Oxford Kendo Membership Manual

Oxford Kendo Membership Guide & Club Manual

Fundamentals of Kendo – Yasuyuki Hiyama Sensei (7th Dan), Oxford Kendo
















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

Origins of Kendo:

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 (7th Dan)

Club Information

Kendo can be practiced safely by all and provides many benefits for those who train in this unique activity regardless of height, weight, gender or otherwise.

Oxford Kendo instructors are insured to teach Kendo and hold DBS (Formally CRB) certifications. We also have first aiders or practice at venues with first aider assistance.

Oxford Kendo is a British Kendo Association (BKA) registered club started in 1997 by Kaz Oishi 5th Dan, former Tokyo University Kendo Captain. We have been providing the opportunity to practice kendo in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties since 1997. Past members starting kendo in Oxford Kendo have progressed to the GB Kendo Team and joined in international competition events including Five Nations, European Kendo Championships and World Kendo Championships.

Club members participate and contribute voluntarily to ensure its continual success.

Oxford Kendo committee members include:

  • Dojo Leader: Louie Chen
  • Dojo Secretary & Treasurer: Marcus Naschke
  • Dojo Officer: Richard Kupce
  • Dojo DRC Representative: Yasuyuki Hiyama

Oxford Kendo, Oxford University Kendo and Oxford Brookes University Kendo

Oxford Kendo (OUK) incorporates Oxford University (OUK) and Oxford Brookes University Kendo (OBUK) students under their own autonomous organisation. This separation provides the opportunity to dedicate student organized committees and participation in annual events including university intercollegiate competitions and the Oxford Cambridge Varsity Taikai.

  • Instructor Information
  • Senseis
      1. Yasuyuki Hiyama Sensei – 7th Dan, Nanadan – Head Sensei
      2. Phil McLaughlin – 5th Dan, Godan – BKA Coach
      3. Louie Chen – 4th Dan, Yondan – Dojo Leader
      4. Luis Trabuco – 4th Dan, Yondan
      5. Chris Bowden – 4th Dan, Yondan
      1. Minsuok Kim – 4th Dan, Yondan

Membership & Fees

Membership fee provides finances for venue hall rental prices for all our weekly practices, British Kendo Association fees for club registration and insurance coverage, equipment for the club and to cover some annual social events we hope to organize for members. Details on membership fees. 

Practice Class Timetables

Our practices are posted on our website and updated regularly. Please refer to the website for the latest information.  Please check this group and www.oxford-kendo.info or email us at oxfordkendo@gmail.com for latest changes as well as location of venues.

Grading Examinations

BKA Gradings:

Permission must be strictly approved from the dojo leader to grade for 1-kyu at any examinations held by the BKA or other federations outside the dojo. We require that all members reach 2-kyu through our club grading panel before participating in BKA gradings. Membership to Oxford Kendo could be suspended or terminated without prior consent to grade.

Oxford Kendo Grading Examinations:

Shinsa (Grading Examination) will be held approximately every 3-6 months. Senior senseis will invite suitable members to participate. Oxford Kendo grading will test from levels 10-kyu to 2-kyu. Once the student has achieved 2-kyu, they will be required to take further examinations held by the BKA and when they are the appropriate age.

Fee for Grading: £10 payable on day of examination. Includes certification of passing for grade.

Please refer to the website under Resources for grading requirements.

Legal (Grievances, Child Protection and other Legal Matters)

Please note that Oxford Kendo including Oxford University Kendo and Oxford Brookes Kendo is governed and abides by all rules, club procedures and documentation regulations under the British Kendo Association (BKA). Herewith BKA policies supersede Oxford Kendo’s policies. Please refer to the link provided below for further details and legal documentation. Please also find our Child Protection Policy under the same link:


About this manual

This manual is continually updated with contributions from all our members. If you have any suggestions or comments that you think would help improve the manual, please contact me know.

Louie Chen

Dojo Leader, Oxford Kendo