About Me

More About ME

  • Name: Masahiro Imafuji (Goes by Hiro). Born in 1973
  • 6th dan in Kendo (September, 2013)
  • Head Coach of ECUSKF for the Nationals (2014, 2011)
  • Started Kendo at the age of 7 at Shubukanin Itami City, Hyogo, Japan.
  • Shubukanhas more than 200 years of history and counted as one of the three greatest dojos in Japan.
  • Shihan (the head master of the dojo) at that time was Late Juichi Tsurumaru sensei.
  • Trained in a traditional way of Budo Senmon Gakko (a national school for training young men to teach Kendo and other martial arts).
  • 6th dan in Kendo (September, 2013)

Kendo Instructing Experiences

  • Kendo Instructor at Mudokwan kendojo in Indianapolis, IN, Gotokukan
  • East Central Kendo Federation Coach & Player For 2011 All US Kendo Championship
  • Volunteer instructor of kendo, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
  • Represented Japan on the international Ship for World Youth program. * Created a kendo club on board
  • Foreign Relations Full-time Volunteer, Japan International Cooperation Agency, commonly known as “Japan’s Peace Corps,” Guatemala City, Guatemala
    • Performed various outreach projects in Guatemala to promote cultural understanding between Japan and Guatemala
    • Taught kendo and Japanese culture to students and adults
    • Lead in establishing the first legitimate Kendo Association of Guatemala
    • Traveled to Panama, Mexico, and Dominican Republic to train local leaders of kendo
  • Acting Director, Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai kendo dojo, Christchurch, New Zealand * Taught kendo; coached members of the New Zealand National Team

Shiai Experiences

  • 1st place, All New Zealand Kendo Championship (team and individual)
  • 1st place (team), All Hyogo Prepectual Junior High Shchool Championship hosted by Dojo Federation
  • 2nd Place (individual), All Hyogo Prepectual Junior High Shchool Championship hosted by Dojo Federation
  • 2nd place (indivudual), All Hyogo Prefecutual Junior High School Championsip hosted by Junior High School Kendo Federation

The Instructions Given Here Originally From….

The instructions given here are based on the late Juichi Tsurumaru (9th dan) sensei, the late Keisuke Murayama (8th dan, a champion of an 8-dan tournament) sensei and Masayoshi Miyazaki (7th dan) sensei.


Tsurumaru Sensei, Juichi TsurumaruTurumaru Sensei Murayama sensei, Keisuke MurayamaMurayama Sensei


Tsurumaru sensei and Murayama sensei graduated from Budo Senmon Gakko (Martial Arts Specialized College). Needless to say, they were shihan of educational institutions and police departments.

They were also appointed to important positions such as member of the board of directors of the All Japan Kendo Federation and the prefectural kendo federation.

These sensei were the head instructors (shihan) of my dojo, Shubukan, in Japan and they taught us very traditional kendo style. I was lucky to see both of them at the same time at the dojo and learned from them.

Miyazaki Sensei MMiyazaki sensei, Masayoshi Miyazaki, iyazaki sensei was the main instructor for kids when I was a child. He is a shihan of Ritsumeikan University Kendo Club.

He led the university kendo team to many great successes including winning of All Kansai University Kendo Championships and the second place in All Japan University Championships.

The knowledge I learned from them should not die with me. Their teachings should survive and be passed onto another generations, as many generations as possible.

16 Responses to “About Me”

  • José Almada on February 25, 2013

    Lamento no poder escribir bien en inglés, por favor usar Translator. Me gusta de sobremanera el Kendo e Iado, practico artes marciales desde hace 45 años y soy 4 Dan TAK STF-ATA; 3Dan de Judo; 2Dan Karate Kiokusin; 2Dan de Hapkido. Practico mucho TKD y Hapkido. Kendo aprnedo un poco de dos amigos 2Dan pero tengo poco tiempo y me gusta mucho. Gracias por su e-mail muy lindo por falta de práctica puedo leer bastante inglés pero duro para escribir. Un resxpetuoso saludoO Shihan San. José

    • Kendo For Life on February 25, 2013

      Thank you for your message. I did use google translate 🙂 I used to live in Guatemala for 2 years but my Spanish is very bad! My late father started kendo when he was 55 and he made it to 5-dan. As long as you keep doing kendo, you can enjoy 🙂 Thanks!

  • José Almada on February 25, 2013

    Quise decir practico artes marciales hace 45 años, actualmente tengo 69 añosd de edad.

    • Kendo For Life on February 25, 2013

      We need people like you so the younger generations can learn from you. Thank you for doing kendo!

  • anonymity on June 1, 2013

    I am 49 yrs old . Do you think i can still learn the Art of Kendo?

    • Kendo For Life on June 3, 2013

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, you can. My father started kendo at the age of 55. He made it to 5-dan. Late starters have difficulties with movements but usually understand more mental aspects of kendo. So as long as you know what you want out of kendo, kendo will give it to you 🙂

  • Tanno on August 17, 2013

    You indeed were lucky to be trained by one of the fewest 9th Dan senseis. I was surprised that the living legend of the kote is still around(I mean THE Miyazaki-sensei).

    I’d love to visit Japan and ask Miyazaki-sensei to instruct me regarding the kote, because I have a problem executing it. Another reason of wanting to visit Japan is to go visit Musashi Kai to improve my nito fighting style.

    Hope to see you someday from near and talk ways with you, Hiro-san. 🙂

    Take care!

    • Kendo For Life on August 17, 2013

      Thank you, Tanno. My Miyazaki sensei is probably different from the Miyazaki sensei that you are talking about 🙂
      Senseis from Musashi Kai comes to USA once a year I think. And they just came for this year. But I understand you want to go to Japan 🙂 Because I want to too 😉
      Yeah, I would like to see you someday too, Tanno!


  • Fadli Hamza on October 22, 2013

    it sounds a good life ^^
    i’m 23 years old now, i started Karate when i was 8years and aikido from 12 years until my highschool. BUT i’m so so so excited to start Kendo even it’s so hard to practice it in my country 🙁 .. now i’m learning Japanese and reading more and more about Kendo and Japanese History. i’d like to start it as soon as possible.
    thank you sensei and all my respect 🙂

    • Kendo For Life on October 25, 2013

      You are very welcome! Keep up the good work! Kendo is a bit different from martial arts you have experience in. But as long as you are keen and listen to your instructor, you will be fine. I know you do not really have a kendo instructor where you live. So don’t rush into things, OK? Take it easy and learn slowly.

  • Emily on January 13, 2014

    What if you are self-taught/learn from a book? What if you do not go to a dojo? Can you ever rank up? Will I ever get past 0 or 1-dan?

    • Kendo For Life on January 17, 2014

      Thanks for asking. You must belong to a federation. Usually your membership is accepted through your dojo. I am not sure if an individual can belong to a federation without belonging to a dojo. How far is your nearest dojo?

  • Alina on July 16, 2014

    Hi. I’m 46 female( living in Bucharest, Romania, Europe)but in a very good sport shape. I am green belt Yoshikan aikido, intending to go further. The bokken skills learned in Aikido could be useful or I will be confused? My first thought was to become a kendoka for better sword skills in aikido. What is your opinion about this? Too much and too confusing keeping both , the harmony and the sword?

    • Kendo For Life on August 26, 2014

      Thanks for your question. I think you should learn iaido if you want to use the sword skills in aikido. Kendo is derived from samurai swordsmanship but it took its own way. So even though kendo is based on the sword skills, you will find the kendo movements quite different from the sword movements.

      Hope this helps.

  • Guo Chen on November 21, 2015

    Nice to meet you, Mr. Imafuji! I’m a student from Beijing, China. I start to practise Kendo this year since I have more available time for this now. My passionate for Kendo origins not only from an American movie named “The Last Samurai”, but also my enthusiastic on learning about Meiji, an important period in Japanese history when Shogun reign was overthrowned by a series of lower level samuris like Ōkubo Toshimichi, Katsura Kogoro (also known as Kido Takayoshi after Meiji Revolution), Saigō Takamori and Itō Hirobumi, and I know some of who like Mr. Katsura was very good at Kendo. Besides I regard Kendo as the core of Japanese Culture, especially Samurai Culture, which I think is the best way to understand the history of Meiji Revolution. So here I am.
    I am now planning to apply for universities in America as a graduate. I am a little worry since I still want to practise Kendo after I go there, if everything goes well with my plan. As far as I concern, I am a little worried about unprofessional and wrong ways to learn Kendo at a Dojo. However, it is a pity that I hadn’t applied any university in Indiana, but I am wondering if you would recommend some good Dojos for me as far as you know, ありがとうございました!

    • Kendo For Life on January 12, 2016

      Thank you for your comment! Sorry about the delay of my reply.

      You have great knowledge of samurai culture, don’t you! Great!
      Hope everything will go well for you.

      There are good dojos in the States so you can find a good one 🙂

      Good luck!!

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