Useful Kendo Information
for people who practice "the way of the sword"
Part 2

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

How to Make a Kendo Dummy | How to Wash Your Hakama |
How to Make a Bogu Drying Rack | About Bestkendo |

(how to repair your kendo kote)

By David Aguero
I thought up this method to repair my kote and used it for many years, the repairs can be made quickly and it works great! You can save costly repairs by making the repairs yourself.

  A common problem with kote is wear in the form of holes in the palm insert. You can quickly repair worn kote in a few minutes with just a few common materials.
  Assemble the following materials: Scissors, Contact Cement, and an old shinai handle leather you might have or ask a member of your dojo for one.


This patch is applied to the outside, on top of the kote hole. It is possible to apply this patch on the inside of the kote but the hole will continue to wear away the hole on the outside kote.

1. Cut a piece of leather to cover a bigger area than the kote hole.

2. Coat one side of the leather patch with contact cement and the same area where the patch will cover on the kote.

3 . Apply the patch when both surfaces have dried.


Make your quick patch permanent by stitching the edges with needle and thread.




Arm Strengthening Exercise by David Aguero


A common problem with the traditional weighted shinais is that the heavy weighted shinai is prone to expose your wrists to injury and has a side effect of using too much right hand when striking. The following exercise method was something that took sometime for me to figure out as an alternative to the current kendo arm strengthening methods. I came up with the method of using wrist weights that are weight adjustable (removable weights), combined with a wood dowel shinai handle (see diagram below) for use at home (low ceiling environment) or your regular shinai. Exercising with wrist weights places the stress on the arms and not on the wrists allowing the use of heavier weight load when exercising your kendo specific muscles. This wrist weight method works your entire back area, traps, shoulders, chest and arms.

I recommend using a weight adjustable 5lb wrist weight set this equals 2.5 lbs per arm and works well if you need to reduce the weight. If you need to increase the weight load a 10 lb weight set can be used.
Muscles used in kendo
are many. Raising the sword above your head and delivering a precise blow within less than one inch of a target takes constant practice. The illustration on the left shows the muscle areas involved in delivering a proper kendo strike.
Wrist weights of the adjustable kind are probably the best investment for increasing arm strength and speed for kendo strikes. You can exercise without a shinai with just the wrist weights raising your arms above your head and striking as you normally strike.

  Shinai Handle (wood dowel)

Shinai Handle
(wood dowel)

If you live in a home with a low ceiling it is useful to cut a wood dowel for use when using the wrist weights and practicing at home. The wood dowel will allow you to raise your hands above your head and give a you proper hand placement. The illustration of the left shows the dimensions of shinai handle for adults.



Maintenance of your hakama can be made much easier if you have permanent hakama pleats. With permanent pleats you will always have a crease in your hakama that will make folding your hakama very easy to put away. Its easy to stitch permanent hakama pleats if you have a sewing machine, or you can have a tailor stitch them for you. Just stitch the INSIDE creases of the hakama (there are a total of seven pleats), do not stitch the outside creases (the creases that show.)






Kendo Blistered Feet
A common injury for many beginners are foot blisters. Blisters are a result of tender skin being in contact with and subjected to tremendous friction with the floor. Pay careful attention to the condition of your feet before each practice. Before kendo practice apply a couple of layers of a 'liquid bandage' (a type of bandage that is usually used for covering cuts) to the tender areas of your feet. The 'liquid bandage' gives your tender skin some time to become toughened. Apply the 'liquid bandage' in a well ventilated area, also available in spray form. After practice condition your feet by walking barefoot as much as possible. Walking or running barefoot on sand will also toughen you feet. Blisters on the feet are a kind of right of passage in kendo.

Liquid bandage for minor cuts. Apply a couple of layers of liquid bandage on the areas of the foot that are prone to blisters before kendo practice.