Kendo Sticks – Getting Started With Japanese Martial Arts With the Right Stick

Kendo is a form of modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting. The term literally means the way of the sword with practitioners called the kendoka (one who practices kendo) or kenshi (swordsman). But this sport doesn’t use swords that come with metal blades. Instead, the kendoka use kendo sticks.

A kendo stick is a type of sword that is composed of several bamboo sticks that are wrapped together using leather straps on one end and a leather handle on another. Its traditional form is typically made of bamboo but you can now find more modern ones that are made of carbon fiber.

Bamboo sticks

A traditional kendo stick is made of four bamboo pieces that are tied and wrapped together using leather straps. This type of stick is generally 40 to 47 inches long and is used for practice and self-defense. This is also the type of kendo stick used by novices.


If you’re going to practice kendo for a long time, you’re going to need a more durable kendo stick. The synthetic ones or those that are made of lightweight carbon fiber are great alternatives to the traditional shinai. These are more durable and are known to last 10 times longer as compared to their bamboo counterparts. Intermediate kendo practitioners typicall y use this type of kendo stick.

The right stick

Kendo sticks for women are different from those that men use. For girls aged 12 to 15 years, the ideal stick is one that weighs at least 400g and is 114 cm long. For older women, the 420g sticks should suffice with the length of at least 117cm. Intermediate handlers can use a 440g shinai.

For males, personal preference matters a lot when it comes to purchasing a shinai. There are those that start out with 440g sticks while adults can use as heavy as a 510g shinai.