Davao Kendo Club - From Idea into Reality (story)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I want to share to you guys my activities during my long hiatus :/ Aside from being so busy at work and being a full time student again ;-) , I still managed to join Cheerleading Competitions and Kendo training before >_<. Maybe after reading this post, you might wanna try Kendo or join cheerleading ;)

I'll talk first about Kendo - Japanese Martial Arts...
Attention! Photos overload XD
-~credits to the owners of the photos :) all in all i grab these photos from our fanpage site that has been tagged to us from the owners :)

-What is Kendo?

~Kendo - Japanese Martial Arts~

"Kendo (剣道 kendō?, lit. "way of the sword"), is a modern Japanese martial art, which descended fromswordsmanship (kenjutsu) and uses bamboo swords (shinai) and protective armour (bōgu). Today, it is widely practiced within Japan and many other nations across the world.
Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines martial arts practices and values with sport-like strenuous physical activity. (source: Wikipedia)"

Find ME!! :P lol


I'll be sharing about Davao Kendo Club in this section :)
The journey ;)

Logo made by Rikki Reyes-Senpai
(Kendoka from Igaken Manila)
-Natal Day ;)
Davao Kendo Club started nothing but an idea. That idea came to reality through the effort and persistence of the pioneer students Engr: Johnny Teofilo Lardera, Jasper John Teofilo Lardera and Janilyn Fe Teofilo Lardera (it's me!).

On May 31, 2014, Davao Kendo Club started practicing Kendo with a small group of kendokas (practitioners of Kendo) at Planet Infinity Gym, Damosa, Davao City. Few months later, there were new members added to the 'pioneering students' but never exceeded to five members.

Click here to visit:  Davao Kendo Official Website
(Pioneering Students)
From left to right: Me, Jasper and Johnny
(they're my brothers ;) )
Siblings :)

-Senpai/Sensei: Philip Lim

From left to right: Jasper, Me, Philip Lim-Sensei and
Jercyl Lerin (new member of the pioneering)

We are so blessed to have 3rd Dan Philip Lim-senpai as our instructor who came from Manila. He is a korean businessman and now currently living in Davao City ( city where i'm residing :D ). We cannot establish Kendo Club without Philip Lim-senpai /sensei because only a person who has a high rank/belt is eligible to teach practitioners. Philip Lim-Senpai/Sensei is a kind, funny and generous man. He's doing all that he could to teach us and to provide us with equipments needed to use in learning Kendo.

He is our main/prime Kendo instructor/teacher in the club.

There were also teachers who devoted their time in sharing their knowledge and skills:

3rd person on the first row from the left side - Nobou Ito-Senpai.
 4th person on the second row from the left side -Nell Jone Astudillo
(Bushido master joined the training)
-Nobou Ito-Senpai

3rd Dan Nobou Ito-Senpai is a Japanese and also a businessman and residing Davao City for many years. Ito-Senpai focused on teaching those kendokas who were still learning the basics of Kendo in the second batch. Unfortunately because of health conditions, he didn't able to pursue his desire in teaching us Kendo. We are still grateful that somehow, we got to be taught by him and learned a lot from him. :)

(From left to right) Masahiro Ono-Sensei, me
and Philip Lim-Senpai/Sensei.
At the back is my co-kendoka Martin :D

-Masahiro Ono-Sensei

On November 22, 2014, 6th Dan Masahiro Ono-Sensei, a Japanese who are based in Manila Kendo Club and is always coming back and forth here in Davao City is devoting his time to visit the club and teach us Kendo.

With Ono-Sensei together with the second batch.

Left to right: Matsuda Kazuya-Senpai, me! and
7th Dan Naoko Morishima

-Matsuda Kazuya-Senpai

On the month of April year 2015, 3rd Dan Matsuda Kazuya-Senpai, a japanese businessman residing here in Davao City joined Kendo and is also devoting his time sharing his skills and knowledge to us. He's been referred and informed by Ono-Sensei about Davao Kendo Club. Without any hesitation he accepted the invitation by Davao Kendo Club :) We are so glad that we have another teacher in our club! 

-No Permanent Dojo and Only Few Kendokas were Active

We've been practicing once per week in different dojos around our city. We didn't have permanent dojo during those times due to unsuitable flooring (the floor should be made of wood) and expensive hourly rates AND of course there were only 4-5 of us paying the high amount of rental fee O_o. It was only me, my two brothers and two of my brother's friends who actively participated the first training. 

First photo of our first Kendo class with Lim-Senpai/Sensei and the first 5 students.

Silly Photos.

-Didn't Have Own Equipments 
    (Bogu Gears, Shinais and Gi & Hakama)

We started practicing Kendo without having our own Bogu gears (Kendo terms for Body gears), shinais (bamboo swords) and even Keiko-gi/Hakama (uniform). Kendo gears, shinais and even the uniforms are really expensive. It need to be ordered from Japan and of course there's a tax that needed to pay for again. As I've mentioned above, Lim-senpai/sensei lent us shinais for us to start practicing the basics in Kendo (Thanks we have a kindhearted instructor :D ). 

Few weeks later, we were able to buy our own shinais, bogu gears and gi/hakama.

:P Ooopsies... trying out my gears without hakama and gi :P I wast just so overwhelmed!

Bogu Gears and Shinais!

                                                                 Me and my younger brother :D

-Students Commitment Status: Complicated 

Some of theme can't able to attend the training every saturday due to their hectic work schedules, so it turned out it's just two or three of us were having a kendo class with Lim-Senpai/Sensei. We practiced every Saturday starts at 9 in the evening and ends at 11 in the evening. Pretty late huh!
There were new people who joined with our training but end up not pursuing it. Most of the reasons were the cost and some can't meet the time required.

 Dojo: Ladislawa Gym

There were only four of us and we are the pioneering students :)

Ito-Senpai teaching my younger bro the proper wearing of Men (Head gear)

-My Loyalty :3

During those months, I wasn't that really busy at work and school and I have no classes every saturday!  :D So i was able to assist my brother in pursuing to build Kendo Club here in Davao City. I was the overall in charge of attendance and in charge of keeping money/funds for the starting kendo club AND when my brother went to Singapore for months(work related) I play the role of being the spokesperson (whenever there's someone inquiring about kendo and all), assistant and "tig" - carrying and bringing all the 6 shinais (bamboo swords) that Lim-senpai lent to us all the way from the house to dojo and from dojo to the house by means of commuting or walking for about 5 kilometers Ooorayt!!. My younger brother had sometimes activities in school he need to attend but whenever there wasn't activities he would join the training and help me carry all those shinais! 
TAKE NOTE : I don't have absences!!! :D :D :D ( Now, i miss being always present :P my school and work consumes toooo much time (>_<') )

On September 27-28, 2014, I had the opportunity to join the 4th Annual IGA KENDO CLUB - Gasshuku held at Antipolo City, Philippines.

It was a two hours flight going to Manila from Davao City by plane and another l hour (less or more than an hour :/) travel by car going to Antipolo City.

Me and my older brother arrived in Manila on the day before the event and stayed one night at the hotel. My brother had a business meeting needed to attend to so technically I'm the only one who had the oppurtunity to join the first day of Gasshuku and had survived the 2000 Suburi!! 

My older brother fetched my younger brother at the airport who arrived around midnight. They both joined the second day of Gasshuku. I was so happy that they were in the second day because I wasn't that much confident being in a crowd without any friends or longtime acquaintance that i could talk to or ask for help especially that I don't have much skills and knowledge about Kendo during those time.

So far, my overall experience in the 4th annual Gasshuku hosted by Igaken was so AWESOME ;) even if I wasn't that feeling well :( I had fever, running nose and tonsilitis (O_O). But woohoo bravo I still survived ;) 

I learned a lot! 


I'll be posting separate blogpost of about my experiences during the 4th Annual Gassuhuku hosted by Iga Kendo Club. :D

so.. watch out for my next post :)

Davao Kendo Club Family is getting bigger and bigger!! and renowned!

There were senseis and other kendokas from other dojo visited our club and conducted seminars. That is to enlightened and to further give us more knowledge and of course to strengthen and develop our skills in learning and doing Kendo! Thanks a lot for sharing your time and effort with us!

Davao Kendo Club were also featured many times in different local major medias in Davao City.

We now have 3rd and 4th batch! :D

From 1st Batch,

2nd Batch,

3rd Batch,

To 4th Batch! :D

and counting!


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