Kendo is one of the newest sport societies to be founded here at Reading University, though it is quickly finding its feet. Here’s a brief outline of what it involves:
The meaning of the word kendo is “The Way of the Sword”; the martial art descends directly from samurai roots and practices. Its earliest and oldest form began as kenjutsu when the use of bamboo swords called shinai was developed for practice. Kendo is practised in full armour and fought with shinai. The purpose of the martial art is to mould the mind and body and strive for improvement in the art of Kendo. Kendo does not only make you physically stronger; the principle of staring down an opponent’s sword and still driving forward applies to all of life’s challenges. A typical practice involves a warm-up, practice cuts, and then timed sparring in full armour.
The society practice is currently lead by Keiichiro Kato, a Japanese 3rd-dan student, and myself, and together we strive to practice authentic Japan-Style kendo. The club is fortunate enough to have strong links to Kendo clubs across the country, meaning as the club progresses there will be teachers of a very high level visiting to coach and teach.
Though the club may still be in its infancy, within just a few weeks of its founding, two of our members attended the UK University Taikai on 21st/22nd February, and fought for Reading. The club won several fights, and we are proud to say Keiichiro Kato took the bronze medal in the Men’s Open.
For those of you interested, please do come and try it out, we practice in 3sixty 4PM-6PM every Friday – all are welcome. Or come and find us for a drink in Mojo’s Bar afterwards, where we go after the end of every session – and find us on Facebook under ‘Reading University Kendo Society’.