Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I don’t have any experience with kendo; can I still join the club?

Absolutely! In fact, most people in the U.S. collegiate community begin kendo in college, so the playing field is relatively even. Most of our beginners have been able to be competitive within the space of a year.

Q: Does kendo hurt?

No, unless someone is negligent. Kendo armor (bougu) is well-designed for its purpose and injury is quite rare.

Q: Will I have to buy my own equipment?

We ask our members to buy their own uniform (keikogi and hakama) as well as their own sword (shinai), which amounts to an initial investment of roughly $100, but Yale affiliates have access to club bougu. If you are confident that you want to practice kendo for a greater length of time and particularly outside of our dojo, we highly recommend buying your own bougu. You may check,, or to get an idea of the general price of equipment; a beginner bougu set may run from $400-$600.

Q: Are there any club fees or dues?

The Yale Kendo Club does not collect any member dues, but occasional costs do arise in the form of tournament registration fees and equipment upkeep. We try to ensure that everyone is reimbursed for these costs.

Q: I am not directly affiliated with Yale; may I still join?

We do not accept outside members to our club. If one is closer to Stamford, CT, it would be best to investigate practicing with the Shidogakuin dojo there.