By Niño Augustine M. Loyola
CEBU Kendo Club held a basic Kendo orientation seminar for the Education majors of the University of San Carlos (USC) at the school’s Downtown Campus last Sept. 17. This is to introduce the sport to the students of the USC College of Education in the efforts of teaching Kendo in physical education in the near future, and in the hopes of promoting the sport into other universities.
Kendo meaning “way of the sword,” is a Japanese sword-fighting sport and martial art, descended from much older and comprehensive kenjutsu or “art of the sword.” Kendo is designed more as a competitive sport, and tournaments are held on a national level. The equipment required for this contact sport is the shinnai (“bamboo sword”), and a full bogu (“body armour”).
The three-hour seminar taught the students the fundamentals of Kendo, like the combat stance, proper sword handling, and striking. Similar to other Japanese martial art schools, the students were especially taught on the proper reiho or courtesy. Respect and courtesy are particularly important between the practitioner and the sensei (“teacher”), and opponent on practices and on competitions.
The students were also given a chance to engage on a “one-way” spar with a senior kendoka (“kendo practitioner”) or senpai during the last part of the orientation. They were to apply what they learned in basic striking and hit the kendoka with a shinnai without receiving any hit from the kendoka, who is in defensive mode throughout the sparring. The orientation was well-received by the students and much potential was seen from them.
In cooperation with Goldalisi Villahermosa, section head of USC Physical Education, the orientation was conducted by Isagani L. Batayola and Paul Miñoza. They were by Arnel Salacao, Mike Logarta, Rafael Yap, Harold Letigio, Oj Hofer and Niño Loyola.
The Cebu Kendo Club was established in Cebu City in 2015 and is affiliated with the United Kendo Federation of the Philippines. The national competition in the country is now on its second year and will be held in Davao by the end of October.
The Cebu Kendo Club currently practices at Metrosports in Lahug every Saturday afternoons.