As the New Year begins, I would like to say a few words about the recent changes at the AUSKF and share with you my vision as your new president.
In November the board meeting was held in Chicago where new officers were elected for the 2015-2017 term. Consequently, there are now quite a few young and vibrant members serving as officers and board members. With help from the new board and officers, I pledge to do my best to further strengthen our federation and lay a foundation for future development.
Specifically, I would like to explain how the AUSKF can better serve its membership. First, the promotion and examination committee will make an effort to issue menjos more quickly upon a request from local federations. We will also provide shinsa seminars in which the expectations are better clarified and other related questions are properly addressed.
On the competition front, we will hold regional shimpan seminars to improve the quality of judging. While young competitors practice hard daily and continue to make technical progresses, the same cannot always be said about those who judge the matches. This is one of the most pressing and important challenges, as I believe that the quality of judging determines the quality of shiai. I think that seminars will be a great opportunity to inspire higher-ranked senseis to recognize the importance of the job and encourage them to aspire to the highest level of judging.
As for education, we will continue to provide summer camp, education tours by senseis from Japan (8-Dan and All Japan Champion), and the junior Team USA camp. Additionally, we will send instructors to local federations/dojos for the purpose of improving kendo instruction, which should help retain and expand the growth of youth kendo. After all, they are the future of kendo in this country! If each instructor has the mindset of striving to improve their own art and to teach better kendo, their passion and enthusiasm will spill over to younger generations and we can expect further strengthening of US kendo from the bottom up.
2015 is a special year as the 16th World Kendo Championship will be held at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo from May 28-30. The Team USA members have been practicing extremely hard for victory. Having watched their determination and hard practice, I am convinced that they will achieve a great deal. I would like to encourage all our members to give their strongest support as well.
Finally, I will work hard to provide an environment where all kenshi in this country can practice kendo together in a friendly, fun, and correct manner.
I wish all the members of the AUSKF a great and wonderful year.