The concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the Katana, with the purpose of molding the mind and body and cultivating a vigorous spirit. Kendo is not only a source, but the vehicle through which self-evaluation and personal growth takes place inside and outside of the dojo.
The Kendo community has demonstrated tremendous resilience, tenacity, and creativity in the face of the adversity created by Covid-19. Despite the ongoing changes and challenges, our members continue to find ways to maintain their training through online sessions, outdoors practices in parks and parking lots and new indoor facilities when faced with new restrictions at their traditional rental facilities. This Kendo fighting spirit has been shown across the province by small and large clubs and members of all ages. Last year, we witnessed the birth of two (2) Kendo clubs in the Greater Toronto Area and saw over 100 Kendo practitioners register for the Canadian Kendo Federation’s Eastern Grading event in Toronto last November.
Kendo Ontario is committed to keep our community together and provide opportunities so that motivated members can maintain their Kendo development despite the pandemic. Our Advisory Group of dedicated Sensei organized and provided 7 online Kendo seminars that covered a wide range of themes and topics in 2021 and will continue to host events in 2022. Last year, 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. We will extend this program in 2022 to include both online and in-person sessions (rules permitting).
With regards to ‘outside dojo’ activities, we held a special General Meeting in early 2021 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 undertaking 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.
In addition, we have equipped Kendo Ontario with online payment capabilities to add efficiencies to our internal operations and provide convenience to our clubs and members.
We will be executing a refresh of our website in the spring of 2022 with added functionality, content, and tools. We will build upon the creation of ‘Kendo specific’ resources such as our dedicated Kendo Concussion Protocol package and create a hub of ‘Kendo specific’ promotional images and content for clubs to use to promote their respective clubs and dojos.
We are fortunate that the Senior Senseis that pioneered Kendo in Ontario in the sixties and seventies had the foresight to lay down the foundation of this organization to support the growth of Kendo in Ontario. Today, there are over 20 Kendo clubs in Ontario with Kendoka ranging from age 7 to 80 years old.
We continue their mission to promote the pursuit and enjoyment of Kendo in Ontario.