Useful Kendo Information
for people who practice "the way of the sword"

 

Part 1

How to Make a Kendo Dummy | How to Wash Your Hakama |
How to Make a Bogu Drying Rack | About Bestkendo.com and our kendo books |

How to Repair Your Kote | Kendo Arm Strengthening |
Permanent Hakama Pleats | Kendo Blistered Feet |

Purchase These Kendo Books on Amazon.com

Kendo Traning and Techniques

A unique guide to kendo, richly illustrated with over eighty kendo techniques and lots of kendo training infromation.

 

Kendo:Book of Five Rings

Miyamoto Musashi's book of strategy, interpretation for kendo by David Aguero

Kendo Philosophy and Concepts, Volume 1

A guide to kendo philosophy and concepts, with many important kendo concepts and explainations of kendo philosophy for todays kendo. Includes the the teachings of Yagyu Munenori and Miyamoto Musashi.

 
Kendo Striking Areas

 

There are four striking areas in kendo:

KOTE is a strike to the opponents right wrist. A strike to the left wrist is allowed only in curtain techniques.

MEN is a strike to the top of the head. Strikes to either side of the head are also allowed.

DO is generally a strike to the right side of the opponents abdomen. A strike to the left side is allowed only in curtain techniques and is harder to score a point.

TSUKI is a thrust to the throat. Since it is a technique that requires a high degree of accuracy and speed it is used only by Yudansha (black belts).

 

 

In kendo simply striking a target is not automatically a point. Points are given based on intent of the strike, its perfection, follow through and unity of mind and body at the time of striking. For this reason it takes years of practicing to perfect striking the four target areas.

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HOW TO WASH YOUR HAKAMA
 

By David Aguero

I have been washing my hakama for years using this method, it works great. New hakama with excess dye will naturally be washed off your hakama so don't be to concerned about how much dye is coloring the water, and removing or keeping the excess dye on the fabric of your new hakama.

 

1. Fold your hakama neatly, as in the formal way. 2. Use two rubber bands to secure the folded ends of the hakama himo. 3. Fold over the hakama, in half, with the himo side on inside of the folded bundle.   4. Use three large rubber bands to secure the hakama bundle. 5. Use a gentle wash soap such as Woolite brand or Ivory soap in the washer.

1. Set your washer cycle to cold water wash and cold water rinse, and set for hand wash (slow agitation), and short cycle. Add soap (either Woolite for DARK clothes, or Ivory Liquid Soap)

2. Place your hakama bundle and kendo gi in the washer and wait for the washing cycle to complete.

3. Once the washing cycle is complete, immediately remove your hakama and keiko gi and hang them up on hangers to air dry (untie the hakama himo, to allow the hakama himo to dry faster).

 

 

 
 

Easy, How to Make a Bogu Drying Rack
By David Aguero

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I came up with this uniquely functional bogu drying rack out of frustration with needing to air out my own bogu, and wanting to provide an easy to make bogu drying rack design. Using just an electric drill and saw you should be able to make and assemble this project in less than five minutes.

Like many of the FREE designs on this website, please do not use this design idea to profit from.

Best Regards,
David Aguero

 

 

 

Materials List:
1 - 1"x 1 1/2" x 12" piece of wood, a common ground stake is a perfect size (cut off the pointy end)

2 medium sized spring clips
1 bicycle strorage hook
1 large cup hook

Tools: Drill, 1/4" drill bit, saw(to cut wood)

     
 

INSTRUCTIONS:
1) Drill a 1/4" hole about 1/2" down into the wood (do not drill the hole all the way through) and 6" in the center of the piece of wood. Attach the bicycle storage hook into the hole.

2) Attach the large cup hook on the opposite side of the wood.

3) Mount the two spring clips to the ends of the wood

The assembled bogu rack should look like the photo on the left.

 

     
 

Detail of how to mount the men on the bogu drying rack.

   

 

Detail of how to mount the kote on the bogu drying rack.

     
  Detail of how to tie/wrap up the men himo for storage on the bogu drying rack,

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BestKendo.com
   
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height adjustable kendo dummy with do attachment removed.
 

FREE How to make a Kendo Dummy instructions for making a kendo training dummy**
This kendo dummy is our latest wooden kendo dummy design, and features a way to quickly and easily adjust the height of the dummy from 4' 9" to 6' tall. The unique "Do" can be easily removed, and the arm portion moves up and down. Unique in its design, low cost and easy to make. We hope this wooden kendo dummy will give you years of service.

Our first wooden kendo dummy was not height adjustable but is still a great design if you don't need to change the height but want all the other design features such as a kote and shinai that moves up and down, and a unique wooden "do" that can be easily removed. The instructions for the first wood kendo dummy

**We have posted this FREE kendo dummy designed for your personal or dojo use only, It is not to be used for commercial purposes. We make no warranty as far as making it, suitability, or safety in its design or use. Always wear kendo bogu when using this dummy.

Design by
David Aguero
BestKendo

 
How the locking adjustment works
Pivot points (screws) on both top and bottom, of the pivot panels allow the locking knobs to bend and compress the post panels, providing enough friction to lock the post in any up or down position.
 
KENDO DUMMY INSTRUCTIONS
Tools List
 
Materials List for
Adjustable Height Dummy

Electric Drill
1/2" drill bit
1 1/2" drill bit
or 1 3/8" drill bit
3/8" drill bit
Philips screw bit

Saber saw
Hand saw, Japanese type if possible

Scissors
Pencil
Tape measure
Ruler
small angle


2 saw horses, or adjustable clamping saw horse
or 2 upside down trash cans will work

Hardware for Dummy Padding

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: purchase of wood measurements, are for STOCK WOOD which tends to be narrower (actual measurements) than what the store says they are! If you are a carpenter please purchase stock wood or measure for stock wood.

3 pcs 1x4x8 pine board (straight)
2 pcs 1x2x4 pine board (straight)
1 pcs 2x4x8 dry 2x4 pine
1 small box 2" wood screws
1 small box 1 1/4" wood screws
Wood Glue
2 Garden knee pads (plain, rectangular)
or small section of carpet padding, or other padding
1 3/8"x6" bolt
2 3/8" washers
1 3/8" wing nut
8 3/8" wide washers
4 1/8" Medium length, Large Screw Eyes
1 1/4"x 6 1/2" bolt
1 Bungie cord - medium-long length
2 1 gallon baggies filled half way with clean sand
1 cloth or heavy plastic reuseable grocery bag
Black duct tape

Hardware for Dummy

Important Note: The wood being used for this kendo dummy is very soft and splits easily, so pilot holes must be drilled first before inserting the wood screws. Use wood glue on all the pieces being assembled.

MAIN SECTION VIEWS

STEP 1
Cut the Wood

STEP 1  
Making The Top Post
   
 
In step two make sure both top post panels are facing in the same direction.
 

1

Attach one of the 6" bottom post panels to the two bottom posts with two 2" screws 1 1/2" from the top of the bottom post panel (A, B). Make sure the bottom posts are aligned with edge of the bottom post panel. Repeat attaching the 2nd bottom post panel on the oppisite side.
2
Once the two bottom post panels are attached carefully turn the bottom post so that the 4" side is face up. Place (do not screw or attach) and align the two top post panels with the two bottom post panels. Make sure that the two top post panel Men/Head portion are facing the same direction. (see left photo)
3
Align and attach with four 2" screws the two pivot panels to the two top top post panels (see diagram #3, A,B,C,D, attaching 1" from the top and from the bottom of each panel). Repeat for second pivot panel on the oppisite side.
4
Test the movement of the top post with the bottom post, making sure that the posts move up and down easily. If the posts are not moving easily, remove one pivot panel and adjust the spacing between bottom post and piovt panels.
 


3 lengths 6 1/2" 1x2 boards (padding brace)
1 length 5" 2x4 board (head brace)

Attach the three 1x2x6 1/2 strips of wood using 1 1/4 screws and wood glue attach the head brace 2x4x5" on the back, flush with top of the dummy post.

STEP 2  
Making the Base


 

 

2 lengths 28" 1x4 pine board
1 length 18" 1x4 pine board
1 length 5" 2x4x5 board
Start by tracing the outline of a 1"x4" board 5" from edge of both 28" 1"x4" (cross brace) boards
Next drill 1/2 hole near the center of the traced outline of the 1"x4" board. Cut out the outline of the board with a saber saw


 

Trim all three 1x4" base boards 1 1/2" at an angle from each edge.

Cut a piece of 2x4x5" board for the Mid Brace.


 

Before assembling the base permanently place the MID BRACE piece 8 1/2" from edge opposite the cut out notched end use glue and screw in place, using two screws on each side.

Position the ASSEMBLED CROSS BRACE pieces on the BOTTOM BRACE, 5 1/2" from edges and TRACE the position of the cross brace onto the bottom brace. Check the bottom of the notched cross brace (see photo), making sure the bottom brace is flush and does not create a rocking motion when placed on the floor. Adjust any problems with a wood file.

NEXT position the assembled post on the bottom brace and secure the post to the CROSS BRACES (ONLY) with glue and 4 screws on each side.

NEXT, Place the post lying down along with now attached CROSS BRACES on a saw horse or garbage can. Attach the BOTTOM BRACE to the bottom of the post and cross with four screws and glue.

 

Mount the bottom post and bottom panel to the base with four 2" screws on both sides of the base, four screws on the bottom (see diagram, and main section views diagram)
 
Position the top post on the bottom post and test how easily the top post moves up and down
STEP 3  
Making the Arm/Kote

 

 

2 lengths 24" 1x4 pine board
2 lengths 11" 2x4 board
1 lengths 3 1/2" 2x4 board (shinai brace)
1 length 10 1/2" 2x4 board (kote)

 

Kote and Shinai Holder
Cut the Kote/Shinai holder by positioning the 10 1/2" 2x4" board flush with the edge of 24" 1x4" board rotate the 10 1/4" board
1 1/4" to the left.( see diagram) mark the angle with a pencil from the bottom, cut off the angle with a hand saw. Save the cut off angle as guide for drilling and centering the 1 1/2"( or 1 3/8" for a tighter, smaller hole) shinai hole.


 

 

SHINAI BRACE
This photo shows the rectangular piece of wood used to help support the shinai handle. Drill a 1 1/2" hole in a 2x4x 3 1/2" finding the center by drawing an x from corner to corner, drill a pilot hole at first, finish with a 1 1/2" hole.


 

Good quality carpet padding can be used instead of a garden knee pad. Double the thickness of the carpet padding when using it for the kote.

 

 

Drill a 1/2" hole into both pieces of the 2x4x 11" of wood 3" from edge (see diagram), drill the hole into the wood at the same time (stacked together.) The hole will be used to attach the arm to the center post.

Assemble the arm using glue, four 2" wood screws for kote and shinai holder, shinai brace. Glue, screw the two 2x4x11" , centered and flush on one end of the 2 lengths 24" 1x4 pine board. Position the Kote/ Shinai holder and Shinai brace in the assembled arm with out attaching. Check the alignment of the shinai holder with a real shinai. Secure the pieces if the alignment is good.

Attach a garden knee pad to the kote portion of the arm using four 2" screws and wide washers, trim off excess padding before attaching. Cover the pad with two to three layers of duct tape to help prevent the pad from cracking and splinting.



 

Attach the arm to center post with 3/8"x6" bolt washers and 3/8" nut.

Drill a pilot hole for the screw eye on the back of the arm close to the edge.

Important: adjust the kamae of the dummy somewhat flat to avoid accidental tuski when using dummy.

Attach the bungee cord to the arm, place a shinai in the holder (to add the correct weight), swivel the arm to the position that suits you and mark the spot where the loose end of the bungee cord hits on the bottom back side of the (top post), the bungee should be taunt enough to hold the arm in position with the shinai in the shinai holder, drill a pilot hole for the Screw Eye (careful not to drill into bottom post) and attach the screw eye and bungee cord. Add another screw eye to elevate the arm at a steep angle, high enough to practice hitting "do."

     
STEP 4  
Padding the Head (men)

 

 

Finish the head by attaching a garden knee pad front and back with the 2" screws and big washers.
Apply duct tape to top of the knee pad to prevent excesive wear and splits in the pad.


 
Good quality carpet padding can be used to cover the head/men (6 1/2" x 11"), apply 2-3 layers of duct tape to keep the carpet from splitting. The carpet padding has the real feel of a hitting a 'men'.
 

Make a
SANDBAG WEIGHT
for base

Make an sandbag by filling two 1 gallon zip lock baggies half full with dry sand and wrapping with a re useable grocery cloth bag.

ALMOST DONE, go on to part two of the instructions....Part 2 >

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All content and images copyrighted, © BestKendo.com 2009, Please respect our hard work


 

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KENDO DUMMY INSTRUCTIONS part 2

  How to make a Kendo Do for our wood kendo training dummy**

I designed this removable Do to use with our wood kendo training dummy. Nicely designed and easy to make. The total cost should be under $25. This addition to our wood kendo training dummy adds many more possible strikes that can be practiced. This kendo dummy Do is easy to easy to setup and easy to remove.

**We have posted instructions for making this FREE kendo "Do" designed for your personal or dojo use only, It is not to be used for commercial purposes. We make no warranty as far as making it, suitability, or safety in its design or use. Always wear kendo bogu when using this dummy.

Design by
David Aguero
BestKendo

PART ONE Download PDF 4.6MB
PART TWO Download PDF 2.6MB
Template for making the "Do"
476KB

 

KENDO Do INSTRUCTIONS
Tools List
 
Materials List for Removeable 'Do'

Electric Drill
1/2" drill bit

Philips screw bit

Saber saw
Right Angle

Hand saw, Japanese type or
fine finishing hand saw

Scissors
Pencil
Tape measure
Ruler


 

IMPORTANT NOTE: purchase of wood measurements, are for STOCK WOOD which tends to be narrower (actual measurements) than what the store says they are! If you are a carpenter please purchase stock wood or measure for stock wood.
Purchase:
1 length of 1 1/2" board 8 feet long
1 length of 3 1/2" board 6 feet long
1 length of 5 1/2" board 6 feet long

1 small box 2" wood screws
1 small box 1 1/4" wood screws
Wood Glue
1 small box 1/2" wide head screws
1 bungie cord
1 black duct tape
1 length of thick carpet padding or other type of padding (26"x7")


Important Note:
The wood being used for this kendo dummy is very soft and splits easily, so pilot holes must be drilled first before inserting the wood screws.

   
MAIN SECTION VIEW
STEP 1  
Cut the Wood

 

Cut all the wood pieces for the do

STEP 2  
Cutting the do brace
Download, print and cut out this template:
Template PDF 476kb
Use a fine hand saw for cutting the outside angles of wood.
 

 
  Using the template provided, print and cut out the template, mark both left sides and right sides of the two 15"x5 1/2" boards (turn paper template over to mark the right side) .
 

measure the distance of the wood dummies two center post braces (4 7/8" from the outside edge of board) and mark the width of the post (5 1/8"), place two 3 1/2 boards in the center, tracing an outline of where the center post will sit.

  cut the two top and bottom supports (the slight angles along the edges), using a Japanese style saw, or a similar fine finishing hand saw

drill a 1/2 hole and finish cutting out the center post notch with a saber saw.
STEP 3  
Shinai holder adjustment
Attach a screw eye to raise the kendo dummy arm.
 
Attach an eye screw lower down from the first eye screw (see first photo left) on the center post, raising the position of the shinai holder and making it easier to strike the kendo dummy.
STEP 4  
Attaching Post Do Brace
 

Place top post brace 22 1/4"" up from bottom of the top post panel. The top post brace should be 4 3/4" down from the middle hole for securing arm.

Attach each 3 1/2" x 5 1/4" post do brace with four 1 1/4" screws.  
STEP 5  
Assemble Do
 

Position the top and bottom Do braces on the center 3 1/2" x 5 1/4" board. For the sides alignment, use the two 3 1/2 x 7" boards along each side of 5 1/4" board, making sure the sides and center align (use for alignment only). Use duct tape to keep the boards from shifting. Apply two 2" screws in the center board, turn over and apply two more 2" screws on the oposite side.

Attach the two 3 1/2 x 7" boards on the front of the do, aligning each board with the outside edges. Start attaching the 1 1/2" x 7" boards, align the first 1 1/2" board with the wider 3 1/2 x 7" boards, working outwards, continue until both sides are completed. Drill pilot holes and apply wood glue to each piece of wood.

Position the completed do on the post do brace. Check for any alignment problems, making corrections for tightness using a wood file.
STEP 6  
Secure Do on post
   
Cut the a bungie cord to a length that will secure the Do, keeping it from moving. (about 18")
STEP 7  
Apply padding
   
Measure and cut a 26"x 7" piece of carpet padding or other type of padding. Attach the padding on back of both right and left side of the do with 1/2" flat head wood screws Secure the middle of the padding with 1/2" wide head screws.
STEP 8  
Apply duct tape
   
Apply two or three layers of duct tape on the surface of the (carpet) padding to protect the wood and shinai from damage.
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About this Bestkendo.com and our Kendo Books

I have been practicing kendo for over 20 years now in Salinas, California USA. For as long as I can remember I have always been insightful, creative, artistic and inventive. This website has some of the inventions I have come up with for kendo. I am very quiet and shy and and not given to casual conversation. My purpose is to give as many ideas and inventions to enrich the kendo community.

I hope this kendo information is useful to you.

David Aguero

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