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CHAPTER 8

The New Millennium

2000 - 2004



2000

As the new millennium began and the world breathed a sigh of relief that the Y2 computer virus was not going to happen, Melbourne hosted the Australian Iaido Championships. Ten Japanese masters in Iaido, Kendo and Jodo attended the seminar and championships and included Haga Sensei, Oda Sensei, Namitome Sensei and Ohta Sensei, all 8th Dan in Iaido plus Nagayama Sensei 7th Dan Iaido and Jodo.

The occasion was the first time that the AKR could sponsor a ZNKR Jodo grading and consequently Jodo Ka from across the country came for the chance to be graded straight to Shodan.

The Iaido Taikai finished with the following results;



Australian Individual Championships

1st Place: Bob Burton (Yondan)
2nd Place: Geordie Thompson (Nidan)
3rd Place: Ramon Lawrence



NSW (Sydney Iaido Club)
WA (Budokan Academy)
WA (Budokan Academy)

 


Nakanishi Cup - Team Championships

1st Place:
Western Australia "A" Team
Ramon Lawrence (Yondan)
Bob Shersby (Yondan)
Geordie Thompson (Nidan)



2nd Place:
Victoria "B" Team
Anthony Margi (Shodan) - MKC
Richard Ward (Ikkyu) - MKC
Gary Oliver (Sandan) - Ballarat

 




Victorian Particpants


In addition Ben Sheppard achieved his Yondan in Kendo and Arpad Maksay, Jason Widdy, Richard Ward and Lachlan Jackson all achieved 3rd Dan. A great start to the year.



Haga Sensei and Oda Sensei made the obligatory trip to Main Street, Sovereign Hill.

The Annual General meeting of the VKR saw a new Executive with Gary Oliver as President, Yakov Macak as Vice President, Tony Pickering as Secretary and Richard Ward as Treasurer.

The Victorian Kendo Championships were held on 1st April at the Kenshikan.

 

Haga Sensei & Oda Sensei at Sovereign Hill


2000 Australian Kendo Championships

At the Nationals in Canberra the final of the Individual Open competition saw Arpad Maksay and Ben Sheppard fight each other in a close encounter with Arpad eventually winning. Kenji Fujimoto, Kang Lim and Ryan Oliver came first second and third in the Kyu Individual respectively.



Arpad Victorious

 

Our State Coach this year was Sensei Brent Gazzaniga. The Open team of Lachlan Jackson, Arpad Maksay, Gary Oliver, and Ben Sheppard came third in their event. Our Women’s Team of Claire Chan, Kate Sylvester and Sue Harding came first. Claire Chan won the Women’s Individual with Kate Sylvester second.

Tony Pickering received the John Butler Memorial Shield as decided by AKR President, Ron Bennett.

The AJKF sent three outstanding Sensei to the event, they being Matsunaga, Yoneya and Takeuchi Sensei. The three returned to Melbourne to instruct Victorians before departing on 25th April.



Nakakura Sensei

 

We were all saddened to hear of the passing of Nakakura Sensei 9th Dan. This man had done much to spread the word about Kendo world wide and to improve the standard of Kendo and Iaido in Australia specifically. The funeral was held on 26th March in Tokyo. Sensei Nagae attended as the delegate for the AKR.


At the World Kendo Championships in California U.S.A. Damian Carmody Stevens (coach), Brett Smith and Hayami Aboutaleb represented Victoria as part of the team. This was our best effort to date, our Men’s Team in the final 16 and just missing the final eight. Our Women’s Team did equally well. Both Brett and Hayami received fighting spirit awards, a huge achievement.

The Kangeiko on 17th June was a typically cold winter training over two mornings thanks to Sensei Nagae, Szwarcbord and Macak with the mandatory thousand cuts opening each day. The venue was the Kenshikan.



Lee Harvison, Kate Sylvester & Ryan Oliver

 

July as always was the month to host the Otsuka Memorial tournament, it being held this year on 17th. This popular tournament which mixes teams of three from different clubs saw Kate Sylvester, Ryan Oliver and Lee Harvison take the first place.

Shizawa Sensei and Hakamada Sensei made their biennial visit with their students and as always there was much to learn. They stayed from 3rd – 6th August.



The University Games were scheduled for Ballarat University in September but for some reason Kendo was not on the official list for the first time since its inception. The Ballarat Kendo Club countered this by hosting a Ballarat Invitational Kendo Tournament for University Students (BIKTUS). Students from Melbourne Uni, Monash, Newcastle and S.A. attended this one off taikai to keep the annual tournament alive. Yakov Macak and Brent Gazzaniga officiated as shinpan with assistance from Ben Kelly and Arpad Maksay.




Yakov Sensei talking to the
Newcastle leaders
 

Octoberfest piggy backed onto the BIKTUS event and was held at the Ballarat venue following the BIKTUS tournament on the Friday. Some notables in attendance were Nagae Sensei, Sensei Yakov Macak, Tony Pickering, Jason Widdy, Gary Oliver, Ryan Oliver, Ben Sheppard, Vince Caltabiano, Chris Patton and Chris Wallace from S.A.

At the second Mumeishi 3’s Tournament Melbourne Budokai defeated Ballarat in the final.



Arpad & Ryan
 

Octoberfest piggy backed onto the BIKTUS event and was held at the Ballarat venue following the BIKTUS tournament on the Friday. Some notables in attendance were Nagae Sensei, Sensei Yakov Macak, Tony Pickering, Jason Widdy, Gary Oliver, Ryan Oliver, Ben Sheppard, Vince Caltabiano, Chris Patton and Chris Wallace from S.A.

It was a busy year. Chris Panagopoulos left for a teaching position in Osaka and Locky Jackson headed for the same region with his young family.


Richard Ward also brought us into the new millennium by constructing the first VKR website. Unbeknown to the cynics, this “new” form of advertising was to put us on the advertising map and to the benefit of all clubs, attract new members and media attention.



The start of the new mellinium also brought new opportunities for Naginata in Australia. Mrs. Nagae initiated a formal relationship between the Victorian Naginata Renmei and the Osaka Nagainata Club (Melbourne and Osaka are sister cities). A ceremony took place on the 15th of July in the presence of Mayor P. Costigan and Ms. J Sharwood at government office. In addition, an INF seminar was successfully held at Kenshikan with many participants from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and USA attending.



Continued >



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