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Recommendation for your Kendo equipment: KendoStar
The Seido team recommends KendoStar for Kendo bogu & equipment because the KendoStar's staff is as passionate as we are and the company is run by a very professional high level non-Japanese Kendoka, Andy Fisher.
KendoStar by Andy Fisher
Specializing in Aikido & Kobudo/Koryu equipment, our clients may expect to find some Kendo equipment on our website. Although we do have some high quality jackets (a basic hakama and a standard shinai), we don't offer any bogu or other Kendo related items. This is because the Kendo equipment is very particular and complex, as is its market and it's really easy to get fooled by the Japanese industry of this sector. Here at Seido, we believe that today, Andy Fisher, KendoStar's founder, is the best non-Japanese expert in Kendo equipment.
Andy started Kendo as a teenager and his passion quickly brought him all the way up and into the British National Team. He competed in many world class tournaments, including 4 times in the World Kendo Championship.
He moved to Japan in 2009 and landed a job at a famous Kendo equipment company. From there, he went to Kyushu (South of Japan) and helped another famous Kendo company to establish a very successful international department. However, unhappy with the quality of the products and the company's philosophy, he decided later to resign and start his own brand, KendoStar.
Andy is also actively participating in the development of Kendo through his YouTube Channel "The Kendo Show".
KendoStar is the result of Andy's experience in international Kendogu equipment sales. He realized that other brands and shops are only focused on the domestic market and profits, ignoring the demands of non-Japanese practitioners. Therefore, he decided to set up a brand that would be fully dedicated to foreign practitioners.
Andy describes very well on his website the reasons why the Japanese market differs from the international market and how big the gap is between the needs and expectations of Japanese and non-Japanese practitioners.
Let's be clear: If you're looking for a bogu or a nice set of shinai, KendoStar is the first place to go. You won't be left stumped by countless products, but you'll find just the right selection for the right price.
Why do we support Andy ?
Said simply, and even though some of our guidelines differ, Kendostar and Seido are born from the same analysis, for the same reasons, and with very similar goals.
Comparing our experiences and conclusions about budo equipment, Andy and Jordy, the founders, have very similar opinions and a very strong will to make a difference in a quite difficult industry.
Kendo"Star" shares the concept of the "Star" with Seido (meaning star-way), what seems to be nothing but a coincidence - at first glance. (At least unless you are curious enough to search for a deeper meaning in the "star" concept).
At the end, recommending Kendostar is, for us, the right and only thing to do. Give Andy a chance, you won't be disappointed !