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2023 SEFOR CUP Summary

Pic 1: All medal winners of the 2023 Sefor Cup Championships

The 2023 SEFOR Cup was held on Sunday, 5 March 2023 after an intensive weekend seminar with some high-level European senseis (teachers) - Uwe KUMPF sensei (Kyoshi, 7th Dan) from Germany and Markus FREY sensei (Kyoshi, 7th Dan) from Finland.

Approximately 40 competitiors from Japan, Germany, Mauritius, Mozambique and South Africa were spread across 2 divisions, namely the Women Championships and the Open Championships.

The Woman's Championships was won by Lisa CHIVANGA of the Ryu Ken Chi Dojo (RKC Dojo), Aura NAIDOO (RKC Dojo) came 2nd, and Anke HOLLE (Shihoko) and Yentl KRUGEL (San Kawa) both came 3rd. Anke HOLLE also won the Fighting Spirit award.

Woman's Championship winner, Lisa CHIVANGA, had this to say: " Winning the SEFOR Cup’s women's kendo tournament and becoming the women's champion was an incredible experience, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a competitive and challenging event.

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to my sensei and my dojo for guiding me and teaching me everything I know about kendo. Without your support, I would not have achieved this success. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all the organizers, referees, and fellow competitors who made this tournament a memorable and exciting event.

Thank you all, and I look forward to defending my title next year!"

In the Open Championships, Yuki NISHIMAKI from Japan took the prestigeous 1st place position, followed by Alex KENT (Ichibyoshi) in 2nd place and Thio NAIDOO and Warren HO (both from the RKC Dojo) taking a joint 3rd place! Fighting Spirit awards were awarded to Kadima KAZADI (Shihoko) and Ashton HOOD (Ichibyoshi).

In a post-championship interview, Yuki NISHIMAKI has this to say: "It was not easy to win the Sefor Cup as competitors from not only the African countries, but also from some European countries fought fiercely. I was surprised to see the development of South Africa's kendo level. I am glad to have won, but I am also proud of the kendo fighters in South Africa!"

Current SAKF President, Michael GRICE, added: "Our Seminar is a gateway to connect with international teachers/students. The Sefor Cup is our national championship and is also the largest competition we host in preparation for the European and World Kendo champiobships. Lastly, our grade Exam allows for the evaluation and development of our members by aligning them with world standards."

Warren HO, current Vice-President of the SAKF, had this to add: "As the Head Instructor at the RKC Dojo, I am extremely proud of all our dojo members who took part in the seminar and SEFOR Cup. We were able to win the 2 top spots for the Women's Competition, as well as both the joint 3rd places in the Open Competition! I was one of those 3rd place winner and was personally happy with my performance. Receiving a medal from Buster SEFOR sensei was a very special moment for me. Back in 2017, the International Seminar and Sefor Cup was envisioned to be a world-class event that both our local Kendo players, as well as international Kendo players would be able to enjoy and look forward to each year! We had renamed the annual Open Championships to the 'SEFOR CUP' in honour of Buster SEFOR sensei (Renshi, 7th Dan), who was the previous president of the SAKF and had served on the SAKF Executive Committee for almost three decades."

To conclude, when asked for about his opinion of the Championships, Buster SEFOR sensei had this to say: "I was very impressed with the level of competition, which was the BEST I had seen since inception".

Pic 2: Buster SEFOR sensei presents the prestigeous SEFOR CUP to 2023 Open Championship winner, Yuki NISHIMAKI. Also present in the picture (from left to right) are Markus FREY sensei (Kyoshi, 7th Dan) from Finland, Michael GRICE (SAKF President), Buster SEFOR sensei (Renshi, 7th Dan) and Uwe KUMPF sensei (Kyoshi, 7th Dan) from Germany.

Pic 3: Participants of the 2023 International Seminar

Pic 4: RKC Members who particiapted on Day 1 of the seminar.

Pic 5: RKC Members who particiapted in the SEFOR Cup!

Pic 6: All results from the 2023 SEFOR CUP


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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