2018 is definitely a year for the books. There were many medals won, dear friends moving away, new friends made and many Manila Kendo Club members stepping up!
The 18th Hong Kong Asian Open Kendo Championships on March kicked off the momentum for the club with all members passing their Shodan and Sandan exams. It was also the first time in a long time that an all-Filipino team was able to reach the quarterfinals in the 3-member Men’s Team event, and got the Fighting Spirit Award too! The MKC senseis were even more inspiring as they reached the Finals for the 5-team Men’s Team event, the first for any Filipino club, losing only to Sony who were also last year’s Champion. Sakuhara sensei received the Fighting Spirit Award from the event as well! (Full article here.)
On April, we hosted a Gasshuku summer camp in Manila. Kendoka friends from IGA Kendo Club Philippines, Davao Kendo Club, Iloilo Kendo Club, Cebu Kendo Club and Dumaguete Kendo Club flew in Manila and joined us as we went through 2 full days of kendo practice. This training camp was extra special to kendoka in the Philippines because it was also the last special practice with MKC’s Naoko Morishima sensei (7th Dan Kyoshi), who has helped develop kendo in the Philippines tremendously. She flew back to Japan after staying in Manila for 2 years. (Photos here, videos here.)
On July, the club participated in the Friendship Cup hosted by the United Kendo Federation of the Philippines. We gained new friends from IGA and Cebu Kendo Club as the teams were mixed together for the tournament. (Videos here.) We are also very proud of Andre Brillantes who passed his Yondan exam in Jakarta at the last weekend of July; he is one of only 3 Filipino kendoka to achieve this in the Philippines.
On October, the club participated in the 3rd Philippine National Kendo Tournament hosted by the UKFP and the Cebu Kendo Club, and won awards in all categories! With hard work and perseverance, MKC was able to bag the championship trophies from the Men’s Individuals Event, Men’s Team Event, and for the first time, the Women’s Team Event. (Full article here, pictures here.)
The year is concluded with our annual Yamanishi Cup club tournament and Christmas party held last December 8. Several of our beginners from this year stepped up and joined their first shiai, and performed spectacularly! Everyone had a blast from this year’s Christmas party as well, with games such as Guess the Kiai organized by the girls of MKC taking center stage. (Pictures here.)
This year, as with every year, we are very grateful for the senseis who visit and practice with us – Satoshi Fuji sensei, Madokoro Toshiharu sensei, Yoshiaki Madokoro sensei, Katsumi Kubota sensei, Wada sensei, Kawasaki sensei, Yamanishi sensei, Keichiro Tsujita sensei, Osuga sensei, Vithaya Pansringarm sensei, Takanori Koga sensei, Matsumoto sensei, and many more! We hope you can join us again and hopefully more sensei can visit us next year!
With the many blessings we received this year, we cannot help but be thankful to everyone who helped MKC grow into the club we are today. For the MKC board members voluntarily helping with the administration and organization of the club to ensure its continues successful operations, for our senpais’ continued guidance, for our kohais’ enduring perseverance and support, and especially for our senseis’ continued support and teachings to help us improve! Cheers to a more fruitful 2019!