Beginners courses

Next course startsThe next course will start on Saturday 5 October 2019.
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Class times8pm to 10pm Tuesdays, and 12pm to 2/3pm, Saturdays
Ages18 and over
Cost£90 (£60 for students) – all inclusive

Courses are for adults (18+) only. We regret that Reading Kendo Club does not have the capacity to admit juniors.


The course fee is currently £90 (£60 for students). This includes:

  • all session fees
  • a complimentary shinai (bamboo sword)
  • temporary (3-month) membership of the British Kendo Association

Registration and payment

To reserve a place, please use our online forms.

You can either pay a non-refundable deposit, and the balance before starting the class, or the full amount upfront. If you wish to pay the remainder in person, please bring cash.


8pm to 10pm Tuesdays and 12pm to 2/3pm Saturdays

Shoshinkai hosts two beginners courses each year.

Courses typically last 8 weeks and are designed to take attendees to a point where they can wear armour and take part in the regular sessions.

Saturday sessions run all year round but once you have finished your beginners course, you should join the regular practices on Tuesdays (Reading) and Thursdays (Camberley) as well. Session fees become applicable at this point.

Trying and buying armour

Kendo armour can be expensive so we would strongly advise against purchasing your own until you are certain you will continue your kendo training past the beginners course.

Should you decide to continue training after this point you will need to purchase your own armour, hakama (pleated trousers), kendo-gi (jacket), and a bokuto (wooden sword styled on the katana and used for kata). You may also wish to purchase a zekken (personalised name plate which fits over the tare).

Towards the end of the course you will borrow and practise in a set of club armour (bogu). This consists of tare (hip/groin protector), dou (breast-plate), kote (gloves) and men (helmet). You will therefore get the full “kendo experience” with all its weird and wonderful feelings (and smells!) before making any financial commitment.

The club armour will be available to you for a reasonable period after your course, we simply ask that you return the club armour in time for the following beginners class to use it.

When you are ready to purchase your own bogu, for an invaluable guide to kendo equipment and its maintenance, visit the kendo equipment manual page, where you can download a pdf version.

Club members are a friendly approachable lot and will gladly offer you advice on buying new or second-hand armour.

Post course costs

On completion of the course you will need to upgrade to full adult membership of the British Kendo Association.

Club session fees also become applicable from this point.

These are £10 per session OR £20 per calendar month ( for one session a week).

What to wear?

Please bring loose clothing that is easy to move around in. Dark clothing is recommended once you are wearing armour as the dye can rub off.

Bringing a water bottle is also recommended.


Email us at for any beginner-related enquiries or come to a session we will be happy to talk and answer any questions.