Australian National Kendo Championships


130 swordsmen from all Australian states and the ACT will descend on Canberra in an effort to win the National Kendo Champion title over Easter.

Kendo (lit. way of the sword) is the dynamic martial art of Japanese sword fencing. Kendo is based on the skills practiced by the samurai of feudal Japan. Modern kendo players wear full armor similar to that of a samurai and fight with long bamboo swords called shinai. Competition matches players one-on-one in short games. A match is won by striking the opponent’s armor with the shinai in certain areas and players generally intimidate each other with fierce shouts. In Kendo, women and men train and compete together.

The popularity of kendo has surged throughout the world in recent years. “In Australia the number of people playing kendo is over 1100, in Japan the number is now well into the millions,” says Joe Semmler, Senior Sensei of the ANU Kendo Club.

The ACT’s only Kendo club, based at the ANU, will host the state teams and visiting senior Japanese sensei. Students of kendo will have the opportunity to learn from senior Japanese teachers during seminars after Easter. The championships are also part of the selection process for the Australian team which will compete at the World Kendo Championships in Korea in 2018.

The National Championships will be formally opened at 8.30am on Saturday 15 April. The individual and teams competition runs from 9.00am to 5pm on Saturday 15 and 8.30am to 5pm on Sunday 16 April. Spectators welcome, entry is free.

What: Australian National Kendo Championships
When: 9.00am – 5pm Saturday 15 & 8.30am – 5pm Sunday 16 April 2017
Where: Australian National University Sports and Recreation Centre, North Road, ANU

Media contact: Darren Boyd, ACT Kendo Club President
M: 0412 677 224 or

Available for Interview during competition days: Joe Semmler (ANU Kendo Club Sensei)