In a few days, all of us members of the Canadian Kendo Federation and related Arts (Iaido and Jodo) across the country will gather with family, friends, and students to celebrate various events.
Stemming from the Chinese zodiac, we shall all enter through the front door into the zodiacal era of the pig, a symbol of plenty and prosperity, as we leave behind, and likely with regret, the era of the faithful and joyous dog. To the physician of animals who I am still (since 1977), this idea of changing nature delights and provides me with a renewed energy for 2019.
More seriously, every year that passes reminds us we are also temporary and impermanent. This delicate Buddhist concept helps us redefine our life objectives and confirm our dreams. Knowing we are not eternal allows us to start again on our life long path of challenges, letting go of trivial conflicts.
This also applies for the Kendo, Iaido, and Jodo life in our Dojo and outside the dojo, concerning the bureaucratic and governance’s decisions of your Arts.
The end of the year could be a unique time to reflect on our place in the martial Art universe and also in our Federation.
In this past year of 2018, the decision makers of our three martial Arts – Kendo, Iaido, and Jodo – have shown their vision for the future for each of their communities, for which I am sincerely thankful. They remained in line with the directors’ strong views, giving priority to education, communication, and transparency.
At an international level, our Federation has strong links with other countries thanks to exchanges, seminars, mutual invitations, and since recently, multinational gradings such as the North American Partnership event in Toronto.
Just as for the economy, we must learn to live in a global community, which has its inherent difficulties. Then again, what could be more rewarding than passing (or failing) a grading before judges of different ethnic origins and martial cultures?
2019 will be a challenging year for our national kendo team, now under a new management, as they will be representing us in Paris WKC 2021. I wish all of them great success and some “eternal Ippons” as we saw with our women team in Incheon 2018.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank our strong army of volunteers behind the scenes, giving their precious time to the Federation. They are the pillars behind our regular activities, gradings, tournaments, seminars, and trainings. They are the reasons CKF can maintain successfully our century-old Canadian kendo traditions.
To our distinguished Board of Directors, our dear Senior teachers, our Jodo, Iaido, and kendo members, I wish all of you a happy new Year 2019!
Happy Kendo, Happy Jodo, and Happy Iaido!
Bonne heureuse année à voustous !