Kenchikai is a Kendo club that practices in the Central Eastside Industrial District of Portland, Oregon, USA. Think: "kind of near OMSI."

The name Kenchikai (剣知会), in Japanese, refers to a group that knows the sword: 剣 means sword, 知 means wisdom/knowledge, and 会 means gathering. We are named Kenchikai because we seek knowledge and understanding about what we are practicing — not just hitting people.

We break down our learning into three categories: Knowledge, Understanding, and Practice. We started Kenchikai with the idea that the first two points (knowledge and understanding) are just as important as practice. We think this way of learning and improving can be learned and applied to one's self-development, too.

Like most kendo clubs, Kenchikai teachers are volunteers and we teach and do kendo because of the satisfaction, development, and relationships we gain from it.

Our Sensei

Kenchikai currently has four active sensei (teachers).

Jaered Koichi Croes (left) is kendo 4-dan and has been doing kendo for more than twenty years. His professional background is in education: specifically, how people learn and applying that to educational products. He tries to apply that understanding to teaching kendo, as well, which makes for a unique club and practice.

Katsumi Banno Croes (right) is kendo 4-dan and has been doing kendo since she was five or six years old, when her grandfather, Takeshi Banno (Kendo 7-dan), took her to his practice in her hometown near Nagoya, Japan. Katsumi wants to encourage you to enjoy kendo and have fun.

(More pictures of sensei coming soon!)

Ethan Waln is kendo 4-dan. He has been doing kendo for around twenty years and taught kendo in Japan before coming back to the states.

Van Le is a kendo 4-dan. She started kendo in university and has been doing kendo for a little over ten years. She was on the regional Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation team in 2020 (before the pandemic cancelled nationals).