This is a rough outline of what we expect students will learn throughout their time in the club. However, instruction is subject to change based on student progression.


After 1 semester:

  • Big motion strikes( Men, Kote, Dou).
  • Have learned basic respect forms.
  • Have learned basic footwork.
  • Are practicing in gi and hakama (with some exceptions; this is awarded, not automatic).
  • Know the basic kamae.
  • Understand meanings of the basic Japanese terminology.
  • Have an audible kiai.


After 2 semesters:

  • Have begun to learn the kata.
  • 50-100 hayasuburi without needing a break.
  • May begin practicing in bogu.
  • Are encouraged to attend and assist with joint practices and away tournaments.
  • Recognizable attempt toward ki-ken-tai-ichi.
  • Kiai audible when other people are also kiai’ing.
  • Footwork is crisper; feet are not regularly crossing.
  • Strikes are increasingly precise.
  • Individual has the beginnings of zanshin.
  • Beginning to concentrate more on tenouchi.
  • Beginning to be useful as motodachi (connecting with their opponent, not daydreaming).
  • Reiho is sufficient to take them to joint practices without a minder.


After 3 semesters:

  • Are practicing in bogu.
  • Continuing to learn kata.
  • May have participated in their first shinsa.
  • Reliable as motodachi; know when to step back, know when to block.
  • Have no more engrained lapses of reiho; reflexively bow at door, reflexively bow when encountering seniors, are quick to respond to calls and commands during practice, will correct themselves regardless of if anyone is paying attention.


After 4 semesters:

  • Have learned all the kata.
  • Are encouraged to attend and participate in shinsa.
  • Are strongly, actively encouraged to attend away events and practice with people from other dojo.
  • Are assisting their kouhai in beginning to learn kendo.
  • Are concentrating on their own personal individual flaws and weak points in practice; during suburi and strike practice are fine-tuning their own habits to control those flaws while not slowing down everyone else’s practice.
  • Reiho is perfectly respectable, and they can begin gently correcting others when reiho mistakes are made.
  • Are actively paying attention to the welfare of others in the club.


After 5 semesters:

  • Fine-tuning their understanding of the kata, teaching the kata to kouhai.
  • Individualized demands–do they have minor distance problems, footwork problems, do they need a crisper strike,  et cetera. At this point their practice consists of refining basics and pushing toward more successful keiko.
  • Actively seek out new opponents at joint practices and goodwill events; do not need to be instructed to utilize their time effectively.


After 6 semesters:

  • Individualized demands


After 7 semesters:

  • Individualized demands


After 8 semesters:

  • Individualized demands.
  • Have been put in touch with dojo they can attend after graduation.
  • Have become part of the SEUSKF and AUSKF community.