A martial arts club in Thingwall is the first in Wirral to be recognised by the British Kendo Association.

The Tengoku Tsuchi Dojo teaches iaido, a Japanese martial art that emphasises being aware and capable of quickly drawing a sword and responding to sudden attacks. Beginners start by learning with a wooden sword, or 'bokken'.

Founded by senseis John Bogin and Mark Fletcher, the club is based at Thingwall Recreation Centre.

To gain the national recognition, both senseis had to achieve their first dan, or blackbelt, in the discipline, and gain teaching certificates.

Founder and instructor John Bogin discovered Iaido after more than thirty years of studying a range of other martial arts including Shotokan karate and naginata.

He said: "We're very proud to join the BKA as it rubber stamps the quality of teaching and training that we have here at Tengoku Tsuchi Dojo.

"We hope that becoming part of the BKA will enable more people to discover our cub and begin practising the traditional martial art of iaido."

The listing by the BKA is a coup for the dojo as the association is the only organisation in the UK that is recognised for the martial arts of kendo, iaido and jodo by the foremost body in Japan for these martial arts, the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei, as well as the International Kendo Federation and Sport England.

The club trains at Thingwall Recreation Centre, Sparks Lane, from 7:30pm to 9pm each Friday. Some previous experience in martial arts would be an advantage. For more details, contact John Bogin on 07787 975 788.