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The Women’s competition and a children’s event were added to the National Tournament this year. The venue was Canberra. Placings were as followed;

1st Place - C. Noble
2nd Place - P. Szwarcboard
3rd Place - Y. Yano

1st Place - D. Hughes
2nd Place - S. Compton

1st Place - Victoria
2nd Place - New South Wales
3rd Place - Queensland

Shizawa Sensei and students from Nittaidai visited in March. Melbourne students active during that visit included Sensei Nagae, Yakov Macak, Paul Macak, Peter Szwarcbord, Brent Gazzaniga, Eric Jeffery, Tadashi Harada, Chris Deering, Sophie Macak, Gary Oliver, Peter Hocking, Julian Richardson, Peter Day, Tony Kay, Tadashi Harada, Les Watson and Ivan Robotham, to name a few.

It was also during this year that Tasmanian Kendo was established in Hobart by Jamie Fennessy. Jamie achieved a position at Hobart University and naturally took his passion for Kendo with him.

Nagae Sensei continued to broaden our knowledge of not just Kendo but many aspects of Japanese culture. Many had their first taste of rice balls and sushi courtesy of Mrs Nagae.

Rice preparation at the home of Yakov Macak in 1984.

The certificate for achieving Shodan at this time had evolved and came to represent the three main States as we saw them. Victoria had been searching for a suitable mon and Paul Macak had borrowed a depiction of a wave to represent our state The three on the certificate below represent the armour we wear (symbolised by the crab), the lightness and speed of our technique (the butterfly) and the resilience and commitment to continual training (the wave rises then falls only then to rise again).

Author's Grading certificate for Shodan

In March Takita Sensei and Shizawa Sensei visited Melbourne
and conducted a grading at the YWCA.


Yoichi Yano from NSW took out the National Open Individual Title at the Easter competition. For the first time the event was held at Gosford. The Taikai marked the 10th occasion that an Australian Taikai had been held. Paul Macak and Tadashi Harada of Victoria came second and third respectively. NSW won the teams over Victoria.

It was this year that the Kyu Individual competition was held at the Nationals, the winners being Victorians Tony Kay first and Ian Peel second.

In January a seminar was held in Canberra for prospective competitors at the 6th World Kendo Championships planned for April 11th – 15th in Paris, France. After some in fighting about how the Australian Team would be selected, the final team included Jamie Fennessy, Yakov Macak, Brent Gazzaniga and John Butler from the Melbourne Kendo Club.

In a report compiled by Yakov Macak in July 1985 for the AKR President, Yakov outlined the history leading up to the selection of the team and gave some proposals for the Seoul Championships scheduled for 1988. This was an important document and one which was to help mould future support for our elite Australian teams.

As Yakov observed, “most of the team selected in January couldn’t afford to go so basically the team consisted of those who” could pay their own way. In the end Victorian members received financial aid from their clubs and $1250 received from the Victorian Sports Aid Foundation.

It should be noted that Peter Szwarcbord who was originally selected in the team had to withdraw six weeks before the event due to a family illness and was replaced by Yakov Macak. Jim Grace of Melbourne Kendo Club also attended unofficially as “bag boy”, to use his term. (see Testimonials).

The competitions were held at the Courbetain Stadium. Only John Butler progressed to the fourth round, being defeated by a Korean competitor. To quote Yakov, “The results of the 1985 World Championships were reasonable on a team level, but below par at the individual level. To do our best in 1988, we should start preparing now to send our best team with the best preparation and support that we can provide. With the proper commitment and organisation our best team can be selected and expected to perform at close to their top.” (Macak 1985)

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