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testimonials

Tarl O'Mara

3rd Dan


 

I started Kendo when I was 9 Years old in 1994 and completed my first grading at the Kenshikan on the 29th September 1995. This was the first time I had seen the VKR and members outside the Ballarat Kendo Club together with a hand full of other Kendoka applying for their first gradings. From that time on I have witnessed the change of the VKR into a professional organisation designed to help Kendoka in Victoria, all over Australia and the world. As I was just a kid during this time I can’t remember all the details as well as I would like.


In the past 13 years I have seen the VKR governing around 4 or 5 Kendo clubs around Melbourne and Victoria to the astonishing 10 clubs that now represent the VKR with more than 5 times its members. This alone shows how much the passion of its members and professionalism of the VKR has grown with more


and more members gaining Sensei rank. This has helped the VKR grow into the strongest member of the AKR.

There have definitely been major people both in the AKR and around the world who have helped strengthen the VKR. The Kendoka that have most influenced my Kendo have been not only from The VKR but also from visiting Sensei and clubs including Nittaidai University, Shizawa Sensei, Chiba Sensei, Holt Sensei, Kuramochi Sensei and most recently, Sumi Sensei. There have also been many other people with out the rank of Sensei that have in my opinion have been a major help to the building of the VKR and its members. They include such as Satoru Takada, Kate Sylvester and Gerard Everton who all have been or still are members of the VKR.

The greatest memory I have displaying the strength of the VKR, was at the Perth Championships in 2002 where the Open Champion was Victoriaís Brett Smith. Our Dan Team came 1st and the Kyu Champion was Ryan Oliver. It was a proud moment for me in the Kyu Teams with Ryan Oliver, myself, Sue Rodgers, Sid and Josh Orth, when we came second.

I have been very lucky to witness the transformation of the VKR and to compete and practice Kendo all over Australia and internationally from the great relationships the VKR has formed. The VKR has grown strong over the years due to the devotion of its members, especially from the commitment of major influences such as Nagae Sensei, Yakov Sensei, Szwarcbord Sensei, Brett Smith Sensei, Carmody-Stevens Sensei, Gazzaniga Sensei, Ben Sheppard Sensei, Gary Oliver, Arpad Maksay, Tony Pickering, Richard Ward, Hayami Aboutaleb, Ben Kelly, and many more people. In my opinion I have witnessed a milestone in the development of the ever growing VKR.

I am very proud and very grateful to the VKR and all its members. It has helped me grow into the person I am today and I donít know where I would be without it.

Tarl O'Mara



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