Fred East

Young Samurai

A safe and engaging environment for children to learn the martial arts of Japan

At Higashi Ruy Martial arts, younger students (between the ages of 6 - 16) are taught a combination of Kenbudo Swordsmanship and Shitoryu Karate.


My Vision for Young Samurai

The Karate we teach is strong and intended for self preservation as opposed to light competition work. The result should be a well balanced person who can also fight very well when required, without boasting or bullying.

Our Kenbudo includes the use of one sword, two swords, wooden and steel. Also included as time goes by are the arts of Nunchaku, Sai, Bo, Jo and Tanto. Weapons of the small arts (kobudo) which will enable the student to use any object that comes to hand as an effective weapon, should their fists or feet be just not adequate for the situation. The Samurai leaves no weapon out of his training regime, for to do so would be shameful.

We are a fiercely independent group and not dictated to by national bodies more designed for profit nor by remote international groups where the source of instruction from the head is unobtainable except at great expense. It is all available right here in Weston super Mare. We have all trained for many years at our arts having gained our ranks by perseverance and hard regular training.

Nothing we teach is watered down (for purposes of money making competition or for gaining large dojo attendance). Our arts are for real life confrontation purposes, whilst developing and maintaining humility, balanced and correct decision making without fear of pressure from intimidation or threats of violence to our selves, friends or family.

For children we see that their interest in our arts as most important and that they develop into well balanced people who have determination, enquiring minds, a good sense of respect for themselves and others and above all, an excellent skill at the arts of fist and sword, delivered by Karate and Kenbudo Higashi Ryu.

What may be lacking in our general schools may be found by our Young Samurai by virtue of our martial training ethos which invites students to respect themselves and therefore those around them, to gain a good sense of balance of right and wrong and an ability to determine the characters of others that they may fine tune their future friendships for long lasting and honest relationships. Karate teaches that only the truth will do as deceit is soon discovered when students engage in a little free fighting or in the training routines required in order to prepare the body and mind for confrontation.

Kenbudo Higashi Ryu (Japanese swordsmanship) after diligent and constant study will bring to the student a whole new take on life, which will enable them to control themselves and therefore control others if they so wish or if it becomes necessary, to see into other people's thinking and determine their strategies and tactics. They will be able to see aggression before in shows and in most cases be able to defuse volatile situations with a courage and fortitude lacking in most others. Their courage and determination will have a solid foundation and not be based on lies or self aggrandizement enabling confidence without arrogance.

Our arts are not to be regarded as sports as such but the physical and mental determination is just as important if not more so because eventually the student may rely on his art to survive.

Grading and belt awards are not the end goal but the marks of achievement along the road to it.

Kenbudo Higashi Ryu Japanese Swordmanship

In the times of the Samurai the words 'Kara Te' had not been coined. But they did use many of the same techniques although they would have been low kicks and no high round house kicks which would have been useless if not down right dangerous. The punches, locks, takedowns, arrest, strangle and aikido type movement would all have been part of their arsenal. 

A good Samurai warrior would leave no war skill untapped and even small weapons from Okinawa were incorporated (Kobudo). Fast draw and cut is an essential aspect of our art as is fast reaction to attack.

Kenbudo HR incorporates the real sword (shinken), the shorter sword (shoto), the tanto (knife) and wooden versions of those for basic and advanced practice. Integral with this is Batto Jutsu, quick draw and cut techniques.

Okinawan Karate Shitoryu 

Shitoryu Karate is Okinawa in origin and includes many aikijutsu forms and movement.

Both arts are taught in parallel so that students have every tool available

Place and cost

5pm at St Peter's Hall, Baytree Road, Milton WsM.

The cost for each training session is £5 for a two hour session which will comprise Kenbudo and Karate training.

Initially, wooden swords will be provided. 

Young Samurai Instructors 

Sensei Matthew Dancey

Instructing in the arts of Karate and Kenbudo (and other weapons from time to time).

All instructors in Somerset Budokai time tested and trusted people

They also continue their training.

Insurance and participation

Minimum age is 6 years.

We operate an insurance scheme and combined membership of our karate and Kenbudo groups and the costs per year are minimal and reflect if siblings or parents train in Somerset Budokai together. This entitles them to grading, training at any dojo within our Somerset Budokai group, and anything else which we do, like attending the Mugenkyo drummers when they are in town, or summer training camps (not yet implemented for children), or Christmas parties at a Japanese restaurant and even demonstrations of our arts at schools and the Bristol Japan Club for example, AS A GROUP.

As students approach 16 years they can migrate to the seniors class which is after the Young Samurai class.


Grading is dependent on regular attendance and good manners not forgetting good technique and attitude. Students will receive intermediate awards for special achievements and there will be student of the month too. Gradings are based on the traditional karate style of coloured belts and a certificate will be awarded for each art, Karate and Kenbudo and will take place at The Young Samurai dojo up to 1srt kyu dojo by the dojo instructor


A normal black karate gi is the best training clothing, without any embellishment or badge. We will provide the first badges for fitting to the tops. A track suit or loose clothing without metal buckles is ok for a while. After the first grading students may wear the hakama. We train bare foot.

Parents note:

When dropping students off please ensure they actually come into the training hall (dojo). When picking up, please wait patiently outside the training hall door.

Weapons and other items

We have not set up as a merchandiser for profit but can get uniforms (GI's) and training weapons a bit cheaper and to our own requirements most of the time. We have tee shirts with our general logo as shown above but with the Young Samurai logo central and we will place an order if students require these.

Hachimaki (head bandannas ) are also available.



Our schools

Karate is Shitoryu with influences from Sankukai and Shukokai. 

Kenbudo Higashi Ryu is Japanese Swordsmanship and the full title in English is 'The East School, Way of the War Sword'. Somerset Budokai is the only School with Sword and Karate developed for integral use. It is also the only place where Kenbudo Higashi Ryu is taught.

Traditional skills and techniques

Real world applications

Get in touch

Fred East  Chief Instructor and Founder
Higashi Ryu Kenbudo & Karate
(Weston-super-Mare), Karate & Sword

Tony Barber (Yatton), Karate Instructor
Mob: 07762725595

Matt Dancey (Worle), Karate, Sword & Young Samurai Instructor

Tel: 01934 261525
Mob: 07582 698100

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