KENDO IN CANADA
The first-ever Kendo Canada Virtual National Seminar was held on July 25 and 26, 2020.
Come together with Kendo friends from across Canada for the first-ever virtual Kendo Canada National Seminar hosted by the CKF. The 20th Canadian National Kendo Championships scheduled for this summer were unfortunately postponed due to the on-going COVID-19...
Due to the on-going uncertainty and health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CKF Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to postpone the 20th Canadian National Kendo Championships, scheduled to be held July 24-27 in Burnaby, BC.
In light of the growing COVID-19 health crisis in Canada, the CKF has officially cancelled all Kendo, Iaido, and Jodo gradings planned for the spring and summer of 2020.
The CKF hosted the FIK America Zone Referee Seminar January 25-26 in Burnaby, BC. With 103 participants from the US, Brazil and across Canada, it was a wonderful opportunity for kendo practitioners from across the Americas to come together and hone their refereeing skills.
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What is Kendo?
Kendo is a Japanese martial art originating from the training of samurai in the art of swordsmanship. Modern Kendo training involves practitioners using a bamboo sword (shinai) and wearing protective armour (bogu).
The Japanese characters for Kendo (剣道) are translated as The Way of the Sword and characterized through the discipline of the human character through training and the application of the sword (katana). Through training, students strengthen body and mind, while learning many of the core teachings of the samurai: to treat people with respect, to strive for self-development, and to contribute to the peace and prosperity of humanity.
Photo courtesy of Kendo Photography
Kendo Training in Canada
Kendo was brought to Canada by Japanese immigrants in the early 1900’s in British Columbia. Today, there are nearly sixty dojo all across Canada registered with the Canadian Kendo Federation. If you are interested in starting Kendo, please visit our directory to find a Kendo dojo near you.
Kendo is widely regarded as a life-long endeavour and most dojo will accept students from seven or eight years of age. Through the various stages of life and development, students can continue to practice throughout their lives. In Canada, many dojo include a mix of students young and old.
Although the schedule and style of training differ from dojo to dojo, typically a new practitioner will initially learn proper etiquette, handling of the shinai, body movement, footwork, and striking techniques. Once a practitioner is able to perform these basic fundamentals properly, the instructor will graduate the student to wear armour and begin sparring (keiko) with opponents.
In terms of equipment, you will initially only need a shinai (bamboo sword), and they can often be purchased through the dojo or local vendors. Next you will need kendo-gi and hakama, and finally the entire Kendo-gu (armour) set. In Canada, there are a few on-line Kendo shops including: Aoi Budogu and Bogushop.
Kendo Team Canada competes internationally in the World Kendo Championships, held every three years. Canada has had a long history of success at the World Kendo Championships, historically placing silver and bronze in both the men’s and women’s team competitions.
Photo Courtesy of Kendo Photography
History of Kendo in Canada
Kendo Canada can be traced back to the early 1900’s, brought from Japan by immigrants to Canada. In 1914, Yokikan Dojo in Steveston, BC was established, followed by three other dojos in British Columbia. At that time, there were around 290 Kendo players in the Vancouver and surrounding areas.
In 1939, the first Canadian National Kendo Tournament was held in BC.
During the Second World War, Kendo was practiced in some of the internment camps. After the war, four dojos opened up; two in Vancouver and two in Toronto.
Canada has participated in every World Kendo Championships (WKC) its start in 1970.
Now, there are over 55 Kendo dojo spread across Canada.
Reference- (Okusa, H., Kendo Boryu, Kendo Nippon, April 2016-March 2017)
Photo courtesy of Steveston Kendo Club
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Christian D'Orangeville
Vice President East: Hyun-June Choi
Vice President West: Makiko Ara
Secretary: Neil Gendzwill
Treasurer: John Maisonneuve
Director: Pamela Morgan
Director: David Mori
Director: Patrick Suen