About Kendo and our Dojo


Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sporting-like physical elements.
Practitioners of kendo are called kendōka, meaning "one who practices kendo", or kenshi, meaning "swordsman".

The name Ichi ByōShi is from a saying by the legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi and means "in one breath". It reflects the intention to act in an instant, so that realisation, decision and action are instantaneous.

Kendo is practiced wearing traditionally styled clothing and protective armour (bōgu), using one or two bamboo swords (shinai) as weapons. Kendo may be seen as a Japanese style of fencing. However, the movements in kendo are different from European fencing because the design of the sword is different, as is the way it is used. Unlike western style fencing, kendo employs strikes with a defined 'edge' and tip of the shinai. Kendo training is quite noisy in comparison to other martial arts or sports. This is because kendōka use a shout, or kiai, to express their spirit, and when a strike or cut is performed, the front foot contacts the floor in a motion similar to stomping, called fumikomi-ashi.

Sensei John Bates, 3rd Dan
Senior Instructor

Sensei Bates has been practicing Kendo since 2002. He founded Ichi ByōShi Dojo with Sensei Lesley Bates, in 2006.

Chris Bowden, 5th Dan
Instructor (shinai)

Chris has been practicing Kendo accross the globe since 2006. Gaining his initial training while living in Korea, he brings another flavour to Ichi ByōShi. Recently, Chris regularly trains with the GB squad, taking bronze in the "4 Nations" competition and silver at the Premier cup. He has represented Great Britain at the European Kendo Championships in Hungary 2017 & Serbia 2019 as well as at the World Kendo Championships in Korea 2018.

Copyright © Ichi ByōShi 2016