Photo © Jerry Chen
Howard Babus-sensei (4-Dan), is the dojo’s Head Instructor. He practiced with Hattanda-sensei for 30 years.
Steven Timbrook-sensei (4-Dan), practiced with Hattanda-sensei for 17 years and administers the dojo roster.
IN HONOR OF HATTANDA MIKIO SENSEI (7-Dan). The instructors of the Santa Barbara Kendo Dojo teach the Busen-style kendo with emphasis on form and basics (kihon). Our beloved sensei passed away in December, 2012. We honor him by continuing his teachings. May he rest in peace.
Photo © Jerry Chen
Yes of course. We strongly encourage you to contact us by e-mail for practice times and location. You may come to observe or participate.
All ages are welcome; however, due to the size of the practice area we cannot accept young children. If you are a parent and need clarification or would like to ask us to consider your child for membership, please contact us by e-mail.
Yes. Beginner's instruction starts at 7:30 PM on Thursdays. There will be an hour of beginner's instruction before the regular practice starts. You are welcome to stay after 8:30 PM for the regular practice and observe as the floor will be for the people in bogu only.
It is recommended that you purchase a shinai, or bamboo sword as soon as possible. If you are not sure about joining before you first visit the dojo and want to participate, you may borrow a shinai from one of the other students.
You will not have to purchase the kendo uniform (keikogi and hakama) right away, either. It is important, however, that you wear comfortable workout type clothing so you can move freely and easily. Most people purchase their keikogi and hakama after a few weeks of practice.
Many of the top kendo practitioners are women. That's perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of kendo in that men and women of all ages and abilities can practice together and learn from each other.
That depends on how hard you practice. If you're like most people, you can expect to spend anywhere from 6-8 months working on "basics." During this time, you'll be progressing from beginner’s drills and footwork on your own to more advanced strikes delivered to other more senior club members (sempai). You will also be watched carefully by the sensei (instructor) who will determine when it is appropriate for you to transition into bogu.
This is as much for your safety as it is for the safety of others. Kendo is truly a lifelong pursuit when done properly and one must master the basics. The basics in this case include not only wearing the armor, but learning to deliver and receive strikes safely and with appropriate force.
Further reading on the Busen school of kendo can be found here.
If you decide you would like to join the Santa Barbara Kendo Dojo, you will need to prepay 3 months dues ($50/month) and join the All U.S. Kendo Federation ($40/year-$25 for under 18 years old) and the Southern California Kendo Federation ($26/year-$14 for under 18 years old).
The memberships are necessary in order for you to be covered by the Federation liability insurance, which is required by the Buddhist Temple for our dojo to hold its practice sessions there, and for you to be able to participate in tournaments and take proficiency tests for advancement in rank.
There are additional practices for advanced kenshi every Monday at Girls' Inc. in Carpinteria from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm. If you are a beginner who is not yet in bogu, you may come to observe. However, the instructors prefer to reserve this hour for instructing the more advanced kenshi only.
Absolutely. Please go to the Contact page and we will be happy to help.
Practice for beginners is held every Thursday night at 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM at the Santa Barbara Buddhist Church at 1015 E. Montecito St. in Santa Barbara, CA.
The Beginner's schedule will be as follows:
7:30 - Begin class.
7:45 - Warm-up exercises, line up, mokuso, bow in and practice basics.
8:25 - Stretching exercises, line up, mokuso, bow out to end at 8:30.
This is a special practice time for beginners. For those who are just starting or those who have been with us for a while but are not yet in bogu, please show up at this time. You are welcome and encouraged to stay and observe the regular practice; however, the whole floor is for those in bogu.
Regular practice is held every Thursday night at 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM at the Santa Barbara Buddhist Church.
The regular schedule will be as follows:
8:30 - Begin class. Kata exercises until 9:00. Stop earlier if people have had adequate time to practice kata.
9:00 - Warm-up exercises, line up, mokuso, bow in. Kiri kaeshi, various kihon and waza keiko.
9:30 - Jigeiko in 3-minute, timed bouts so we can practice with several partners, ending with kakari geiko and kiri kaeshi.
9:55 - Stretching exercises, line up, mokuso, bow out to end at 10:00.
Videos of our kendoka during tests.
A great resource for all things related to kendo. They also put out a great magazine for iPad and Kindle!
Kendo Blog from Taro Ariga-sensei of E-bogu.
Online store for kendo equipment.