set. Better to wait a few years and pay $1000 for bogu that will last than spend $400 now on a fall-apart bogu IMHO.
        b

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        • #5
          You will not wear equipmetn from day one. So you shoudl start only with your will, confortable sportswear (tshirt and confortable pants will do) and you might want to buy your own shinai, which can be quite cheap.

          After a while , maybe three months or so, you might buy a cheap set of uniform.

          Then when sensei allows you to, you can either borrow or buy a reasonably good set from e-bogu.com or kendoshop.com. That will take about six months or so. Beginners should not worry about gear.

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          • #6
            Hahaha ... there is plenty of time later for you to dump your money into kendo!

            Especially after you finally decide that kendo is for you...

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            • #7
              Actually cklin has made a very good point - Kendo may not be for you. In most dojos many people drift away after a few weeks (or in some cases, after only one. I'm not saying this is you - you may be a lifer - but hold fire for now.

              In the meantime, a cheap book about Kendo will help you understand a lot of the etiquette that goes on, and the terminology.

              Good luck

              <rei>

              Dave

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              • #8
                David and cklin raise a good point. I would go a bit futher and suggest watching more than one class... Sometimes you find out something weird that you don't like about a specific dojo, and even if you want to do kendou, you may not want to do it there...

                c

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the good advice......I might just go ahead and get me a shina for now......and maybe a keikogi and a hakama or maybe I can get by with my aikido gi for now...I look into it a bit more.

                  As for staying with the school....well, like I said....other than the constant kiai....I thought it was pretty cool.

                  One thing that did bother me was that apparently they also teach aikido there too, which I didn't know....and I mentioned that I studied aikido at a different dojo....the sensei suggested that there aikido was better....something that I dislike in people....I am comfortable where I am, and a statement of "we have akido here if you want to check it out," would have been more appropriate instead of suggesting I quit my dojo and join theirs.

                  Not good form in my opinnion, but he seemed like a very nice poerson...so I ignored the comment.

                  And I am going to go watch again....just to make sure it's the right thing for me.

                  Thanks again
                  Ronin

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                  • #10
                    Good luck to you!

                    I would say that there is nothing wrong with sitting and watching for maybe 3 or 4 weeks before participating. Learning kendo is a long slow process, and there is no particular need to jump straight in.

                    I joined the class after watching one week, because i was so impatient to get going, but think it maybe would have been better for me if i had watched for a little longer.

                    But i hope very much that you enjoy it and we see you again in this forum.

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                    • #11
                      Here is an idea about bogu.

                      If, after a few months, you are still committed to kendo, buy an inexpensive used bogu set from a senior student or e-bay. Then in a year or two, when you are really committed, you can reward yourself with nice new bogu and donate your old set to the dojo. It keeps your cost down until you are sure, and will help the dojo.

                      Also, if you decide kendo isn't for you. Donation of the old bogu is an excellent way to show respect for and to thank the sensei and dojo when you leave.

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                      • #12
                        Since this is my first post here, I first just want to say that this forum is great! Really well-designed with lots of diverse opinions and all that.

                        Ronin, you may want to hold off wearing hakama for the first few months as they tend to hide your feet and it makes it much more difficult for your sensei to evaluate if your footwork is correct or not. Comfortable clothes are just fine when you're starting out. Usually the sensei will let you know when you are are ready to wear bogu and hakama and kendogi. I find waiting for the invitation to move up garners a better reaction than "When can I wear bogu/hakama/gi?".

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                        • #13
                          Talking about waiting and watching. I actualy watched for 2 years. My boyfriend has been at it that long so I learned ALOT from just watching. I was only watching mainly because I didn't know if it was for me and I also had really sore knees (old injury), and didn't know how they would stand up to it.

                          The watching really helped. I soaked in all that information and I received my first grading only a month after I started. Never underestimate the power of learning by watching.

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                          • #14
                            midori keiko?

                            It's good, in tournaments you can learn quite a lot by just watching matches.

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                            • #15
                              I think that when I started kendo, i didn't really know how much it would cost me in total. So I started with a 35$ shinai (or was it 40?), which is pretty okay. And I just bought my second shinai a month ago because my first one began to unplease me (well, i could have use it 3 month or more but i wanted a new one... :). I started 8 months ago, and they just told me a couple of weeks ago that i might want a hakama and gi. I had enough time to see if i liked kendo or not. I think it's better to wait and see if your destiny brings you to this martial art. I'm not even thinking about buying my own bogu right now (i'm still 13 and i know my parents wont pay 500$ for my bogu next year... :| ). Worriying about a bogu isn't that important (just stick to the one you borrow from the club). Yes, hakama and kendo gi cost a lot. A good quality one can cost up to $200 and the cheap ones cost around $100-150 + shipping and other stuff. If you take care of your shinai, it wouldn't take you 5 shinai per month to buy. Mine last 6 1/2 month and it's still okay (...).

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