The Keikogi (jacket) and the Hakama (pants) will immediately be worn by the practitioner who passes the beginners class of Kendo and this will be done right after one to three months of thoroughly training in the martial arts. For an individual to take part in the free sparring or more commonly known as the Jigeiko, a participant will need to utilize a special type of Kendo armor called the Bogu. There are a few schools or clubs that allow people to borrow a Bogu until the participant is able to purchase their own Kendo Bogu.
In the traditional art of Kendo, the armor is necessary to protect the user from any form of injury during practice or training; the primary areas that the Kendo armor protects are the given target areas and the groin. From the past and today, the Kendo armor has greatly developed and improved over time; in the years 1615 to 1868 during the Edo period, this was the time when the special practice armor was created. It featured a padded iron grid mask, a wrist shield, a bamboo breastplate, as well as a wadded apron with three flaps.
When speaking of the Kendo Bogu, it is made up of four primary pieces: the Men or helmet, the do to protect the body, the Kote or gloves, and the tare which is known as protector for ones hips and groin. Modern day Kendo Bogu features a design that is based on the Oyoroi of the samurai warrior.
The Different Parts of the Kendo Armor
The men is specifically present to protect the wearers head, eyes, ears, shoulders, and even the neck during practice or competitions; when purchasing any Kendo armor for sale, one must ensure that the men-buton (the headgear cushion) is made of high-quality materials and it is durable enough to protect and cover the back of the practitioners head. If the men is too narrow, it will not provide the user any form of protection from various head injuries especially during backward falls. If possible, try the men to see if it fits perfectly and comfortably; however, if one will order a kendo armor for sale online, make sure to take proper measurements and also ensure that the seller is legitimate. The level of mushamado or monomi (viewing window) should also be checked since a persons view generally varies.
The do works by protecting a practitioners sides and chest area; it is usually made from bamboo but it can also be made from molded, high impact plastic or fiberglass. The do is suspended by two cords that are crossed right at the back and slumped over the wearers shoulders and a special slip knot is present to secure two loops on either side of the do. There is also an additional pair of cords that are looped around the wearers waist then tied along the rear; the do does not conceal an individuals arms so it is best to take utmost care and accuracy when aiming for the do.
It is an apron-like piece that protects the wearers hips, groin, and thighs from sudden attacks; this piece is not a target spot which is why it should always be avoided by any form of attacks. The tare is made entirely from heavily quilted cotton and it can also be trimmed with leather. It is made up of a waistband, two small panels, and three larger ones; additionally, it is also secured to the body with the use of two cloth bands that are wrapped firmly around the waist and tied in front, under the middle / center flap. The center portion is usually covered with a zekken or nafuda (name tag) to determine and identify the name of its wearer, the country, or dojo that the individual represents. The tare does not have any target point but it is primarily used to protect the wearer from sudden or accidental attacks.
This part of the Kendo armor is made from indigo-dyed cloth, silk or an equivalent to this, deer hide, ornamental thread, and a blanket or cotton type of material. The hand portion of the Kote is made from deer hair and two cords and it is the part that should be put on last by simply pushing ones hand into the Kote while the mitt is held in the opposite hand. Doing so will prevent any form of strain on the Kotes stitching thus, making the item last longer despite continuous usage. The left Kote should be placed first before the right one, then after practice or training, the right Kote should be removed first before removing the left one.
Wearing the Kendo Armor and Purchasing Kendo Armor for Sale
Wearing the Kendo Bogu is quite tricky so one should practice putting this on until they fully perfect wearing this, allowing them to dress quickly especially during competitions or training. After utilizing the Kendo armor, it should be kept and folded neatly but before doing so, the Kendo armor should be air dried naturally to avoid any unwanted odor.
For those planning to purchase their own Kendo armor for sale, it would usually cost around $500 to $800 for beginners but ensure that the Kendo Bogu that will be purchased should be made of quality materials and are bought from legitimate sellers.