Kendo, meaning "The Way of the Sword", first formed as a mixture between the skills of the Samurai knights and the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Like most martial arts, Kendo was created to train warriors by replicating one-on-one battle scenarios in a safe and controlled environment. Modern Kendo is practised all over the world and in no way requires you to become a Samurai upon mastering the art form (although it is encouraged). However, it is as much a mental discipline as a physical one. This, however, requires no real capital investment.
Safety is an important issue for practitioners of Kendo. Due to the importance of preventing death and decapitation, Kendo use shinai
As with western Fencing, strikes and thrusts only count if they hit the correct areas of the opponent's body, namely the head, body, wrists and throat. A shinai to the face can still be quite painful, so the next item of interest is the bogu
Initial Kendo training centres on forms and footwork, as these constitute the foundation of all subsequent Kendo practices. Because of this, you will NOT need the bogu attire in the early stages of training, as it will conceal your body from your instructor and inhibit his ability to correct you. You will however need the shinai, as it is the centre of all Kendo practice (an inexpensive practice sword known as a bokken