Kendo Bu Statement – March 2021

Dear Kendo Bu Members

I hope you are keeping well and keen to get back to training after the extended new year lockdown…

In England we now have the 4 Step Roadmap. Wales and Northern Ireland are beginning to ease restrictions too. We had expected that we would return to some type of tiered system after the lockdown (This does seem to be the case for Scotland) and made our presentation to the DCMS based on this assumption

There will potentially be quite different structures in the four nations. What these might look like remains very unclear at this juncture.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is the body tasked with managing the return of sporting activity in the UK. It has the power to regulate our activity. Thus far we have had no response from the DCMS about our submission despite several prompts and requests from our Chairman.

Currently the DCMS have banned all paired full contact training for martial arts – and that includes Kendo

We (The Bu) will endeavour to stay on top of the developing situation and provide advice as soon as we can. Needless to say, training indoors is not allowed at the moment (Unless alone or with people who you live with) and opportunities to exercise together outdoors will remain extremely limited until the end of March but with some easing of restrictions during April.


Step 1

Changes on 8 March

Social contact

People will be allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household, support bubble or with one person from outside their household. Two people could potentially meet to exercise together but must remain socially distanced (2m)

Changes on 29 March (or after)

Social contact

Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will be allowed.

Business and activities

People will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports. Groups of up to 6 may meet to exercise together outdoors but must remain socially distanced (2m)


The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March, but many restrictions will remain in place.

Step 2

Changes on 12th April (or after)

Business and activities

Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will re-open, but only for use by people on their own or in household groups. Socially Distanced exercise indoors may become possible in line with venue restrictions and the use of PPE. This is unclear at the moment.

Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings (2m Social distancing) to prevent indoor mixing between different households.

Step 3

Changes on 17th May (or after)

Social contact

People will be allowed to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their individual circumstances.

Most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.

Business and activities

Indoor adult group sports and exercise classes can resume. This will not unless authorised by the DCMS include paired or contact training and until further notice social distancing (2m) and the use of PPE should still be observed

The government will also allow some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number).


Decisions on the timing and circumstances under which the rules on 1 metre plus, the wearing of face coverings and other measures may be lifted will be shared.

Step 4

Changes on 21st (or after)

Social contact

On the 21st of June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.


Scotland has set out a roadmap and will go back into a tiered system.

  • 15th March- under 18s non-contact sport allowed outside
  • 26th April; return to ‘levels’ system initially level 3 with a phased approach to reopening sport. Further information should be available mid-March.

In Conclusion:

To be clear: Kendo is a combat/contact sport (Martial art) not social contact or exercise. We cannot know at this time how the DCMS (Our regulating body in this instance) will respond to our Roadmap for the return to training and/or what delays or additional restrictions may be placed on activities such as ours. The Bu team therefore recommends that until further notice paired, contact or combative training must not be engaged in unless between people from the same household.

We (The Bu team) advise caution at each of the milestones outlined above and ask that members wait for the detailed guidance that we will provide when we are clear about what is allowed.

As soon as we have more detail regarding the return to training, we will communicate this to you.

Be aware that there are notes including the DCMS documentation and an FAQ section on COVID 19 related restrictions in the Members’ Document Library. This will include detailed guidelines and advice to explain the specific rules and limitations in all 4 nations of the UK once the situation becomes clear.

The Kendo Bu asks that all groups and members comply with restriction and continue to comply with national and local government regulations and guidelines so as not to break the law or violate our insurance policy commitments.

John O’Sullivan Kyoshi Nanadan – DRC, Gary O’Donnell Kyoshi Nanadan – BUCHO, Young Park Sensei – Grading, Ben Emberley – Events