28th Gakuren Alumni Taikai
Sunday December 17, 2017 – Sumida Ward Gymnasium
The Gakuren Alumni Taikai is a prestigious kendo competition featuring teams that are composed of graduates from different universities across Japan. Kendo powerhouses like Kokushikan and Tsukuba enter teams in all the divisions, and it’s not uncommon to see ex-All Japan Kendo Championships competitors taking part. Not only that, there is no limit on dan grade so there are plenty of 8-dan sensei taking part, too!
In the men’s competition there are three divisions that consist of seven-, five-, and three-person teams. The women’s competition has one division with five-person teams.
There are a couple of requirements that each team member must meet in order to take part in this competition: each member must be a graduate from the same university and must satisfy the age requirements for each position on the team.
The Gakuren is very keen for teams of non-Japanese kenshi to enter this competition. However, even though there are many non-Japanese graduate practitioners living in Japan that are university graduates, it is very unlikely that they could make a team with members all from the same university. Therefore the Gakuren has allowed teams of non-Japanese composed of members from different universities to enter this competition. Not only that, they are waiving the entrance fee!
Kendo World has been asked again to help find teams for the upcoming Alumni Taikai in December. If you would like to take part, you need to be over 22 and have graduated from university (Japanese or overseas). That’s it.
Here are the divisions and age requirements:
Men’s Division 1 (7-person):
Senpo, Jiho, Sanpo: 22 and over
Chuken, Sansho: 30 and over
Fukusho, Taisho: 45 and over
Men’s Division 2 (5-person):
Senpo, Jiho, Chuken: 55 and over
Fukusho, Taisho: 60 and over
Men’s Division 3 (3-person):
Senpo, Chuken, Taisho: 65 and over
Women’s Division (5-person):
Senpo, Jiho, Chuken: 22 and over
Fukusho, Taisho: 30 and over
If you would like to take part in this competition, please email Michael Ishimatsu-Prime (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following information:
1. Name in English and katakana (or kanji if appropriate)
2. Age on December 17, 2017
5. Desired division to enter
6. Contact telephone (to be used only by KW in case of problems on the day)
We will do our best to put everyone in the team that they choose, but please note that due to the age requirements, we may not be able to meet that request and may have to put you in a different team, or if there are many people applying, as there have been previously, we might not be able to accept your application at all.
Finally, in the previous two years we have not been able to find enough members to enter a women’s team. The Gakuren is very keen to have a non-Japanese women’s team, so if you know of any women that fit the criteria listed above, please let them know about this competition.