Who should do Kendo, Iaido, or Wado ryu?
Anyone of above age 10 can practice Kendo and Wado Ryu. Iaido participants below 16 years of age must have instructor approval. All students below 18 years must have parental consent.
I am interested in practicing Kendo, Iaido, or Wado ryu what should I do?
First, please come watch a class or two and speak with the students and instructors before or after class. Questions and concerns are normally answered either before or after class. Please send an e-mail or telephone the contact person before attending class to make sure that class is still being held and also as a courtesy to let them know you are planning to show up.
Second, please do some reading. We highly recommend everyone to read Neil Gendzwills Sword Arts FAQ. Reading this will help answer many questions you will have such as the difference between Kendo and Kenjutsu, how did Kendo and Iaido originate, and so on. We believe that it is important to spend a little time researching any activity that you might commit time and money to, so please read the Sword Arts FAQ.
What do I need bring to the first class?
Please wear loose fitting gym clothes, such as sweat pants and a t-shirt. We have shinai (bamboo sword) and bokken (wooden sword for kata) available to use for first time participants in Kendo and Iaido. After a few training sessions please consider purchasing a shinai and bokken for your personal use.
What about a uniform, Kendo armor, sword for Iaido practice?
Uniforms can be purchased from a variety of vendors and can range in price, but a basic indigo keikogi (jacket) and indigo hakama (pleated trouser) are used for Kendo, a black keikogi and hakama are used for Iaido practice, and a standard white karate gi and pant are used in Wado Ryu. If you have not purchased uniform or equipment please contact an instructor to help you determine the correct size.
Before wearing armor in Kendo most students train for 4-6 months, sometimes longer. Armor worn in Kendo training is called bogu and Cheyenne Budokan and the Laramie dojo have a variety of sizes available to try for a short time. After about 1 year of training a Kendo student is expected to have decided whether they wish to continue training and purchase their own bogu when it is feasible for them to do.
Most participants train with a bokken and plastic saya for the first few classes and then begin practice with a non-sharp blade called an iaito for the next several years. Eventually a shinken or live, sharp sword is used for training. Sword arts can be dangerous when practiced with the incorrect/inappropriate equipment. Please only use equipment(swords) specifically manufactured for iaido practice. Please consult an instructor before you purchase a sword.
What about rank or belts?
Kendo and Iaido rank is not displayed with a colored belt like in Wado-ryu karate. Rank in Kendo and Iaido is awarded in the form of a certificate called a menjo
What else should I know?
Both Cheyenne Budokan and Wyoming Kendo and Iaido club of Laramie are not-for profit groups. If you are able to train in Cheyenne a monthly donation is requested to cover dojo costs.
If you are able to train in Laramie, there is a participation fee per semester to help cover cost of equipment, visiting instructors, facility use, etc.