Covina Kendo Dojo

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Covina Kendo Dojo Instructors


Kato Sensei Sakaue Sensei Tew Sensei Kim Sensei Kinjo Sensei Owaki Sensei M. Kato Sensei F. Lee Sensei Kang Sensei Ware Sensei

Tomoji Kato Sensei

Senior Instructor: Tomoji Kato ( 加藤知二 )


  • Place of origin: Tokyo, Japan

  • Rank: Kyoshi (教士) 7-Dan
  • When started kendo: Started at 33 in San Fernando Valley Dojo with Miyahara (宮原) Sensei
  • Special technique/waza: "Perhaps Kote waza is my best, and I like Men waza."
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members: 一心 (Isshin); To concentrate the mind on one thing.

Masataka Sakaue Sensei

Senior Instructor: Masataka Sakaue ( 坂上正隆 )


  • Place of origin: Kagoshima, Japan

  • Rank:Renshi (錬士) 7-Dan
  • When started kendo: Started at 22
  • Special technique/waza: "Men waza is my favorite."
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members:礼儀 (Reigi); Courtesy / 剣道は、礼に始まり、礼に終わる。(Kendo wa, rei ni hajimari, rei ni owaru.); "Kendo begins and ends with rei."

Saeko Tew Sensei

Instructor: Saeko Tew ( トウー龍見冴子 )


  • Place of origin: Kyoto, Japan

  • Rank: Renshi (錬士) 6-Dan
  • When started kendo: Started at 13
  • Special technique/waza: "Keep it secret."
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members:"Do your best."

Steven Kim Sensei

Head Instructor: Steven Kim ( 金正釩 )


  • Place of origin: Seoul, Korea

  • Rank: 6-Dan
  • When started kendo: Started in 1997
  • Special technique/waza: None
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members: “I develop my kendo today, kendo develops me tomorrow.”

Katsuhide Kinjo Sensei

Instructor: Katsuhide Kinjo ( 金城勝秀 )


  • Place of origin: Okinawa, Japan

  • Rank: 5-Dan
  • When started kendo: Started at 35
  • Special technique/waza: "It was Men waza, and now is Kote waza."
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members:Continue / "Keiko (稽古; Practice) is important."

George Owaki Sensei

Instructor: George Owaki ( 大脇丈二 )


  • Place of origin: Glendora, CA

  • Rank: 4-Dan
  • When started kendo: Started at 6 in Covina Kendo Dojo.
  • Special technique/waza: Unknown yet.
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members:"There is a phrase 'Practice never lies', but if you do not use your head during practice it will lie easily." - Yu Darvish

M. Kato Sensei

Instructor: Mariko Kato ( 加藤満里子 )


  • Rank: 4-Dan
  • When started kendo: Jan 1999 at San Fernando Vally Dojo
  • Special technique/waza: Nuki-men
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members:"Step-by-step."

Francis Lee Sensei

Chief Instructor: Francis Lee ( 李俊鎬 )


  • Place of origin: Los Angeles

  • Rank: 4-Dan
  • When started kendo: 2008
  • Special technique/waza: "work-in-progress..."
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members:"Just have fun!"

Kang Sensei

Instructor: Tae Hyuk Kang ( 姜泰赫 )


  • Place of origin: South Korea

  • Rank: 4-Dan
  • When started kendo: 2003, Daejeon, South Korea
  • Special technique/waza: Favorite one is Debane Men/Kote
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members: 一招一投 (Ichizoi Itto). This phrase translates to "All in on one move", emphasizing the importance of committing fully to every strike in Kendo.

Ware Sensei

Instructor: Evan Ware


  • Place of origin: Ottawa, Canada

  • Rank: 4-Dan
  • When started kendo: 2010 at the University of Michigan Kendo Club
  • Special technique/waza: Kote Nuki Men
  • Favorite words for kendo / Important advice for Kenshi members: 七転び八起き(Shichi Korobi Ya Oki) Fall Seven Times, stand up eight.

Past sensei:

The following sensei have spent time and have influenced Covina Kendo Dojo


Scott Chang Sensei



Dexter T.K. Lee ( 李天麒 ) Sensei



Jeason Ma Sensei

Jeason Ma ( 马铎/馬鐸 ) Sensei



Mike Yu Sensei

Hsu C. Yu, aka Mike Yu  ( 余旭正 ) Sensei