Dear Friends and Members of the Ontario Kendo community,

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season with family and friends.

It’s unfortunate that the new variant prevents us from launching the new year with our annual Kendo Ontario New Year’s Godo Keiko but I hope this message will serve to communicate our appreciation for your support in 2021 and welcome the Ontario Kendo community into 2022.

We wish to thank the membership for the ongoing support. At the beginning of 2021, Kendo Ontario made the commitment to keep our community together and provide sessions so that motivated members could continue their Kendo development during the shutdown months. To meet that challenge, our Advisory Group organized and provided 7 online Kendo seminars that were hosted by various Sensei and covered a wide range of themes and topics. We also introduced a Guest Instructor pilot project program whereby guest instructors would visit and conduct dedicated online sessions via zoom for interested clubs. The individual sessions attracted up to 70 + attendees each with visitors from around the world and over 6 dojos registered for the Guest Instructor program.

With regards to ‘outside dojo’ activities, we held a special General Meeting and updated the membership on the status of the Ontario Kendo Federation o/a Kendo Ontario as a corporation in light of changing legislation. This represented an enormous endeavour by both the Executive Committee and Board and we want to thank the membership for the support and approval to proceed with the presented plans.

As we look to 2022, we remain confident in Kendo in Ontario as shown by the tenacity and fighting spirit of our members in 2021. Despite the ongoing Covid related challenges, our members continued to take on and find different ways to maintain their training throughout the year through online sessions, outdoors practices in parks and parking lots or finding new indoor facilities when faced with new restrictions at their traditional rental facilities. This fighting spirit was demonstrated across the province by large and small clubs and members of all ages.

Need further evidence of our members’ passion for Kendo? Over 100 Kendo practitioners registered to participate at the Canadian Kendo Federation’s Eastern Grading event in Toronto last November and 2 new Kendo clubs actually started in the Greater Toronto Area in 2021.

I believe that the start of 2022 will be precarious given the rising case numbers. However, I firmly believe we are heading in the right direction and am confident that our Kendo community will continue to adapt and find its way back to the dojo in 2022.

Kendo Ontario will continue to host events throughout the year as restriction lighten. We are also working on a number of ‘out of dojo’ initiatives to help promote the growth and development of Kendo in Ontario.

Similar to 2021, we will be hosting our annual General meeting in late January on Saturday January 29th. Details will be provided shortly to Dojo Leaders and Administration. Please join us as we welcome your input and feedback.

Happy New Year to All,

Bryan Asa
Kendo Ontario President