Registration

March 14, 2017

Hello Federation Representatives,

Please see the attached document for this year’s registration procedures. The detailed instructions for the old way (collective registration) are provided here. If your federation decides to do the new way (online individual registration), you will have to wait for one more week or so. I appreciate your enormous patience.

I would like to recognize that Jean Kodama sensei has stepped up and led the effort of formatting and creating the baseline excel files, adding more security to data exchange, and providing the detailed instructions for you to follow. Ms. Mary Dejong from PNKF and Ms. Monica Iwakabe from RMKF also greatly helped the effort. Please blame me for all the delays, confusions and headaches this transition has been causing you.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Kotaro Yoshida

Attachments:
2017 registration instructions
Spreadsheet-Based Registration


Registration Update and Heads-Up

March 9, 2017

Hello Friends (Federation Representatives),

I want to report back to you regarding the registration process this year and give you a heads-up for things to come in the next two weeks.

In recent months, and after talking with some of you over skype last week, I have come to three realizations:

(1) Some federations have reservations about going to the new, individualized registration online system (NIROS) too soon,
(2) the existing collective registration system (ECRS) has security risks, and
(3) the existing database contains some errors.

Regarding (1), your federation can choose between NIROS and ECRS this year. This was approved by the AUSKF BOD a few days ago.

Regarding (2), the old way of registration (ECRS) will have to be modified this year. In addition to addressing the security concern, the new fee schedule below has to be implemented:

Adult: $60
Youth: $30
Full-time Student: $30
Initiation Fee for New ID: $10

Regarding (3), we are hoping you can help correct some of the errors, especially regarding dojo names. The detailed instructions for this and for the collective registration method (ECRS) will be provided to you in a follow-up email in the next few days.

As some of you saw during the demo last week, the new online registration system (NIRO) is easy and safe. If you haven’t seen it, I will be happy to schedule a teleconference with you again. We plan to provide a “how-to” video online as well. We will first start with the MWKF members before we open it up to all federations. Detailed instructions will follow in a separate email within a couple of weeks.

I apologize for the delay and confusion that this transition has caused. Thank you very much for your patience and cooperation. You will hear from me again soon.

Kotaro Yoshida


New Membership Management System Test

February 14, 2017

Hello Federation Representatives,

This is to inform you that we are almost there to open up the new registration system for your members. Before doing so, however, we need to examine the system more carefully. For this purpose, we would like to invite your federations to try, test, and learn the new system. We heard from multiple federations some concerns and questions, so this is a good opportunity for you to experiment and check out the program as well. We have already started vetting the system with Midwest members, found some errors, and have fixed some issues and are in the process of fixing others. Please refer to this website for Q&A and security concerns.

Please access the website (https://www.unitedstateskendo.com/) and do the following:

1) Create an account. If you are an existing member, link their existing account. Note that those who registered for the first time in 2016 (during or after summer camp) may not have their records in our system yet.
2) Update your profile.
3) Go through the membership registration process. This data will be wiped out once we go live. No credit card will be charged if you chose that option. Here are some test credit card numbers. I think they can enter any exp date that is in the future and any security code.
378282246310005
5555555555554444
4111111111111111
4) For dojo leaders, please check the roster and see what they can do.
5) Give Travis and Steve feedback. (travis.stronach@gmail.com and smhoff256@gmail.com).

Feel free to extend this invitation to your dojo representatives and federation members. We will keep this site open for several days, until Sunday, February 19. This is a trial, so any data you enter will be wiped out, and you will do the same process again in March when the system opens up officially.

The followings are issues that Travis and Steve are in the process of resolving:
1) You may receive an error message when confirming your email. This will not prevent you from logging in. If you register without error and receive the page stating the registration was a success, you should be able to log in before you get a confirmation email and regardless of whether you confirm the email.
2) The login popup in the upper right does not work if you are not using your email as your login id. You should navigate from the main page and go to the login page.
3) The credit card check out page does not appear to post back when completing the order.

If anyone comes across an issue, please have them report their browser type, the steps they took in getting that error page, the date and time of the incident, and any other information that would be helpful in reproducing it. If they can continue looking at other features of the site, please have them continue.

Meanwhile, we would like to request that each federation submit to me (yoshidak@gmail.com) the names and email addresses of (1) dojo representatives and (2) federation representatives. Those the (1) privilege will be able to see/edit the roster of their dojo while (2) can see/edit the roster of the entire federation.

We will continue to push updates to the system. Any and all feedback is welcome and necessary at this point. Thank you for your cooperation.

Kotaro Yoshida
Travis Stronach
Steve Hoff

(see also previous news)


Greetings for 2017

January 2, 2017

Dear AUSKF Regional Presidents and member federations:

The AUSKF Board of Directors would like to thank all of you for your support this past year and we look forward to continuing our great relationships with you and your members in 2017. We will do our best to ensure that your federation and members receive the the highest support and opportunity in kendo knowledge and training this coming year.

Wishing all of you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Best wishes from the AUSKF Board of Directors,

Y. Tagawa, President
T. Yuge S. Maeda
Y. Onitsuka C. Yang
N. Otani K. Yoshida
S. Kato S. Koike
C. Tanouye J. Marsten
M. Kajitani G. Inoshita
T. Kato J. Kodama
B. Harada S. Shinada

PS: The AUSKF calendar has a few events on the 2017 calendar, please see: http://www.auskf.info/calendar.htm


New Membership Management System

December 2, 2016

Hello Federation Representatives (cc: Federation Presidents and BOD),

This is a follow-up report on the new online registration system. Please read the attached email I sent in April for the general design and the background information. You can also look at the FAQ page. Here is a brief summary of the new system

  1. Designed so that individual members take ownership of their account and records. They can check the promotion and registration records on their own.
  2. The registration workflow will be automated. Gone will be our task of exchanging excel files and paper checks. Individual members (or their delegates) will register and pay online. They can and should verify their profiles.
  3. Federation and dojo representatives will be able to check (and approve) registration records for their members.

The AUSKF board has approved last month that we start using the new system with next year’s registration (April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018). As a heads up, here is the transitional timeline we anticipate:

  1. For registrations of this year’s membership (now through 3/31/2017), we will continue to use the old method of excel spreadsheet and paper check. There is a possibility that we may have to halt this process temporarily.
  2. Starting in January or February, each registered member (or their delegate) will be asked to create their online account and find their existing record online.
  3. In March, members or their delegates will be asked to register and pay online for the 2017 membership.

We plan to provide guidance and help. Some time in January, we will demonstrate, via youtube videos or video conferencing, (1) a step-by-step registration guide for all registering members and (2) administrative functionalities for federation/dojo reps. We anticipate that a transition to the new system will be straight-forward to a vast majority of members. For the minority that we cannot reach out, we hope that their fellow dojo members will be able to help, for example, by hosting a registration drive, paying on their behalf with credit card with check reimbursement, doing registrations on their behalf, and so on.

The new system will be vastly more efficient but comes with a price as online payment involves fees. When a registration payment is collected for both the AUSKF and your federation, the AUSKF will cover the entire overhead, remit the local federation fees to your bank account, and retain the rest. Due to the rising operation costs for membership management, member activities, and insurance increases, the AUSKF board has determined it is necessary to raise membership fees to $60 (adult) and $30 (17 and under AND full-time students), effective for the 2017 membership and onward. The last time the fee schedule was changed was 2011 ($25 to $40), primarily to offset insurance costs.

Finally, I would like to warn you that all the desired features may not be available from the start. This is due to the resource constraint we face. Travis Stronach and Steve Hoff have been volunteering their time to build the system from scratch. As such, the system may not be complete with all the bells and whistles that you may expect from a commercial product–it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The plan is to start small, add features over time, and improve the system as we go along. I hope you will come to appreciate the work of Travis and Steve and understand their constraints as well.

We look forward to working with you. Thank you.

Kotaro Yoshida
Treasurer



On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 11:21 AM, Kotaro Yoshida wrote:
Hello Friends,

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for submitting membership applications and sending payments. I have process most of them and updated our database. The total registered membership is 5,040 as of 4/1/2016, up 5.1% from the same time last year. From now on, please use the late registration file for additional applications and stack all registering members on one spreadsheet, regardless of their dojo affiliations.

I have a good news to report to you. The AUSKF has approved of our online membership management system at the recent board meeting in Seattle. I believe this is going to be a real game-changer. If successfully implemented, it will save us hours and hours of work, enable faster job-processing, improve the quality of the database, and facilitate communication to and among individual members.

Here is some background information, but you can skip the next two paragraphs if you are busy. When I took office as the AUSKF Treasurer in fall 2014, I inherited a daunting task of membership registrations, payment processing, and related inquiries from the general membership. Inoshita sensei, my predecessor, did a pioneering work of building a database using Microsoft Access, which significantly improved search functionality and helped with responding to inquiries. When the work was transferred to me, I was surprised to learn that membership data needed to be entered manually into the Access file. This required a lot of manpower, costing the AUSKF financially.

To make the story short, I found a way to import Excel data into Access electronically. The problem, however, is that it takes me a significant amount of time converting some of the excel files into an exportable format. Furthermore, many members forget to report their ID numbers, resulting in multiple IDs for the same individual. More fundamentally, there seems be a lot of redundant work–dojo representatives need to report to you, and you report to me, and I enter all the info into the database.

That brings us to why this new system makes sense. Simply, each individual kenshi will directly register with AUSKF. When the person registers himself online, he signs in to the system, corrects his information if necessary, and can check his record and ID number for himself. Importantly, the federation reps and dojo reps will play NO role in this picture. You will be relieved of compiling spreadsheet, receiving and issuing checks, and answering many membership-related inquiries. You simply tell them to go online and check for themselves.

The payment will be made online. Once an individual submits a membership application on the system, he will be prompted to make a combined payment ($80 for a person that belongs to MWKF). Once the payment is made, a confirmation and receipt will be issued. The payment will then be distributed automatically to the AUSKF bank account ($40) and to the MWKF’s ($40). The system can be configured for federation-specific fee structures, rules and regulations.

You may be worried about losing access to your federation membership information. Rest assured, we will share your federation membership data with you, which can be downloadable in an excel and other formats. As federation representatives, you can continue to manage your database offline or take advantage of the new online platform in order verify their records and profiles for promotion and other purposes,

This system is being developed by your fellow kenshis who share the vision to streamline the workflow and create a better system for membership management. Travis Stronach and Steve Hoff from Minneapolis have been volunteering their time and expertise to develop this exciting web application. I saw their demonstration at the board meeting, and it looked intuitive and functional. Since Travis and Steve wrote the program from scratch, the application is flexible and can accommodate additional features. For example, based on a suggestion by Jean Kodama sensei, they are implementing a batch entry feature where a dojo’s representative can register its dojo members on their behalf, or a federation’s representative can register its members.

As Travis and Steve continue to develop the application further, it is very important that they know how you use and manage the membership data as well as what you expect from the new system. In particular, I ask that you communicate with Travis, Steve, Jean and me regarding any specific features that you would like to have on the system.

Going forward, we would like to expand the application to automate the promotion paperwork, track event attendance, and do more. We welcome your ideas and thoughts in this development process.

We anticipate that the new system will be up and running by the end of this year. We will probably test the pilot before then and make sure that the system works and is stable.

Thank you again for all of your work. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments, and suggestions. Please send an email to appadmin@auskf.org regarding this matter.

Kotaro


AUSKF Kumamoto Earthquake Relief Fund

April 28, 2016

Dear AUSKF Regional Presidents, Regional Federations, Dojo, Kenshi and Friends:

As you are aware, this past month the Kumamoto area of Japan suffered a great and tragic earthquake.  If you have family or friends in the area, we hope and wish for their well-being in this time.
 
In the spirit of Ken-Yu ( ), the AUSKF Board of Directors has voted unanimously to donate to a relief effort for the victims, particularly those areas or persons who have relationships with kendo.  We have contacted the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) and they have a plan to assist those affected by this disaster.  As such, it was determined that AUSKF would pass on any donations to AJKF for proper distribution.
 
On behalf of the AUSKF Board of Directors, we would like to ask for your voluntary participation in this program.  If you are able, any amount of donation would be recognized and greatly appreciated.
 
Please pass on this message to your federation members and dojo members as soon as possible.  We will have this program until the end of May, at which time we will forward all donations to AJKF.
 
To expedite this process, we have set up a website to donate the funds. 
 
For donations, please click or paste the following link:
  http://www.auskf.org/archives/2016/KumamotoEarthquake/

As we will not accept cash or checks, please use this site for submitting funds.  All donations will be recognized by AUSKF and passed on to AJKF.
 
Please note, AUSKF is a charitable organization, but please consult with your tax advisor if you wish to consider deductions.
 
Thank you so much for your kind consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
Yoshiteru Tagawa
President, AUSKF
 
Tim Yuge
Executive VP, AUSKF
 
The AUSKF Board of Directors
 

Update 4/29/16:
Once you complete your donation on the paypal site, a confirmation page will appear.
  1. You can print your donation receipt by following the blue link below the confirmation number.
  2. You can also obtain a thank-you letter as well as the organizational information of AUSKF (address, EIN, etc.) if you follow the link “Return to AUSKF” in the orange box at the bottom of the page.
Kotaro Yoshida, Treasurer
 

51st All Japan Dojo Youth Kendo Tournament July 26-27, 2016

April 13, 2016

Dear Federation Presidents

Please see the attachment regarding an invitation to the 51st All Japan Dojo Youth Kendo Tournament.

Best Regards,

Yuji Onitsuka,
AUSKF VP of Competition

attachment: letter