About our Dojo

The Shidogakuin dojo was established in 1984 by Shozo Kato and Tsuyoshi Inoshita, initially under the name of Doshikan. Shidogakuin has grown from a single dojo in Manhattan into an organization that includes many affiliated dojos along the east coast, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Florida.

Kato sensei has been practicing kendo and iaido for almost four decades each. He served as head coach for the U.S. national kendo team for the 10th World Kendo Championships in Kyoto in 1997 and again for the 11th world championships in Santa Clara, Calif., in 2000. In 2006, he served as one of the judges for the 13th world championships in Taipei. In 2012 he served as team manager for the U.S. national kendo team for the 15th World Kendo Championships in Novara, Italy. As one of the highest-ranking iaido practitioners in the U.S., he has also served as head instructor for numerous regional iaido seminars.

At Shidogakuin, we welcome both novices and experienced students. We emphasizing the fundamentals that will enable practitioners to continuously develop their skills and hone their spirit for a lifetime of rewarding practice. We have classes specifically geared toward beginners to ease them into advanced practice.

Kendo is great physical exercise, but it is also much more than a sport. At Shidogakuin, approach kendo as a budo - the traditional Japanese concept of martial arts that emphasizes proper etiquette and self-development.

At Shidogakuin, we firmly believe that focusing on fundamentals also eventually leads to competitive success for those who are interested in participating in tournaments.

Permanent Honorary Members

Kenichi Hatakeyama

Kendo 6th Dan

Kenichi Hatakeyama is living in Waco, Texas. He is Kendo Instructor at Baylor University Kendo Club

  • 2002 AUSKF National Championships: First Place
  • 2004 Shidogakuin 20 th Anniversary Tournament: First Place
  • 2008 AUSKF National Championships: First Place
  • 2011 Texas Open Kendo Tournament: First Place
  • 2014 Shidogakuin 30 th Anniversary Tournament: First Place
  • 2015 Texas Open Kendo Tournament: First Place

Marvin Kawabata

Kendo 5th Dan
  • 2005 AUSKF National Championships Individual: 2nd Place
  • 2006 World Kendo Championships: 2nd Place Team USA
  • 2008 AUSKF National Championships: Individual: 3rd Place
  • 2009 World Kendo Championships: 2nd Place Team USA
  • 2015 World Kendo Championships: Team USA Women’s Coach (3rd Place)
  • 2017 AUSKF National Championships: GNEUSKF Men’s Coach (2nd Place)

Debi Farmer

Kendo 4th Dan
Iaido 6th Dan Renshi

Debi Farmer left western sports for Japanese martial arts and zazen practice right out of college and never looked back. She started kendo and iaido with and has been a student of Kato sensei for over 25 years. She was a member of Team USA for the 2003 Kendo World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, and many times member of the GNEUSKF team for the US National Kendo Championships. Debi Farmer started teaching iaido under Kato sensei after returning from successfully passing her nidan in Japan in 1997. Since the inception of the Iaido Nationals Championships in 1998 she has participated in almost every one of them. She won 7 Nationals Championships, 6 in the upper division, including the last 3 years in a row, 2016-2018. Still her favorite memories were those spent at iaido and meditation intensive retreats at Dai Bosatsu Zendo in upstate New York.