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Club Membership Guidance

Membership

Membership of the Club is open to everyone regardless of age, gender, race and religion.

Members are asked to pay an annual or weekly subscription. Members and visitors must accept the authority of the officials of the Club, in order to practise at the Club or at any of its functions.

Because of the special risks involved in the practice of Kendo, the Club reserves the right to refuse membership/visitor status to any person whom it considers might be at risk to his/her physical/mental health as a consequence of practising Kendo.

All adult members, parent/guardian of juniors (aged less than 16 years) and, where practicable, all visitors must complete and sign the Club Registration Form.

Signing the Club Registration Form signifies acceptance of the following:

  • The duties and responsibilities of membership detailed above.
  • The risks involved in practising Kendo and the possibility of some injury.
  • The Nenriki Kendo Club is NOT liable for any injuries sustained during the practice of Kendo at the Club or any of its functions. The Club will, however, make every effort to secure general Club liability insurance cover for all members and visitors.
  • It is the responsibility of every member/visitor to ensure that they join the British Kendo Association as an individual member. The Club will make every effort to assist in this process. Membership of the British Kendo Association confers insurance cover for injury sustained during the practice of Kendo at any BKA affiliated Club. The Nenriki Kendo Club is affiliated to the BKA and enjoys all the benefits therefrom.

Special concern for the safety of children

The Club will make every effort to conduct training safely. However, the parents/guardians who consent to their child practising Kendo at the Club should be especially aware of the risks detailed above, before signing the Club Registration Form. Children aged less than 16 years MUST be registered with the Club by their parent/guardian.

Membership and Risks

The Nenriki Dojo (Kendo Club) was established in 1966 with the aim of fostering the practice of Kendo. The Club is non-profit making and is administered according to traditional Kendo principles of mutual respect and discipline.

RISKS INVOLVED IN PRACTISING KENDO
Kendo is a full contact Japanese martial art, which involves the study of the “Way of the Sword”. Protective clothing (armour) is worn to reduce the risk of injury and to provide target areas for strikes with a bamboo sword. Consequently, there may be some risk to you and to others, during normal training sessions. There have, however, been NO MAJOR INJURIES during the Club’s history (over 50 years), due to careful instruction and discipline in training.

A wooden sword or a bamboo sword substitute is used (instead of a real sword) for general practice. The bamboo sword is used to strike at the opponent’s protected target areas. This requires skill, rather than force, and the development of this skill is one of the objectives of training. The training may be physically and mentally demanding. Beginners tend to use more force than is necessary or desirable and thus there is a risk of injury.

Beginners of Kendo do NOT receive strikes and do NOT wear protective armour. Beginners of Kendo can strike more experienced members, but the reverse is NOT true.

Since Kendo is a full contact martial art there may be some risk to you and to others, during normal training sessions and you should bear this in mind before to consent to start Kendo at the Club or consent to your child practising Kendo at the Club.

Despite the fact that there have been no major injuries during Kendo sessions in the Club’s history, if you practise Kendo you must acknowledge that there is potentially some risk to your physical/mental health. The main injuries potential in the practice of Kendo include:

  • Blisters on the hands and feet
    This is quite common in the first few weeks of Kendo, due to holding the bamboo sword and to moving around in bare feet. The problem usually resolves itself when your hands and feet get used to the wear and tear.
  • Cut feet
    This may occur as a result of practising in bare feet on the wooden floor.
  • Bruises to the arms and hands
    This may occur as a result of being struck with the bamboo sword too hard or off-target.
  • Accidental blows from wooden swords.

Beginners Course Registration

Thank you for expressing an interest in beginning kendo at Nenriki Kendo Club.

The Nenriki Dojo (Kendo Club) was established in 1966 with the aim of fostering the practice of Kendo along traditional lines. The Club intends to continue to be a centre of excellence for the traditional study of Kendo. All practice will be managed in the context of the All Japan Kendo Federation definition of the concept of Kendo i.e. ‘To discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana (sword)’. The Club is non-profit making and is administered according to traditional kendo principles of mutual respect and discipline. No Nenriki instructors are paid.

We believe that beginners should undertake a structured introduction to kendo before joining regular practices. We pride ourselves in providing a high quality of teaching based on small groups. We endeavour to keep the student/instructor ratio down well below 10:1 by using as many seniors as possible to assist the main teacher. There are many experienced teachers in the Club who will make themselves available to help out as required.

If you wish to join the Nenriki Kendo Club beginners course please read all of this document and ensure you complete the Medical Areas of Concern declaration in your registration form.

The course fee is £150. The first session is an introductory lesson costing £20, payable in advance.

Payment should be made to:
a/c name: Nenriki Kendo Club
bank: NatWest
a/c no: 45173281
sort code: 60-60-04

The balance of £130 is payable before the second session.

The course fees cover only running costs and a contribution towards hall hire.

Note: a concession fee is also available where required. Please contact us at start@kendo.co.uk to discuss.

We look forward to welcoming you to the world of Kendo. Kendo offers many benefits to the development of the individual – on both physical and philosophical levels.

Physically – it is a very demanding discipline that will push you to your known limits. However, you do not have to be a “superman” or “super fit”. What this means is that we expect you to do your best and reach YOUR limit. Different people have different physical limits, but as long as you do your BEST, then this is the same as the next man’s BEST. One can ask for no more.

Philosophically – it is demanding because the process of learning kendo addresses your understanding of yourself and of others. This understanding develops as your kendo develops.

What appears to be overtly intensely physical is actually intensely philosophical.

How is the Beginners Course structured?

The beginners course is stage 1 of a process for learning Kendo. It’s an 8 weeks structured course starting with basic movements and leading to practice with instructors and other students in armour. Each week has specific things that should be covered (syllabus) but there is plenty of scope for flexibility depending on the tutor and the students. One dan grade (group tutor) is assigned to lead the course and other seniors will support the group tutor.

Stage 1 : Beginners’ Course

The objects of this course are:

• To get the student moving with good posture whilst holding the bokken/shinai.

• To get the student to make large cuts along the centre-line with movement and good posture

• To develop their spirit, strength and stamina, whilst maintaining movement and good posture during cutting.

• To teach the student kirikaeshi.

• To bring the student to the stage of wearing and practising in armour.

• To introduce basic dojo etiquette.

Beginners can join the group in weeks 1 and 2 of the course. Thereafter they must wait until the start of the next course.

Illustrative syllabus

Week 1

  • 5 minute demonstration by senior(s) of basic footwork, cutting & attack. Tutor to explain what is going on.
  • With bokken: basic footwork of all types, holding the bokken. Emphasis on posture and movement, NOT cutting whilst standing still. Renzoku shomen suburi.
  • Dojo organisation and etiquette

Week 2

  • With bokken: basic footwork of all types, holding the bokken. Emphasis on posture and movement, NOT cutting whilst standing still. Renzoku shomen, kote, do suburi.

Week 3

  • With bokken: basic footwork of all types, holding the bokken. Emphasis on posture and movement, NOT cutting whilst standing still. Renzoku shomen, kote, do suburi.

Week 4

  • With bokken: Renzoku suburi. Kirikaeshi – with bokken but NOT hitting anyone – to foster the correct hand positions and cutting actions.
  • Issue shinai. Structure of the shinai. How to prepare the shinai for next week.

Week 5

  • Demonstration by senior(s) of basic footwork, cutting & attack in armour.
  • With shinai: Explain differences in cutting with a “sword” and with a “shinai”.
  • No need to hit hard, just put the shinai into position and apply te no uchi.
  • Basic suburi. Renzoku suburi. Kirikaeshi, actually hitting receivers’ shinai or senior kendoka drafted in for the purpose.
  • Seniors used to receive cuts from beginners.
  • Uchikomi geiko against seniors (continuous relaxed attacks on easy targets).

Week 6

  • With shinai: Basic suburi. Renzoku suburi. Kirikaeshi, actually hitting receivers’ shinai or senior kendoka drafted in for the purpose.
  • Uchikomi geiko against seniors (continuous relaxed attacks on easy targets).

Weeks 7 & 8

  • Demonstration by senior(s) of what is expected of beginners in armour. We MUST get the student to do the following:
  • Basic attack, large two-step attack. Men with first step (right/left feet), step in to light tai-atari with second step (right/left feet), retreat in a straight line to too-maai with shinai held in chudan. Repeat.
  • No defence, no thought.
  • Must actually HIT the opponent (firmly, but not hammering).
  • Co-ordination of hands and feet, good posture, good kiai.
  • Introduction to armour for those whom the group tutor thinks are ready.
  • How to put on the armour, receive a few gentle cuts, give a few cuts etc.
  • Kirikaeshi in armour.
Stage 2: Continue to Practice

We hope that you will want to continue to practice after the 8 week course. You would be welcome to attend regular Tuesday and Friday practices.

The Club membership entitles you to use the Club armour and we currently have over 15 sets of Club armour, which are shared amongst the members. Normally members buy their own armour within 1-2 years of starting Kendo.

Please note that three months from the start of the course, you will need to extend your temporary BKA membership.