Shiraoka Kendo Kai


Shiraoka Kendo Kai is a kendo dojo currently based in Bellshill and the only dojo practising kendo in the Lanarkshire area.

Founded in 2008 and led by Gareth Spiers 5th Dan Certified BKA Coach, we are committed to the practice and promotion of kendo locally and nationwide. The name Shiraoka Kendo Kai (白丘剣道会: Whitehill Kendo Association) comes from the Whitehill area of Hamilton where the club was initially founded.

We welcome those who wish to start kendo with Beginner’s Courses. Click for more info!

We meet every Wedensday at 8:00pm at the Sir Matt Busby Leisure Centre in Bellshill. Directions and e-mail details can be found at the Contact & Location page for those who have any enquiries.

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News and updates about the club can also be found on our Facebook and Twitter. Follow us!

Grading Success

Today’s Glasgow Grading was a rousing success for the club. 4 Ikkyu passes AND 2 Yondan passes. That’s a 100% pass rate. Well done to you all for your hard work and dedication.

Coming Soon to a Dojo near you!


I thought I’d post an update for everyone interested in our beginner’s sessions.

I understand it’s been a very long time for some of you, and thank you for your patience.

So here’s the state of play.

The club is going to be able to partially re-open soon, though with reduced numbers and unfortunately with irregular sessions due to our venue being a part-time vaccination centre. This means we will not know from one week to the next whether we can get in.

Due to this, we will not be able to put on a beginners course right away. However, our current information suggests that this irregularity will hopefully go away over a few weeks especially on our Wednesday sessions which is the night the beginner’s course is held on. This will hopefully coincide with the further lifting of restrictions on August 9th, allowing us to increase the number of people in each session (a good thing as we have 10+ people who have expressed interest in starting).

Therefore we will be looking to put on our 1st post covid beginners session in mid-august.

I simply cannot overstate how happy I am to be able to give even a rough estimate to you.

I will post another update in a couple of weeks once we know how things are working in the venue and hopefully give a precise date.

Normally we’d already have a registration form up on our website, however, I won’t be putting that up until we know for sure that the further lifting of restrictions is happening on the 9th of August and that we are fairly sure that we are not going to regularly lose sessions due to the vaccination program.

Again, I’d like to thank everyone who’s been waiting patiently for bearing with us through this difficult time.


Gareth Spiers

Shiraoka Club Leader

Happy New Year

Happy new year. To all our members, past, present and future. Happy New Year. 2020 was a real kick in the sensitive areas and a lot of us have struggled with nearly a whole year not only without getting to the dojo, but without so many of the other things that makes life more than just existence. While we’re not quite through it yet there is hope on the horizon, so here’s to 2021: hopefully a new dawn that will see us back in the company of our friends, loved ones and, most importantly, back to hitting each other on the head with sticks 😉

Please keep an eye on this site or our social media to find out when we are back to training and when beginners courses are restarted.

Gareth Allwood-Spiers
Dojo leader

Bye Bye Shu

Tonight was the last practice at Shiraoka for Shu Yao Man before moving away down south. Shu has been an invaluable member of the club over the last year and has bought a new level of energy and enthusiasm to our practice. I’m sure Shu will become a valued member of his next club and will be sorely missed at Shiraoka. Good good for all you future endeavors Shu.

Matsumoto Sensei 2017

This week Matsumoto Sensei visited us again. This is the 3rd year he has visited and the club continues to grow in size. Hopefully we can learn from Sensei’s clear enthusiasm for kendo and continue to grow and improve both as a club and as individuals.

Edinburgh Kendo Club “Raid”

Members of Shiraoka travelled over to Edinburgh Kendo Club to cross swords with our friends at the opposite side of the coast. Training outside your “home” dojo and broadening your horizons is important to the overall development of your kendo.

Edinburgh were brilliant hosts and having keiko with them was as fun as it was exhausting, here’s to the next time! Many thanks to Dez Whitson and everyone else at Edinburgh Kendo Club for a great evening of kendo.

Thistle Cup 2017

Members of Shiraoka visited and competed in the 13th Thistle Cup, the only taikai exclusive to Scotland and hosted every year by Aberdeen Kendo Club.

With four seperate tournaments in the form of a Kyu cup, a ladies taikai, a 3rd and 4th Dan taikai and the Thistle Cup itself (1st and 2nd Dan) – the Thistle Cup offers many their first shiai experience as well as allowing more seasoned kendoka another chance to test themselves in the shiaijo. The founder of Aberdeen Kendo Club Kazuo Yamazaki-Sensei also travels from Japan every year for the event, and this year saw his wife Etsuko Yamazaki competing in the ladies taikai and 3rd and 4th Dan taikai.

Congratulations to our very own Gareth for winning silver in the 3rd and 4th Dan taikai, and many thanks again to Aberdeen Kendo Club whose efforts make the Thistle Cup possible year after year.

Well done Adam

Well done to our newest member in bogu (armour) Adam Henderson.