OSUKC has its origins in an Experimental College class offered by Hideyuki Naya. In the 1998-99 school year, Naya sensei was a visiting student from Japan, where he studied kendo. In the spring of '99, he offered an introductory kendo class through the experimental college. Among the students were Kevin Harris, Doug Price, Fabio Hirata, and Josh Mater. At the beginning of fall term '99, Naya sensei had returned to Japan, and Josh and Fabio were in Tokyo as exchange students, where they both studied kendo, though at different dojo.
Kevin Harris wished to continue practicing kendo, but was now without an instructor. In winter term '00, he gathered a few others who were interested in kendo and began to practice and teach the little that he knew. In February, the OSU Kendo Club was officially formed and recognized by Student Involvement. The five charter club members were Kevin Harris (president), Kent Enfield (vice-president), Doug Price (treasurer), Katie Cunnion (secretary), and Gina Koerner.
Practices that year were held in the racquetball courts in Dixon, which were cramped, hot, and very noisy, and occasionally elicited yells of, "Shut up!" from people outside, sometimes decorated with obscenities. In addition to regular practice at Dixon, practice was supplemented by trips to Obukan Kendo Club in Tigard, where the new OSUKC was well supported by the dojo as a whole, and by then head instructor, Robert Stroud, in particular.
Beginning in fall term '00, OSUKC was able to rent practice space in the gym of the Women's Building, where it continues to hold practice. Also that term, Fabio Hirata and Josh Mater had returned from Japan where they had attained the ranks of ikkyu and shodan, respectively. Their joining of practice and continued support from Obukan helped OSUKC become a self sustaining kendo club.
For the first four-and-a-half years of its existence, OSUKC was considered a branch campus of Obukan. On September 25th, 2004, it was accepted by the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation as a probationary status dojo, with Kent Enfield as head instructor and John Hancock, head instructor of Obukan, as advisor.
Through Spring term, 2005, OSUKC was organized through Student Involvement, which allowed community members to participate. However, starting in Fall term 2005, OSUKC has been moved to Recreational Sports, which does not. Now, the only community members allowed to participate are those who are allowed to and have purchased membership in Dixon Rec Center. Essentially, only students, faculty, and staff of OSU and their immediate family members can participate. OSUKC regrets this situation, but is unable to change it.
Club members are allowed and encouraged to also practice at Obukan, particularly during school breaks.