University of Cambridge Kendo Society

The following list gives the detailed requirements for each kyu grade exam. The candidate for a given grade must fulfill all the requirements for that grade and all the ones before it, although not all of them will necessarily be tested on the day. The particular selection of points to be tested is at the discretion of the examiners, may vary from exam to exam and from candidate to candidate, and will not be communicated in advance. In other words, be ready for everything up to your chosen grade.

Kyu Exam Syllabus

Candidates for any kyu grade must be familiar with the basic terminology of kendo, on which they should expect a brief written quiz. Please bring a pen to the exam. Paper will be provided.

6-kyu

  • Reigi, including but not limited to ritsu-rei and za-rei
  • Warm-up, stretching and cool-down
  • Suburi
    • Jo-ge suburi
    • Men-uchi-ni-kyo-do suburi
    • Zenshin-kotai-men suburi
    • Zenshin-kotai-sa-yu-men suburi
    • Sonkyo suburi
    • Katate suburi
    • Kote-men suburi
    • Haya suburi
  • Counting: ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi, kyu, ju.
  • Suri-ashi
  • Chudan no kamae, including correct grip
  • Stripping, reassembling and maintaining the shinai
  • How to practice within a group of kendoka (offering, turning etc)

This grade is awarded on completion of the beginners' course, without exam.

From this grade onwards the kendoka must have own shinai, bokuto and bogu bag (normally bought as part of the starter pack).

5-kyu

All the requirements of the previous grade, plus:

  • Big men
  • Kihon 1 and 2 of the Bokuto-ni-yoru Kendo Kihon Keiko-ho
  • Ippon-me of the Nihon Kendo Kata
  • Names of the shinai parts in Japanese: chigiri, take, tsukagawa, tsuba, tsubadome, tsuru, nakayui, sakigawa, sakigomu.
  • Commands (in Japanese) issued by the line leader at the beginning and end of a session.

From this grade onwards the kendoka shall wear hakama and kendogi. Before the exam buy your own so that you can wear it as soon as you pass. (OK to wear it before too, but not mandatory.)

4-kyu

All the requirements of all the previous grades, plus:

  • Being able to wear and fold hakama and keikogi in the proper way
  • Fumikomi
  • Ki-ken-tai itchi
  • Kirikaeshi (both roles)
  • Big kote
  • Kihon 3 and 4 of the Bokuto-ni-yoru Kendo Kihon Keiko-ho
  • Nihon-me of the Nihon Kendo Kata

From this grade onwards the kendoka shall wear armour and come to each session with two good shinai. Before the exam, buy a second shinai and either buy your own armour or pay the refundable deposit so that you can be issued with club armour after you pass.

3-kyu

All the requirements of all the previous grades, plus:

  • Being able to wear armour in the proper way
  • Big do
  • Big kote-men
  • Small men, kote, kote-men
  • Kihon 5 and 6 of the Bokuto-ni-yoru Kendo Kihon Keiko-ho
  • Sanbon-me of the Nihon Kendo Kata

2-kyu

All the requirements of all the previous grades, plus:

  • Uchikomi-geiko
  • Kihon 7, 8, 9 of the Bokuto-ni-yoru Kendo Kihon Keiko-ho
  • Yonhon-me and gohon-me of the Nihon Kendo Kata

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