The Maltese Kendo Federation (MKF) had the honour to host a session with twelve Kendoka from Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force of the Training Squadron. This event was attended for by His Excellency, the Ambassador Mr. André Spiteri, who delivered an opening address to the Maltese and the Squadron’s Kendoka, as well as members of the general public who were present for such a memorable event.
An intense training session soon followed, which saw Maltese Kendoka and the Squadron’s members training hard in the heat of Maltese August. The session was led by the Training Squadron’s 6th Dan black belt instructor. Maltese participants included athletes from various grades (from 1st Dan to 4th Dan black belts), as well as two nine-year old juniors. Following the training session, a friendly five-men team Shiai competition was held between the Maltese Kendoka and the Squadron’s representatives.
The first three representing the Maltese team were Timothy Debono, Reuben Debattista, and Daniel Johnston respectively. All three athletes fought hard against the Squadron’s strong Kendoka, with the result being two losses and one draw for the Maltese. The next two to go for the Maltese team were the Mallia brothers, with Kersten in the fourth position ending the fight to a stalemate, and National team captain Jonathan in the fifth position winning his bout against the Squadron’s Nito (two-sword form) player. This balanced result, along with others, are signs of improvement which Maltese Kendo has been making in recent years. Recent successes include medal achievements at the 2016 European Kendo Championships (last April) and other high level international tournaments.
The event came to an end with the Squadron’s instructor presenting the MKF with an Emblem of the Training Squadron. The closing message of this remarkable event was that Kendo is a common language which brings people together from all Nations, hence being a key to establish friendship worldwide.
For more information on Kendo in Malta, visit the website www.kendomalta.org and follow the Facebook page ‘Maltese Kendo Federation’.