Resources for Teaching Children Kendo

Cleaning the dojo floor which the kids seem to love doing.

Some instructors, parents and myself are preparing to start kendo classes specifically for children.  To facilitate that, I have compiled a list of resources that I’ve found so far in terms of:  Articles, Videos, On Disciplining and Kids Who Don’t Listen Well, “Not Exactly Kendo But Related”, Kids Dojos and Associations.  Comments and pointers to additional resources are welcome.  This page will likely expand as I come across more resources.




On Disciplining and Kids Who Don’t Listen Well

Focused more on teaching very young kids (e.g. 4-6 years old) who typically have shorter attention spans.

  • “Teaching Martial Arts to Children 4-6 years old,”, Mar 8, 2011.
    • I strongly recommend putting 4-6 year olds in their own class because they obviously require completely different teaching methods.
    • …kids in this age group love using their imagination, so take a simple game and make it fun or different by allowing them to use their imagination. Examples would be telling them they are ninjas during dodgeball, or they are kicking monsters, etc.
    • Change activities every 3-5 minutes because 4-6 year old attention spans cannot handle anything more. If you are going to talk, keep it under 1-2 minutes max.
    • I award my 4-6 year old with a sticker at the end of every class if they didn’t have to sit in time out more than once that day. Its a great short term reward system.
      • Many 4-6 year olds are not capable of understanding a goal such as a new belt in several months.
  • Jesse Enkamp, “How I Taught 100 Kids Karate For 2 Hours (Without Going Insane),”
    • Children should understand what is acceptable behavior in the dojo. Chastisement must be short and should never isolate, humiliate or intimidate. Even a punishment protocol should be fun.  10 press-ups and a quick explanation is enough.

    • …if a student doesn’t sit properly or is not paying attention, I will stop talking until they become aware of their behavior. I then ask them politely if they are ready to listen.
    • If it happens again, they do press-ups (no more than 10) so the student knows the boundary and understands the consequences of their behavior.
    • Also describes some excellent games:  Yoi, Sensei Says and the Ninja game.
  • Advice from a pre-school teacher that I found helpful:
    • Something to the effect of:   Boundaries and limits are important.  The children can have fun ‘within’ them.”

Not Exactly Kendo But Related

Some Kid’s Dojos

Association Resources


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s