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Ever Onward

2005 - 2007


Thanks to Tony Pickering and Marcus Lee-Steere our small but effective contingent of Iaido Ka and Jodo Ka attended the National Championships in Perth from 24th – 30th January.

With Iaido and Jodo students outnumbering Kendo students in W.A. it is no wonder that these Championships attracted a big following during the Australia Day week. Amply planned and conducted thanks to Sensei Raymon Lawrence, the venue and championships continue to improve each year.

So too had Victoria’s Team performance with Victoria taking first place in most categories;

Claire Chan

Iaido Results

Claire Chan (2 years running)
Marcus Lee-Steere
Brendon Frost
David Leong
Matthew Deane

Iaido Teams:

1st Place: Victoria "A"
2nd Place: Victoria "B"

Jodo Results :
M. Lee-Steere & T. Pickering
A. Juresko & B. Frost

1st Place: Open Individual
1st Place: 1 Dan to 2 Dan
2nd Place: 1 Dan to 2 Dan
2nd Place: 3rd Kyu
1st Place: 6th Kyu

2nd Place: Dan Event
1st Place: Kyu Event

Australian National Kendo Championships 2005

Hayami Aboutaleb was selected as our State Coach for the Nationals in Canberra from 22nd – 27th March. This was the first time the position had gone to a female. The AJKF sent three Sensei; Miyagawa, Matsui and Kurihara, all 8th Dan Hanshi. The Japanese Ambassador, Mr Ueda attended the opening ceremony and gave a speech.

The following is an extract from Hayami’s report;
Kyu Team
The earnestness, commitment and strong teamwork were key factors in the success of this year’s Kyu Team.Four of the five players had never competed at an Australian Championship and were led to victory by Alvin Chen (Captain), who despite falling short of Kyu Individual success showed the kind of strength, maturity and leadership necessary. The Kyu Team’s performance and confidence improved with each round of the Kyu Team’s competition, proving that the Team was working. The Team members believed in each other and believed that they were capable of the result attained.

Women's Team
The final of the Women’s Team competition was closer than in previous years. However, the continued success of the Victorian Women’s Team showed the depth of experience and talent in Victorian Women’s Kendo. Due to the outstanding performances of Kate Sylvester (this year’s Australian Women’s Champion) and Claire Chan, originally selected as a reserve, the team order was changed and the desired result attained.

Victorian Particpants

Many thanks to all who contributed to this year’s campaign…

> Squad members who attended trainings but did not compete
> Guest Shimpan – Nagae Sensei, Sheppard Sensei and Richard Ward
> Macak Sensei for conducting Shimpan Seminar
> Tony Pickering for organising Team Zekken
> Arpad Maksay for organising Team Tenugui
> VKR Executive, Gary Oliver and Kenji Sugimoto

In the Veteran’s competition Sensei Macak came second and Gary Oliver came third


At our annual General Meeting in March the following members were elected to office:

Gary Oliver - President, Yakov Macak - Vice President, Josh Orth - Secretary and Marcus Lee-Steere Treasurer. Tony Pickering volunteered to be a members’ secretary to help Josh acclimatise to the secretary role. Membership had finally reached 500 in Victoria. A long way from the half dozen of us in Little Bourke Street back in the late 1970’s

Nittaidai University Visit

Shizawa Sensei again put together a special group who came to Melbourne in March for a Cultural Exchange and demonstration. The Tuesday night training at University High School was not long but we all had the opportunity to do jigeiko with some very fit and polished Kendo Ka. Fudoshin organised the venue and Richard Ward the restaurant afterwards. Ron Bennett, AKR President attended to make an award to Shizawa Sensei for his many years of work between our two countries.

Sovereign Hill souvenhir

Wednesday’s demonstration at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre was again well received by the public and was a good chance to see other disciplines that collectively make up Japanese Budo.

Thursday was a rushed visit to Ballarat for some sightseeing and souveniring before a farewell party / BBQ courtesy of Kate Sylvester and friends. In all it was a great chance to meet up with old friends, make new ones and enjoy good Kendo.


At last our Iaido classes were beginning to grow, thanks in no small part to the efforts of our new member clubs reaching potential students away from the city centre.

About 30 candidates gathered at the Kenshikan in late May with gradings to Nidan available. Students from Melbourne Budokai, Ballarat, Seishin, Tojinkai and Chikushinkai clubs were present, all clubs showing increased representation. Sensei Szwarcbord chaired the initial Panel of himself, Claire Chan and Tony Pickering for the two candidates attempting Nidan. Following this the Panel was expanded to include Gary Oliver and Marcus Lee Steere for the Kyu gradings.

Sensei Szwarcbord’s decision to have the Nidan Grading first was an excellent idea, the two candidates setting the scene and the high jump bar for the kyu grades to follow. It was pleasing to see Richard Ward and Chris Goletsos advance to Nidan so competently.

The Kyu grade candidates also did us proud with no failures on this occasion. Tony Pickering, who has sat on Panels in other States remarked that in his opinion the standard we have set in Victoria is substantially higher than that he has seen when on other Panels. Quite a statement, but one which Tony does not make lightly.

Nagayama Sensei arrived on 31st May and immediately set a fast pace, teaching both Iaido and Jodo at a number of locations. The schedule saw him take classes at the Kenshikan, Tojinkai, Chikushinkai and at Seishin.

Jodo Grading & Seminar

Attendance at these seminars was good and culminated on the Sunday with a grading in the afternoon. Marcus and Tony again took up the task of planning to the benefit of all those who managed toattend Nagayama’s visit.

The results of the Jodo grading appear below:

Sharon Trevaskis (VKR / MBK)
Cal Wood (VKR/Tojinkai)
Richard Ward (Seishin)
Rino Napoli (VKR/Tojinkai)
Brendan Frost (VKR/MBK)
Naoka Kai (QKR/Bris Aiki-Kai)
Damon Schearer (QKR/Bris Aiki-Kai)
Luis Pires (VKR/MBK)

4th Kyu
4th Kyu
4th Kyu
3rd Kyu
2nd Kyu
1st Kyu
1st Dan
1st Dan


Chiba Sensei’s Visit

5th August - 9th August

We are indeed a very fortunate group of enthusiasts having the opportunity to meet and train with so many great Japanese Sensei. The visit by Chiba Sensei, this time with two female champions took place in August.

Chiba Sensei and two female Sensei, Hoshina Sensei (6th Dan) and Suzuki Sensei (5th Dan) were again sponsored by members of the MBK. To have two high ranked and experienced female Kendo Ka in Australia was truly a first.

Chiba Sensei 2005

Otsuka memorial Taikai 2005

Melbourne Budokai put on an exceptional Takai in this, the 15th Anniversary of the Otsuka Memorial.

Special guests at the Tournament were Mr Kaku, Consul General of Japan and Mr McGregor, AJS President.

Over 60 competitors registered for this annual event with teams made up on the day from mixed clubs. As always, each team had a senior Yudansha, a beginning Mudansha and a more advanced Kyu rank shiai sha.

Some great moments were witnessed during the competition, one being Claire Chan and Alvin Chen fighting from the Jodan no Kamae.

Again Melbourne Budokai planned and conducted a great event.

Szwarcbord Sensei & Claire Chan

Nagae Sensei & Mr Kaku

The Winners

Asian Shimpan Seminar

Seoul South Kore

In October Yakov Macak, Ben Sheppard and Gary Oliver joined Greg Nichols and Peter Choi in Seoul for this two day event. Wonderfully hosted by the Koreans and led by a contingent from Japan it proved an insightful seminar although translation from Japanese to Korean then into Chinese and English made for some long discussions.

Yakov Macak, Ben Sheppard and Gary Oliver attending
the Asian Shimpan Seminarr

In November the Ballarat Kendo Club made a documentary for pay television. The 10 minute documentary was professionally shot and is currently being shown in over 20 countries on a show called ‘Body and Soul”.

Juniors Taikai

Thanks to the urging of Ben Sheppard we organized a competition for junior Kendo Ka. Ben had begun Nanseikan Kendo and this event was to give the youngsters a focus and some encouragement. It was a good start to a new annual event.

Continued >

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