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Malawi kendo team seizes the moment

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Kendo Association of Malawi (Kam) took advantage of the presence of two international multiple Dan holders to have some of the local students accredited.

Dan is the equivalent of the black belt.

Junichiro Kuronda and Mami Saiki, a Third Dan holder from Japan and a Second Dan holder from Madagascar, respectively, have been in the country for the past two months.

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Kam took advantage of the experts’ availability to form a quorum for accrediting Kendo students in the country.

It is a requirement that grades for Kendo students should only be given by a panel of three people that hold the highest grades in the sport.

The highest honor is a Dan, which is graded at eight levels, from a minimum of one to a maximum of eight and the lowest is a Kyu which is conversely graded at eight levels as well.

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Kuronda, Saiki and Kam President, Austine Somba, who is a Fourth Dan holder, formed a quorum that graded and tested Kendo students who converged on Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Saturday.

Speaking at the event, Political and Cultural Affairs Officer in the Japanese Embassy in Malawi, Haruna Minoura, said the embassy was glad that the students were finally graded.

“This is a special occasion because these students did not have proper rankings hence having problems to really know their level of experience and could not participate in any international tournament,” Minoura said.

She said the Japanese Embassy has been working hand-in-hand with Kam on the promotion of Kendo hence taking part in the activities.

She also said Japan is promoting the forthcoming 2020 Olympics Games to be held Tokyo.

Minoura added that Saturday’s event was a good preamble to the Japanese Ambassador’s Kendal Championship to be held on September 23.

Somba hailed the Japanese experts for affording the Malawi kendo students a chance to be trained and graded.

“It is a great occasion as the students acquired knowledge from the experts and also obtained accreditation that will help them advance their skills thereby promoting the game in Malawi,” Somba said.

Malawi does not have experts to grade students to the Dan level.

The event also coincided with Kam’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

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