About West LA Kendo Dojo

History

Since the 1930s, the Japanese Cultural Institute of Sawtelle taught kendo until the cultural animosity of World War II forced Japanese-Americans to shut down all practice of the art.

After nearly a decade of inactivity, the West Los Angeles Kendo Dojo was officially founded on October 19th, 1952. At its birth, the dojo had only four kenshi, but membership grew rapidly. The first tournament was held only seven months later, and West LA Dojo became a prominent host for tournaments until the mid-70s.


Torataro Nakabara 8 dan Hanshi was the leading person of WLA kendo dojo and is remembered as one of the most prominent figures in helping Kendo thrive in America.


Nakabara Sensei was the president of both the Southern California Kendo Federation (SCKF) as well as the USKF. In 1985 he even received an honorable decoration from Emperor Hirohito of Japan for his devotion to the kendo community.


Nakabara Sensei passed away in March 2008. Many distinguished guest instructors have been received at the dojo over the years, including Nakamura Sensei, Ota Sensei, Ishida Sensei, Ishizuka Sensei, Haga Sensei, and Miyazaki Sensei. Currently, Koichi Suyama 7dan Kyoshi is the Master Sensei of the dojo, and the day-to-day duties of dojo classes are handled by Head Instructor, Akira Banchi sensei.

Our Sensei

Koichi Suyama

陶山晃一

7th Dan - Kyoshi

教士七段

Kenjun Kasahara

笠原賢順

6th Dan - Renshi

錬士六段

Atsushi Kajioka

梶岡 敦

6th Dan - Renshi

錬士六段

Naohisa Nakada

中田直久

6th Dan

六段

Akira Banchi

番地 章

6th Dan - Renshi

錬士六段

Head Instructor (主任教師)

Masanao Fukuno

福野正直

6th Dan

六段

Hayato Mitsuishi

三石勇人

5th Dan

五段

Goichiro Takayama

高山五一郎

5th Dan

五段

Heejoo Lee

李 希柱

5th Dan

五段

Osamu Taki

瀧 統

5th Dan

五段

Sigeko Nakamura

中村繁子

4th Dan

四段

Jason Jarvis

ジェイソン ジャービス

4th Dan

四段

Chris Ha

河尚辰

4th Dan

四段