Our Senseis

Black and White Picture of Chris Yang in Kendo Gear

Christopher Yang

holds a 7th Degree Black Belt and has been practicing kendo for over 32 years. Yang Sensei has recently relocated to Plano from Los Angeles, California, where he was the Head Instructor of the Torrance Kendo Dojo, one of the largest and most recognized Kendo dojos in the United States. At Torrance Kendo Dojo, Yang Sensei taught hundreds of students from ages six to over sixty years old, and developed many students who went on to succeed on the regional, national and international stage. In fact, many of his students have become national champions, and five of the eight members of the U.S. National Men’s Kendo Team in 2015 were his students from Torrance Kendo Dojo.

Yang Sensei started kendo at the age of seven at the Torrance Kendo Dojo, and has gone on to study and train at many of the top Kendo institutions around the world, including the University of Tsukuba and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. Yang Sensei is currently a Director of the All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF), and just completed a three-year term as the Vice President of Education for AUSKF, where he was responsible for organizing educational programs for kendo students throughout the United States.

Until recently, Yang Sensei was also very active in competition, representing the U.S. National Kendo Team in the World Kendo Championships from 1997 through 2015, and as Captain from 2006-2015. During this time, he led the United States Team to Silver Medal finishes twice (2006, 2009) and the Bronze Medal three times (2003, 2012, 2015), and placed individually in the Top 8 of the World Kendo Championships in 2000 and 2003. Yang Sensei is also a former U.S. National Kendo Champion (2005).

Yang Sensei believes that Kendo teaches students the mental focus and inner discipline needed to succeed not only in Kendo, but in life as well. He is a strong believer of balancing Kendo with school or work obligations, and encourages his students to succeed in the classroom as well as the Dojo. Yang Sensei holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and is currently the Chief International Counsel at Toyota Motor North America.

Song Yi Yang in Kendo Gear in a Kendo Championship

Song Yi Yang

Song Sensei holds a 7th Degree Black Belt and is currently the highest ranking woman kendo practitioner in the United States. Song Sensei has been practicing Kendo for over 30 years, and started practicing Kendo in her native country of Korea.

Song Sensei trained under one of the most famous kendo teachers in Korea, Chun Young Sul sensei. As a college student, Song Sensei represented Korea at the 11th World Kendo Championships (2000), and went on to Captain the Korean National Team at the 13th World Kendo Championships (2006), where Korea won the Silver Medal in the Team Championships. After moving to the United States, Song Sensei coached the United States Women’s National Team in 2009 and 2012, and was the United States National Women’s Kendo Champion in 2008. Song Sensei graduated from Ewha Womens University in Seoul, Korea, with a degree in Sports Science.

Song Sensei is the proud mother of a 6-year old son, and has taught her son Kendo as well. In 2016, Song Sensei was the first woman to pass the 7th Degree Black Belt Kendo examination, making her the highest ranking woman Kendo Sensei in the United States today. She strongly encourages both women and children of all ages to learn kendo, and hopes to teach as many students as she can at the Plano Kendo Dojo.

Apinya Premprajak practicing Kendo

Apinya Premprajak

Apinya Sensei holds a 4th Degree Black Belt and has been practicing Kendo for over 17 years. Starting Kendo in her native country of Thailand during a colleague time, she found a passion in Kendo and continued practicing even when she moved to the United States. She used to present Thailand National Team in the Southeast Asian Cup (ASIAN CUP) and the World Championship. Moving to North Dallas in 2003, she has been practicing and teaching Kendo locally, joining Southwest Kendo Federation, growing the regional woman Kendo to the first medal event at the North American Women’s Kendo Tournament in Seattle.

As a local long-term member, Apinya Sensei is a proud mother of a 19-month daughter. She is training herself to become a kendo instructor surely to teach her daughter in the future. One of her dream is to teach kids and children and show them this wonderful path she decided to make in her life. She hopes people at all ages will start Kendo and go through this journey together.