Wollongong Kendo Club

剣道, 杖道, 居合道

1: Who are we:

Wollongong Kendo (previously the University of Wollongong Kendo Club) is a non profit club originally based at the University of Wollongong and now at the PCYC North Wollongong that is open to both members of the campus community and to the general public which provides training in the Japanese martial arts of Kendo, Iaido and Jodo.

From March 2013 to December 2017 it operated as the University of Wollongong Kendo Club, however relocation to the PCYC in North Wollongong lead to a change in name and affiliation.

2: Training

Currently the club trains in each of its three arts, Kendo, Iaido and Jodo twice a week, at the Wollongong PCYC, 2 Exeter Avenue, North Wollongong.


  • Sunday, 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm
  • Tuesday, 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm


  • Sunday, 1.30pm to 3 pm


  • Sunday 12 noon to 1.30 pm

In addition its instructors teach Iaido and Jodo at Bujutsu Martial Arts Smeaton Grange once a week


  • Friday, 7.30pm to 9.00 pm

3: Club History:

The Wollongong Kendo Club exists to encourage the study of the Japanese weapon arts, in particular Kendo (the way of the sword, with an emphasis on armoured free sparring with the Shinai or practice sword), Jodo (the way of the staff, regular practice since 2000) and Iaido (the art of drawing and attacking with the Japanese sword, since 1994). We also engage in occasional Tameshigiri (test cutting, since 2002) and Kenjutsu (classical swordsmanship) sessions.

The club has its' origins in the Buxton Kendo Club of the early 1980s, founded by Sensei Ted Rixon up on the tablelands near Picton, south west of Sydney.

Sensei Rixon was a student of Sensei Kunio Shizawa of Nihon Taiku Daigaku ("Nittaidai" or Japan Physical Education Univ. also known as Nippon Sport Science University). Shizawa Sensei visited Australia every one or two years for several decades, each time bringing a number of other kendo instructors with him.

In 1983 Sensei Rixon conducted the first class to be held at the University of Wollongong, on a dark night at the then Recreation and Sports Association basketball hall, curious participants using broom handles due to a lack of practice swords. Regular classes at the University followed, with the core of club activity remaining on the tablelands untill the late 1980's, at which point the club affilitated with URAC - the University of Wollongong Recreation and Aquatic Centre (previously the Recreation and Sport Association) for the first time.

In the early 1990's the club disafilliated from the then Recreation and Sport Association, but remained based on campus, training in Faculty of Education facilities, which it continues to utilise. With the advent of Kendo as an unofficial (now official) intervarsity sport, the club re-affiliated. The club hosted the 1995 Intervarsity Kendo competition in Wollongong. It was also host to the 1998 Australian National Kendo Championships, the 2006 Australian National Iaido and Jodo championships together with associated seminar, and from 1997 has hosted the annual NSW Grading and training weekend at Picton each February.

In 2017 it again left the University, as a result of relocating to an off campus site.

Throughout its history the club has remained affiliated with the NSW Kendo Renmei (NSWKA) , from 1997 to December 2000 providing the President, Treasurer and Secretary of that organisation, and through the NSWKA is affliliated with the Australian Kendo Renmei (AKR) for which the club provided the Chairman of the Kendo Board untill 2003, has provided the Secretary and members of the Iaido Board and the Secretary of the Jodo Board. The AKR is in turn an affiliate of the International Kendo Federation (FIK).

Over the years the club has varied in size from two to approximately 30 active members, and has enjoyed considerable sucess in introducing newcomers to the art of the sword. As a university dojo in a small city we lose many students on graduation as they leave the area. Still, in the 1980s the dojo had its first students that had started their Kendo at Wollongong achieve their dan grades, currently the highest grade reached by a student that has trained at Wollongong throughout their career is 5th Dan in Kendo, 5th Dan in Iaido and 5th Dan in Jodo, while the highest level achieved by a member is 6th Dan in Kendo. The Club has contributed members to NSW Kendo teams for the national championships periodically through the 1980s and almost every year since 1993, more recently also contributing to the NSW Jodo and Iaido teams each year from 2000 onwards.

Visitors, beginners and spectators are always welcome at any training. As a non commercial operation Membership fees are very low, essentially covering the New South Wales Kendo Association membership as that is necessary for insurance, to be able to take gradings, to compete in tournaments or to visit other dojos.

A potential new student just needs to turn up at either Sunday or Tuesday (Kendo), or Sunday(Iaido or Jodo) and can either watch or may take part in training dressed in suitable clothing for exercise - all three arts are practiced barefoot so shoes are not needed. We loan the practice sword or stick for the first couple of sessions. For more on how to join Wollongong Kendo Club go to the fees and training costs page.

We can be seen giving demonstrations at Open Days and other University events such as Japanese cultural expos.

In addition to training in our dojo, members are encouraged to travel to other kendo dojos for further training, in particular to the Sydney Kendo Club for Saturday morning training (10am) at Willoughby.

The club also encourages the study of other traditional Japanese weapon arts. Iaido, the art of drawing the katana, which is encouraged both for its own merits as a sword art and as the study helps kendoka more fully appreciate the nature of the sword which is symbolised by the bamboo shinai has been practiced by the club since 1994. Jodo, the study of the use of short staff against the sword is (relatively) a more recent addition to our curriculum, with weekly practice since January 2000. For advanced koryu Jodo instruction students are encouraged to train with the Shinto Muso Ryu jodo practitioners in Sydney, (4:45am Saturdays, Willoughby) under the direction of senior practitioner and teacher, Paul Maloney Sensei.

4: Club Mission Statement

Wollongong Kendo Club is the largest significant focus for the study of Japanese sword arts in the area between Sydney, Canberra and the Victorian border.

The club exists to provide training that molds the mind and body, cultivates a vigourous spirit, and through correct and rigid training strives for improvement in the art of kendo.

As such the goals of the Wollongong Kendo Club are to:

(a) Promote interest in the Japanese weapon arts, in particular the arts of kendo, iaido and jodo both within the Wollongong community, and throughout the South Coast and Southern Highlands; and

(b) educate, train and coach members in kendo, iaido and jodo and promote good fellowship among them; and

(c) support the aims, objectives and interests of the Wollongong Recreation and Sports Association; and

(d) support the aims, objectives and interests of the Australian Kendo Renmei and affiliated bodies; and

(e) represent Wollongong kendo exponents in their dealings with Government, state and nation-wide kendo, iaido and jodo bodies; and

(f) to organise and support the conduct of, and participation in, kendo, iaido and jodo tournaments and seminars by members.

5: Club Mon

The mon or crest of the Wollongong Kendo Club represents the mountains running down to the sea, the defining features of the Illawarra. The mon was designed by one of our members Robert Brown when the club hosted the 1998 Kendo Nationals and appeared on the commemorative tenegui. More recently it featured as the design of the comemmorative tsuba presented to participants when the club hosted the 2006 Iaido and Jodo Nationals. Red is the traditional colour of the Illawarra comming from the flowers of the Illawarra flame tree.

6: Where is Wollongong

Wollongong is a small city of some 180,000 people strung out along some 30km of coastline in a narrow coastal plain, at the foot of the great dividing range, 80km south of Sydney, Australia. (see map)

7: Club Management

Club administration is carried out by club Treasurer; David Bunder and club Secretary Aden Steinke

You can find Wollongong Kendo on Facebook as www.facebook.com/wollongong.kendo

The UOW squad for the 2001 NSW Kendo Championships held in Sydney.

1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,2007,2008,2009,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2017 aden_steinke@uow.edu.au