THE United Kendo Federation of the Philippines (UKFP) is now a member of the International Kendo Federation (FIK), the world governing body for kendo.
UKFP president Kristopher Inting said the UKFP’s affiliation with the FIK will open the doors for more opportunities to the Filipino kendo practitioners in the coming years.
“The UKFP is proud to announce that its application for membership in the International Kendo Federation (FIK), the world governing body for kendo, has been accepted,” said Inting in a statement released to People’s Tonight.
“As a member of the IKF, we can now join the World Kendo Championship, which is held every three years since its foundation in 1970, and other FIK-recognized international competitions,” added Inting.
Inting said the UKFP can “now place itself in a position to conduct its own official dan shinsa (rank examination) locally, lead the recruitment of national athletes to compete in international tournaments, and further promote the growth of the sport in the Philippines.”
“For lower rank levels, there is no more need to go abroad. This makes it easier for local kendoka to get their dan-grades as this used to be expensive due to the cost of travel and higher cost of testing abroad. It is our hope that by staging this locally, we can make it more affordable for people to take the exams,” he added.
“The Philippines will also be eligible to join the World Kendo Championships.We have been building up to this, by competing in other international events like the Hong Kong Kendo Open Championships and the ASEAN Kendo Tournament.”
“There are some items that still need to be done such as payment of fees but we are optimistic for the official announcement of the membership to happen by 2021,” Inting said.
Inting said kendo, the Japanese martial art that involves sword fighting, has been in the Philippines for quite a long time now
“I heard many stories of Japanese expatriates practicing kendo as early as the 1960s. We had the Manila Kendo Club in 1996 and then came more clubs like IGA Kendo Club, which I manage, in 2010. Then it spread to Iloilo, Davao, Cebu, Dumaguete amd now, Bago City in Negros Occidental,” said Inting during the Oct. 29 edition of the TOPS “Usapang Sports on Air” via Zoom.
The UKFP, however, was formally established in 2016 and has 170 members nationwide.
After the FIK recognition, the next step for the UKFP is to apply for recognition with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
“After our affliation with the FIKF, we will be pursuing our applications with the POC and the PSC, ” said Inting.
“in terms of competition experience, were pretty well on a local level. Like last year, we joined the ASEAN kendo tournament in Indonesia and the men’s team finished third. That’s the highest finish by our national team and we are very proud of our efforts last year.”
The Tokyo, Japan-based FIK (formerly IKF) is a non-government international federation of national and regional Kendo organizations which aims to promote and popularize kendo, iaido, and jodo.
It also conducts the World Kendo Championships every three years since its foundation in 1970.
It currently has over 60 affiliated Kendo organizations worldwide.
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