Practice at Washinkan
We at Washinkan value your Kendo development and approach our training as a way to better prepare and enhance your Kendo journey. We are affiliated with Greater Northeastern Kendo Federation (GNEUSKF) and All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF). We request all members and visitors adhere to traditional Kendo bowing and etiquette. Showing respect is an important part of Kendo practice, please ask a senior member, instructor, or sensei if you have any questions. Washinkan currently has three dojo locations in Northern Virginia, see below for practice times and locations.
Herndon Community Center
Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon, VA
Thursdays 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Kendo (typically age 13+), for people with bogu
Sundays 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Kendo Fundamentals, All levels (age 13+; age 8-12 requires instructor approval)
Kendo (typically age 13+), for people with bogu
Spring Hill Community Center,1239 Spring Hill Road, McLean, VA
Tuesdays 7:00 pm - 8:25 pm
Kendo Fundamentals, Beginners & Intermediate Level (age 8+)
Dulles South Recreation & Community Center, 24950 Ridge Center Drive, South Riding, VA
Friday 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Kendo Fundamentals, Beginners & Intermediate Level (age 11+)
Kendo - Fundamentals & Beginner Introduction Class
Classes for beginners with no kendo experience are available at all Washinkan Locations. New and existing members can sign up for classes on the community center websites or in person at each location.
Note: Classes for new beginners are not available during the summer session over the summer. Beginners with no kendo experience can sign up for the Kendo Introduction Class in the Fall, Winter and Spring sessions.
Kendo - Training Class
This course is designed to build upon the basics of kendo. Wearing of bogu, kendogi & hakama are required for more advanced practice of kendo. These sessions are offered at the Herndon, Dulles South, and McLean locations. To participate you must be a registered member of Washinkan Kendo. Visitors are asked to follow our visitor guidelines (below).
Iaido Class - Currently Suspended
Iaido class is offered at Herndon and open to all practitioners, although it is best suited for people with at least kendo Shodan (1st degree black belt). Iaido supplements kendo, so taking Iaido without kendo foundation will NOT give you a good understanding of the way of the sword. After one semester, beginners may apply for admission to Washinkan Kendo to continue more advanced training. Annual and quarterly local dues will be required.
Registering for Class
All Kendo and Iaido classes at Herndon Community Center (HCC), Spring Hill, and Dulles South will be based on the respective Community Center's session schedule. Registration for each facility varies but signing up for classes is required in order to participate. Class fees are based on the Community Center charges as determined by the respective community centers. Some facilities may offer a "drop-in" rate, but this is reserved for short term visitors. See a sensei with questions about registration.
Information for New Students
For students considering the martial art of kendo, we encourage you to register for one of our Kendo Fundamentals classes held at the Herndon Community Center, Spring Hill Rec Center, and the Dulles South Community Center. Our fundamentals classes are geared towards students with little to no exposure to kendo. The Fundamentals class focuses on teaching you proper kamae (stance), suri-ashi and ashi sabaki (footwork), and basics of yuko datotsu (proper striking). New students are not required to own any equipment, all that is needed is athletic type clothes which do not cover the feet and an attitude ready to learn. Bokken and/or shinais are available to borrow during class time and must be returned at the end of class. Those wishing to practice at home are encouraged to purchase a shinai from an number of online vendors.
After the first semester:
After a semester or two of the Fundamentals class you are encouraged to purchase a gi, hakama, and shinai of your own. You are also asked to register as a member of Washinkan Kendo Dojo (WSK), the Greater Northeast United States Kendo Federation (GNEUSKF), and the All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF) and to join us in the regular kendo class. The annual membership forms are found on our forms page.
When do I purchase my first bogu (armor):
Typically, 6-9 months after joining the dojo students may approach their sensei and discuss purchasing their first bogu. Bogu purchase is a big step in your kendo journey and is a big investment in yourself. Many variables go into deciding which set to purchase. Most notably is price, but also important is how long you expect to keep your first set. Your sensei will work with you to determine the right beginner set for you.
For non-beginners or folks moving the area with prior kendo experience, you must register for the classes you wish to take and attain prior approval from the Washinkan head (Kancho) sensei, James Yan Sensei. You are also required to be a member of a dojo, federation, and national organization. If you would like to join Washinkan, please speak with our Kancho Sensei.
Visitors and Drop-Ins
Visitors are asked to please contact Washinkan in advance to request permission to join our practice. Please identify your name, dojo name, federation affiliation, your rank, and date/time of planned visit. When you visit, please arrive early to complete a waiver, or print one out from here ahead of time. Visitors are asked to pay the drop-in fee for the Community Center they are visiting, please pay at the front desk upon arrival.