Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Over the weekend of 26-27 March 2022, the South African Kendo Federation (SAKF) hosted their annual SAKF International Seminar and SEFOR CUP competition in Johannesburg. This would have been the 1st time in over 2 years that Uwe KUMPF sensei (Kyoshi 7th Dan Kendo and also the Germany Kendo Federation president) and Markus FREY sensei (Kyoshi 7th Dan kendo) from Finland, were able to return to South Africa and lead this international event. Together with South Africa's own Renshi 7th Dan sensei, Buster SEFOR, the weekend of training and competitions was eagerly anticipated by the participants.
(“Renshi” and “Kyoshi” are teacher-titles that some kendo practitioners will obtain during their Kendo-career).
Being part of the global kendo community, the SAKF had also extended their invitation to other countries to participant in the event, from which members from Austria, Mauritius and Namibia accepted!
During the Saturday session, participants were treated to several intensive training session under the watchful eyes of the European Sensei's. Old techniques were re-taught to ensure correct practise, while new exercises were taught for better understanding of more advanced concepts. A quote from the concept and purpose of Kendo (as laid as doctrine by the All Japan Kendo Federation in 1975) is that, "through correct and rigid training, we strive to improve in the art of kendo....". That Saturday session was an embodiment of that quote with some participants stating that they burnt between 3,000 and 5,000 calories (as per their respective fitness devices) during the day-long session!
They day ended with a Dan grade examination resulting in one candidate being promoted to a 3rd Dan in kendo. Congratulations to AK*** of the Ichibyoshi Dojo who is one of the few Nitto (2-swords) kendo players in the country.
Sunday started off with the Women's Competition that pitted only the women in bogu (armour) who were participating in the seminar against each other. WV*** of the Shihoko Dojo came in 1st, followed by YK*** (Mushin dojo) coming in 2nd. A joint 3rd place was shared by 2 members of the RKC Dojo's, Aura NAIDOO and Lisa CHIVANGA. Ms. NAIDOO was also able to secure the prestigious, "FIGHTING Spirit" award for the competition.
The main event for the day was the 5th SEFOR CUP, an open competition that any competitor in bogu would be able to compete in, regardless of age, sex or kendo rank. Previously called the SA Open Championships, this competition was renamed in 2017 to the SEFOR CUP in honour of Buster SEFOR sensei, who had served on the SAKF Executive committee for almost 30 years (including that as SAKF President for a number of years), and ensuring the growth and continuity of Kendo development in South Africa over those years. There were some exciting matches during the competitions that are judged by 3 court referees for each match. The event was won by BD*** of the San Kawa Dojo, followed by JHK*** of Mushin Dojo for 2nd place, and finally the joint 3rd place by TM*** and AK***, both from the Ichibyoshi Dojo. MK*** of the Shihoko Dojo won the Fighting Spirit Award.
** Names and pictures of the various competitors have been removed.
Various pics from the event:
ALL PHOTO CREDITS TO JUSTIN GORDON.
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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