Contact: Robert W. Gordon, Esq.
Tel. 1-914-671-4181
Email: rwg215@nyu.edu


In celebration of Ohanami 2006, members of the Scarsdale Kyudokan Kendo Dojo demonstrated Kendo, the ancient art of Japanese fencing.  Kendo dates back to the age of the samurai and was the method by which samurai honed their skills for combat and developed self-discipline. Kendo consists of striking an opponent with a bamboo sword (called “shinai”) in one of eight pre-designated locations.  To protect themselves, participants wear heavy body armor (bogu) reminiscent of the ancient samurai.  The action is lightning fast and intense!
Kendo came to America from Japan as early as 1926 with the establishing of a few kendo dojos in California.  Kendo came to the Eastern United States in 1958 with a dojo in New York City formed by Dick Olden and Daniel Ebihara.  In 1974, Mozart Haruhisa Ishizuka formed a kendo dojo in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. and in 1977 a dojo in Hartsdale, N.Y. (the predecessor to the Scarsdale dojo).  Mr. Ishizuka (Renshi, 6th Dan) is the founder of the Scarsdale Kendo dojo and President of the Eastern United States Kendo Federation.
The Scarsdale dojo hosts about 40 members ranging in age from 5 to 80.  Both men and women participate and come from all walks of life, including medical doctors, concert musicians, attorneys, business professionals, students, and housewives. 
Today's participants are: Tadaki Kawae (5th Dan), Soo Chul Bang (3rd Dan), Masato Nakamura (2nd Dan), Robert Gordon (1st Kyu), Takuya Sawaoka (1st Kyu), and Amy Iwazumi (unranked). 
(“Dan” is the equivalent of a “Black Belt”, the higher the number the higher the rank.  “Kyu” is just below black belt, however the lower number is the higher rank.  Therefore 1st kyu is closest to a black belt).

To learn more about kendo or to see an actual practice session visit:
Scarsdale Kyudokan Dojo, Saturdays 3:00pm – 5:30pm
Greenville Elementary School, 100 Glendale Road, NY 10583
Shidogakuin Dojo (Shozo Kato, 7th Dan, instructor),  Saturdays 5:00pm –8:30pm
Stamford Learning Center, 65 Research Drive, Stamford, CT 06907.

Kendo Participant’s Bios

Tadaki Kawae (5th Dan), is Director and Chief Operating Officer for Sumikin Bussan Textile Corp. in New York.  Mr. Kawae has been practicing kendo on and off for 35 years.  Originally from Kyoto Japan, Mr. Kawae began studying kendo at the urging of his parents.  Mr. Kawae is married and has 2 children.

Soo Chul Bang (3rd Dan), is a Project Executive and Global BOE for IBM Global Service and has been practicing kendo for 12 years.  Mr. Bang is from Korea where Kendo is also called “Kumdo”.  Mr. Bang is married and has 2 children; Christine recently graduating from Wellesley college and Stephanie currently studying at New York University.  His Wife Yvonne also works for IBM as a Financial Advisor.

Masato Nakamura (2nd Dan), is a senior vice president at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation working in their aviation corporate finance group.  Mr. Nakamura has been studying kendo on and off since, he was 7 years old in Japan.  Mr. Nakamura is married to the former Eiko Sasaki.  Together they have one son, Shota, who is also studying Kendo along with his father.

Robert W. Gordon (1st Kyu), is an attorney at the New York City Law Department and has been practicing kendo for about 3 years.  A native New Yorker, Mr. Gordon started practicing kendo while studying law at New York University.  He is married with two children.

Takuya Sawaoka (1st Kyu), is a sophomore at Hastings High School and has been studying kendo for almost 2 years.  Mr. Sawaoka’s involvement in kendo stems from his long-standing interest in the art of sword fighting.  Born in Nara, Japan, Mr. Sawaoka plans to continue his study of kendo through college.  He also has a strong interest in art composition.

Amy Iwazumi (unranked), is a concert violinist who was born in Texas, but moved to New York at a young age.  She has been practicing kendo for about half a year.  Miss Iwazumi received her BA and Masters degree from the Juilliard School and has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, and Lincoln Center.  She has toured all over the United States including trips to Japan and Korea.

Kendo rank testing up to 4th Dan is done by the regional federations.
Testing for 5th Dan through 7th Dan is conducted by the All United States Kendo Federation at least twice a year (within USA).  8th Dan and above are tested only in Japan by the All Japan Kendo Federation.
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