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The Australian Kendo Championships were held at Wollongong from 9th – 13th April. The AJKF sent two Sensei, Kojima Hanshi and Goto Hanshi. At this event Victoria won the Nakakura Flag.

In May the Ballarat Kendo Club held a special training one Sunday morning to celebrate its 10th year (actually its 11th). VKR members from all clubs attended and Nagae Sensei presented the club with a sword rack suitably inscribed Members of Fudoshin performed a Kendo demonstration, and Mrs Nagae led a Naginata demonstration before a spirited jigeiko ended the day..

Ballarat 10th Anniversary: Nagae Sensei

Ballarat 10th Anniversary: Special Training

Shizawa Sensei again brought students to Melbourne for a shared training on 5th August. This time they bussed to Ballarat for a BBQ at the Wild Life Park before taking in Sovereign Hill.

Other clubs enjoying growth that year included Fudoshin who had a group training in Balwyn as well as University High School.

During September members of Fudoshin Kendo Club traveled to Ballarat for their first weekend Gasshuku. Hosted at the Eastwood Leisure Centre, Gerard Everton from New Zealand also attended this first of many such annual visits.

Early Fudoshin days with Damian

Weekend Gasshuku

The Uni Games were again held at the end of September with Kendo firmly established as a regular sport. The Octoberfest continued on the first week in October.

On 29th November a Kendo and Naginata demonstration was carried out at the Mooney Ponds Race Course. The following day the sales contract for the Kenshikan was signed between Mr H Otsuka and Kenshikan Trustee. On 15th December the final contract of Kenshikan Trust was carried at the Fetta Gdanski Office in Melbourne.


Early in January Satoru Takada arrived in Melbourne with long time friends of the Ballarat Kendo Club, Noriko and Minoru Toya (5th Dan). The Toyas only stayed a week with the Olivers in Carisbrook where they were thrilled to see koalas and a platypus in the wild. Fortunately Satoru stayed much longer.

Jason Widdy played host to Satoru who became Ballarat's resident instructor. A graduate of Hakodate University in Hokkaido, Satoru was his University Champion for two consecutive years. In the Japan National University Championships he was in the final 16.

Satoru Takada

During the 12 months he stayed he won the Victorian State Individual Championship, the Canberra Kendo Club tournament and the Otsuka Memorial.

Satoru also stayed with Arpad Maksay at Monash but still continued to train in Ballarat each Thursday night. The VKR all benefited from his presence and enthusiasm for Kendo.

A joint training for all VKR clubs was held on February 21st.

The Victorian Kendo Championships were held on March 21st prior to the Nationals. This was the Individual Championships; the team events were to be later in the year.

At the Nationals at Tallebudgera in Queensland a strong contingent from Victoria achieved good results. Ryan Oliver took a bus from central Victoria and took out the Junior Championship. The Kyu Team event was won by Western Australia and Victoria won the Open Dan Team Championship. Gerard Everton was our State Coach.A special match between a visiting team which included Eiga Sensei and an Australian Team resulted in Australia losing 4:1.

1999 AKC Tenegui

During the year Sensei Okamoto, who had trained in Australia in the 1970s
(see chapter 3) visited the Kenshikan Dojo for a memorable training.

Kendo Summer School in Japan

Three of Victoria's most dedicated Kendo Ka went to Saitama for the annual Summer School for Foreign Kendo Students. (1)

Sensei Peter Szwarcbord, Damian Carmody Stevens and Claire Chan were all selected to attend the seminar and training. Also joining them from far north Queensland was Katsumi Kuramochi. He and Sensei Peter Szwarcbord achieved 6th Dan at the seminar and Sensei Damian Carmody Stevens achieved 5th Dan.


Sensei Peter Szwarcbord & Claire Chan

On 1st October Eiga Sensei, former All Japan Kendo Champion visited Melbourne for a days training which drew an appreciative crowd from NSW and Canberra. It was a most successful Octoberfest which had been scaled down in recent years.

On 27th November the Victorian Team Championships were held at Melbourne University. Ballarat won the Kyu Team Championship while Fudoshin won the Dan competition.


Eiga Sensei

In November the Mumeishi Kendo Club celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Sensei Terry Holt 7th Dan flew to Australia from the Mumeishi Kendo Club in the UK to help celebrate the occasion. A joint training was held at the Kenshikan with Fudoshin, Monash Uni, Mumeishi and the Melbourne Club and Holt Sensei attended.

Mumeishi 3's Tenegui

In the Inaugural Melbourne Tournament Satoru Takada, Gary Oliver and Ryan Oliver took first place.

As part of their celebration Mumeishi held the first Mumeishi 3's Kendo tournament in Australia at the Kenshikan Dojo on 4th December. The London Mumeishi 3's began some 30 years ago as a Club tournament and has grown to become an International event in Europe. In 1998 some 400 Kendoka took part.

At the end of the year a BBQ and auction was held for the Kenshikan Trust on 12th December.

During this year Gary Oliver began editing a new shinbun for the VKR. This resulted from the urging of Sensei Yakov Macak who felt the lack of such a magazine needed to be addressed. The resulting Magazine was to be produced quarterly and was to continue for well into the next decade.

At the final Kendo grading for the year a new generation of Kendo Ka approached the first step of Shodan. Many were to go on and impact on the future of Kendo in our state as the following excerpt from the grading results suggests;

Marcus Lee-Steere
Fletcher Letet
Ryan Oliver
Tarl Omara
Jason Anderson
Vince Caltabiano
Scott Jones
Mathew Read
Sue Rogers
Kenji Sugimoto
Ron Walker
Scott Harding
Michael Main

Uni Melb

2 Kyu
2 Kyu
2 Kyu
2 Kyu
2 Kyu
1 Kyu
1 Kyu
1 Kyu
1 Kyu
1 Kyu
1 Kyu
1 Dan
1 Dan

In April of 1999, Mrs Nagae and the ANF participated in teh International Naginata Championships in Paris and was officially recognised as one of the member countries of the INF.

(1) I arrived in Japan with Sensei Peter Szwarcbord nearly two weeks before the start of the Foreign kendo leaders summer seminar in Kitamoto so we could acclimatize to training in the sauna-like heat of the Tokyo summer! The temperature was generally in the mid 30s and humid. You can raise a sweat just by standing still!

The first day of the summer camp was getting through the formalities, which was well organised, right down to the group photo session of over 60 participants and 16 senseis. Then it was into welcome keiko and the atmosphere was electrifying!

The rest of the weeks training schedule ran like clockwork. The morning sessions started at 6.30am with suburi, kihon and waza practice without bogu, followed by kata and then full training in kihon and waza techniques.

After lunch, the training included shimpaning, shiai practice, uchi-komi and ji-geiko finishing with keiko with the senseis and haya-suburi.

In the evenings, we had some very useful insights into the making and repairing of kendogu by notable masters of their trade.

One of the things we look forward to was the ever-changing variety of the meals, the socialising and the partying, so much to eat and drink! We were certainly well looked after.

The experience and friendship gained at the seminar was invaluable and memorable. The senseis were so impressive in their own rights and the visit and talk by 9th Dan Hanshi Morijima sensei was inspiring.

The experience and friendship gained at the seminar was invaluable and memorable. The senseis were so impressive in their own rights and the visit and talk by 9th Dan Hanshi Morijima sensei was inspiring.

Claire Chan
Melbourne Kendo Club

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