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testimonials

Damien Carmody-Stevens

6th Dan


 

When I began Kendo I understood the VKR to be little more than a grant seeking body for available government funds. I am not sure to the accuracy of this view point but thatís how I remember it. Since then, with the growth of clubs in the Kendo scene the VKR has become the centre of dialogue for the clubs and the genesis for the future of Victorian Kendo.

However for whatever the reason the VKR began, I believe the setting up of the State Renmei before the wide spread

propagation of Kendo clubs was either good planning or good providence as it enabled a relatively pain free expansion of Kendo in Victoria.

I think one of the measures of the VKR is the contribution that it has made to the national Kendo scene. The VKR has produced National Presidents and Executive Members, Kendo Board chairmen and members, national champions and national team members. The VKR has been an active voice and has been helping to shape the future in all aspects of Kendo and the related arts within the AKR.

One of the Renmeiís great achievements has been to keep a dialogue and good relations between a number of clubs that have different goals and reasons to exist. This preparedness for the clubs to work together, to overcome small differences leaves the VKR member in a strong position in the future.

Personally members of the VKR have become my closest friends with some friendships now beyond 20 years. Kendo has become the foundation of my life and has enriched my life to no end. At some point I have found myself in various VKR roles including president, vice president, general committee member, team coach and team player. I continue to be a member of the Fudoshin Kendo club and consequently the VKR.

My involvement in the VKR has allowed me to continue Kendo practice beyond Victorian Kendo, firstly to NSW and now Singapore for the last six years or so, where I am currently the highest grade. I seem to be in constant contact with Victorian Kendo players with a large number of south Asian students in our universities itís always great to see a familiar zeken in the Dojo here. However the further I get from the VKR the more I appreciate the planning and good custodianship that was exercised in those early days which I am sure continues to this day.

Damien Carmody-Stevens



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