Martial Arts Classes in Hiroshima

ByJustin Hanus
Jul 20, 2023

Martial Arts Classes in Hiroshima

Martial arts offer the chance to delve into some of the finer aspects of Japanese culture and tradition and provide the enjoyment of competitive sports and the opportunity for self-improvement. There are various forms of martial art that you can learn and a range of classes and facilities across Hiroshima catering for beginners and developing masters alike.


Arguably the most well-known Japanese martial art, judo, was invented in the late 19th century and is now an established Olympic sport. It emphasizes wrestling and throwing an opponent into submission rather than striking them. Judo is based on two principles: seiryoku-zenyo (positive energy use) and jita-kyoei (mutual welfare and benefit).

Several sports centers around Hiroshima offer judo classes and activities, including the Hiroshima Sports Center and Asaminami Ward Sports Center, which charge 260 yen for adults and 150 yen for children per session. The Minami Ward Sports Center provides structured beginner classes on Mondays and Thursdays, costing 10,600 yen for 20 lessons.


Kendo is a sword-based Japanese martial art, which means “way of the sword,” a modern-day descendant of ancient kenjutsu sword-fighting that predates the Meiji Restoration. Bamboo swords replace real swords in kendo, and the combatants wear armor.

As with judo, many of the Hiroshima prefecture sports centers offer kendo classes for around the same prices. The Minami Ward Sports Center runs beginner sessions every Wednesday priced at 5,600 yen for ten classes. Hiroshima also has its own Kendo Federation (in Japanese) that provides information on the sport and details of local activities.


Karate enjoys global popularity thanks to films such as The Karate Kid. It can be traced back to around the 14th century in the Ryukyu Kingdom, located in what today is Japan but at the time was part of China. It’s a striking martial art involving punches, kicks, knee and elbow strikes. Some forms of the sport are weapon-based. However, the philosophy of karate is based more on self-defense and self-discipline.

You can find karate schools around Hiroshima. The Hesaka-Souda School is the most popular with many expats as it offers English-language instruction. The school teaches the Genseiryu Butokukai form of karate and covers all aspects, including budo, sport karate, self-defense, and kobudo (weaponry). All ages and abilities are welcome. There is a membership fee of 5,000 yen, and monthly fees are around 4,500 yen for adults.


Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art developed in the mid-20th century. It is not as well-known as karate and judo but is now practiced in around 140 countries worldwide. Similar to judo, its key moves involve throws and joint locks, and it’s more about momentum and flexibility than sheer physical force. It’s seen in Japan as a great way to keep fit and is popular with men and women alike.

If you want to learn more about this martial art, visit the Aikido Hiroshima Kai website (in Japanese). This association has a list of activities and classes happening within Hiroshima prefecture.


This archery-based martial art grew out of the feudal-era warrior art of kyujutsu, gaining momentum in the early 20th century as an educational activity rather than a battle form. The Hiroshima Kyudo Federation (in Japanese) operates and provides activities in four dojos across the prefecture, including the Asaminami Ward Sports Center, where single lessons cost 260 yen (or 150 yen for kids).

Neil, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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