About OCB Kendo
Brief History of OCB Kendo Dojo
The OCB Kendo Dojo (OCB) was founded by Yoshimichi Takeda sensei and Hisashi Yamamoto sensei in July, 1976, at the Orange County Buddhist Church in Anaheim, California. The first class consisted of only five students practicing in the Social Hall of the church grounds. The dojo moved across the parking lot into its present location, the gymnasium in the Multipurpose Building, in the early 1980s and now has over 30 active members.
Since its opening, OCB has maintained a constant presence in the Southern California Kendo Federation (SCKF), by winning numerous individual and team tournaments. In 1994, Steven Ishii won First Place in the Men’s Division at the Southern California Kendo Championships. Also, OCB Kendo is the only other dojo to have won the Nisei Week kendo team tournament three years in a row, in 1990, 1991 and 1992.
Other students have represented OCB on a national and international level. Steven Ishii and Jason Yamamoto were both members of Team USA at the 1994 World Kendo Championships (WKC) held in Paris, France. The daughter of Takeda sensei, Michi Takeda, was the 1999 United States Women’s champion and a member of Team USA at the 1999 WKC in Kyoto, Japan. More recently, Sachiko Tamura was the 2011 United States Women’s Champion and was a member of Team USA that competed at the 2012 WKC in Novara, Italy. Tamura sensei was also a member of Team USA at the 2009 WKC in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
OCB is currently led by head instructor Kohjiro Kinno sensei, along with the support of assistant instructors, Yoshiyuki Goya sensei, Shiki Nakagawa sensei, Futoshi Nakagawa sensei and Sachiko Tamura sensei. The dojo is also grateful to the Orange County Buddhist Church for its support and accommodation over the years.
Kendo At OCB
Kendo focuses on disciplining one’s character through the application of the katana (Japanese sword), and involves the proper use of footwork, strikes with the shinai (bamboo sword) and outward projection of one’s spirit. Discipline, etiquette and respect for others is also emphasized.
Beginning students are taught etiquette, basic footwork and basic strikes with the shinai. After a few weeks (actual time depends on the ability and diligence of the student), students are allowed to wear the kendo uniform (gi and hakama). After a few more weeks, students are allowed to wear bogu (kendo armor) and practice with the advanced students and sensei.
Classes are conducted in English, but all students will be required to learn basic Japanese terms, phrases, and etiquette that are essential to kendo. Most of the Japanese terms, phrases, and etiquette used in kendo can be found here.
Kendo practice is held every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. in the Multipurpose Building gymnasium.
Interested parties are highly encouraged to watch a full practice session and will be given information about the class prior to enrollment. There is no minimum age requirement for children, but enrollment will vary depending on the child. No previous martial arts training is required. Beginning students are required to purchase a shinai and tenegui (handkerchief) for a nominal fee and wear loose, workout clothing for their beginning classes. Students will be advised on the purchase of gi, hakama and bogu as they advance through their training. Please visit the Enrollment / Membership page for more details and to download information and application forms.
The OCB Kendo Dojo is a member of the Southern California Kendo Federation (SCKF), which is a regional federation of the All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF). The AUSKF is a member of the International Kendo Federation (FIK), which is the worldwide governing body for the art of kendo.