Updated: May 31
The 1st ever "Kendo Kids in Bogu" competition took place on 13 May 2023 at the 2023 RKC Autumn Championships in Rivonia, Johannesburg. The Championship was hosted by the RYU KEN CHI Dojo (RKC Dojo) and was an internal event open only to its 60-person strong membership base. The Championship consisted of 4 categories or events, one of which was the 'Kendo Kids in Bogu" competition.
"Bogu" is the specialised body armour that a practitioner wears during Kendo, a Japanese martial art that uses bamboo swords known as "shinai". With this specialised equipment, practitioners can experience full-contact fighting, without sustaining any serious injuries. Hence, in Kendo we have a variety of practitioner who are young and old, male and female, and who all can practise safely together!
The Kendo Kids in Bogu event was the first time ever being held in South Africa The Kendo Kids for this event were children between the ages of 10 and 11.
11 year old, Jamie LEWIS (a grade 6 student at Crawford College Sandton), took 1st place! Jaime had started doing Kendo during the height of the lockdown of the pandemic back in 2020. Because she and a few other children were confined to their homes, they needed an outlet to work off some excess energy! Thankfully, she came across Kendo online that was being hosted by Warren HO sensei, the head instructor of the RKC Dojo. When the dojo (place of training) was reopened, Ms LEWIS's online training gave her a good foundation to build her kendo skills further and ultimately make her the first Kendo Kids in Bogu Champion!
The 2nd place winner was Caden HOWELL (11), a grade 6 student at St. Peters. 3rd place and Fighting Spirit winner was Lisy RASOAMAHENINA (10) a grade 5 student at the French International School.
We look forward to seeing Jamie and the rest of the RKC Kendo Kids flourish in their Kendo journey and perhaps even represent our country at international events in the near future!
Coincidently, the RKC Dojo currently has 2 junior members (Divina Aura NAIDOO (17) and Charles SUN (16)), as well as 2 adults members (Terry CHAU and Thiroshan Dhario NAIDOO), who are part of the South African National Kendo Team who will take part in the forthcoming 32nd European Kendo Championships (EKC) that will be held in Beauvais, France over the period 19-21 My 2023!
The RKC Dojo Kendo Kids program is open for both boys and girls aged 6-12 years old, and is a fun and interactive training program that allows a child to experience a traditional Japanese martial art using a bamboo "sword".
Other benefits include: discipline, self-control, stress relief, confidence-building, social interaction and builds resilience.
Kendo Kids train every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30pm - 4:30pm at the Rivonia Sports Club, 47 Achter Road, Paulshoff. For more information, please visit www.rkcdojo.com, or call Warren HO on 082 389 9098.
Explicit permission was given by the parents to allow pictures of their Kendo Kids to be publiished on social media.
1) Sandton Chronicles, 24 May 2023
2) Online edition of the article in Sandton Chronicles:
The Ryū Ken Chi (RKC) Dojo train the traditional Japanese martial arts of Kendo and Iaido (sword-based martial arts), as well as Jodo (the art of the short staff), that encourages the cultivation of the human character.
Kendo Kid is also available for children aged 6-11 years old.
RKC DOJO has 2 training venues within Johannesburg - RIVONIA and OBSERVATORY. Online training is also available.
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