Name of Club: Hungarian-Japanese Kendo Club (Magyar-Japan Kendo Klub – MJKK)
- Club Motto: “破” (Ha – to break) and “稽古修練は死ぬまで一生である” (Keiko shūren wa shinu made isshō de aru – Practice your whole life, until you die)
- Year Established: 2000
- Venue: Varosliget Hungarian-English Bilingual Primary School, 1146 Budapest, Hermina ut 9.
- Number of Members: ~80
- Classes on Offer: Kendo for adults and children from ~14 years of age, iaido
- Weekly Practice Times:
- Monday: kendo 7:00-8:30 PM
- Tuesday: iaido 7:00-8:30 PM
- Thursday: kendo 7:00-8:30 PM
- Friday: iaido 6:30-8:00 PM
- Instructors: Abe Tetsushi (kendo K7-dan), Hunor Mihalik (iaido R7-dan, kendo R6-dan)
- Club Social Media: mjkk.hu facebook.com/mjkkdojo
- What does a typical training session consist of?
After a thorough warming up we practise basic foot-work and suburi together. Next, beginners and bōgu holders practise separately. Sandor Lapossy teaches beginners, and is doing a great job in helping new members reach bōgu level. Mondays focus more on basics; Thursdays there is more time for ji–geiko.
The History of the Hungarian-Japanese Kendo Club (MJKK)
The head instructor of MJKK is K7-dan Abe Tetsushi-sensei. He received his diploma at the International Budo University in Katsuura, Japan, and after that he attended the University of Tsukuba where he has received his master’s degree in budo history and philosophy. Between 1992 and 1995 he took part in the JOCV (Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteer) program and worked as kendo instructor for the Hungarian Kendo Federation. In 1995 he came back to Hungary where he still lives. Since 1994 he has been working as a college teacher and technical director of the HKF, and also teaches in the Hungarian-Japanese Kendo Club.
According to Abe-sensei, he established the MJKK in 2000 because “…as a guest instructor, you don’t take full responsibility. You may help the students well but it is not possible to establish a relationship based on mutual responsibility. I wanted my own club where I could follow my own ideas; where kendo was taught with a Japanese approach in a traditional way and not as a competitive sport. Nevertheless, students would enjoy training and improve their lives through the experiences of practising kendo”.
Kendo started in Hungary in 1982 and has been going from strength to strength ever since. The Hungarian Men’s Team finished third at the World Kendo Championships in both 2012 and 2015.
The Hungarian-Japanese Kendo Club is one of the major kendo clubs in Hungary. In Budapest there are three other clubs: Budapest Fönix, Happu Fudo, Aka Tonbo, but MJKK is one of the biggest one of them, with around 80 members. Since the beginning we offer an Iaido class as well, where we are proud to have the youngest European 7.dan Iaido Renshi, Hunor Mihalik, direct student of the late Norikazu Iwata hanshi, as head-teacher. In the kendo class we have four 6.dan teachers, like Hunor Mihalik, Aranka Sipos, Masanori Yamaji, Yasunori Sakai, and also many 5.dan kendoka attend our trainings on a regular basis from other clubs as well.
In 2008 we have started a children kendo class to educate a new generation of kendoists, who could acquire the basics already in a young age. The instructors of the children kendo group, called Team 破 „HA” (meaning to break), Abel Varadi and Marina Boviz, multiple members of the Hungarian National Team, have managed to establish a long standing and strong team with a friendly atmosphere, during the past 9 years.
Members of the Hungarian-Japanese Kendo Club has established two new clubs, the Ippon Kendo Club by Tamas Györy and Niki Balazs and a subsidiary dojo by Robert Nagy and Gyula Morvay. Our Club is also the cradle of such genuine works, like the beautiful leather tsuba of Miklos Trum’s Keiko Studio or Akos Vachter’s Kendo Duel playing cards.
During the 17-year history of MJKK, the training venue has changed three or four time for various reasons, and the club has already outgrown its current dojo. Friendships and relationships have been born, and I believe, in accordance with the original purpose of the founder, many of our members and friends could enrich their lives during the time spent in here.
Abe-sensei’s most important objective is to lead the club in such way that it remains active for 50 or even 100 years in the future, because it would really mean the successful transmission of kendo culture from Japan.
by Akos Vachter