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CHAPTER 7

Spreading Outwards

1996 - 1999



1996

On 3rd February an aging Nakakura Sensei visited Melbourne with members of his International Kendo Club. The group visited Melbourne and held training over two days at the Kenshikan. Probably by far the most distinguished and impressive group of Kendo Masters ever to have visited Melbourne.

Including Nakakura Sensei there were two other 9th Dans; Sensei Abe and Sensei Narasaki. Four 8th Dans, seven 7th Dans and five 5th & 6th Dans plus their wives made up the 30 plus delegation.



Apart from jigeiko we witnessed many demonstration bouts and an Iaido demonstration from Nakakura himself. On the Saturday evening leaders of VKR Clubs attended a dinner at the Consul General’s home. Mr Takashi Ato, Consul General was a magnificent host who flew fresh fish in from Japan for the occasion.

 



VKR members present that evening included Nagae Sensei, Yakov Macak, Peter Szwarcbord, Julian Richardson, Peter Riordan, Peter Hocking and Gary Oliver.

For the second time the Nationals were held in Perth, W.A. Katsumi Kuramochi attended as part of the team and won the Open individual tournament.

On April 27th a Victorian joint training was held at the Kenshikan to encourage our growing number of VKR Clubs to come together for mutual development.

 

Katsumi Kuramochi


Haga Sensei visited Melbourne from 22nd April until April 30th and conducted Iaido and Kendo training. He took a day to visit friends in Ballarat and renewed friendships at the local Wildlife Park.




Newspaper article: Haga Sensei - Master of the Sword Returns


Later in May a Japanese Naval Defense force team visited the Kenshikan and after joint training a friendly shiai was held. Our team won 3 2. We had come some distance since that visit in 1981.

Twenty one Nittaidai students visited from 8th - 12th August and held a two day training in Melbourne. As usual Shizawa Sensei and Hakadama Sensei led the group. A shiai saw Nittaidai win all bouts with the exception of 2 draws.

Brent Gazzaniga attended training in Japan and achieved his Godan rank.

In December Katsumi Kuramochi left Victoria and moved interstate. It was a sad loss for Ballarat in losing their first fully ranked resident Sensei and a loss for the VKR.



1997

Following the Iaido and Jodo Taikai in Perth, Senseis Nakanishi, Ono, Nagayama, Ito, Horiyama & Kanezawa arrived on February 3rd. They gave wonderful Kendo, Iaido and Jodo instruction until 6th February. This was the first time Jodo was officially instructed by the AJKF in Melbourne.

The World Kendo Championships were held in Kyoto during the Japanese Spring. A contingent of Australian Iaido Ka was invited to attend and perform an embu at the Heian Jingu and at the Butokuden Dojo.

Iaido ka from Victoria included Sensei Szwarcbord, Gary Oliver, Claire Chan, Anthony Margi and Yvette Black. At the Butokuden Dojo performances began with Shodan Iaido ka and progressed through to the 8th Dan and above Masters. This was probably the first time that Budo ka below the rank of 6th Dan had ever performed in such an important place. Participants received tenegue & specially printed certificates commemorating the event.

A three day seminar followed. Peter achieved 5th Dan and Gary was graded to 3rd Dan in Iaido.




Combined Iaido embu in the Heian Jingu, Kyoto.


Sensei Nagae (second right front row) attended the IKF Assembly and Board Meeting
held at the time of the World Championships.


Sumi Sensei and Ajiro Sensei visited Melbourne from June 6th and attended the Australian Championships which were held at the Melbourne University High School Gymnasium over the next two days.

This was the 22nd Australian Kendo Championships. Kuramochi Sensei returned to Ballarat the week prior to the taikai to train with his old club. No results are available at the time of this writing (see appendix 4)




1997 Australian Kendo Championships tenegui


The University Games were held at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre on 29th / 30th September. Senior members of the VKR assisted as Kendo Shinpan.

The Octoberfest was held on 4th 7 5th of that month but was not well attended.

Continued >



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