Rise of the RKC Kendo Kids
Updated: Dec 31, 2022
Sometimes, the smallest stars shine the brightest!
The RKC Kendo Kids group started in the makeshift-dojo-garage of RKC Dojo's head sensei, Warren HO, back during the height of the pandemic lockdown of 2020. Unable to train at the regular dojo, HO sensei had to find some way to continue his training, as well as to encourage the other members of the dojo to continue with theirs! Online training and the garage-dojo was the solution! Furthermore, Having an energetic 5-year old boy confined to his home was another challenge, and that is when RKC Kendo Kids was
borne ***! Nathan HO, was HO sensei's youngest Kendo Kid to begin with. With a cut-down bamboo sword, he was soon doing some version of Kendo with his father!
Soon after that, a number of enquiries came in from parents who wanted to also introduce their children to Kendo online and give them a break-away from the mundane lockdown-life. The online Kendo Kids classes grew significantly during this time.
When the lockdown-restrictions began to ease up, some of the Kendo Kids would come along to the garage-dojo and start training with each other under the watchful eye of HO sensei.
By mid 2021, when the lockdown-restrictions allowed the physical dojo to re-open again, the RKC Kendo Kids were finally able to train in a proper dojo with wooden floors and high ceilings - something that had been significantly missing from their online and garage-dojo training experience!
Fast forward to the present day, and the RKC Kendo Kids classes continue to grow from strength to strength!
Recently, some of the Kendo Kids that started back in 2020, received their uniforms (hakama and kendo-gi) and amour (bogu), making them the YOUNGEST kendo players in South Africa to be in full amour that are still practicing Kendo!
The Ryu Ken Chi (RKC) Dojo is proud to be able to continue to guild these rising Kendo super stars along their martial arts journey. Through this journey, they will gain invaluable life-skills that will serve them well as they grow older.
When asked what has been her best experience with the Kendo Kids so far, Carina ROTHMAN sempai, Kendo Kids Assistant Instructor, had this to say: "Seeing the growth within a child. Being able to show them something and seeing how in the next lesson they still remember it and carry it forth!"
HO Sensei had this to conclude, "Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial arts in which we can hone the hard skills such as balance, strength and endurance; but also those softer skills such as confidence, discipline and resilience. These are such vital skills for any child's development that will not only unlock their full potential as individuals, but to also help them become responsible, productive and caring members of society. I am excited to be to on this journey of discovery and development with the Kendo Kids! I am so proud of them all!"
The Kendo Kids program is suitable for children, both boys and girls, as young as 6 years old.
As part of their practise, the Kendo Kids are also encouraged to use their voice while learning to move with the sword in a pre-determined manner. This encourages self-confidence, improves co-ordination, builds strength and stamina and promotes mental discipline.
For more information, please visit www.rkcdojo.com or call 082 389 9098.
Photo Collage 1: Kendo Kids in the garage-dojo!
Photo Collage 2: Kendo Kids at the Rivonia Dojo!
Photo Collage 3: Rise of the RKC Kendo Kids...!
*** NOTE: The "Original" Kendo Kids initiative at the RKC started back in 2015 when the "Rivonia Kendo Club" was first founded. Of the original batch of Kendo Kids, 2 kids had left the country, trained online, came back to South Africa and have now rejoined the adult kendo classes at the RKC!
Photo Collage 4: The "Original" RKC Kendo Kids of 2015.
Kendo Kids featured in the Sandton Cronicles editoon ending 5 August 2022:
NB: Explicit permission was received from the parents of the Kendo Kids to be able to use the photos featuring their Kendo Kids. The RKC Dojo has a STRICT policy of not using any photos or videos of children under the age of 18 years old without the explicit permission of the parent, guardian and/or themselves.
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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