PPKC Visitors and Other Recent Happenings
The Phnom Penh Kendo Club received several visitors from neighboring countries and also took part in kendo events from late last year to early this year.
In September of 2016, senior members Hocklee and VJ participated in the 3rd Vietnam Kendo Open Championships held in Vung Tau, Vietnam, where VJ received a Fighting Spirit Award.
Then in November 2016, they had the pleasure of having Hanoi Kendo Club ‘s Tu Peo join them in their kendo practice at the squash court, while their dojo floors were under repair. Repairs for the main dojo floor was finished beginning the year 2017, and members once again enjoyed practicing their footwork and kendo skills on their smooth, bouncy floors they missed so much.
By February of 2017, the club once again successfully presented Iaido and Kendo demonstrations at the Kizuna Festival held at CJCC (Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center) for the Martial Arts demonstration portion of the event. We had the pleasure of having Mekong Daiko‘s Keiko-san join us in the demonstration to signal parts of the Iaido and Kendo demonstrations by beating her taiko.
Sometime in March of this year, we had the immense pleasure of having Hiraga-sensei (7dan) from Japan join us for a week of very hot kendo in the beginning of summer. He promises to return in the middle of the year for another round of tropical keiko.
Not long after his visit, we had over once again our honorary member, Mukai-sensei (5dan), who comes over to Phnom Penh from time to time for work-related reasons and joins our practice when he can.
Finally, last April of this year we had over two strong Japanese kenshis from Singapore practice with us for several weeks — Makoto-san and Yoshi-san. We don’t have a photo with them, but we certainly remember the time we spent with them, and the lessons we learned from them on the dojo floors. A week later, Kazeken Dojo from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam visited the PPKC for a day of kendo and sight-seeing. It was real treat to have a dojo visit another dojo and establish goodwill and friendship between the two clubs by crossing swords together. The Vietnamese club visited the main attractions of Phnom Penh and enjoyed a variety of street foods before heading back to their home country the next day.
Just last week, we had U.S. Marine Leroy from Hawaii (no photo) join our weekend practices and share with us the various kendo drills that they do back in Hawaii. We received a couple of delicious Hawaiian chocolates from him after keiko. He, being of Cambodian descent, was thrilled to know that we finally have kendo in Cambodia. For him, it is the mark of the country’s progress and a welcome departure from its unfortunate and dark past. We hope to see him again and do kendo with him once more.
We feel much love and appreciate everyone who comes and visits us and takes the time to teach us, learn with us, and share a beer with us afterwards anytime of the year. We definitely treasure these moments and hope to see these good friends and kenshis again at some future time. Cheers!