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About Us

Basic Information

​Cougar Kendo is a Southeast Houston Kendo and Iaido Dojo and a Rec sports club at the University of Houston. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides the instruction available on traditional, proper Kendo in Houston for UH affiliates, such as current students and alumni. In addition, we aim to promote Houston Kendo and Iaido, off campus at our other locations, such as the Houston Kenshikan.

When to learn more about Houston Kendo, Cougar Kendo, etc? Check out our FAQ page.


During the Fall and Spring, we usually have practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9PM, Multipurpose Room 4, UH Rec Center

Off Campus (West Houston Kendo & Iaido Dojo): Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, The Houston Kenshikan

Dues: $60/semester for new members (first semester comes with a Shinai, bamboo sword), $30/semester for returning members.

Affiliations: All US Kendo Federation, SUSKIF, Houston Kenshikan, River City Iaido and Kendo Kyokai

Cougar Kendo Houston Kendo

University of Houston Kendo Instructors

Mark A. Kerstein, Head Instructor. Mark is a 6th Dan Renshi in Kendo and  has been practicing Kendo for over 40 years. Currently, he is president of the Southern United States Kendo and Iaido Federation. He has served on the All US Kendo Federation Board of Directors and Competition Committee. Sensei has a JD ('98) from the University of Houston Law Center and his own law firm, The Law Office of Mark A. Kerstein. Houston is Kerstein Sensei's home and he is committed to teaching and promoting Houston Kendo and Iaido for life.

Shamina Chang. Shamina is the founder and first president of Cougar Kendo. She is a Kendo 5th Dan and is the vice president of the Southern United States Kendo and Iaido Federation, and has competed locally as well as nationally in Kendo. In Spring 2010, Shamina graduated summa cum laude with a double major in philosophy and psychology. She graduated from the South Texas College of Law in May 2013 and is a practicing attorney. Shamina is known for specializing in teaching beginners in Kendo efficiently and effectively, and she is the creator of the curriculum that Cougar Kendo and other Dojos use today. Shamina is a native Houstonian and is fully devoted to developing Houston Kendo (and Iaido!).

Cougar Kendo's practices are also supported by several alumni, who started Kendo at Cougar Kendo, have several years of experience in teaching Kendo, and are native Houstonians who are committed to building a community of Houston Kendo and Kendo at the University of Houston.

University of Houston Kendo Officers

President: Benjamin Authur

Vice President: Alejandra Segundo

Secretary: Ammon Saha

Treasurer: Joaquin Leinbach

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