December 19, 2023

Dear Kendo Friends and Senseis:

I hope everyone is doing well. It was nice to see many of you at the CLAK Championships in Lima, Peru, last week.

This is the invitation to our 11th Annual Butokuden International Kendo Gasshuku. This Gasshuku was originally designed as part of the training for the Portuguese Kendo leaders.  I have set the objective of this Gasshuku to “Teach the correct Kendo and introduce the leaders with the correct method of teaching.” Since 2014, we have extended our invitation to not only Portuguese Kenshis, but to other countries as well. We have hosted Kenshis from various countries, such as Mexico, Colombia, Aruba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Serbia, UK, Brazil and Portugal.

This year, we will be holding Gasshuku from March 18 to 23, 2024. The official start date of the Gasshuku is Monday March 18, but we will soft start on Saturday March 16, so you get used to the jetlag and adjust your body. March 23 will be Asageiko only then Dojo clean up and departure. On Sunday March 17, there will be SCKO Godogeiko, so that will be a great chance to practice with different people.

I would like to extend our invitation to Kenshis across the world interested in participating in this Ko-Ken-Chi-Ai event.  This will be beneficial to all participants, by giving each other a chance to practice and grow their friendship with Kenshis around the world.

Gasshuku information:

Location: BUTOKUDEN Dojo, 1581 Browning, Irvine, CA 92606 USA

Dates/Schedule (See “2024 Butokuden Gasshuku Schedule” for details):

Arrival Date: From Saturday, March 16, 2024

Official Gasshuku days: Monday March 18 to Saturday, March 23, 2024 (March 23 is AM only)


Taro Ariga (Kyoshi 7 Dan)

Ryo Totsuka (4 Dan) Butokuden Intern Sensei

Haruka Ohshiro (4 Dan) Butokuden Intern Sensei Nittaidai Graduate (Tentative)

Butokuden Dojo Senseis

Language: Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Japanese

Participation Fee: Free

Application deadline: March 1, 2024

url: www.butokuden.com

Phone: +1.949.756.8880


Participation requirements:

  • Member of an accredited Kendo Organization in your country.
  • Authorization from your Country’s Kendo Organization leader.
  • Participants must participate for the entire Gasshuku (Monday March 18 to Saturday March 23). If for some reason you cannot attend the entire Gasshuku, please let me know, and we may be able to make some exceptions.
  • The Gasshuku is focused to Kendo leaders or future leaders in your country.
  • The training is very rigorous. Participants must be in good health condition to participate.
  • Participants must have medical insurance valid in the USA.
  • Due to logistics, a maximum of 3 people from each country (please inquire if more people want to participate. We do make exceptions!).
  • The participating Kenshis must be 2 Dan or above form accredited FIK organization


Important information:

  • Have health insurance valid in the USA. Medical bills in the USA are very expensive, so purchase travel insurance that can be used in the USA.
  • Gasshuku participation fee is FREE
  • Breakfast and lunch: E-BOGU will provide basic food (Bread, Jam, butter, milk, coffee, etc.). In the past, participants made a pool to buy extra food. There is a Walmart within walking distance. The approximate budget for one week is about $200/person.
  • Most nights, we will go out for dinner. Dinner is to be paid by each participant (Approximately $20 – 25/meal). In the past, Butokuden Dojo members volunteered to cook for the Gasshuku members for some of the evenings.
  • Transportation to the Gasshuku is to be arranged by the participants. If arriving at SNA (Orange County John Wayne Airport), pickup can be arranged. If arriving in LAX, please let us know as we will try to arrange a ride. If we cannot arrange a ride, you will have to find your own way to the Dojo. See additional information below. You can share a ride with other Gasshuku participants.
  • You can stay a few days longer at the Dojo after the Gasshuku, as well as you can arrive a few days earlier before the Gasshuku to adjust your body condition.
  • Lodging: Participants will have the choice of sleeping in the Dojo or staying at a hotel nearby.
    1. Dojo: FREE (bring a sleeping bag, or you can purchase at a nearby Walmart for approximately $25).
    2. Hotel: there are hotels near the Dojo starting at approximately $40 to $75/night per person (double occupancy). About 10 minutes walking distance from the Dojo.


I lived in Brazil for many years, and I understand that travelling to the USA may be challenging especially for Kenshis from countries in Central and South America, both financially and acquiring travel documents. To have as many participants from various countries, my goal is to make this Gasshuku as affordable as possible.


Please let me know if someone from your country is interested in being part of this Gasshuku. Please reply to me with the application form to ariga@e-bogu.com by March 1, 2024. I am looking forward to having many countries participating.


Additional Information:

  • Dojo Address: BUTOKUDEN Dojo, 1581 Browning, Irvine, CA 92606 USA
  • Nearby airports:
    • John Wayne (Orange County, Santa Ana) Airport (Airport code SNA): 5 min by car
    • Los Angeles International (Airport Code LAX): 1 hour by car (Approximate cost, shuttle bus $40, UBER $60)
    • Long Beach Airport (Airport Code LGB): 30 minutes by car
  • Accommodation near the Dojo:
    • Motel 6: 1717 E Dyer Rd, Santa Ana, CA 92705 (0.8 Miles from Dojo) ($35/person double occupancy)
    • Candlewood Suites: 2600 South Red Hill Avenue, Santa Ana, CA ($102 + Tax per room, for 2 people in a room) (0.4 Miles from Dojo)
    • Staybridge Suites: 1660 Barranca Parkway, Irvine , CA (5 minutes form Dojo) 2023 Butokuden Special Price was $145 + Tax (4 can sleep)
  • Places to see:
    • Disneyland (15 minutes by car)
    • Knot’s Berry Farm Park (20 minutes by car)
    • Newport Beach (15 minutes by car)
    • Universal Studios (1 hour by car)
    • Hollywood, Santa Monica (1 hour by car)
    • California Science Center – Space Shuttle Endeavour (1 hour by car)
    • Sea World (1.5 hours by car)
    • San Diego Zoo (1.5 hours by car)