President’s Report 2013 (By Buster Sefor)
2013 was pleasing in the continued growth of kendo and interest in opening new dojos. Both our Annual and Summer Seminars were well attended we were
We were able to hold dan grade exams to 4th dan level. Our finances are in good shape and I must thank the Executive Committee for the hard work they have done on your behalf during the year. Details will be presented in the various portfolio reports.
Highlights of the Year:
We were happy to welcome Chiba sensei, Irii sensei and Ishimaru sensei from Japan, Suenaga sensei from Mozambique and Kumpf sensei from Germany to lead our Summer Seminar. Every indication is that we will be hosting Ajiro sensei, Chiba sensei and Irii sense again in 2014, the first time we will have 3 x 8th dans to lead our seminar. With 6 x 6th dan senseis and higher, we were able to grade up to 4th dan and it was most pleasing that Craig Stewart & Fernado Witbooi passed the 4th dan exam.
During the year we welcomed 2 x 4th dans; 2 x 3rd dans; 2 x 2nd dans and 3 x 1st dans. We awarded over 80 kyu grades during 2013.
The South African Open kendo Championship was won by Mitchel Kyle again; 2nd was Andrew Whittaker and joint 3rd were Adam Cullen and Carle Joubert.
We sent a team of 3 to compete in the European Kendo Championships in Berlin, Germany. Once again we were unable to progress beyond the preliminary round, However it was noticable that the standard of world kendo continues to improve.
Your President attended the board meeting of the European Kendo Federation.
We continue our membership of MASA. We are now part of the Japanese block comprising kendo, aikido and jujitsu. Your president is chairman of the block.
SASCOC has become proactive in all sporting codes, including MASA. MASA has had to rewirite its constitution and set up Provincial structures to fall in line with SASCOC requirements for affiliation. Currently we must be active in 5 provinces to be eligible for colours. The importance of being approved by SASCOC was highlighted by the support the Kickboxing Federation received after the death of one of their fighters in Turkey. The Lotto funding has still not materialised.
Your EXCO met 6 times during the year.
Again the membership promotion through Groupon has been a great success with over 100 enquiries. However only 25% are redeeming vouchers. We now plan to include a T-Shirt in the offer to up the rate of redemption.
A number of very successful workshops and interdojo competitions were held during the year and we participated twice in the Japanese Embassy Martial Arts day in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Trials are scheduled for 23rd February to select the team to participate in the EKF Chamionships in Clermont-Ferrand, France in April.
The SAKF Annual Seminar and Open Competition will be held on the 22nd & 23rd February. At least 4 inter-dojo competitions are planned. Your EXCO are planning a number of additional events including film evenings and shimpan seminars amongst others.
The new SAKF T-Shirts for the Groupon promotion will also be available for sale to members at R90.
We have nominated two members to attend the Kitamoto Summer Camp during July.
We will soon advertise on Groupon for our next intake of beginners.
Finally, even though there is no election for office bearers this year, I am giving advanced warning that I will not be standing for re-election as President in 2015 and intend this year to be a year of handing over duties and functions. My last official duty will be to coach and take the team to the world championships in Japan in 2015 and introduce the new President to the FIK and EKF.