Knoxville Kendo Club

A Kendo Club in east Tennessee was originally established and led by Maeda-sensei (7-dan) at the Tennessee Meiji Gakuin (TMG) High School in Sweetwater. Since the TMG was closed and Maeda-sensei moved to Florida in 2007, the Kendo Club was relocated to Knoxiville and renamed Knoxville Kendo Club (KKC). Hyun-sensei (7-dan) is currently leading the club. KKC and UT Martial Art Club hosted the SEUSKF Championship and Promotinal Test in 2010 and 2016. The club won first place at the 2015 SEUSKF Championship.
Videos of our club: (1) Regional Tournament (2) News

If you are interested in Kendo, please contact us.

What is Kendo

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Overview: Kendo is a martial art of sword fencing. "Ken" means "sword" and "Do" means "a way of life-long training". It is not just a way of physical training but mental training is a major goal in practicing Kendo.

History: Sword fencing, along with horse riding and archery, played a major role in Japanese battles until the middle of 16th century. Therefore, training of swordsmanship was very important for Japanese warriors; however, since it is too dangerous to use a real sword for the training, wooden swords were used instead. Because of the introduction of rifles into Japanese battles at the middle of the 16th century and arrival of relatively peaceful era at the beginning of the 17th century, practicing sword fencing became less important in terms of preparing for a battle. However, people continued practicing Japanese fencing for physical and mental training. That's the origin of Kendo. But, at that time, it was not organized and different groups had different ways of training. We had to wait until 1920 for the official establishment of Kendo as a Japanese martial art. At present, around 8 million people world-wide practice kendo with approximately 7 million of them in Japan.

Training suits and armor: Jacket (Dogi), Skirt (Hakama), Head gear (Men), Gloves, gauntlets (Kote), Abdomen protector (Do) and Waist protector (Tare).

Bamboo sword: The Shinai is made of four bamboo slats held together by two pieces of leather, and a string (tsuru).

Competition: A match is played between two competitors and the one who gets two points first wins the match. To get a point you need to to strike targets on the opponent. There are basically four specified targets. The first one is Men (head), and second one is the arm where it is covered with Kote. The third target is Do and the last one is the throat, called Tsuki. There are other important criteria for getting points. First, the top third of the shinai should make contact with one of the targets. Second, you need to vocalize where you are going to strike. And the last criterion is that, after you strike, you need to show a posture indicating you are ready to continue the fight.