History of Mumeishi - Page 2

As things improved and British kendo started to move forward, Mumeishi membership grew. At that time, our club had not been named. One night we stopped for a drink to discuss the different things we wanted for our club. We agreed we wanted the club to be open to all, and to have open minds, and ideas, for learning about kendo. Had we earned the right to have a name yet? We weren’t sure and nobody could agree. One member, David Chambers had a good idea, he spoke some Japanese and came up with the name Mumeishi (which in fact means “no name” in Japanese). This more than suited everyone present and the Mumeishi Kendo Club was born. Our symbol (mon) was drawn by another member, the red Bokuto Tsuba, which is proudly still in use today.

The club moved to Heston School, Hounslow, and became a night school club.  Mr Terry Holt was offered the position of kendo instructor at the club in 1971. At the time he was training at Nenriki and was a member of the fledgling British Kendo Team. Holt sensei took on the job enthusiastically with help from another kendo pioneer, Mr Tony Crawford, who later went to New Zealand and started Mumeishi NZ and the NZ Kendo Federation.

The club continued to develop, and we started training on a second night, but many of our members worked late, so we changed this to a Sunday morning practise. (Another tradition that has been adopted here in Australia). We heard there was to be a new community school opening nearby with a sports centre attached. We were asked if we wanted to bring the club over from Heston to the new Cranford Community School situated very close to Heathrow Airport. The new venue provided everything we needed, a good dojo with a suitable floor, changing rooms, and importantly a bar which many Australian Kendo Ka have since had the pleasure of attending. Mumeishi moved in the week it opened, and has been there for over 30 years.

On the third week of every November in the UK, Mumeishi takes over the sports centre, to hold the Mumeishi 3’s International Kendo Championship This was started by Mumeishi members nearly 40 years ago, and gives all kendo ka the chance to take part in a major kendo event. The tradition of Mumeishi 3’s states that each team must include at least 1 kyu grade. The Mumeishi 3’s is now one of the oldest and biggest tai kai's on the world kendo calendar with well over 350 kendo ka taking part each year.

In 1976 Great Britain hosted the World Kendo Championships and Brent Gazzaniga was a member of the British Team where he was awarded a gold medal for fighting spirit.

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