Oxford Kendo & Oxford University Kendo is a British Kendo Association (BKA) registered club providing kendo instruction and practice to the Oxfordshire and surrounding counties for over 15 years. Our club was founded in 1997 by Kaz Oishi Sensei 5th Dan, the former Tokyo University Kendo Team Captain. Past members from Oxford have progressed to the GB Kendo Team, participated in international competitions including the Five Nations, European Kendo Championships and the World Kendo Championship.
Kendo 剣道 – the Way of the Sword
Kendo is the path towards the formation of human character gained through practicing the true principles of the Japanese sword. Both the mental and physical nature of the Japanese sword with its forces and techniques in causing and regulating the phenomena in the offensive and defence of the Japanese sword.
Philosophy and principles learnt through the practice of kendo:
To learn kendo correctly and seriously
To cultivate a vigorous sprit through mental and physical discipline and through serious kendo training
To hold courtesy in high esteem
To put high value on trustfulness
To commit oneself to sincerity
To always strive for self-improvement in doing all the above
To love one’s country and society
In an effort to widely contribute to peace and the prosperity of humanity
Kendo originated from Japanese sword fighting without the use of armour [Chutaro Ogawa (9th Dan Master); Ken To Zen 『剣と禅』].
Kendo started as a martial art (剣術: Ken-Jyutsu). Ken-kyutsu focused on the principle of ‘to kill or be killed’ with techniques to achieve it. Various ken-jyutsu schools have emerged since the 15th century from warrior Samurai. These schools were influenced by Zen historically from the Kamakura period in the 12th century. Zen played a very important role when this martial art turned into the art of swordsmanship in the early to mid 17th century. More information on the history of kendo in English can be found on www.kendo.or.jp.
When we practice kendo, we use the shinai (bamboo sword). It is important to always think of the shinai as a real sword or we lose the sprit of kendo. We also must regularly practice kata (型) to understand the essence of kendo. Kata can be described as a set of detailed pattern of movements originally used as teaching and training methods from combat techniques that have passed down through the generations. Kata practice is very important as it was the original practice method before the armour practice method was invented and embodies the essence of a real sword fighting without wearing armour. In Japanese, we use the expression “Real sword!” synonymously with the expression of “Seriously!”. Why not use this mind for your kendo practice!
- Yasuyuki Hiyama Sensei (6th Dan, Oxford Kendo)