Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kendo?
Kendo is the modern martial art of Japanese swordsmanship, developed from traditional techniques of Japanese swordsmanship known as kenjutsu. Since 1975 the goal of Kendo has been stated by the All Japan Kendo Federation as "to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the katana (the Japanese standard two handed sword)". However, Kendo combines martial arts values with sport elements, with some practitioners stressing the former and others the latter. read more

Why Practice Kendo?
People practice Kendo for many different reasons. There are those who attempt to master it as Bujutsu, others who practice it as a form of physical exercise, some see it as a form of ascetic exercise, still others see it as a sport, some simply because they enjoy it, others because they have an interest in contest using a shinai. In general, it seems to be most broadly perceived as either a form of physical exercise or character cultivation and physical discipline.

Can Anyone Practice Kendo?
Yes! Kendo is open to everyone who has the desire to do it. The practices are vigorous, demanding, challenging and fun. Self-discipline, patience and dedication are required.

When Did The Milwaukee Kendo Club Start?
The Milwaukee Kendo Club was originally started by Matsuyama Shigemi in 2003 at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. We have changed location and have grown quite a bit since then. We are members of the Mid West Kendo Federation and The All United States Kendo Federation. Our Mid West Kendo Federation Mentor is Robert Mack Sensei, Kendo Yondan.

What Do I Need and How Much Does It Cost?
The Milwaukee Kendo Club is a not-for-profit group, but we have dues to cover our operating costs. Currently, the dues are $30 per month. There is family pricing ($30 per parent, $20 per child under 18 years). As for equipment, all you need is a 39 shinai for the first 3 months. These cost about $25. Wear something comfortable to workout in. After 3 months you will need a kendo uniform (hakama and keikogi). Together, these cost about $100. After 6 or 7 months, you will need armor (bogu). This will cost about $500 for a reasonable set. It is your single biggest expense, but you only have to replace parts as they wear out, not the whole thing.

How Do I Start?
You begin by showing up for practice. Please download the MKC and MWKF membership forms from our website, fill them out and bring them with you. You are welcome to come and watch a practice any time. Please be sure to check our website for practice cancellations due to weather or holidays and for additional information, location and practice schedule.
MKC membership form