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Last updated 14/03/17
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Sei To Ken Yu Kai - Canterbury Kendo Club

The Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai Canterbury Kendo Club was formed in 1988 by Alex Bennett, following his 1 year Rotary Exchange to Chiba, Japan. Alex attended a Japanese high school, at which he began Kendo and reached the grade of 1st Dan. After he returned to Christchurch, he made the decision to start one of the first ever Kendo clubs in New Zealand. With increasing interest among members, Alex went back and forwards to Japan to learn as much as he could about Kendo, in order to teach back home. Alex is currently living in Japan, and is now 7th Dan in Kendo. In 1998, Alex’s younger brother, Blake, took over the club.

Blake Bennett began his Kendo career at the tender age of nine here at the Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai Kendo Club in Christchurch. When he was nineteen he decided to further his Kendo studies and travel to Japan where he spent a year training intensively with the Kyoto Riot Police, and with the Kyoto University Kendo Club. He has competed in the 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009 World Kendo Championships as well as being awarded a "Valuable Player" award at the SportAccord Combat Games in Beijing in 2010. He has recently returned from a 2 year stint at the Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences where he completed his Masters degree. Blake holds the rank of 5th Dan.

Blake is heavily assisted by Karl Hitchcock (4th Dan and co-founder of the club), David Wong (4th Dan, 2007 NZ Kata champion), Akiyo Ellin (4th Dan, 2008 NZ women’s individuals – 3rd place) and Alicia Cavan (3rd Dan, 2008 NZ Kendo women’s individuals -1st place). Each of these Kendoka are extremely qualified and capable of running high quality kendo trainings, and pride themselves on doing and teaching correct Kendo. All instructors in this club generously donate their time for free and teach completely voluntarily.

The name of the club "Sei Tou Ken Yu Kai" comes from the Chinese characters that made up the name of Alex's high school. Roughly interpreted, the characters in the club's name refer to rice plants; when a rice plant is young it shoots up from the ground full of life, but as it gets older, it appears to bow down and becomes humble.

Dojo Address:

77E Blenheim Rd

Training Times:
  See Christchurch Kendo Club website for details
  Blake Bennett Kendo 6th dan
  David Wong Kendo 4th dan
  Akiyo Ellin Kendo 4th dan
  Alicia Cavan Kendo 3rd dan
  Eynon Phillips Iaido 3rd dan (iaido instructor)
    Phone Email
  Blake Bennett (Kendo) 022 426 2248 blake ( at ) canterburykendo ( dot ) org (dot) nz
  David Wong (Kendo) 021 258 8721 david ( at ) canterburykendo ( dot ) org ( dot ) nz
  Eynon Philips (Iaido) 021 0277 2502 eynon ( at ) canterburykendo ( dot ) org ( dot ) nz
  Web site http://www.canterburykendo.org.nz


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