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A new fee structure was passed at the VKR AGM on 17th March which saw adult membership at $15 and $10 for juniors. A new emblem appeared to represent the VKR during this year. The Southern Cross on a tsuba in the fashion of a Japanese Mon gave the Renmei a more professional and traditional look. Likewise, in a letter dated May 21st Ivan Robotham sent complimentary copies of the new AKR badge.


Realistically membership remained at about 80 persons but this was double that of the previous year. Five joint trainings were held throughout the year and were well attended. Four were held at the Kenshikan and one at Mumeishi.

The World Kendo championships were held in Toronto, Canada. Once again, Brent Gazzaniga was elected as Team Leader. Nagae Sensei was Coach and notable Victorians in the team were Jamie Fennessy, Mark Wild, Peter Day and Sofie Macak. Team Manager was John Butler. Importantly, Sofie led our Team in the opening ceremony.

According to John Butler, “For the first time it was organized professionally. The duties and responsibilities of the Manager, coach and team Leader were set out in detail”. (Butler page 42).

John & Brent
Sofie leads the Team

A new event was inaugurated on 15th July to celebrate the opening of the Kenshikan. This Taikai event saw the pooling of three mixed Kendo Ka, one beginner, one middle range and one Yudansha being drawn together from different Dojo. A team led by Kenichi Ishihara took first place.

The Kenshikan was burgled on two occasions during the year with a number of valuable items being stolen. Sadly Sensei and Mrs Nagae’s bogu were stolen and Ballarat’s ashes trophy scattered and broken.


Sensei Nagae's Birthday

Three Iaido students from Mumeishi attended the Inaugural Iaido Championships in Sydney. Mark Wild moved to Sydney leaving the Goshin Club in the hands of Laurie Scott. Peter Riordan (2nd Dan) returned to the Club after nine months in Kumamoto, Kyushu.

Melbourne University had a successful year holding their first weekend camp in Gisborne under Yakov Macak Sensei’s leadership. Three members attended the Uni Games in Canberra, one Scott Dewar coming third in the individuals. Yakov was to do much in establishing Kendo as a University sport.

In August Stilts inaugurated the Monash University Club (see appendix 4). In the words of Khay Lin Teoh, “Stilts was the coach of the Club and to his credit, over the course of the next few months, lay down what would become a solid foundation of footwork and posture”. (see “Testimonials”).

At the VKR State Championships Jack Sekine took first place over Peter Szwarcbord in the Dan competition with a young Ben Sheppard winning the Kyu individual. About 15 Dan ranked members competed in the Open individuals. In the open Teams Melbourne Kendo Club came first with Goshin second. This marked the first real State Team championships in terms of clubs forming representative teams.

Ballarat hosted an invitational tournament, the second Ashes title in December but only ten competitors registered, including Sofie Macak. Consequently the enthusiasm for the Taikai waned from the organiser’s point of view and wasn’t offered the following year.

The first National Iaido titles were held in Sydney on 30th November and 1st December. Brent Gazzaniga and a small group attended for Victoria. It was a small beginning but a beginning.

Former Prime Minister Mr. Nakasone visits Kenshikan

In December the Kenshikan had a surprise visit by former Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Nakasone. Mr Futagawa was the son in law of Mr Nakasone. It was quite a prestigious visit and one that signified the growing International stature of the Kenshikan.


A visit from Katsumi Kuramochi (5th Dan Kendo, 4th Dan Iaido & 3rd Dan Jodo) to Melbourne and Ballarat courtesy of an introduction from Stilts started the year off well. A student of Sensei Kubo’s Kyumeikan Dojo, Katsumi was quite taken by the hospitality of Victorian Kendo Ka.

The State Championships were held in February at the Kenshikan. A new ruling allowed clubs to enter unlimited black belts.

Takita Sensei (7th Dan) visited Melbourne and Ballarat with six students from Fukuoka university.

Goshin Kendo published the first edition of Goshin Kendo News – their magazine but one which was informative for all clubs.

On the weekend of July 25th /26th Nagae Sensei ran a coaching accreditation course. Students of Nidan and above were invited to attend and included Jonathan Cross from South Australia.

The first edition of the “Melbourne Kendo Club News” appeared in May / June. It was a simple double sided page aimed at keeping “members and friends in touch”. A special visit by Saito Sensei during the year made for some great, insightful training as well as a new friend of the VKR.

Saito and Horigome Sensei with Mr & Mrs Nagae at their Melbourne home
Sato Sensei, Ohta Sensei, Horigome Sensei and Mrs Nagae

Australian Kendo Championships

The Nationals were held at the Carlton Community Centre in Rathdowne Street, Carlton.


Jamie Fennessy, recently graded to 6th Dan was a guest at the seminar, returning from Japan where he had been living and working.

In the Open Individual Peter Day came second to Yoichi Yano of NSW, who also won the Veterans and fought in the teams. Indeed, a trifecta.

NSW won five of the eight competitions. Victoria’s Kyu team won the Kyu teams and the Kata competition. We can note that Mark Wild, then living in Sydney fought in the NSW Dan team.

1992 AKC Programme

Back: (L-R) Dunkin, Mika Sokiransky, Gaye, Mark
Front: (L-R) Peter Riordan, Laurie Scott, John Butler, Kevin Mita, Boris Sokiransky

In August the VKR Secretary, Stilts Policroniadis called for a formal application for the position of State Coach (Dan Team & Kyu Team). The letter dated 5th August outlined the hope that this position would help our State’s performance at the Nationals and resulted from a proposal put forward by the Goshin Kendo Club. For the first time a formalized approach to team selection had been put forward.

The Goshin Club visited the Ballarat Club on 30th August for a group training and BBQ following at the Brewery Tap hotel.

Active at the Kenshikan at this time was George Boghikian who taught Iaido and Jodo to a small group of enthusiasts. Training was Saturday afternoons following which a pot of Japanese tea was usually made by George for everyone. Active in this group were Tony Margi and Tony Pickering.


At the 10th VKR State Championships Ballarat came out of left field to surprise everyone. This was due to Katsumi Kuramochi who had returned to Ballarat to seek permanent residence and become the Ballarat Club’s first Sensei. Enrolling in Ballarat’s Catholic University, Katsumi taught all three disciplines to the local Club members. In the final of the Kyu Individual Kendo Championship Ballarat took three of the first four placings with Tony Pickering 1st, Arpad Maksay in his first adult competition 2nd and Jason Widdy 4th.

Back: Arpad Maksay, David Tannard, Mark Woodford, Tony Pickering.
Front: Gary Oliver, Katsumi Kuramochi & Jason Widdy. The Shield was named the Les Watson Memorial.

Similarly in the three person Open Team competition Ballarat came first over Melbourne Kendo Club, the team consisting of Gary Oliver, Tony Pickering and Jason Widdy. It was the first win to a non MKC team in the 10 year history of VKR tournaments.

Peter Riordan & Paul Flintoff of Goshin Kendo Club began producing a new VKR magazine called “Faito”, the first edition appearing in August. It was a refreshing look at the magazine with some fairly sharp criticisms about how Kendo was developing in Victoria. Nevertheless it helped make the membership aware of what was coming up and some issues that needed addressing.

The Goshin Club members were honored when they received two scrolls painted by Aikawa Manabu Sensei of Kumamoto. The club invited all VKR clubs to a special training and unveiling of the scrolls on the evening of June 1st.

The MKC began a second Grand Slam tournament. The results of the 1992 - 93 comp saw Peter Szwarcbord win with 40 points to Kevin Mita second on 27 points.

The new competition was to be a four round series aimed at helping prepare shiai sha for the Nationals. On September 21st (a Tuesday evening) the first bouts took place with 15 points going to Mathew Osborne in his Kyu grade final over James Saretta, and 15 points to Yakov Macak who defeated Brett Smith in the Dan competition. The second round was scheduled for Monday, 1st November.

Some Competitors in the 1992/93 Grand Slam

Continued >

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