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Dojo History



Kagami Shin Kendo club was founded by John Shaw in the early 1960’s. At that time John’s  Judo Sensei was Kenshiro Abbe a remarkable man and John took every opportunity to practice with him. It was Abbe sensei and later Tomio Otani who introduced John to Kendo.



In 1969 the dojo joined the British Kendo Association.

This proved to be a relatively short link as a few years latter politics caused a split and John decided out of personal preferences to practice with Roald Knutsen who formed the British Kendo Renmei. This is where the dojo remained until the early 1990’s. At this time Johns health was declining, he had had both hips replaced which finished his Judo practice however he recovered well enough to practice Kendo. But his hips were wearing out and he sadly retired from active Kendo in 1993. At this point Phil Mclaughlin and I decided to take the dojo back into the BKA.

During this time we have held and continue to hold a Midlands Kendo seminar each July and have organized and ran the Sir Frank Bowden Team Taikai, The Premier Cup Taikai and the British Nationals between 2003-2005.

Although John Shaw had ‘retired’ from Kendo he still took a keen interest in the club and would often come to practice to watch and offer advice. Many of you will have seen him at the events in Stoke. Sadly he died in December 2004 aged 71.

I’ve had the privilege of practicing with some really great Kendo teachers over the years but John was my very first Sensei and I will always be thankful to have known him.

Steve Plimbley.