Mini-Samurai's in the Making!
The KENDO KIDS Program at the Rivonia Kendo Club is a fun and interactive training program that allows a child to experience a traditional Japanese martial art using a "sword". The sword used in Kendo are 4 bamboo staves that are bound together by leather and string. As part of the practise, the child is encouraged to use their voice while learning to move with the sword in a predetermined manner. This encourages self-confidence, improves co-ordination, builds strength and stamina and promotes mental discipline. As a child progresses in his/her kendo practise, they will learn to strike a pre-defined target on an opponent wearing the appropriate armour, called "bogu". These targets may be either a "men" (head), "kote" (wrists), or "do" (torso), or a combination of these targets. Lastly, when appropriate, a child may commit to purchasing their own set of armour, or "bogu", thereby allowing to them to then take part in full-contact sparring with their fellow classmates, or with the senior and/or sensei taking the class. Thanks to this armour and specific training methodologies, Kendo for children is relatively safe and injury-free. Lastly, due to the nature of Kendo, it is one of the few martial arts where size and strength DOES NOT automatically give the opponent an advantage, Rather, it can allow the smaller player to dominate his/her bigger opponent.
The Kendo Kids program is suitable for children, both boys and girls, as young as 7 years old and teenagers!
Some of the benefits include: discipline, self-control, stress relief, confidence-building, social interaction.