As Ueno-sensei said at the end of training last night, it is very important that you begin to maintain your shinai. This is something you should do regularly- ideally before each and every training, but at least once a week.
A shinai which is not maintained properly is a dangerous shinai, and could seriously injure your friends or yourself. I’ve posted a link to a handy guide on how to maintain a shinai from our good friends over at the Melbourne University Kendo Club, as well as a video on youtube which walks you through the process of disassembly and assembly.
MUKEN: How to maintain your shinai
Video: Shinai maintenance
Another great guide, including how to wear your bogu and uniform, can be found here.