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    Discover the benefits of Highline Kendo’s 48-year legacy for students of all ages

    By Highline Kendo,


    Kendo, or “way of the sword” is the Japanese martial art of fencing. Kendo developed from traditional techniques of Japanese swordsmanship known as kenjitsu.

    Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sporting-like physical elements. It is credited with helping individuals improve and maintain fitness, concentration and according to the government of Japan’s website, “One of the main concepts of kendo is zanshin, which literally means “lingering heart,” and it refers to the importance of developing a spirit of constant vigilance and respect.”

    The Highline Kendo Kai was founded in 1976 by Jeff Marsten. Jeff Marsten is a 7th degree black belt with over 45 years of kendo experience. He has taken 14 trips to Japan in order to train and be taught by some of the best kendo practitioners and instructors in the world. Recently, head instruction has been passed on to his daughter, Elizabeth Marsten, a 6th degree blackbelt, who started at Highline, at the age of seven.

    The club offers instruction through the King County Parks and Recreation department.

    Now they are reaching out to all our South King Media readers to invite you to discover the benefits of studying Kendo with a leader in the field. Here are a few differences you will find at Highline Kendo.

    A Focus on Quality Performance

    Highline Kendo Club or Kai has been serving the south Seattle and southwest area of Seattle and King County for over forty years. It has one of the best records of competition of any club in the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation (PNKF). However, this record is the result of focusing on quality, by maintaining the club focus on developing quality kendo the result has been success in competition for its members.

    Further measures of the successful program are the number of “home grown” high ranking members of the club. Highline has produced several high ranking sensei and members of the PNKF teams at the All United States Kendo Championships. Elizabeth was a member of Team USA, competing at the Kendo World Championships, twice, placing in the Top 16. Several of the Highline members and sensei have had extensive training in Japan with not only the Osaka special police, but also the Tokyo special police. These are both very prestigious and famous kendo dojo that have produced many of the All Japan Kendo Champions.

    High Student Focus

    Because the club has a high population of blackbelt members, a new student essentially receives a private instructor all to themselves. Students are taught a set curriculum that is adjusted to the student’s physical and mental ability and the student moves from unit to unit based on their progress in mastering the material.

    A Historic Facility to Inspire

    Their facility, the White Center Community Center, is located in Steve Cox Memorial Park, 1321 SW 102nd St, Seattle and is a historical building constructed as a Works Progress Administration project in 1940. It was one of several built in the King County area, of which only a couple still survive. As a historical preservation site, it has not been subject to the steel and glass movement and has maintained its beautiful log cabin look.

    A Diverse Student Population Including Women and Girls

    Highline membership comes from not only all over King County, but also some members are located in Pierce County as well. The head instructors have served not only as Head Coach for PNKF teams multiple times, but also as junior team coach and women’s and girls coaches.

    Regional, National and International Level Access

    Highline Kendo Kai is affiliated with the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation, the regional governing body of kendo in this area. In turn, the PNKF is affiliated with the All United States Kendo Federation and, in turn, the International Kendo Federation. These affiliations allow the club to participate in seminars, promotional examinations, tournaments and other special events at the regional, national and international levels.

    Fees and Info

    Highline Kendo Fees are affordable with a commitment to maintaining accessibility to many individuals. Registering is easy through King County Parks online registration system.

    More information is available at their website:

    Or shoot them an email at

    If you are looking for something to keep your youngsters busy this summer, or looking to develop your own practice, check out Highline Kendo today to discover a leader right in the neighborhood.


    Classes are offered on a quarterly basis through King County Parks and Recreation. Currently classes meet at these times:

    Kids (15 and under)Monday 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

    Beginning and Advanced KendoMonday 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

    Highline Kendo

    White Center Community Center

    1321 SW 102nd Street

    Seattle, WA 98146

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