Kendo literally means “way of the sword” and is a modern Japanese martial art.
In Nelson, Kendo is now a sport to less than 20 people across both the Shoshin Kendo Club and Nelson Kendo Club.
Descended from swordsmanship, the sport uses bamboo swords called Shinai and protective armour, combining martial arts practices and values with heart-pumping physical activity.
This year, the two Nelson clubs will be jointly hosting the 2015 New Zealand Kendo Federation Winter Camp, a seminar and training weekend for all members registered with the national federation.
The seminar will be lead by Morioka Hiromitsu Sensei, 7th Dan, along with two other high grade Kendoka from Japan.
No matter what age or level, Kendoka (practitioners of kendo) from around the country will be gathering in Nelson to take part in the camp, which will be run over the weekend of Saturday 15 and Sunday 16, August, in the Stoke Hall.
“For us, it’s our first nationally run event, so we want to do a good job of that, but also to do the training [is important to us]. We probably think we’re awesome, but we need people like the 7th and 6th Dans to show us we’re not,” says Shoshin Kendo Clubs’ Rayon Mackenzie. “We go to these things all the time because we think we need to get better at Kendo. It also keeps us in touch with the new techniques, the new rules and especially other types of Kendo.”
An AGM determines who will host the camp the following year, and clubs are able to offer the skills of experienced tutors thanks to New Zealand connections with a number of high grade Kendoka in Japan.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Nelson Kendo clubs can visit the New Zealand Kendo Federation website at www.kendo.org.nz.