by Kristopher Inting
Our Club is gearing up again for the Annual Hong Kong Kendo Asian Open Championships! This event, on its 16th edition, is something many of our members look forward to, as this is their chance to prove that they are ready to take the next step in Kendo (by passing their dan exam), and to compete with kendoka from other countries.
The Club has joined the Championships since the 13th edition in 2013, and we instantly made a mark in the event. This was done via an almost perfect passing rate for our dan exam candidates, and our Women’s Team getting into the quarterfinals of their event (this in spite of the fact it was the first time ever a Women’s Team from the Philippines had competed in any international tournament). We continued to impress the next year, with once again an almost perfect passing rate and our Women’s Team getting 2nd place in the tournament. Through all these, we showed IGA Ken’s brand of Kendo, and gained many friends in the international community.
For the dan exams in 2016, we are once again sending a large group of students to test. This year, we have 8 shodan, 4 nidan, and 3 yondan candidates. On an interesting note, we actually have more students from our Dasma Village Dojo taking the shodan exam than from our Arena Fitness Dojo, which used to dominate the exam candidates. This shows the growth of Dasma over the past year. Here are our candidates for the different dan levels:
They have all been busy preparing for the past few months to take their exams. Let us wish them luck! And hope that Igarashi-Sensei’s goal of a 100% passing rate will come to pass!
Of course, while the dan exams are important, the other reason to go to Hong Kong is to compete in the tournament! This year we are sending a total of 6 teams to compete in the various divisions. Two teams each for the Men’s 3-Dan and Under, the Women’s Open, and the Men’s Open Divisions.
Men’s 3-Dan and Under Teams
TEAM B – This team is composed of newbies to the tournament, and are all shodan candidates. This just means though that they are hungry to prove themselves in competition.
TEAM A – Composed of veterans of the Club’s previous forays in the tournament, they hope to improve their standings from the previous attempts. Perhaps this year is the year they finally break into the quarter finals.
Women’s Open Teams
TEAM B – This team is mostly composed of newbies, with one veteran in Verns who competed as a rookie in last year’s event. We also have a guest in the form of Veejay, a Pinay who is based (and trains) in Cambodia, who has practiced with the Club before.
TEAM A – The veteran team for our women, composed of kendoka who have participated in all of our forays into Hong Kong so far. They have a rightfully earned reputation as a team to look out for in the tournament.
Men’s Open Teams
TEAM B – The team is composed of a mix of young up and coming kendoka, and club veterans. Though we do not expect to go far in this division, we still hope to make our mark and show the IGA Ken brand of Kendo.
TEAM A – Our All-Japanese team, composed of the Club Sensei and visitors who have since gone back to Japan. This promises to be the strongest team we have ever fielded, and we hope that they will see more success than in previous years!
Please join our Club in wishing good luck and success to all our competitors!
On a final note, I would like to acknowledge the Philippine delegation as a whole. The Manila Kendo Club will be participating alongside us, and they have been representing the Philippines the longest in this event. We are privileged to be fighting alongside them once again. We also have a new-comer in the Davao Kendo Club. This is their first time to participate in the said event, and wish their delegates luck in the dan exams.
Here’s to a very successful campaign in the 16th Hong Kong Open!