New Year’s Greeting 2020

From the Canadian Kendo Federation, Montreal Office, December 30th 2019

New Year’s Greetings 2020
Vœux du Nouvel An 2020

In a few days, all of us members of the Canadian Federation of Kendo and Associated Arts (Iaido and Jodo) across the country will gather with family, friends and dojo students to celebrate various events. In reference to the Chinese zodiac calendar, we will all enter the era of the Rat, a charming, cunning, industrious and hyperactive animal.

For the animal doctor that I still am (since 1977), the idea of being accompanied by the thought of the rat for a year charms me and gives me new energy for 2020. It makes me smile to think: what if we used his perfectionist qualities to practice better suburis? Isn’t it said that all kendo is contained in the suburi?

More seriously, we are all going to make new resolutions in Kendo, Iaido, and Jodo for this year 2020 which for the most part will not be kept. This is human nature.

In this troubled period in all spheres of society where frenzied individualism reigns, the philosophy of budo faces a variety of issues: the sportification of traditional martial arts, a growing emphasis of winning in competitions and the excessive importance given to exams of grades with, consequently, the erosion of the authenticity of the Japanese martial tradition based on the concept of Yuko Datotsu.

So we will begin this New Year in January with the FIK Kendo Referee Seminar in Vancouver. The presence of three Hanshi from Japan will allow us to refine our evaluation of the Ippon and will bring accuracy and relevance to the competitions.

2020 will also be a challenging year for the dream of our Kendo prospects to be nominated in team Canada as they will be challenging in July a place in the CNKC to represent Canada in the WKC (Paris May 2021)

Iaido and Jodo leaders have strong education plans for the year 2020. In the past 12 months, the CKF Iaido team participated in three international events, bringing back home many awards and raising the awareness of Canadian Iaido through different events and experiences.

In fact, wisdom dictates that our martial arts must not be thought of merely as a way to enjoy competitions, nor even as a way to improve ourselves, one must apply to improve mind and body to bring some benefit to the world beyond the self. I am among those who believe that the authenticity of the sincere practice of the rules of courtesy, respect, and mental elegance practiced in dojos should be exported outside the dojos in an attempt to soothe our social wounds.

That is why the question chosen by the CKF Shogo Committee in November 2019 to obtain the title of Kyoshi was: “budo, as a life long discipline”. One could also have expressed a thought with a Zen flavor as follows: “the objective of the practice is the path, not the goal”.

It is by congratulating the new Kyoshi 2019 of the CKF that I send you on behalf of all the directors of the Federation my best wishes for this year of the rat!

“Happy Kendo, Happy Iaido, and Happy Jodo 2020! »

Happy New Year to all!

Christian D’Orangeville, CKF

(version en français sur demande)