The BKA or British Kendo Association is known as the official governing body for Iaido, Judo, and Kendo, in the United Kingdom. This Kendo association was founded in the year 1964 and was known as a non-profit Kendo UK organization that helps develop the practice, art, and the essence of the three martial arts. The association also has a few objectives as follows:
- Regulating and organizing a Kendo group on an international and national basis.
- Aids in fostering other related martial arts
- Promoting and helping Kendoka to reach higher dan levels
- Internationally represents the United Kingdom
Generally, the British Kendo Association prides itself on providing some of the most highly respected, experienced, and notable teachers of Judo, Iaido, and Kendo who have a few sixth and seventh dans in all of the three disciplines.
The organization is a democratic body where annual elections are held for the Executive Committee as well as the management teams that focus on handling the day-to-day running of the three Budo that the organization controls. The teams or faculties of the group are called the Bu and they are led by the Bucho.
History of the British Kendo Association
The Early Years of the Kendo UK BKA
In 1937 Mr. Lidstone exhibited his skills before the previous prince, Prince Chichibu, at a garden party in Hurlingham London, and the Anglo-Japanese Judo Club were the ones who displayed their skills. In the year 1962 at the Shinto Ryu Kendo Club, Kendo London was present and the people who attended were Mr. Lidstone, Keith and Brian Feltham, Jock Hopson, as well as Dr. Peter Parsons. Although the BKA began in the year 1962, it was only inaugurated in the year 1964 and also in this year did they form a proper committee for the organization.
On the fifteenth of November in 1968, the Shinto Ryu was finally made a member of the BKA and the first Kendo United Kingdom associations president was Sir Frank Bowden with Mr. Kozo Takizawa as the vice president. Mr. R.A. Lidstone became the first chairman and Mr. Knutsen took over the role as the secretary with Pat Knutsen as the treasurer.
Throughout the years, the Kendo UK associations numerous summer seminars have gained a lot of interest which led them to invite more teachers to join; and as a Kendo United Kingdom organization, the BKA have been fortunate enough to have a large number of first class Judo and Iaido teachers join Ishido Sensei during his summer visits to the United Kingdom.
The BKA also joined in the tenth EKC where they took third place in the competition; there were different matches in the EKC and some of these were the Italian International and the Paris International; in each of these, the association won medals. From the year 2001 onwards, the members of this Kendo UK organization continued to grow and today, they have more than 1500 active members. 2003 was another benchmark for the association since it was given the honor of holding the twelfth World Kendo Championships, Glasgow, Scotland.