Sydney Kendo Club (SKC) was founded in 1974 and is the longest running Kendo club in Australia. We are affiliated with the New South Wales Kendo Association (NSWKA) and Australian Kendo Renmei (AKR). Each week, we have two training sessions for adults. Many visitors train with us from other clubs, be it locally, nationally or internationally.
SKC aims to represent the best of Kendo tradition while striving to improve Kendo in Australia by holding seminars with visiting Kendo Sensei. Our training schedules cover all skill levels from beginner to the experienced. Please feel free to contact us or drop in at a training session.
「錬技睦和」"Rengi Bokuwa" is our motto at Sydney Kendo Club. This means "We vow to train our skills and minds in harmony, keeping good terms with each other to become better human beings and to contribute to society". This is the ultimate goal of Kendo.
OUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
RIZZI DE LEON
CLUB SENSEI AND SENIOR MEMBERS
Kendo 6 Dan Renshi
Daniel commenced Kendo in 1973 at the Muirfield and Epping Kendo Clubs, Sydney, and then in 1974 joined the Willoughby kendo Club at its inaugural training which subsequently became the Sydney Kendo Club. In 1979 he was a member of the Australian Kendo Renmei team that attended the World Kendo Championships in Sapporo, Japan. From 1982 Daniel commenced residency in Japan and from 1982-1983 was formally enrolled as a ‘Kendo research student - itakusei’ at Nippon Taiku Daigaku (Japan Sports Science University), Tokyo, as nominated by the Australian Kendo Renmei. From 1982 through to 1998 Daniel was a member of various Tokyo Kendo associations returning thereafter to Sydney. Daniel has been a Secretary and Treasurer of both the Sydney Kendo Club and Australian Kendo Renmei, and a member of the NSW Technical Committee. Daniel attained 6 Dan in 2017 in Aichi, Japan, and Renshi in 2018 in Tokyo.
Kendo 5 Dan
Vivian started Kendo at the Sydney Kendo Club in 2001. She has travelled multiple times to Japan for Kendo training and to overseas for international Kendo competitions. Vivian has won the Australian Women's Individual title twice and team title multiple times. Vivian also represented Australia in both the individuals and team events in the 2006 Taiwan, 2009 Sao Paulo and 2012 Novara World Kendo Championships and achieved best 16 individual performance in 2009 and 2012. She was awarded the fighting spirit award for her outstanding performance in the 2012 World Kendo Championships. In 2013, Vivian represented Australia in the 2nd World Combat Games in St Petersburg, Russia. She attained the rank of 5th Dan in 2015. Vivian has served as President of the Sydney Kendo Club and the Secretary of the Australian Kendo Renmei. In 2018, she served as the captain of the Women's Team in the World Kendo Championships held in Seoul, Korea. This team came 3rd in the world behind Japan and Korea.
ANDREW VAN HAMOND
Kendo 5 Dan
Andrew started Kendo at the Sydney Kendo Club in 2001. He is a former and present President of the NSW Kendo Association and has been the state Dan team coach in recent years. In 2013, he won the National Veteran's title. Andrew attained the rank of 5th Dan in 2016 in Tokyo.
Kendo 4 Dan
Steven commenced Kendo in 1968, while still at High School. At that time Kendo training was held at various dojo around the Sydney area. Initially he was trained by Yoshida Sensei, subsequently by Takeuchi Sensei and many visiting Sensei. A great influence was Shizawa Sensei. In 1974 Steven started training at the new Sydney Kendo Club dojo which had started at Willoughby Dojo, where it still continues today. Steven won the Australian Individual Championship in 1975, 78, 79, 81, 86, and 1988; the New South Wales Individual Championship in 1983, 1994, 1995. He also won the Queensland Open Championship in 1980. He was the Captain of Australian Team at the World Championships in 1979, Sapporo, Japan, after which he attended the Foreign Kendo Leader Summer Seminar in Saitama Prefecture. He was again the Captain of the Australian Team at the 1988 World Championships in Seoul, Korea. He has also been a past President of the Australian Kendo Renmei, past Secretary of Australian Kendo Renmei, and past Secretary of NSW Kendo Association, and also a past Member of the AKR Kendo Technical Board.
He was graded to 4th Dan in 1987 during the visit of Nakakura Sensei.
Kendo 4 Dan
Chris practiced Kendo as a teenager in France from 1977 to 1981. He restarted his kendo practice by joining Sydney Kendo Club in 2002. Since then he has been travelling with his bogu bag all around the world. Chris was awarded the rank of 4th Dan in August 2014. In 2019, Chris was selected as the Australian representative for the 'Kendo’s Foreign Leaders Seminar' in Kitamoto.
Kendo 5 Dan
Colin started Kendo at the Sydney Kendo Club in 1979. Since then, Colin has represented NSW in the Australian Kendo Championships and represented Australia in competition in New Zealand. He also attended the Kitamoto Foreign Leaders Summer Camp. Colin attained the rank of Kendo 5 Dan in 2014. Colin now runs his own Dojo at Western Sydney Kendo Club at Ermington but regularly offers his support and trains at SKC.
2004: SKC's 30th Anniversary
In 2004, the Sydney Kendo Club - oldest kendo club in Australia - celebrates the 30th anniversary of its establishment at Willoughby, Sydney. On December 18th, we will be holding official celebrations to commemorate this milestone.
Our history actually stretches way before 1974...all the way to when kendo was first practised in Australia. Allow me to share with you a brief history of the club, followed by a mini-trip down memory lane...
Kendo has been actively practiced in Sydney since the early 1960s. Messrs. Rex Lawley and Ron Bennett, along with Okura-san , Yoshida-san , Shoji-san, Jun Takeuchi and John Anderson, were instrumental in developing kendo in this country in the 1960s and early 1970s. This period was characterised not only by early kendo developments, but also by a string of events which lead the group to move from one location to another.
By the early 1970s, 2 groups of kendo practitioners exist in Sydney. Yoshida-san (and later Takeuchi-san) led the main group which Rex and other senior members trained with. The other group was led by John Anderson, whom Daniel Strenger trained under. At one stage, trainings were held at multiple locations, including North Rocks, Epping, Glebe and Muirfield.
With the support from Yoshida-san, the Australian Kendo Renmei was formally instituted in 1969. In 1970, Australia was one of the original 8 countries to participate in the first World Kendo Championship held in Japan.
In 1974, Doug Milton started a dojo at the Willoughby Park Centre (then known as the Willoughby Youth Centre) where both the kendo groups started training together. Trainings were held under the auspices of the Willoughby Park Centre Judo Club, which provided some kendo equipment, though kendo trainings were separate from judo. Given the popularity of the location,
Willoughby Park Centre (Albert Chowne Memorial Hall more specifically) became the only kendo dojo as the kendo groups were effectively amalgamated under one roof. With increasing number of members, the Willoughby Youth Centre Kendo Club (later known as the Sydney Kendo Club) became formally constituted.
As they say, the rest is history.
2004 President, Sydney Kendo Club