About the Club
The Sno-King Kendo Club was founded in 2003 by Jeff Marsten. Jeff Marsten is a 7th degree black belt with over 45 years of kendo experience. He has taken 14 trips to Japan in order to train and be taught by some of the best kendo practitioners and instructors in the world. The club offers instruction through the Seattle Parks and Recreation department.
Sno-King Kendo Club offers traditional kendo taught for a diverse community. At the time there were no kendo clubs serving the north end of Seattle and south end of Snohomish County. The club serves not only the north Seattle area but Shoreline, Edmonds, Lynnwood and points in between. The classes are located at Broadview-Thompson Elementary School East Gym/Bitterlake Community Center Annex, 13052 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle. The annex is at the far east end of the parking lot adjacent to the playground area. This is an ideal venue with easy access from Aurora Ave N at 130th Ave NE. The venue size is ideal for kendo training and instruction.
Classes are taught to a set 10 week curriculum with each week consisting of a new unit covering the lesson for that week. The class moves as fast or as slow as the students can manage and class content is adjusted as required. The beginning class is taught by Jeff Marsten Jr, a 4th degree black belt who started kendo at 6 years of age and has trained in Japan for extended periods of time. This experience makes him particularly gifted at making kendo practice fun for children. Additionally there are several other 3rd or 4th degree black belt instructors who help to team-teach the beginning class.
During the students' second quarter they will work with the main class developing their skills and progressing into armor when appropriate skill has been obtained. There is a summer break taken between mid- August and mid-September.
We are affiliated with the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation, the regional governing body of kendo in this area. In turn, the PNKF is affiliated with the All United States Kendo Federation and, in turn, the International Kendo Federation. These affiliations allow the club to participate in seminars, promotional examinations, tournaments and other special events at the regional, national and international levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the club located? How do I get there?
That question is answered here.
When is practice?
That question is answered here.
I'm a beginner, how do I sign up?
Register online here, by phone at 206-684-7524, or in person at Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave N Seattle, WA 98133.
It's my first day. What do I bring?
Come wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothes. All other equipment can be purchased through the club.
Does it hurt?
Not really, once in awhile an errant strike will sting. The most common injuries are bruises from inaccurate strikes. Despite being a full-contact martial art, kendo is the safest to practice. It has a minimal injury rate and well below common activities such as baseball, soccer, basketball.
What do I do if I have more questions?
If you have further questions, feel free to contact us.
Kendo, or "way of the sword", is the Japanese martial art of fencing. Kendo developed from traditional techniques of Japanese swordsmanship known as kenjutsu.
Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sporting-like physical elements.
Practitioners of kendo are called kendoka, meaning "one who practices kendo", or kenshi, meaning "swordsman".
Kendo is practised wearing traditionally styled clothing and protective armour (bogu), using one or two bamboo swords (shinai) as weapons. Kendo may be seen as a Japanese style of fencing. The movements in kendo are different from European fencing because the design of the sword is different, as is the way it is used. Unlike western style fencing, Kendo employs strikes with a defined 'edge' and tip of the shinai. Kendo training is quite noisy in comparison to other martial arts or sports. This is because kendoka use a shout, or kiai, to express their spirit, and when a strike or cut is performed, the front foot contacts the floor in a motion similar to stamping.
There are estimates that about eight million people world-wide practice kendo with approximately seven million in Japan.
Kendo is one of the modern Japanese budo and embodies the essence of Japanese fighting arts.