Kendo Equipment

Kendo technique, introduction, equipment

Kendo Kendo Equipment

Kendo Equipment

All the protective equipment used in kendo are shown in the picture below:

Kendo Equipment

The head gear is called "men" and is made of layers thick cloth on the sides with a metal grill and leather trimmings. Padding on the inside of the grill allows a tight fit between the top of the head and the chin. A throat guard ("tsuki") is made of padded cloth with leather on the outside. Usually the tsuki will have a "X" patter of stitches which serve as a target for thrusts.

The protective gloves are called "kote" and are also made of thick layers of cloth on the wrists with padded cloth or leather for the fingers. For a better grip, the inside of the kote is lined with suede. The kote can be adjusted by tightening up the strings on the inside of the wrist.

The torso protector is called a "do". The do is traditionally made of bamboo panels although plastic materials and even carbon fiber can be found. The outside of the do is lacquered to give it a nice dark gloss look to it. A dojo crest or other emblem can also be included in the lacquer. The top of the do always exhibits a nice pattern of stitches over leather. The do is tied to the body by strings on the upper part that are crossed over the shoulder and tied around the loops on the top. A second set of strings are located at the lower part and are tied across the hips.

The lower body protector is called a "tare". The tare is also made of thick layers of cloth with leather and stitches making patterns on it. The tare is tied to the body by cloth belts along the top part.

Besides protective armor, kendo kendo uses a bamboo sword called a "shinai" during practice. The shinai itself is made of four bamboo or carbon fiber slats held together at the tip and grip. The standard length of the "blade" portion of the shinai is 39 inches for men, 38 inches for women and 37 inches for juniors. The standard weight of a shinai for men is 0.515 kg, approximately half of the weight of a real sword. Also carbon fiber shinais can be made with difference balance and handle sizes.


A wooden sword, ("bokken") is used to practice kata or forms in kendo. Kendo kata involves two participants and are a set of movements and strikes in the proper form. Proper concentration, breathing and manners are also important when performing a kata. It is said that all movements of kendo can be found in the seven kata with the bokken and three kata with the "kodachi" or short sword.

bokken, wooden sword

Table of Contents

  1. Kendo Introduction
  2. Kendo Equipment
  3. Kendo Technique


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