What are we?

The San Antonio School of Kenjutsu is a non-profit educational group dedicated to keeping the spirit and martial practices of the samurai alive. We teach a style called “Min Ryû Shinto Ryu” (“Sleeping Dragon Divine Sword Style”), a martial art that focuses on the Japanese sword, especially the katana. Min Ryû Shinto Ryu would be considered a “gendai” art, a new style culled from the practices and experiences of older, “koryu” styles. We have direct connections to several historic disciplines, including Shindo Munen Ryu, Hasegawa Eishin Ryu, and other arts. But as our art has been shaped through the combination and acquisition of what we consider the most practical and effective techniques and elements from various revered styles, we make no claim to be a pure “koryu” art, but our own discipline which seeks to use the best of what we have directly learned over the past 60+ years of combined study.

All aspects of the Japanese sword are approached from a practical, realistic, and historical perspective—a tool, a weapon and an art form. We are NOT a fencing or a kendo school—we do not extol the sword as a form of “sport.”

What we learn is how to use the sword from a practical and combative standpoint, where everything is a target and life and death are on the line (figuratively, of course). We train—as the Samurai of old did—to prepare ourselves both mentally and physically for a life lived by the sword.

Thus, training could be considered as split into two categories: impact and non-impact. By this we mean we use our Live Blades (shinken) to work on drawing, cutting, and forms. Then we compliment that training by using the Bokken, Suburito, and Shinai in order to ensure the techniques are accurate in open combat. We have friendly Sparring without armor (bogu) where we practice defense and offense in conjunction with numerous fighting tactics, strategies, and principles, with a focus on their realistic viability.

We do use REAL, sharp swords in order to develop a proper feel, understanding and (most importantly) a RESPECT for the weapon. We train in both Iaijutsu as well as Kenjutsu—two sides of the same coin that are necessary in order to understand the whole.

Through rigorous training and introspective discussion, we try to reach our goal of having a strong, calm, and focused spirit that translates to all aspects of life. Thus, our training is long-term, requiring discipline, focus, and attention on a regular, consistent basis over time.

What do we teach?

An intricate, sword-based system which includes:

Times: Classes meet every SUNDAY from 2pm-6pm (occasionally longer).

Location: Please contact for address and directions.

Instructor: Derek May Sensei

Serious and committed inquiries only please.

PLEASE NOTE: Class sizes are extremely limited. Not all prospective students may be able to join. Please contact for more information.

Arigatou gozaimasu,

San Antonio School of Kenjutsu