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History of Kendo in T&T

In 2020 we celebrated 15 years of existence of our organization in T&T, and there is much to celebrate.

Back in 1985 or so, a small group of Trinis were introduced to Kendo under the guidance of Kenji Takahashi at Port of Spain YMCA. Practice was simple and few people joined, but they were first in line when almost 20 years later in 2004 Eddy Devisse migrated to T&T and decided to start teaching Kendo. Noticing Kendo wasn't being practiced in T&T he established the first "dojo" and started teaching to willing students. 

Mobirise

A small group of prospective students convinced Eddy to teach a class despite his initial reluctance to do so; being only 3rd dan at the time, he didn’t have much teaching experience and without much knowledge of the local culture he was concerned about doing it “right, ie balancing the traditional aspect of Kendo with the local reality. At first many people were attracted to this class given in a small Karate dojo in St-Augustine, but given the very traditional way Eddy taught (essentially footwork until your feet fall off), few had the motivation to continue training after a few weeks. Changes to the teaching methods were made and a new dojo was opened in POS, making Kendo more accessible to all.

Mobirise

Since these early days, growth has been slow but stable, the curriculum has evolved significantly, and hundreds of people of all ages have been exposed to Kendo. More importantly, a group of senior students have taken some leadership roles in various aspects of managing the organization, including marketing, social activities, fundraising, community outreach, accounting, teaching and mentoring.

This allows us to look forward to the future with great enthusiasm, and take steps to increase the number of dojos, expand to new age groups and increase the frequency of classes.

Mobirise

Timeline

April 2004

First Class in T&T

2004 - Tournament in Cuba

First International Participation

2005 - Tournament in Aruba

First Men’s team in International event

2007

Bogu donation from All Japan Kendo Federation

2010

Beginners program starts

2014

Visit from the Japanese Navy

2014 - Tournament in Mexico

First Women’s team in international event

2015

First Japanese Embassy Cup

2019

Membership to Confederación Latinoamericana de Kendo (CLAK)

2019

Registration as National Sporting Body (T&T) - pending

Commendation of KFTT from the Japanese Ambassador

2020

Kids classes start

2021

Commendation from the Foreign Ministry of Japan