History

Heijoshin Dojo was formed in 2005 to expand the practice of Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu kenjutsu in the UK after discussions between Scott Halls and Iwami Toshio Harukatsu, the 11th soke of the ryu.

In 2000, Scott started practicing iaido under Fay Goodman 7dan at Masamune Dojo in Birmingham along with an old friend, Sam Oram, and in addition to seitei & MJER iai, they both studied Niten Ichi-ryu kenjutsu with Fay as she learned the art from her iai teacher, the late Haruna Matsuo-sensei – who had practiced with Imai-soke, the 10th head of Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu, for a short time.

In early 2004, Scott travelled with two training friends to Paris to train directly with Iwami-soke, and after three days of hard training the art in the methods prescribed by the ryu, the three continued to practice kenjutsu in the official manner for 18 months along with the only other kenjutsu practitioners in the UK (who were based three hours north in Leeds), and seeing Iwami-soke twice more in that time (Paris and Toronto). Scott returned from Toronto with instruction to set up a practice group for Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu in the UK. Upon the dojo’s opening, Sam – and fellow ex-training colleague Kieran – returned to practice and assisted the running and development of the dojo in its early years.

For around two years, Heijoshin existed purely as a Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu kenjutsu dojo.

In July 2007 and spurred on by successes in the national iaido competition, Scott was approached by a number of his students who wished to be taught iaido – and after gaining advice from his iaido teacher, Heijoshin added an iaido practice to the timetable. Following this decision, Heijoshin’s iaido practice was accepted into the British Kendo Association as a registered iaidojo, and has gone on to develop a number of practitioners to yudansha-level, with Scott currently at 5dan, and Alexander (assistant instructor) at 3dan.

In 2011, and with three evenings of practice in the timetable, it was decided to channel the considerable expense of hiring rooms and venues into leased premises, and Heijoshin Dojo gained a permanent dojo just outside of Walsall – completely designed and built by its members in their free time.

Today, Heijoshin Dojo is fortunate to enjoy the support of a number of high-graded teachers in the BKA, maintaining ties with various dojo – both locally and nationwide. Many of our members attend seminars in the UK & worldwide and we maintain close links with our sensei in Japan.