MIT Kendo Club

Kendo Basics

The Bogu

Kendo is a contact sport. Some strikes ought to be "light" while others are supposed to be performed at full strength. As a consequence, kendoka wear armours. The Japanese name for the "armour" is Bogu. A Bogu consists of 4 parts.

A Tare, which protect the lower part of the body (mostly around the hips and below)


A Do, which protects the stomach and most of the front part of the trunk


A pair of Kote, which protects the wrists and the hands


At last a Men is here to protect the head and the throat


The Shinai

The Shinai is the "sword" of the kendoka. It is most of the time made up of bamboo and is ideal for a safe practice of Kendo. The original idea for creating a Shinai was to allow the practice of Kendo but retaining the possibility for performing full strikes without injuring, or worse killing, the opponent ! The major areas of a Shinai are explained on the image below.


The target areas in Kendo

In Kendo there are 5 target areas, that mostly correspond to the places where protective equipement is present. Indeed the targets are : Hidari Kote, Migi Kote, Men, Do and Tsuki. Those areas are illustrated on the picture below.

target areas