Kendo Clothes Guide: An Introduction
Renowned for its spiritual and physical discipline, Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial art. The practitioners’ attire, known as Kendo clothes, holds a central role in the sport, offering protection and preserving the integrity of this ancient martial art form.
The Significance of Kendo Clothes
Kendo clothes represent more than just a protective layer. They embody the essence of Kendo, reflecting respect, discipline, and honor. Each piece of attire holds its unique importance and purpose.
Breaking Down Kendo Clothes
The ensemble of Kendo attire comprises several elements, each carrying a distinct function and relevance. Let’s unravel these components individually.
Keikogi: The Top Wear
The Keikogi, also referred to as Kendogi, is the jacket donned by Kendoka (Kendo practitioners). Crafted from durable cotton, its design is meant to absorb sweat and endure the strenuous Kendo practice.
Hakama: The Bottom Wear
The Hakama, a pleated skirt-like trouser worn over the Keikogi, symbolizes seven virtues of the samurai – loyalty, honor, propriety, wisdom, honesty, sincerity, and kindness through its seven pleats.
Bogu: The Safety Gear
The protective gear, known as Bogu, shields a Kendoka during matches. It comprises four parts – Men (helmet), Do (chest protector), Kote (gloves), and Tare (hip and groin protector).
Men: The Headgear
The Men safeguards the head, face, and shoulders. The robust metal grille ensures facial protection while permitting visibility and ventilation.
Do: The Torso Shield
The Do acts as a shield for the chest and stomach. Crafted from bamboo or sturdy plastic, it’s built to absorb potent strikes without limiting movement.
Kote: The Hand Protectors
The Kote, padded gloves shield the hands and forearms, offering flexibility for gripping and swinging the Shinai (bamboo sword).
Tare: The Lower Body Guard
The Tare comprises three thick padded panels to safeguard the lower body, designed to offer optimal protection without impeding mobility.
Selecting Appropriate Kendo Clothes
The selection of suitable Kendo clothes is crucial for comfort and performance. Factors to consider include:
Fitting: Your Kendo clothes should fit well, allowing free movement without being excessively loose.
Fabric: Choose high-quality cotton Keikogi and Hakama for durability and comfort. For Bogu, opt for materials that ensure maximum protection and durability.
Quality: Prioritize good quality Kendo clothes. They may cost more but will last longer and provide superior protection.
Manufacturer: Purchase from brands known for their quality and longevity.
Caring for Your Kendo Clothes
Extending the life of your Kendo clothes requires proper care and maintenance. Regularly wash your Keikogi and Hakama, avoiding harsh detergents. Air dry to preserve the fabric’s integrity. For Bogu, clean with a dry cloth post each use to remove sweat and dirt.
Kendo clothes form a crucial part of this traditional martial art. They provide protection while adding to the spirit and aesthetics of Kendo. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced Kendoka, understanding the significance and proper care of Kendo clothes can elevate your experience and performance in this esteemed sport.
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