Two Bristol kendoka training with British Kendo Association logo
Bristol Kendo Club

We are the only Kendo club in Bristol and indeed one of the earliest Kendo clubs in Britain, tracing our beginnings back to the mid 1960s when the British Kendo Association was formed.

Kendo is an old and noble martial art, steeped in etiquette and tradition and we are proud to be a part of this heritage, however, you will find us to be friendly and approachable. We sincerely desire to promote Kendo in a true and unadulterated form but with an understanding of the commitments and constraints of our age. We do hope you will join us.


Visitors from other clubs, over the age of 18, are welcome free of charge.
It is essential that they have up to date insurance with the British Kendo Association or the internationally recognised Kendo association of their home country.


Our practice sessions take place on Tuesday evenings from 7.00 until 9.00, and Sunday mornings from 10.00 until 12.00 at Ashton Park School. Please arrive early to allow for changing and preparation.
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Those interested in joining the club are invited to attend an evening’s practice (please get in touch first!) to see what goes on. We would suggest that you come and watch at least once before participating; this should give you some idea of what to expect. To find out more and arrange a visit click here...


ブリストル剣道クラブへようこそ! 稽古中のコミュニケーションは英語ですが、クラブについてのご質問には日本語でも対応出来ますので、どうぞお気軽にお問い合わせください。 (注: 18才以上の方に限ります。 現在加入されている保険がイギリスで剣道の稽古をされる際にも適用されるかどうかを事前にお確かめください。 また、英国剣道連盟へ仮メンバーとして入会し、保険に加入されることも出来ます。)

日本語でのお問い合わせはこちらまでどうぞ: Email...

Two Bristol Kendo Club kendoka praciticing men kaeshi do
Kendo -  The Way of the Sword


Kendo is the martial art of Japanese swordsmanship. Its origins date back to the practical necessity of sword practice amongst the warrior classes of ancient Japan. Kendo is an activity that rewards long term commitment, and places great emphasis on the observation of formal etiquette and mutual respect.

Practice can broadly be divided into two parts:


Kata, the paired practice of set forms, is non-contact, and is performed without armour using a wooden sword, the bokuto. Movements follow a series of prescribed patterns, and there are seven long sword forms and three short sword forms The emphasis is on technique, footwork, concentration, and appreciation of distance.


Keiko, kendo practice, is mostly done in armour using a shinai, a sword made from four bamboo staves. This part of kendo mixes footwork, cutting, and free practice sessions in order to develop and reinforce correct technique.

For more information on the history of kendo, visit the British Kendo Association website.

Bristol Kendo Club beginner course


There is no constraint on age over 18 and kendo is equally suitable for both men and women. Kendo is generally physically demanding but fitness will improve with practice and individuals are encouraged to train within their personal limitations with an aim to improve their abilities. Practised correctly, kendo is a safe and enjoyable activity.

After an initial free session you will be required to pay for all subsequent sessions leading up to the next payment quarter at £6 per week.

The use of club equipment is included. At commencement of the next quarter you will be subject to the normal club fees.

Temporary insurance suitable for beginners is available from the British Kendo Association and can be obtained via their website. The cost is currently £10 and must be updated to full cover after three months of training.


Please note that kendo is practised barefoot and although specialised clothing is not initially required, please wear suitable and safe clothing for vigorous sporting activity, i.e T-shirt and comfortable trousers.

Toenails should be trimmed short and the wearing of jewellery and/or body piercings, for reasons of safety is deemed unsuitable.

Bristol Kendo training listening to sensei


Anyone wishing to join Bristol Kendo Club will be subject to the following terms:

  • All participants must be aged 18 or over.
  • All members must be fully personally insured by the British Kendo Association. This can be done online via the BKA website and is the responsibility of the individual member. Bristol Kendo Club can check the status of individual members insurance and anyone not compliant will be refused permission to train with us. Insurance must be renewed annually.
  • Bristol Kendo Club charges members a quarterly fee payable on the first session of the quarter i.e. January, April, July and October. The current fee is £78 per quarter.
  • Visitors from other clubs, over the age of 18, are welcome free of charge. It is essential that they have up to date insurance with the British Kendo Association or the internationally recognised Kendo association of their home country.
  • Anyone practising at Bristol Kendo Club is requested to ensure that all equipment, particularly shinai, is in good condition and that toe nails are cut short. Any jewellery or piercings that could in any way compromise safety must be removed.


Tuesday evenings: 7pm - 9pm
(experience required)
Ashton Park School Gym

Sunday mornings: 10am - 12pm
(beginners included)
Ashton Park Sports Centre, Sports Hall


Bristol Kendo Club dojo map locations Ashton Park Sports Centre


How Much Will It Cost?
What Do I Need?
Does It Hurt?
Is Kendo Safe?
Is Physical Strength Required?
Is There A Minimum Age?


A beginner’s course is available that covers the cost of everything for the duration of the course. In addition you will need to wear comfortable clothing suitable for heavy exercise (track suit trousers and a t-shirt are ideal), and a bottle of water.


A beginner’s course is available that covers the cost of everything for the duration of the course. Please see the beginner’s page for details.

Normal club fees are £78 per quarter. Additionally, club members will need to join the British Kendo Association (BKA) for insurance purposes. Their current annual subscription is £50. Short term membership of the BKA (£10 for 3 months) is available for beginners who wish to try kendo for a short time.

A basic set of keiko-gi (jacket) and hakama (trousers) will total around £40-50. Shinai and bokken are around £10-20 each. Armour costs anything from £200 upwards, but is NOT a suggested purchase at the start. These items can be bought from a number of sources.

The club is not run for profit; anything left after paying for hire of the facilities goes towards additional club kit and running expenses.


A correct shinai blow which lands on target, shouldn"t hurt. You feel the hit, but no pain.

The shinai is designed to flex and absorb the blow. A cut which misses the armour usually causes no worse than a bruise.


The use of protective armor, a flexible bamboo sword (shinai), proper basic technique and a respectful attitude toward our training partners, makes Kendo relatively safe. However, Kendo is an aggressive, full contact activity and as with any full contact activity, injuries are possible. There are, however, fewer injuries than in most other martial arts.

The most common types of injuries in kendo are sprains to the ankle and calf muscles. These can be avoided by making sure you warm up and stretch properly.


Although Kendo is a demanding physical activity, it doesn"t rely on physical strength – to progress you need skill, technique and an insight into your own and your opponent’s psychology. We welcome beginners at any fitness level - with regular training and determination, you will develop stamina, skill and agility from doing kendo.


Yes. You must be aged 18 or over to train with us.


If you would like more information, or to find out more about beginners courses, please fill in the form here and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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