"Is kendo experience required to learn Iaido?" — No! It is not essential.
"I am not young. Can I keep up with other members in the lesson?" — Yes, you can!
A lot of people start learning Iaido later in life.

You can join us anytime you want to do so.
In the Kamakura Keiken-kai, five Kata (forms) of the All Japan Iaido Federation are taught thoroughly, with a focus on Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu techniques.
All ages and genders are welcomed!  

Messages from New Members

Male member in his 60s
I have been practicing Kendo, or Japanese fencing with bamboo swords, for more than 20 years. In the meantime, I was also looking for a dojo providing the training of Itto-ryu, Koryu, or Iaido, because I longed to experience a strained feeling and learn a proper distance to the opponent in matches with real swords. The location for training was also important, and I wanted to do it in Kamakura. Joining a dojo, however, requires courage. I visited websites appeared in the search results, but I remained hesitant to contact them. One day, the website of an association attracted my attention.It showed that various members each started Iaido training based on their own motive. As the association also seemed to provide a friendly atmosphere, I finally contacted it to see an actual lesson.
That association was the Kamakura Keiken-kai. One year on, I carry the rank of first dan. In the Keiken-kai, which belongs to the Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu, a wide range of people enjoy Iaido at their own pace. Now I cherish the time when I am learning Iaido waza (techniques) with other members under the mentorship of masters. Unlike Kendo matches in which the opponent faces you, no one exists in front of you in Iaido. To perform Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu techniques, you need to use your imagination to mentally create a virtual opponent and imagine his/her movement. This is really difficult.
Female member in her 30s
I ventured into Iaido, driven by intellectual curiosity to know one of the fruits of Japanese culture, though I had little experience with sports in my life and got unspeakably miserable PE grades in my school days. In terms of physical aspects, as intense exercise is not required in Iaido, I have been barely able to keep up with lessons so far under the mentorship of thoughtful masters. If kumite (sparring) had been included in lessons, I would have been hesitant to join because of concern that my poor sports ability would have caused trouble to sparring partners. However, there is no sparring in Iaido, and therefore I can focus on training without such a concern. In the lesson, I practice kata repeatedly so that I will be able to move a sword slowly and correctly according to each kata. At the end of the lesson, I am working up a sweat moderately and feel a pleasant fatigue on the trunk and legs. My body is supposed to be tired, but I have been refreshed and feel like walking with my back straighter after the lesson. As for mental aspects, I have become more aware of my movements in everyday life. I also feel a change in myself when I switch emotional gears more easily than before by doing physical exercise, such as practicing kata, even if I have a hard time with my job. For Iaido waza, it is said that to the end, players should not lose the concentration on what is seemed to be once finished and should remain on guard, which also holds true in everyday life. Therefore, I am now inclined to think that “kata” (way of movement) in Iaido means “iki-kata” (way of life), too.

Lesson Scenes

(Click a thumbnail image to enlarge)

2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 1
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 2
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 3
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 4
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 5
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 6
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 7
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 8
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 9
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 10
2018 Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Hono-enbu 11
Appreciate a sword
Appreciate a sword
Lesson Scenes1
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