KenYuKan Dojo has now been in residence for over ten years in West Wickham Village Hall but Who and what are they?
KenYuKan Dojo is a Japanese fencing group, practicing IAIDO-Pronounced Ee Ai Doh (traditional swordsmanship)
and JODO (staff techniques). They are members of the British Kendo Association which is recognised by Sport UK as the governing body in the UK for these types of Martial art and as such all members are fully licenced and insured.
After passing fifth Dan in Japan, Martin Clark, then practicing at KenYuKan Stevenage asked to open his own Dojo to teach his own students. Permission was granted in 1999 at a time when Martin had just been named as British Team Captain a position he would hold for four years.
As we have mentioned around Ten years ago we were offered the hall at West Wickham and this quickly became the Home of KenYuKan.
KenYuKan literally means – Sword Friends Hall but broadly means a gathering of like-minded people, in the study of the sword and sword technique.
The discipline of Iaido is based around the use of the Japanese sword in close encounters where the practitioner starts with the sword at rest and counters an attack, and then finishes with the sword, again at rest. These forms or Kata begin with a single “imagined” opponent and progress to multiple attack and defence scenarios. Further on from these Basic Kata, are swifter more combative techniques based on older teachings that have their roots in feudal Japan. Unlike KENDO (which is full contact wearing armour and using a bamboo facsimile of a sword) There is No physical opponent. In IAIDO the objective is to be able to use the sword to a fine degree of expertise and to build the character by constantly striving to better one’s self – the imagined opponent can be seen as your own inabilities and the constant practice to perfect the techniques and polish the person.
While not a large Dojo numbers wise it has quite an illustrious history. Martin is a former multiple British and European champion and current British Squad trainer. He Passed 6th Dan in 2007 and was awarded Renshi (Lit – polished person) two years ago from Japan and will be attempting his 7th Dan this year. He is the current Coach Developments Officer for the BKA and a Regional Coach and has been put forward as an international referee. The following Dojo also have Martin as their Teacher/Technical adviser
- Seikukan – Norwich
- TonBoKan – Bury St Eds
- RenShinKan – Birmingham
- Shin Sei – Crawley
- SeiSen – Bedford
Of the students, We can currently boast Two 2016 British Champions at 1st and 2nd Dan. One young man who you may have seen in the local papers has, for the third year running, been chosen to represent Britain in the European championships in Budapest this year European. We have had winners at all levels of competition at Home, in both team and individual events, with similar results at internationally level. We have also had representatives in the Jodo squad (4’ staff) which is also taught at KenYuKan.
Since the setting up of the Dojo, there has Always be at least one member of KenYuKan in the British team.
There is no age limit to practice and it is not limited by gender either. The Association has many women practitioners, KenYuKan currently have two.
Anyone wishing to simply come along and spectate is more than welcome