Join our Facebook group for updates and information on upcoming events
Practice videos will be uploaded to our YouTube channel
Established in the spring of 1998, the Purdue
Kendo Club has seen tremendous growth and
has been widely recognized throughout the
Purdue and greater Lafayette area with efforts
to educate the community about the martial
art of Kendo. PKC began as an informal meeting
between a few students who wished to spar and
maintain their kendo skills. The founding fathers
of the club are Ozaki Shinsaku, currently a
member of the Miami Valley Kendo Dojo, and
Kurokawa Yoshi of the Chicago dojo. The club
was officially recognized by the University as
a student organization in April of 1998 and later
accepted by the Division of Recreational Sports
as an instructional club sport in 2012. During it's
beginning stages, the club was maintained and
instructed by Tamura Kerry.
The club currently boasts an average of about 20 dues-paying members per semester. We put an emphasis on recruiting and educating beginners with no prior kendo experience. A good majority of our members all started kendo when they joined the Purdue Kendo Club. Many have graduated and become members of other dojos and clubs.
Since the club does not currently have its own sensei to instruct us, we often invite sensei from the surrounding areas to join our practices and instruct us throughout the semester. We also actively participate in tournaments within our regional federation and the surrounding federations during the school year, usually twice every semester. These tournaments are often accompanied by testing exams and seminars with guest sensei from around the country and Japan.
What is Kendo?
Written By: Tamura Kerry, First President of PKC
Kendo means "the way of the sword." Kendo was originally developed as one of the fighting arts or combat skills among samurai ancestors. It was in the middle of the Edo period (AD 1603-1867) where practice matches with protective gear and shinai (bamboo sword) were devised. Values of the samurai are very much link the chivalric code, a constitution that Medieval knights lived by. The samurai has something similar called the bushido: "the way of the warrior." Samurai were hereditary warriors and were governed by the bushido, a code of ethics that devined service and conduct appropriate to their status as elite members of the Japanese society.
Kendo can be considered as Japanese fencing because it utilizes a sword. The sword is called the shinai, and is constructed of bamboo. Other equipment that is used is the armor, which includes the men (helmet), doh (trunk protector), kote (forearm protector) and a protective apron called the tare. Underneath all of that protective gear is the gi and the hakama, which are loose, flowing, full-cut pants and top. The clothing worn for Kendo is exactly the same clothing samurai warriors wore a couple hundred years ago.
Points are scored by calling out and striking a target area: 1) the head (men), 2) the side of the body (doh), 3) the wrists (kote), or 4) the throat (tsuki). The attack is instantaneous. It is not to the defender's advantage that he would know what the opponent is attacking for. There is great emphasis put on the vocals, or the kiai, in order to show the importance of spirit in this martial art. A match consist of three points: the one to score the first two is the winner. The attack must be clearly made in a spirited manner with perfect form. There are three judges who determines the points.
Like all martial arts, Kendo has levels of skill. These levels are divided into two divisions: Kyu (beginners/intermediates) and Dan (advanced). The Kyu contains 8 levels where one would start on 8 and work down to 1 (ikkyu). To enter the Dan division, one must pass a series of tests administered by sensei. Dan contains 8 levels. One's level is not resembled by the color of a belt (although some dojos have patches) but by the kenshi's word.
Kendo is considered to be more of a discipline for spiritual development than a pastime for enjoyment. It is an extremely obedient martial art, and although it is strictly one-on-one combat, its teachings are not meant to train anyone to become a walking lethal weapon, but a person of etiquette, self-respect, honesty, courtesy, self-discipline, morals, humility and honor. These qualities have been kept sacred forever, preserving a pure expression of Japan's culture
and history. It is not glorious at all, which was very similar to the life of the samurai: humble and subservient. The knowledge that can be obtained from this martial art is infinite where lessons from simple to complex exercises can, and are applied to life. Interpretations of the exercises and teaching are unique according to each individual, allowing a lifetime of achievement and personal growth.
PURDUE KENDO CLUB OFFICERS
Purdue Kendo Club Goals
Official Club Email: