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The Japanese Ambassador, Mr Takahashi and his wife visited the Kenshikan on 14th February to start the year.
Brett Smith was selected as State Coach for the Nationals in Perth. As always it was a big commitment to travel to the west but many of our top Dan and Kyu grades signed up for Squad Trainings starting in January. Brett Sensei brought professionalism to the role gleaned from years of International and National competition.

A Victorian contingent of 17 made it to Perth with the following results, almost a clean sweep.

  Championships Results:    

Kyu Grade Individual

1st: Ryan Oliver


Kyu Grade Team Championship

1st: WA
2nd: Victoria


Womens Individual Championship

1st: Hayami Aboutaleb


Womens Team Championship

1st: Victoria


Senior Individual Championship

1st: Yoishi Yano (NSW)


Kata Team Championship

1st: Victoria


Dan Grade Individual Championship

1st: Brett Smith
2nd: Arpad Maksay
3rd: Hayamai Aboutaleb


Dan Grade Team Championship

1st: Victoria


Fighting Spirit Award

1st: Tarl O'Mara

  Grading Results:    


David D'Prano



Vince Caltabiano



Ryan Oliver
Tarl O'Mara


Gary Oliver and his family drove across the Nullabor to attend the championships in a two week timeframe. (1)

The annual VKR AGM saw no real change in the Executive team.

New VKR Executive:

2001 Delegates:


Gary Oliver - President
Yakov Macak - Vice President
Tony Pickering - Secretary
Richard Ward - Treasurer

Ryan Oliver - Ballarat
Hayami Aboutaleb - Fudoshin
Peter Szwarcbord - Melbourne Budokai
Kenji Sugimoto - Melbourne University
Umesh Aluthsage Perrera - Monash Uni
Brent Gazzaniga - Mumeishi


Sensei Chiba 8th Dan and All Japan Individual Champion came to Melbourne for a seminar which was held from 14th v- 17th June. Noted for his skill in the Jodan no Kamae it was an excellent and well attended occasion.

Gary Oliver and Gerard Everton went to the Saitama Summer school and caught up with Arpad Maksay who was staying at Nittaidai university under the sponsorship of Shizawa Sensei.

The Otsuka Memorial tournament was held on 14th July. Prior to the tournament demonstrations of Iaido, Jodo, Naginata and Ishu Jiai were conducted.

At the State Championships on 25th August Brett Smith maintained his winning ways by taking first place in the Open Individual by defeating Ryan Oliver second. These State Championships were becoming very well run affairs thanks to the experience and management skills of Sensei Macak, Richard Ward and Khay-Lin Teoh. The venue was the University High School.

In the Kyu Individual Championship there were over 40 competitors.

Open Kyu Individuals :

Open Dan Individuals


1st: Jason Anderson (MBK)
2nd: Kang Lim (UMKC)
3rd: David Fenolar (Ballarat)

1st: Brett Smith (Fudoshin)
2nd: Ryan Oliver (Ballarat)
3rd: Ben Kelly (Fudoshin)
3rd: Khay-Lin Teoh (Fudoshin)

1st: Melbourne Budokai
2nd: Fudoshin

In August a National Squad training was held in Ballarat under the direction of Sensei Damian Carmody Stevens. In attendance were Sensei Brett Smith and Sensei Peter Szwarcbord.

Ryan Oliver left for 10 months to Hakodate to study at University. While there he met and trained with former NSW Kendo Ka, Don Miller 5th Dan.

Terry Holt 7th Dan from Mumeishi Kendo Club in London flew to Melbourne for the third Mumeishi 3’s tournament. He spent a week training at Melbourne and Ballarat leading up to the tournament which saw 13 teams enter the competition. A team from Melbourne University defeated Ballarat in the final.


The Australian Iaido and Jodo Championships were held in Perth over the Australia Day weekend. Claire Chan and Tony Pickering came 3rd in the Dan Jodo competition. Following this Sensei Oda and Nagayama’s group visited Melbourne and instructed us until 30th January.

2002 Australian Kendo Championships

The Nationals were to be held in Melbourne at Easter and Sensei Macak wanted to really lift the high jump bar in terms of organization and public spectacle. No one was to be disappointed.

Drawing on the talents of Khay-Lin Teoh, Richard Ward and Ben Sheppard, Yakov organized his team so that each person took control of an aspect of the seminar and tournament. The venue was the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, a prestigious arena with quality sound system. Melbourne University Kendo students all wore jackets and ties to carry out their respective roles as tournament stewards, announcers and the like.

In addition to three Sensei sent to the Championships by the IKF, about 20 senior Sensei from the Koreishikan Kendo Club in Japan attended what was the best Kendo Tournament yet seen in our country.

Championships Results:    

Kyu Grade Individual :

1st: Jason Anderson
2nd: Robbie Henare


Kyu Grade Teams :

1st: Victoria
2nd: New South Wales


Women's Individuals :

1st: Hayami Aboutaleb
2nd: Kate Sylvester


Women's Teams :

1st: Victoria


Veterans Individuals :

1st: Yoichi Yano (NSW)


Kata Teams :

1st: New South Wales


Dan Grade Individuals :

1st: Brett Smith
2nd:Stuart Burke (NSW)


Dan Grade Teams :

1st: New South Wales


Fighting Spirit Award :

Robbie Henare

Grading Results:    


Kate Sylvester
JIm Grace


Robbie Henare congratulates Jason Anderson


Opening Ceremony line-up

Nagae Sensei explaining the rules

At the AGM Khay-Lin Teoh replaced Tony Pickering as secretary and Hayami Aboutaleb became Treasurer. Richard Ward was now Secretary to the AKR and announced this year that we had over 500 students nationally.

Thanks to Nagae Sensei's contacts, Toda Sensei was able to visit Melbourne from 18th – 23rd June for a number of intensive trainings. Interstate Kendo Ka came to learn from this Nito specialist although anticipated numbers were down somewhat.

At the Otsuka Memorial tournament in July a number of demonstrations in various disciplines were a highlight. Eventual winners were the team of Paul Bserani, Robbie Henare and Kotsue Umetsu who was visiting from Japan.


Nagae Sensei & Toda Sensei

Continued >

(1) Gary explained that this enabled Ryan to be fully prepared for his kyu competition. As the story goes, Ryan’s older sister, Emily announced two days before the trip that she was returning home from a two year absence and was coming to Perth with the family.

With the three young adults in the back, Gary and Glenda in the front it was going to be a fair trip. Emily announced the night before they left that she was quitting smoking. Two days into the trip her periods were due consequently when they reached Perth Ryan was totally prepped to fight anybody! It was in reality one of the best family times that the Olivers have ever had.

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