Class Information

We strive to promote Kendo instruction to everyone. Beginners can start as early as age 6. The uniforms, shine and other equipment can be purchased on line by the students. We strive to keep fees and expenses to a minimum.

All instruction is volunteer. YMCA fees are facility use.

*Parents are required to be in attendance on site for the duration of the practice, during practice for any of their minors/children under their care.

*All students are required to maintain their own health insurance while practicing at Ito Dojo. Kendo is a martial art, and although very safe, students assume all risks associated with martial arts practice. We promote a safe and responsible environment.

*Ito Dojo practices without discrimination of any kind based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status such as disability, age, marital and family status, sexual orientation and gender identity, health status, place of residence, economic and social situation.

We understand that Kendo may not be for everyone, and it takes a few sessions to understand if its right for you.

With this in mind Ito Dojo grants a 90 day trial before requiring students to register for AUSKF & SKWIF memberships. All continuing students are required to register with the national and regional federations to continue their studies. You must be a member to be allowed participation in Shinsa (Testing), Shiai (Competition) and Seminars.

AUSKF/SWKIF Memberships are found here:

All United States Kendo website

Classes are held twice a week at Duncan; all classes are included in YMCA fees.

The Ito Dojo maintains a small inventory of equipment, uniforms and bogu for sale, but more often we provide guidance for students as to where to purchase their own equipment.

While students are welcome to attend any classes they wish, we generally follow the following guidelines:

Beginner’s/Intermediate Class

Sunday 3:45-4:15 pm Open Kata practice
Sunday 4:15-5:30 pm Beginner/Intermediate Class
(children and adults).
All classes are held in the smaller north gym.
This class serves a dual purpose.
First, it is intended to provide new students who know nothing about kendo basic instruction; repetition is the key to mastery of any activity so students from the other class often choose to attend. The basics of the uniform, etiquette and tradition are introduced here. Proper movement, kamae (fighting posture) and balance drills are performed, and suburi (swing practice) exercises are taught. The basics of kata (traditional forms) are introduced and striking practice on static targets is performed.

Secondly, intermediate students as well as those beginners who are ready take part in Uchi-practice (striking live or static targets), waza (techniques) are taught and some sparring takes place. Also more intermediate level practice such as kirikeashi (striking form), kakari-geiko (attack practice) and keiko (sparring practice) are common. Great attention is paid to developing proper balance and timing of attacks, as well as a continuing development of form. This practice is best for intermediate to advanced level students who seek a vigorous workout and the chance to spar.

New students are taught all the basics and etiquette to be a polite visitor to any dojo, and remarkable students are asked to join the class during the week.

Intermediate/Advanced Class

Wednesday 7:15 -9:30 pm in the north gym

Participation in this class involves much keiko practice, as well as development of advanced waza, katsugi (over the shoulder), gyakyo (retreating), debana (reactionary), hatade (left handed) and many others. All kata are practiced here, as well as a continuance of kirikaeshi, uchi and kakari-geigo. This class is most appropriate for intermediate to advanced students who seek a vigorous workout, as well as belted fencers from other schools who wish to stop in for keiko. Expect a thrilling keiko session with intense energy and friendly competition.

All instruction at the Ito Dojo is volunteer. The instructors pay the same YMCA fees as the rest of the class. We do the best we can to make sure that an instructor is available for classes during the week, but we also have professions that require us to travel. As such we send out a weekly email notifying students of any potential of classes where senior students will be instructing — when new students decide to join for the long term, they will be asked for an email address so that the class announcements will go out to all. Part of kendo development is teaching your junior students, and all members of the dojo make as many classes as they can to keep things consistent.