"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 30s
I joined the Kamakura Keiken-kai some four years ago. A long-held interest in kobudo and my transfer to the Kanto region led me to start Iaido in earnest. As I learned Iaido a little when I was at school in the Kansai region, I got off to a better start in the lesson than complete beginners did. Based on confidence in my skill, I participated in tournaments actively and played for a win. I placed third in a tournament at the first dan level, but after that, it was very difficult to win. I was looking for possible causes while attending lessons every week. Two years later, I finally won first place in the Kanto round, and attained third place in the following national tournament in autumn. In retrospect, I was conceited. There were many factors of the stagnation, such as overconfidence bred by having some experience, impatience for victory, and reliance on the youth. At that time my master told me to seek “my own Iai” and not to care much about winning or losing, but I did not understand the teaching. I think that communication with masters and members in lessons changed my spirit without awareness. That change was reflected in my Iaido techniques to result in the victory. Now I have the experience of facing myself through lessons, which is my life treasure. I took first place; however, I am still in the process of developing my skill. I will continue to improve Iaido techniques and cultivate my mind.
Male member in his 60s
I am a 66-year-old male member of the Kamakura Keiken-kai. Thanks to the warm guidance of the masters and senior members, I was successfully promoted to first dan this November. In April this year, I returned to Japan from Australia where I had been a salaried employee for 21 years. I decided to leave my job two years ago. I thought that I could spend time all on myself after retirement, and the image of enjoying freedom made me very happy. As a rosy future was more likely toward the retirement day, I became uneasy, however. I could easily imagine myself passing my time in idleness with no need for working. In Australia, I used a car for not only commuting but also going to everywhere. As a result, I had a beer belly, flabby muscles and weak legs. I wondered if I could discipline myself to live a long healthy life after retirement. My anxiety was built up more and more. I started looking for an exercise that I could continue to do for staying fit. A relationship based on friendly rivalry was also desirable. To enjoy life in retirement, I must keep both body and soul in good health. Such feelings occupied me gradually. I browsed a lot of cultural centers’ websites, but they only had short-term yoga or aerobics classes with transient members coming and going every term. I could not find an exercise suitable for me. One day, “Iaido” suddenly came to my mind; the reason may be that I am a fan of Japanese swords. However, Iaido is a budo, which requires a hard body. I could not link my soft body to Iaido. Moreover, I had never had any experience of martial arts and got to old age. To find a dojo that can receive me, I visited a variety of websites strenuously. Finally, I found a story written by a person who started Iaido in his 60s, in the Kamakura Keiken-kai website. I decided to dare to contact the Kamakura Keiken-kai and talk directly with members after returning to Japan. I checked the date and place for the lesson at the website, and rushed to the dojo as soon as I went back to Japan. On my visit, I was given a warm welcome and recommended that I start Iaido for health maintenance regardless of age. Furthermore, I was also told that the Kamakura Keiken-kai always has a get-together called “postmortem” after lesson, in which members can participate freely. That was just what I had been looking for. I joined the Keiken-kai on the spot. Now under the good guidance of masters and members, I work hard every week, aiming at promotion to third dan by age 70. Of course I have never missed a “postmortem” meeting. After working up a sweat in the lesson, I enjoy spending time with members.

Lesson Scenes

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2019Kamakura Keiken-kai Lesson Scenes1
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2019Kamakura Keiken-kai Sword study session2
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2019Kamakura Keiken-kai Sword study session8
2019Kamakura Keiken-kai Sword study session9

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