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Meet RKC Dojo Member, Delisa

Delisa does Kendo at the RKC Dojo Observatory

"A creative Jack-of-all-all-trades, Delisa is a conceptual art director and copywriter at an international advertising agency. Offline, she’s an anime-loving gamer with a deep interest in language, technology, and martial arts.
She could eat spaghetti bolognaise every day, and her goal in life is to finish her book and see as much of the world as she can.
The phrase that keeps her going comes from the trenches of burnout during her early career. A reminder to never give up: “As the sun rises, so will you." 

1. How did you become interested in practicing martial arts in a dojo?

I’ve always loved martial arts. I practiced Karate in primary school and then Taekwondo in High School. When I got to University I discovered Kendo online and thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen in South Africa. I couldn’t dedicate the time or cash to it then but I can finally do that now!

2. Which specific martial art(s) do you practice, and what attracted you to that style?

I practice Kendo and there are a few reasons why. I wanted to learn something completely out of my comfort zone, I’ve always been very interested in Asian culture, the armour is so cool, I wanted to find a way to calm my mind, I wanted to be fit and again, the armour is so cool.

3. How long have you been training in the dojo, and what progress have you noticed in yourself since starting?

I’ve been training with RKC for about four months now and I started feeling physically stronger in my first month. Kendo has also positively affected other areas of my life, I’m always in a good mood after a session (almost feels like a reset after a hard day of work) and I feel more at ease in general. It feels like there’s less of a weight on my shoulders and I’ve also made a lot of new friends to see on a weekly basis.

4. What aspects of training in a dojo do you find most challenging or rewarding?

Learning the intricacies of it. There is so much to learn about Kendo, even the way you wipe the sweat off your face! Sometimes I feel a bit like a toddler waddling around a new playground but it’s always rewarding to get something correct and understand why things are done a certain way. I feel a little more graceful in life too.

5. Can you describe the typical structure of a training session at your dojo?

We usually start with setting up the dojo, bringing in the equipment we need and cleaning the floors. Then we practice our Kata for about 30 minutes. After that, it’s warm ups, training and Keiko (sparring) for about 30 minutes. The entire session usually lasts 2 hours.

6. How important is the sensei (instructor) in your martial arts journey, and what qualities do you admire in your sensei?

Extremely important. I’ve always had a deep respect for my instructors in every martial art I’ve practiced and Warren Sensei is no exception. When I first called to enquire about Kendo, I was pretty nervous. It’s a big leap to try something so different and I feel like he understood that almost immediately and really made my first session feel super casual but exciting at the same time. He’s the first person I turn to for advice and he’s always invested in every member’s progress, in the dojo and out. I admire his dedication to his students and his patience with Kendoka of all levels.

7. Have you encountered any obstacles or difficulties in your training, and how have you overcome them?

I’ve recently gotten into armour now (Bogu) and it’s been quite a switch. I feel clumsy and slow but the more I practice in it, the more natural it starts to feel. At the moment, I find that I’m not sure how to win matches. I don’t know what my first move should be or when to gauge the correct timing to strike or counter. It’s something I know I’ll learn and understand (like every other part of Kendo before this point) but it’s almost made me freeze up a bit during Keiko. I haven’t overcome it yet but I will with more experience and less over thinking.

8. What principles or philosophies from your martial arts training do you apply to your daily life?

Discipline and spirit. There’s always something that goes wrong in life and I find that practicing a bit of self restraint (as well as the motivation to keep going) in both work and life has helped me become a better person.

9. In what ways has practicing martial arts in a dojo impacted your physical and mental well-being?

I feel stronger and more driven. I’m not as fit as I’d like to be yet but it think with Kendo (like with golf and other similar activities), you do need to exercise on your own to keep up. I’ve started cycling now, not to be fit but to be faster and have more stamina for Kendo!

10. Do you participate in any competitions or demonstrations as part of your martial arts training? If so, how do these experiences contribute to your overall growth?

I haven’t yet but I look forward to participating next year.


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 6-12 years old.

RKC DOJO has 2 training venues within Johannesburg - RIVONIA and OBSERVATORY.

Please follow us on our various social media platforms:


Instagram: @rkc_dojo

TikTok: rkcdojo

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