Tsurugi Bashi Kendo Kai


We are a university society, founded and intended for Cambridge students, but we also welcome non-university members. Training is aimed at adults.

The committee reserves the right to reject applications where appropriate.

Beginners need to attend a training course before they can safely join a kendo practice session; therefore we only admit new members a few times per year. The main intake is in October, at the start of the academic year.

Consult the University's official page for the exact dates of terms.

Depending on the number of applicants we sometimes also admit members at the start of the other two full terms, Lent (January) and Easter (April), but those who join then will have to put some extra effort into catching up with those who started in October.

At the beginning of each academic year, and sometimes on other occasions, we hold open days

Do not miss opendays if you intend to join the dojo.

To comply with safety and insurance regulations, all members of our dojo must be over 18, must be current members of the British Kendo Association (or of a foreign IKF-affiliated federation so long as it provides insurance cover while practicing in the UK) and, unless they already hold 1-kyu or above, must have attended our induction course. Pick up the appropriate forms from the dojo secretary and return them completed, and with payments, before your first practice session. No payment = no insurance = no practice. To simplify administration, auditing and, in the rare case where they apply, refunds, we ask you to pay with two cheques, one to our dojo and one to the BKA: not one cheque for the total, not cash. You will find it strange but please do as we ask.

Kendo training can be demanding and may not suit everyone. In order to allow you to assess whether it is really for you, until the third session of the 6-session induction course you are allowed to change your mind and quit; we will then return you the cheque meant for Tsurugi Bashi, though the one for BKA membership will have already been sent off to guarantee your insurance cover and won't be refunded. If you have not cancelled by the third session of the introductory course, there will be no further refunds.

We have a useful page of technical information for beginners.

Once you join the dojo (or even before if you are keen), please study it.

Visiting kendoka are welcome to train with us, but please email our secretary in advance.

Fees for 2005-2006

There are several components to your fees: the joining fee, the term fee and the BKA membership. New members pay all three. Existing members (including society officers) pay the last two. The BKA membership fee gives you insurance and is paid to the BKA, not to our dojo. The fees are independent of the number of sessions you attend in the corresponding period: the more you attend, the better value for money you get (as well, of course, as becoming more proficient in kendo). There are no discounts for partial attendance and there are no refunds except as specified below.

The full table of fees is available directly from the BKA.

Please pay with two separate cheques: not with cash, not with one cumulative cheque. One cheque, payable to "University of Cambridge Kendo Society", to cover joining fee (if applicable) and term or year fee. Another cheque, payable to "British Kendo Association", to cover BKA fee.

The society is strictly non-profit-making. None of the instructors or officers receives any payment. Fees merely cover expenses such as insurance, rental of training halls, purchase of equipment and BKA duties for the dojo.

Borrowing armour

Kendo armour is expensive to buy. Our dojo lends members their first armour at no charge for a few months, subject to availability. A deposit of 80 GBP is required, in the form of a cheque payable to "University of Cambridge Kendo Society". Please write "kendo armour deposit", your full name and address on the back of the cheque. At the end of every term you must return your armour to the pool. The cheque will be returned to you once you return the armour, or cashed in if you disappear (but you will still have to return the armour; when you do, part of your deposit will be returned).

The following term, if you still haven't bought your own, you will have the option to borrow a set of armour again, at the same conditions. There is no limit to the number of terms during which you may borrow armour from the dojo but, in case of scarcity, priority will be given to those who have attended most frequently in the previous term.


Grades from 1st kyu and above must be awarded by a national kendo federation recognized by the International Kendo Federation; in this country, this means the British Kendo Association. Grades up to and including 2nd kyu, instead, are awarded locally by the individual dojo.

The requirements for kyu grading at Tsurugi-Bashi.