Kendo Bu Statement – May

In our last communication we asked that dojos cooperate fully with government guidelines and suspended training. We also cancelled all national events up to the end of May and recommended that dojos do the same with their local activities. Last weekend your BU team met to discuss our way forward. There was also a meeting of the national association committee (NC). We feel it would be unwise to make any plans for restarting our program in June and are therefore cancelling activities for June and recommending that dojos do likewise for local events. We are optimistic that training can start after this period but are keeping the situation under review and will provide you with an update at the end of May or in early June.

2020 BKA International Seminar

It is with great regret that I must inform you that we have postponed the International seminar hopefully to run next year 2021 in August at the Guildford venue (We are already in communication with the EKF). We feel that it is most unlikely that Japanese teachers would be able to attend, and the current uncertainty around when lockdown will end and what that will look like makes it likely that many participants would be unwilling or unable to travel. Depending on prevailing circumstances we may be able to offer an alternative event at this venue and time.

 BKA Insurance Update…

As you will be aware the BKA’s insurance policy covers registered dojos and their members to participate in the arts of Kendo, Iaido, and Jodo. Where teaching takes place the BKA expects that a registered and qualified coach leads the activity and adheres to the associations and insurers policies, guidelines and codes of practice.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the current lockdown we now find ourselves in an environment where remote teaching might occur. This presents a unique situation for us so the bu has sought guidance through the NC from our insurers:

The insurers Axa XL have assured us that the BKA’s insurance policy covers online coaching sessions and should the BKA/ its Sensei’s etc. be sued for injury, the policy would respond and defend accordingly.

 Axa XL have provided the following ‘Strong Recommendations’ of the insurer rather than ‘Requirements’ as best practice guidelines. These points must be adhered to access insurance.


  1. In respect of any coaching or instruction that is undertaken remotely by BKA Coaches, it is strongly recommended that the Insured should at the commencement of the session, advise participants:
    1. a) that by participating they are doing so at their own risk and must take suitable precautions to ensure a safe environment;
    2. b) that a suitable, non-slip floor space is required and any potential obstructions in the vicinity are removed before they participate;
    3. c) to avoid activities if they have, or suspect they may have any current health concerns, injuries, aches and pains;
    4. d) to avoid the use of blades, weapons or sharp instruments of any description;
    5. e) to avoid physical contact with other participants and comply fully with the most up to date social distancing guidelines;
  2. In addition, coaches should:
    1. a) ensure that sessions are conducted only for the benefit of existing members, participants or contacts who have previously demonstrated suitability to participate;
    2. b) only instruct on activities for which they hold BKA coaching qualifications/status;
    3. c) record the session. Retaining the recording for a period of thirty-six (36) months may assist in any claims made against the session leaders;

Note! The above are recommendations. Point 1d advises against the use of live blades but use of these is still covered by our policy (for practicing alone at home). However, if any online coaching includes guidance on the use of live blades, Bokuto, Shinai’s etc each individual must take responsibility for carrying out risk assessment for both their surroundings and equipment and take all actions and precautions necessary to make them safe.