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This visit seems to have inspired Takeuchi San to establish a proper Kendo Dojo. Indeed, the two spent much time looking for a suitable place. Tino Ceberano offered to help but Takeuchi was firm in his resolve to stand alone. Similarly he rejected the Melbourne University Gymnasium saying, “we will not be a part of a school of any kind.” (Butler 1988 page 23).

The three visiting Sensei in Melbourne with some notable visitors from Sydney;
Second back row from Left: John Anderson (Sydney), John Butler, Paul Guerillot and Ron Bennett.
Seated in second row: Rex Lawley, Senseis Nagashima, Iho, Kiyono and Takeuchi.
The gentleman standing at the far right wearing a suit is Bill Freeman.

Eventually a solution came thanks to Bill Freeman’s association with the Excalibur Fencing Club. This European fencing group had moved into a 1st floor warehouse in Little Bourke Street (now the Welcome Motel). Although lacking showers and with a somewhat splintery floor, it was available on Sunday mornings and Monday evenings. Takeuchi agreed and together he, John and Bill Freeman prepared to begin their Kendo Club the following year.

Mr Takeuchi refereeing a shiai. John Butler seated far right.

Paul Guerillot’s Dojo in the mid 1970s, combatants unknown.
Paul Guerillot’s Hawthorn Dojo circa 1975

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