KendoStar: From Japan to the World. Delivering the ultimate experience in acquiring top-quality, relevant equipment to Kendoka across the globe.
KendoStar is was launched by Kendo teacher, and Kendogu professional - Andy Fisher, with the goal of bringing top quality, Japanese Kendo equipment to the Kendoka of the world. Further, it is our goal to offer equipment that is specifically designed and selected to cater to the specific needs of Kendoka outside of Japan. With KendoStar you can be assured of exceptional quality, delivered with unrivaled service - further all orders are shipped for FREE worldwide.
About Andy: Andy was born and raised in northwest England, where he began Kendo as a teenager. Quickly becoming a member of the British National team, Andy has represented his country in 7 European Championships, acquiring an array of medal along the way. Andy has also competed in the World Kendo Championships 4 times. Further, for two years running he was able to take 1st place in both the British Open Championships and British Team Championships, before taking a further gold medal in the French Open Championships. In 2013 Andy became the first ever British athlete to be selected to compete in the Kendo event at the SportAccord World Combat Games, held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In 2009 Andy moved to Japan, and whilst continuing to enjoy tournament success on the Japanese circuit, he began his career in the world of Kendo supplies. Since then he has become one of the few native English-speaking Kendogu professionals, and dedicates himself to learning everything there is to know about Budogu, so that he can provide honest and informative help and advice to practitioners around the world. As well as operating KendoStar, Andy is also a teacher at a local Dojo, in Fukuoka, Japan, helping teach Kendo to youngsters and teenagers. In addition, he operates and hosts the popular Kendo instructional video series - The Kendo Show.
KendoStar is committed to delivering Kendoka around the world - whatever their level - the ultimate experience in acquiring top-quality, made in Japan equipment, that is relevant to their practice. Each piece of KendoStar Bogu is made from scratch, by the top craftsmen in Japan, craftsmen who also craft Bogu for Japan's top level teachers and competitors. Not only can you be completely assured of the quality of KendoStar's product line, it is brought to you with an unparalleled level of personal service.
Reasons to choose KendoStar -
- Quality of products: KendoStar products are selected and designed exclusively by the leading professionals in the Kendogu industry. Further, they are specifically tailored to meet the needs of those practicing Kendo around the world. Many Japanese companies focus on promoting products that are popular with their largest customer base - elementary school, junior high school and high school students. These young Japanese Kendoka account for a large majority of the population of active practitioners in Japan, and as such the largest market. These youngsters have a very strong focus on tournament success during these early years, and due their physically smaller size, make less powerful strikes than full grown adults. Therefore, they are attracted to Kendogu that is lightweight, even at the cost of protection. For the adult Kendoka - especially outside of Japan - the requirements of Kendogu are much different. Although being lightweight is important for comfort, a drop in protection can cause unnecessary pain, or even injury - especially for those who are involved in teaching, or receiving strikes from beginners. Further, as adults will not outgrow their Kendogu, it is important that durability is maximised, so that the best possible value can be achieved from years of regular use. KendoStar Original Kendogu is especially developed with this in mind, providing a range of products that is not only lightweight and comfortable, but also places a strong importance on the protection it provides. All of this is achieved by combining top-grade materials, with expert Japanese craftsmanship, to deliver optimum durability.
- Level of service:KendoStar is not a large, corporate organization. It is operated and managed mainly by our president, Andy Fisher. Thanks to this, we are able to provide a personal level of service to each of our clients directly. Andy has made a name for himself within the Kendogu industry for providing an unparalleled, unbeatable level of service to his customers, and that is continued with KendoStar. Extensive knowledge, combined with a direct relationship with Japan's top craftsmen means that you can trust KendoStar to handle your orders and inquiries with complete professionalism, as well with extreme promptitude. Andy has worked restlessly over the years to take the quality of service he delivers to new heights, and you can rest assured that with him, you are in safe hands throughout your purchase experience.
- Unbeatable value: We know that KendoStar does not offer the cheapest products on the internet. Many of our rivals have much cheaper options than we are prepared to offer. This is because we pride ourself on delivering our promise of quality, service and value. To us, value is not about offering the lowest price, rather it is about offering the best investment. A product that genuinely meets the needs of its user, we have specifically designed KendoStar Kendogu products to be a cut above our rivals, in terms of comfort, quality and protection. Therefore, we would like to invite the Kendoka of the world to consider that, although KendoStar Original Kendogu presents a larger initial cost than some cheaper alternatives, it more than pays for itself for Kendoka who wish to commit themselves to the continued practice of Kendo, and require quality, comfortable Kendogu products, that accompany them on their long journey along the way of the sword.
- Developing international Kendo: KendoStar is a direct patron of The Kendo Show, one of the internet's most popular media outlets for the study of Kendo. Through instructional, and thought provoking videos, The Kendo Show aims to develop the international participation of Kendo, by spreading knowledge, that has previously been difficult to acquire outside of Japan. Every order with KendoStar goes towards funding the production of The Kendo Show, and means that you are doing your bit to help increase the international spread of the art we love. More information about The Kendo Show can be found here - http://www.youtube.com/c/TheKendoShow
"Since becoming a Kendogu professional, it has been my dream to encourage the global development of Kendo, by making top quality, easy to acquire, relevant equipment readily available to Kendoka, no matter where they are. It is a simple fact that the demographic of Kendo practitioners in Japan is somewhat different to other countries. With most Japanese practitioners beginning Kendo as small children, and many of them losing interest when they reach adulthood, the vast majority of active Kendoka in Japan are under the age of 21. Further, their main focus, at this stage in their Kendo development is - for the most part- on competition. With this in mind, domestic Budogu companies develop their products to best suit the needs of these young competitors. Armour is becoming lighter, with a strong focus on success in competition, even at the sake of adequate protection, or durability. More so than in years past, Kendogu is also becoming considered as a disposable item. Therefore, durability can also be sacrificed in order to produce the lightest armour, at the lowest cost. With the continual growth of Kendo as an international activity, many Japanese companies have set up divisions and websites to serve customers from abroad. Sadly, they often do not appreciate the differences between the requirements of international and domestic customers, or they simply ignore them, and simply continue to sell the very same products internationally, as they are selling in Japan. I feel that this can be a disservice to overseas Kendoka, who also deserve to have their requirements met.
It cannot be denied that Japanese Kendogu craftsmanship is universally famous, and it is a reputation well deserved. However, the current trend in Japan, of low cost, lightweight, 'disposable' Bogu is - in my opinion - not well suited to the needs of Kendoka overseas. I had an idea. What if I were to design and produce a Kendogu set designed exactly for people like me - people who had started Kendo overseas, and had faced the problems that come with that. What if I were to produce a set of armour specifically people who want a good quality set of armour that they can use for any type of encounter. Shiai, Training, Motodachi, all of these would be possible, and even better it would be made from top quality materials, by expert craftsmen - so it would be built to last. It could be used by beginners and advanced practitioners alike, and it would be all delivered with a premium level of service that is unrivalled in the industry.
I got straight to work, and I decided that I wanted to keep things simple. I didn't feel the need for a confusing range of products designed primarily to increase profits. Instead, I would have a dedicated, small selection of products. Only the products that I deemed to be a sound investment for my customers - no matter their experience level.
I decided to take my experience in the field, and work together with some of Japan's top craftsmen to develop the world's first brand of Kendogu that brings elite Japanese craftsmanship and the specific needs of the international market together into one perfect set of bespoke Kendo armour.
This is my dream. This is KendoStar." - Andy Fisher, Kendogu Professional, KendoStar President.