1. How do I join your club / take up kendo?
Just show up at any of our training sessions in suitable attire and talk to any of the seniors present. If you are a beginner with no prior experience, just wear regular sports/gym wear: we will lend you a shinai on your first few lessons until you get one for yourself. As of 22nd March 2018, our training sessions are as below:
Thursdays 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Island Plaza (Centrestage Academy of Performing Arts): Seniors only (Bogu / experience is required)
Saturdays 3pm to 5pm at the Penang Japanese School: Seniors and Juniors/Beginners
Sundays 3.30pm to 5.30pm at Island Plaza (Centrestage Academy of Performing Arts) : Seniors and Juniors
2. Can I just try out first to see if this is my thing?
By all means, yes! The first couple of sessions are free.
3. I came by and saw you were all busy shouting and screaming. No one came to talk to me 🙁
In the past, our dojo in YMCA was in a public area so we were used to nosey hostel guests just standing there to watch us out of curiosity. Please be patient with us and wait until there is a break in the training to ask your questions to any of the seniors, as we do not have a dedicated receptionist. We promise we won’t bite! 🙂
4. How much does it cost? / What’s the damage?
From 1st April 2018, we will charge RM300 for 6 months for adults, with a 1-time admin fee of RM20. For beginners, a brand new shinai will set you back another RM120 or so depending on prevailing exchange rate. Children 5-12 will be charged RM180, while students / teens will be charged Rm240 for 6 months.
5. I’m a beginner. Do I need to buy the uniform and armour straight away?
No. We understand that kendo may possibly not be suited to everyone’s taste so we won’t force anyone to buy things they don’t need (yet). When you are ready to take your first grading, then you may consider investing in a uniform. That may be 2 to 3 months down the road after you start. You do not have to buy the armour (bogu) immediately and can wait until the senseis say you are ready for it, so you have time to save up for one.
6. The armour is really expensive!
If you really love kendo but can’t afford the armour, we can rent you a set!
7. Can my kids join? If so. from what age?
YES! Kendo trains mental discipline, good posture and molds good character and etiquette. Getting your kids started on kendo is a good investment in their future 🙂 We have helped kids as young as 5 start on their path and some of them are fine young kendokas today. However, we do note that not every child takes to kendo immediately so it is crucial to have parental support/bonding. We would be more than happy to train you alongside your child. However, if you are thinking of dropping off your unruly 6 year old and then rushing off to do your errands, maybe kendo isn’t the thing you are looking for.
8. What is the minimum / maximum age /physical requirement for me to join?
If you are old enough to be able to read this, physically unimpaired and in reasonably good health, most likely you are qualified to join. Kendo is something you can enjoy even well into your old age. If a man with no legs can do kendo (look up “Henry Smalls”), there’s no excuse for you. 🙂
9. I’m only in Penang for a couple of months, can I *not* pay the full 6 months?
If you are not from Penang, and/or are here on temporary assignment due to studies or work, we can consider pro-rating the fees on a case by case basis. Please check with our treasurer.
10. How do I know this is the real thing?
If you have researched kendo on the internet, you will know that like any other martial art, there may be a potential of “McDojos”, i.e., impostors or unauthentic / unqualified instructors out there. Thankfully in Malaysia this is not yet a pervasive phenomenon. Rest assured we are affiliated to, and receive the full support of the governing body of Kendo in Malaysia, the Malaysia Kendo Association (MKA). No matter where you are in Malaysia, always refer back to the MKA for advice on which dojo is sanctioned by them.
11. I have prior Kendo / Kumdo experience. Can I join the training?
Yes, by all means! Please refer Question #1 above
12. I have prior Kendo /Kumdo experience, but am just visiting Penang on a short trip. Can I join the training?
Yes. If you are just here a couple of days we welcome you as well! Just drop us a message on when to expect you. If you are traveling light and need to borrow a shinai or bogu set please give adequate notice as well.
13. What is the medium of instruction? I’m afraid I don’t understand Japanese.
This being the Penang Kendo Club, rest assured we use English, Malay, Hokkien, Mandarin, Cantonese alongside Japanese. 😉
14. Can I pay the fees by installment or credit card?
No. Cash only please, and NO installment.
15. Your training centres at Island Plaza and Penang Japanese school are too far for me. Do you train anywhere else in Penang?
“Far” is always a relative term: in the past we’ve had members come from as far as the Cameron Highlands to train regularly with us! 😉 Unfortunately, we currently only train at the two locations mentioned above. If you live on the mainland, you can try asking Kelab Kendo Kedah for assistance.
16. I’m not a member of your club or practicing kendo at all. Can I buy equipment (shinai / swords / armour) or uniforms from you? If not, can you recommend me shops where I can get them?
While we do import a very limited quantity for our members’ needs, they are not for sale to outsiders. As far as we know, there are no retail shops in Penang, or Malaysia for that matter, which maintains inventory for kendo equipment. The majority of practicing kendoka in Malaysia buy directly from the Internet. Please use google to search for a reputable online dealer in Kendo equipment