Kendo Basics : How to Wear a Kendo Uniform (Kendogi & Hakama) – The Kendo Show

Kendo Basics : How to Wear a Kendo Uniform (Kendogi & Hakama) – The Kendo Show

hello and welcome to The Kendo Show! My name is Andy and today we’re going to be talking about how to wear the uniform for Kendo – that’s the Kendogi, which we wear on the upper half of our body, and the Hakama – the special sort of pleated trousers that we wear for Kendo. It’s a very basic level video, but I think it’s good for everybody to watch. It’s brilliant if you’re just starting out in Kendo but also if you’ve been doing Kendo a little while as well as we’ve got some little hints and tips as well about how to wear your uniform neatly. So just before we get started I do want to just take a minute just to tell you about KendStar. is a Kendo equipment website that that we operate, and it’s what helps The Kendo Show exist. It’s what keeps the wheels turning for want of a better word, so if you do enjoy The Kendo Show, do make sure that you get over to when you do need some equipment for Kendo, and do all your shopping on there, okay, because it does help us out, and everything from their supports The Kendo Show and it makes sure that we we keep kicking out these videos and it’ll help us the more of you guys support KendoStar the more of these videos we can work on getting out to you. So without further ado, let’s get straight into the video! So here I am in the dojo now and I’ve got my Hanabishi Kendo Gi, I absolutely love this very lightweight synthetic Kendogi, it’s really easy to wear very comfortable very light like I said it quick to dry too and the best thing with it being synthetic is that I can chuck it straight in the washing machine after practice and wash it just like any other garment so I don’t have to worry about the color fading and I don’t have to worry about it running its colours into other clothes either, so very very good Kendogi, I very much recommend it. Ok so how I’m going to pop this on I’m going to pop my left hand in first ok and I’m going to put it on just like any other jacket now often in Kendo we often start with the left first and this is no exception ok so it goes on just like any other of the jacket here and I’m going to be very careful not to nudge to my microphone but apologies if I do and what will notice is we’ve got a set of strings like this these are called Himo, and these are going to help us tie the Kendogi. Ok now there’s two on the right hand side on the outside like this one up above here and one a little bit lower and we’ve got another one on the outside on the left side and we’ve got one on the inside as well here so we’re going to start with this one and the lower one on the opposite side and these are going to be tied together in a bow like this ok and this is going to stop the Kendogi coming apart whilst you’re practicing so very very useful Himo and then we’re going to pop this across here and again I’m going very careful not to nudge my microphone apologies for that and we’re going to tie this one in a bow here over on our the right hand side of our chest now the way we tie this is very important we must tie it so that the bow sits horizontally like this ok like this and not vertically like this ok this is the incorrect way okay if you tie it like this it will very easily come undone during your practice okay so you must tie it so it’s it’s horizontal horizontally nice and neatly now the way to do that which I’ll go through in a minute so that you can make sure that you definitely do get it horizontal every time so you get it nice and nice and tight there make sure that the ends and the loop are the same length and not like this okay or the opposite let’s make sure that they’re nice and the same length so you’re looking nice and neat and presentable okay smooth out any wrinkles and then we’re ready to put on the Hakama. when tying the bow on the front of the Kendogi we’re going to make sure that we tie it using a type of knot that’s called Yoko-Musubi okay that means a knot sits horizontally this is as opposed to what’s called Tate-Musubi which is a knot that sits vertically okay so first we’re going to tie it just as you would a shoe lace first a single pass through like that and then this is how I like to do it okay i like to make the loop from the right side like this okay and as you can see if you pass these around this way with the left one going over and then under the right side you’ll now have this one coming out from underneath here okay and what we’re going to do then is we’re going to make the loop from the right side and we’re going to make sure that this comes underneath this way like this and not over the top if we come under like this once we pull this loops through make sure there’s that nicely like that we’ll have a nice Yoko-Musubi like this if however we make our loop here and instead of coming under this way we go over this way like that we’re going to end up with this Tate-Musubi which is incorrect ok so one more time from the start from here we’re going to take the left one over the top here and then under by that okay we’re going to make a loop with this side this one here is coming underneath over and through in a loop like that okay and this is the kind of not that you need to use every kind of bow in Kendo, we use this here we use this on the hakama when we tied behind our back and we also use it on the Bogu, both on the Men and on the Do, when we tie it behind our back as well also on the Tare when we tie the Tare Himo okay so it’s very worth practicing and making sure that we get this correct. ok so here I am with my synthetic hakama I absolutely love this hakama along with this Kendogi, this is basically the main uniform that i’m using for most of my Kendo practice at the moment basically the great thing about it is not only is it lightweight it’s comfortable but straight after practice I can stick it straight in the washing machine and I can wash it very very easily I just need to put it in a washing net or an old pillow case to make sure it doesn’t get damaged and what have you, but I can wash it very very easily I don’t have to worry about the colors fading and I don’t have to worry about that the dye running out into other clothes as well so it’s very very good for that reason and it means I can use it a lot and I can wash it very very frequently so yeah great very recommended for that reason so how we’re going to pop it on is we’re going to we’re going to take it from the front now the front is the side with the five pleats on it okay I’m going to hold it like this and as I said before lots of things in Kendo start from the left okay so we’re going to start by stepping into the hakama with our left leg okay like this okay and then the same again from the right side okay like this and then we’re going to make sure that we scoop the Kendogi neatly into into the hakama okay because the hakama is going to go over the top of the Kendogi, okay then we’re going to take the front here and this is a little bit different for everybody the height at which we fasten this okay but we want it to sit at a point where it’s just about covering our ankles it’s just going to be about just above the arch of our feet okay just above the arch of your feet just like that okay so it’s about here for me and then I’m going to take these two Himo again these are called Himo and then much longer on the front and they are at the back, so we want to take it around our back here and we’re going to cross them over ok I’ve cross them over at the back I’m going to pull them quite tight but you don’t pull them too tight or ’cause you’ll give yourself a stomach ache okay so nice and taut okay so that the hakama aren’t going to slip down whilst you’re practicing Kendo, because that would be very embarrassing and then we’re going to bring them back to the front here in keeping them flat the whole time we’re going to cross them over but what we’re going to do is we’re going to actually bring them down very slightly to a maybe a centimeter or two just below the actual Bell to the hakama here just exposing the top of a couple of the pleats okay just like this and then we’re going to take them right back around to the back and we’re going to tie them in a bow at the back here much like we did for our Kendogi here ok we’re going to tie them in a bow here okay nice and tightly so that it doesn’t become untied and that the Hakama I stay up whilst you’re practicing okay now the next step is we’re going to make sure that the Kendogi is sat very neatly okay and we’re going to make sure that there’s no creases at the back here and this isn’t bellowing out okay so we’re going to just adjust this, it’s a little bit difficult for me because I’ve got the t-shirt on under this which I wouldn’t normally have, we’re going to just bring it round like this so it’s sat nice and flat against our back here okay and there’s no unsightly creases okay it looks nice and neat from the back okay and then we’re going to take this out there a little bit we’re going to take the back of the hakama here and there’s a plastic piece like this sure we can see it here called the Hera okay and this is going to go into we’re going to tuck that in to the point at which we cross them over earlier as a very very top very highest okay when tuck it in there okay then we’re going to take the Koshi-Ita that’s this hard board and we’re going to put that against the small of our back like this okay then we’re going to take those shorter Himo like this ok these are now holding the Koshi-Ita towards the small of our back ok and then we’re going to bring them around the front like this making sure they’re nice and flat and at the point where we crossed over the longer Himo at the front here we’re going to cross them over again and now there’s lots of different ways of doing this this is the way I like to do it and we’re going to actually take one of these and we’re going to go underneath where we crossed it over before as well so we’re taking all of those Himo into this single thing here like that ok like this into a single knot okay and then we’re gonna just tie it again over the top of that, ok like that nice and neatly ok and then we’re going to make sure these are nice and flat and we’re just going to tuck these into the sides here so that they sit nice and neatly ok like this we’re going to just adjust everything make sure everything is nice and neat that’s how it should be like this make sure that it’s higher at the back, viewed from the side it should be higher at the back than it is at the front ok and then we’re ready to practice Kendo ok so that was about how to wear the Kendo uniform the Kendogi and the Hakama, I do hope you enjoyed it and if you did then please the leave us a like and a comment down there as well. I don’t know if you know but the way that YouTube ranks its videos is it’s based on interactions, so the more likes that we get and especially the more comments the higher it is going to get in the rankings and the more people, that perhaps have never even done Kendo have got higher chance of seeing it and maybe will decide to start Kendo. So you can help spread Kendo around the world with us by leaving us a comment, just letting us know what you think or maybe what you’d like to see in the next video and so yeah please please do do that and share it around on facebook and like us and subscribe to the channel is the other thing that I want you to do that’s and as I mentioned at the start of the video too, please do support is over at that’s the Kendo goods equipment website. The concepts of it of course is that I’m running KendoStar as a way to produce Japanese quality but specifically tailoring to the needs of Kendoka around the world. What you often get with Japanese Kendogu that’s sold overseas it’s the very same stuff that’s sold here in Japan and it’s not really tailored to the needs of people that start Kendo overseas because we do indeed have very different different needs so do get over to if you’re doing Kendo abroad and have a look at what we’ve got there because everything that we do over there goes towards supporting The Kendo Show, and helps us in bringing more episodes to you. You can also support by patreon as well we’ve got a patreon fund over at and that gets you early access to these videos too. These usually go up about a week before they go live on youtube so if you want to get early access stuff like that and or if you just want to support us, which is very very much appreciated you can get over to ok so and that’s it for today’s video I do hope you enjoyed it and join us for the next one!

58 Replies to “Kendo Basics : How to Wear a Kendo Uniform (Kendogi & Hakama) – The Kendo Show”

  1. Hi Andy, excellent video as always. One useful technique for tying the hanamusubi you might feature if you ever do an episode on wearing bogu is the Ian shoelace knot. It allows you to tie a perfect knot in less than a second if you get used to it. Give it a google 🙂

  2. Hi Andy, I'm starting kendo next Tuesday and your videos have been helping me understand kendo. I love watching your videos. I'm a rather big guy so trying to find gear that fits might be a challenge, gonna have to look at kendostar

  3. Fisher Sensei, love what you are doing with the channel. Your videos are always insightful and easy to follow. Thanks for being such a good ambassador for the sport and, personally, for inspiring me to take up Kendo. Sensei, doumo arigatou gozaimashita.

  4. Very good how to. Would recommend it to everyone who is doing Kendo. Like to see a newer version of how to wear kendo bogu.

  5. Great video ( I am always waiting for the kendo show videos), always good to revise it and share with our beginners. Also I think is a good follow up video would be how to wear bogu and how to maintain kendo equipment, specially bogu is a common question in our dojo

  6. Thank you Fisher Sensei! wearing the Kendogi was one of the first things I was taught and I forgot some details, like wearing the left side first, very important for Reigi. It would be awesome if you could do a video on how to properly fold the Gi, partcularly the Hakama after training. Arigatou gozaimasu Sensei!

  7. Thanks, Andy! My daughter is 5 years old, I plan to drag her to the dojo next year. I would like do the uniform and possibly shinai from you. 🙂

  8. I've heard from a mate that is good thing to soak a new indigo uniform in vinegar overnight before wearing it to avoid dye leaking… is it true or a false myth?

  9. Quality video, sensei. Regarding yoko musubi, I have also heard that it has a cultural significance in that tate musubi is used in the scenario of dressing someone for their funeral. What do you think?

  10. Andy sensai can you do a video how to proper fold the hakama. Because you made one but it was not clear when you were folding the ribbons

  11. I'm just starting my adventure with Kendo, tryin' also to open Kendo club in my city what isn't easy but I have support from Polish Kendo Association 🙂 we will see

  12. Very useful video, thanks! I actually bought one of these sets as my first uniform, and I already love it. Really comfortable and nice! 🙂

  13. Very well done tutorial. Helps a lot and would recomend it to anyone. Hope more people will start Kendo as it is awesome sport

  14. I have a question, the hakama I bought has the front sashes too short to form a ribbon at my back. It can wrap around my torso/belly just fine, but there's no way I can make it tie off at the back. Should I try and return the hakama or just find/make some extensions?

  15. I plan to buy the Blue Moon Kendogi, and I see there is only height measurement available. I have bigger arm circumference compared to normal people. Due to this I am quite concerned that the kendogi won’t fit my arms. How should I pick the size?

  16. Is there a difference in style of coloring for women, or is it the the exact same, just smaller sizes, maybe?

  17. ive had a kendo uniform for 15 years from when i took part in a student exchange program in Hiroshima. never knew the appropriate way to don my traditional thread. thanks for showing me in such a clear and concise manner. good lookin out!
    – capndavy

  18. Good succinct presentation. However, it’s a bit hard to see what you’re doing using a black hakama in front of a bight wall. A lighter color would be easier to see, especially in the long shots. If you prefer the look of a black one, shoot in front of a darker background with stronger key and fill lights with hard light, no diffusion so shadows are visible, and open the aperture a couple of stops. It’s easier to see what’s going on in the closeups, but still a bit dark.

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