Geography of kendo

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Kendo is practiced worldwide.

Kendo originated in Japan, but is today practiced worldwide.

The size and depth of kendo skill varies widely from country to country. Some countries have few kendo practitioners, while Japan has several million.

Generally, kendo has stronger traditions in countries with strong historical ties to Japan, like Korea and Taiwan, as well as countries with large Japanese immigrant communities such as the United States, Canada and Brazil.[citation needed] While the term kendo is used all over the world, the term Kumdo is used in Korea.

International Organisations[edit]

The following international organisations administer, manage, promote, or have an interest in the development of kendo.

  • The International Kendo Federation (FIK) is the international federation of most national and regional kendo organisations. The FIK was established in 1970 to provide a link between the All Japan Kendo Federation and the developing international kendo community. Seventeen national or regional federations were the founding affiliates. The number of affiliated and recognised organisations has increased over the years to 57 (as of May 2015)2.[1]
FIK affiliated national and regional kendo organisations are listed on the FIK website.
The FIK has conducted the World Kendo Championships, every three years since it was established. The international competition is contested by individual and team representatives of the FIK affiliates.
  • Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (DNBK) was established in Kyoto, Japan, in 1953, .[2] Today, the new axiom of DNBK stresses preservation of classical martial arts tradition and the promotion of education and community service through martial arts training.[3]
  • International Martial Arts Federation (IMAF) was established in Kyoto, Japan, in 1952. Among the objectives of IMAF are the expansion of interest in Japanese martial arts, the establishment of communication, friendship, understanding and harmony among member chapters, the development of the minds and bodies of members, and the promotion of global understanding and personal growth.
  • Zen Nihon Sōgō-Budō Renmei (ZNSBR) The organization known as the Zen Nihon Sōgō-Budō Renmei (All Japan [Comprehensive] Budō Federation or SōBuRen) has as its mission the preservation of all Japanese martial arts. This includes (pre-Meiji) Nihon koryū bujutsu/bugei and (post-Meiji) gendai budō. We operate under the protection of the Japanese Imperial House as an entity that protects Japanese culture. The organization was created by Suzuki Masafumi-kanchō in 1969. After the passing of its founder, Ishikawa Takashi-kanchō, Toyama-ryū iaidō hanshi 9th dan and jūkendo hanshi 9th dan, replaced him as President of the Zen Nihon Sōgō-Budō Renmei.

National and Regional Organisations[edit]

Many national and regional organisations manage and promote kendo, some are affiliated to international kendo organisations, while other organisations are independent of international kendo organisations.

Distribution of Kendo federations. In dark green federations recognized by FIK. In light green Federations recognized by other agencies or in recognition process by FIK..

Asia[edit]

Africa[edit]

Kendo was introduced to Malawi in 1992 when a Japanese volunteer took on a group of local children as his students. The Kendo Association of Malawi was formed in 1999 and has seen significant growth in recent years. The Kendo Association of Malawi works closely with the Embassy of Japan in Malawi to promote kendo as a sport and to encourage cultural exchange and interaction between the peoples of the two nations. The majority of the Kendo Associations activities take place in Blantyre and Lilongwe, with some activity in Mzuzu. The Association holds regular weekly practice sessions in each city, and holds at least two local tournaments each year which are patronized by all manner of people including Embassy officials and Japanese expatriates and their families.

The major challenge that the Kendo Association of Malawi faces is that of resources, as kendo equipment tends to be expensive, and funding is often difficult to secure. However, the Embassy of Japan and well wishers have been a great help in this regard, donating all manner of equipment and resource.

Although there is a great interest in tournaments of all levels, a challenge that continues to face kendo players in Malawi is a lack of opportunity to compete at a regional and international level. This hinders the progress and development of players and stunts the growth of the sport. It is currently not possible to test for Dan rank within Malawi, and as of March 2014 there are less than 10 Malawians who have obtained Dan rank in kendo.

Europe[edit]

The European Kendo Federation (EKF) is member of International Kendo Federation (FIK), which 35 countries/regions belong to, also promotes jodo and iaido. European kendo championships have been held since 1974. Championships are held every year that there is no world championship. Some national organisations are affiliated to EKF, while other organisations are independent of EKF.

Oceania[edit]

  • Australian Kendo Renmei (AKR) grew from the beginning of kendo in Australia in the 1960s, is a founding member of the FIK (formerly the IKF) and remains affiliated. Australian Kendo Championships were first held in the 1970s and with a few gaps in the early years has been held in Australia annually since.
The AKR also partners with Australian University Sport Inc., to conduct an annual national kendo championship for university students. In 2014 seventy-six University student kendo players represented nine universities from all over Australia.

Pacific Ocean[edit]

Hawaii Kendo Federation (HKF) The Hawaii Budo Kyokai was established in 1947 (even before the All Japan Kendo Federation) and was renamed Hawaii Kendo Federation in 1955. The HKF consists of 16 dojo practicing kendo and iaido on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai and Maui. The HKF is an affiliate organisation of the FIK.

North America[edit]

  • Canadian Kendo Federation (CKF) consists of over 55 member clubs. Clubs belong to CKF directly, although they may also belong to a regional federation. Such federations exist in BC, Ontario and Quebec.
  • Federación Mexicana de Kendo (FMK) Mexican Kendo Federation, consists of 13 regional associations.
  • United States Several organisations promote Kendo in USA:
    • All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF) consists of 14 regional members. The regional members comprise a minimum of three kendo clubs, each with a minimum of 50 members. Individual people or clubs cannot be members of the AUSKF.
    • Many universities also host collegiate clubs that promote kendo among student communities.
      • The University of California, Los Angeles hosts an annual intercollegiate Yuhihai tournament for undergraduate students to compete.
    • Hawaii Kendo Federation (HKF) operates separately from the All United States Kendo Federation.

South America[edit]

In South America, the practice of Kendo has existed since the arrival of Japanese immigrants as early as 1908. Since then and with Brazil as its centre, kendo has spread over South America. Now kendo practitioners and kendo federations exist in many countries in South America such as: Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Aruba and Chile.

At the December 2006 meeting of the International Kendo Federation (FIK) held in Taiwan, the South American Kendo Confederation (CSK) was discussed and voted upon, as a result the Confederation was admitted as an FIK affiliate.

Argentina, Aruba, Chile, Brazil and Venezuela are affiliated with the FIK. The next South American Kendo championships will be held in Mexico during 2011.

Central America[edit]

Kendo in Guatemala started in 1992. The Guatemalan Kendo Association was founded in 1992. It consists of about 150 kenshi, is part of the CLAK (Latin American Kendo Confederation), and holds Kendo championships annually.

References[edit]