Kendo coaching course, for BKA Club Coach Levels 1 and 2
Application deadline: Monday 28 February. No further candidates accepted past this date.
Apply now, even if your portfolio is still incomplete, to receive access to training materials.
Course held in Cambridge on Sunday 20 March.


Would you like to serve your dojo and local community by becoming a kendo coach? Have you already been informally helping out with the training in your dojo but you now wish to get licensed officially?

Frank Stajano will hold a BKA Kendo Coaching Course for Coach Levels 1 and 2 in Cambridge on Sunday 20th March 2022.

For a full description of the BKA Coaching Programme and the requirements for each level, please refer to this document:

“Course” is perhaps a slight misnomer: maybe “assessment and advice seminar” would be a better description. The process is as follows. FIRST, you prepare yourself for being a coach at the required level, by sending in your application, studying the documents that will be provided to you on application and by practicing coaching under the guidance of a more senior coach who endorses your candidature (typically your dojo leader for L1). THEN you submit a portfolio of completed work in order to be admitted to the session. At the session you won’t be “taught how to be a coach” from zero: you will be expected to have already studied and practiced that. Instead, we shall interactively review all the duties and responsibilities of a coach, highlighting aspects where the essays of the attendees show incomplete awareness or understanding. There will be a chance to ask questions about things that didn’t work for you and discuss various scenarios. It is expected that the participants who submit a complete portfolio by the deadline and demonstrate readiness and maturity at the session will be handed their coaching certificate menjo on the day.

Here is the process in detail. Please note the rather tight deadlines.

0) Covid precautions: to be admitted to the session you will need to do all of the following:
a – be fully vaccinated
b – wear a surgical mask
c – bring proof of a negative LFT test taken that morning before coming (procure and set aside one test cartridge now for then, as we don’t know what the availability of tests will be like in March).

1) Please apply by filling in the following online form. You need one BKA coach to propose you and another to second you (ideally both would write an observation statement but, given the tight schedules, this time I’ll accept just one; but you’ll still need two coaches to endorse you). Submit this form early because the sooner you do, the sooner the Regional Coach will give you access to a wealth of useful study material. It’s OK not to upload your coaching portfolio just yet (see points 2 and 3 below), but please complete all the rest of the form right away to get access to the study materials. Do this as soon as possible to give yourself more study time. Once you submit the form, you get an email with a link that allows you to revisit and update the form later to upload any missing attachments. The deadline for the final submission of the completed form is Monday 28th February, by which time you need all your required observation statements, essays etc. NO FURTHER APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED PAST THIS DATE.

2) Do some coaching under supervision, if you haven’t already. Have a BKA coach observe you and write a statement about your coaching, according to these guidelines:

2a) If you are applying for Level 1 (to be an assistant coach in a dojo run by someone else), it’s OK to submit just one observation statement instead of the preferred two, and it’s OK for the observation statement to come from a BKA coach of any level (typically your dojo leader) provided that, if they are Level 1 themselves, the observers have served as BKA coaches for at least 3 years.

2b) For Level 2 (a coach who will run their own dojo), it’s OK to submit just one observation statement, but it must be from a Level 3 or 4 coach. A list of BKA Level 3 and 4 coaches is here:

3) Once you have your observation statement, complete the rest of your portfolio, including any required essays, and upload it to the form you filled in during step 1. Please ensure that your submission is completed in all its parts by Monday 28th February.

As a summary, you will need:

  • a proposer
  • a seconder
  • at least one observer statement (typically from one of the two people above)
  • a SIGNED coaching portfolio, comprising
  • applicant’s statement
  • observer statement(s)
  • health and safety essay
  • children and vulnerable adults essay
  • running a club essay (only for L2)
  • a SIGNED code of conduct
  • a SIGNED coaching program
  • proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19

Templates for the items above that need to be returned SIGNED are available here:

By Monday 7th March the Regional Coach will check your submitted portfolio and tell you whether it is complete. If it is not, you will get one brief chance to resubmit the missing parts, by Thursday 10th March. Applicants whose portfolio is still incomplete by then will NOT be admitted to the session. The session may be cancelled and rescheduled if there are too few applicants with a complete portfolio by that date: the Regional Coach will confirm by Monday 14th March whether the course is going ahead or not.

The course will be Kendo-centric but Iaido and Jo practitioners are also welcome, provided that their Bu still recognises the coaching certificates issued by the Kendo Bu. Please come in loose clothes (your kendogi if you wish, but a tracksuit is also fine: it’s mostly a desk/notes/discussion session, not a kendo practice session, but we will use the bokuto at some point for teaching practice) and bring a pen, a notepad, a bokuto, your BKA licence booklet and a packed lunch.

There is no charge for attending. I serve as a volunteer (as do you when you coach) and venue hire will be covered by the BKA.

Any questions, please email me (the Regional Coach running the event) or the Kendo Events Officer as appropriate.

The Pavilion, Girton Recreation Ground, Cambridge Road, Girton, Cambridge, CB3 0FH (parking usually available, except if they have a football or cricket match and then it gets rather crowded)
Times: 10:00 – 17:00 on Sunday 6th March 2022

Frank Stajano
BKA Regional Coach Level 3
Dojo leader of Tsurugi Bashi (University of Cambridge)

Summary of dates:

right now: submit your application form, even with an incomplete portfolio, to get the study materials
Mon 2022-02-28: DEADLINE for you to submit your completed portfolio (no applications accepted past this date)
Mon 2022-03-07: by this date, the regional coach will issue notifications of completeness checks
Thu 2022-03-10: “grace” deadline for submitting any missing parts of incomplete portfolios
Mon 2022-03-14: by this date, the regional coach will confirm whether the course is going ahead
Sun 2022-03-20: one-day course in Cambridge

If you miss this one, and if there is sufficient demand, I might run another one after the summer, to compensate for the Covid-induced gap (the last coaching course I ran was in October 2019).