The Katana, or Samurai sword, traditionally holds great fascination for those who study the Japanese Budo arts, but practice of the sword 'ways' is fragmented. Kendo being a competitive combat sport using bamboo 'swords' (shinai), Iaido concentrating on drawing the sword, Battojutsu promoting tameshigiri (cutting), and so on. Shinkendo can be considered a unique, comprehensive re-unification of practical techniques, methods and principles once used by the samurai *


Shinkendo, which means ‘Way of the Real Sword' is a complete sword art, covering 5 streams, or activities:


Suburi – Sword Swinging Drills

Battoho – Combative drawing & cutting methods

Tanrengata – Solo Forms

Tachiuchi – Sparring

Tameshigiri – Cutting straw or bamboo targets



Shinkendo training is of particular benefit to practitioners of Wado Karate and Jujitsu, encompassing the strategy, movement and evasion techniques in both of these arts.

Sensei Dart holds Kenshuin Instructor grade in Shinkendo and conducts training sessions every Friday at 6.30pm, immediately before our Wadoryu Karate session and also undertakes monthly training with the Shinkendo UK Shibucho, Byron Shepherd, at his dojo in Milton Keynes. Sensei Shepherd is a direct student of Kaiso Obata and is the highest ranked instructor in England.



Although Shinkendo is a modern art, it does not use the kyu/dan grade system prevalent in modern non-koryu systems, and Shinkendo certification is based upon older ranking descriptions.


Additionally, individual ranking progress does not automatically equate to teaching qualifications, which are examined separately.

You can get much more information on the twin arts of Shinkendo and Toyama Ryu, as well as other places you can train in Shinkendo on their website at and, in the U.S. at


* See also 'Shinkendo - Japanese Swordsmanship' by Toshishiro Obata ISBN 0-9668677-0-X