Revitalisation of Kendo in Inner London

by Hizen Foundation in London, England, United Kingdom

Revitalisation of Kendo in Inner London
We did it
On 28th July 2021 we successfully raised £25,585 ( + est. £2954.25 Gift Aid ) with 140 supporters in 28 days

We aim to tackle the challenges caused by COVID-19, revitalize kendo at Hizen Dojo and open up new possibilities to grow after the pandemic.

by Hizen Foundation in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Your generous support has exceeded our expectations. We have already surpassed our fundraising target and we still have 11 days to go. We can now dream bigger and continue the campaign.

With a new stretch target we hope to raise additional funds to help further improve the kendo club by bringing in more new members, increasing the quality of training and making the practice of martial art in the dojo safer. 

We would love to:

- Organise a traditional week-long winter practice (kangeiko) after the holiday season in early 2022.

- Arrange first-aider training for members of Hizen to gain or refresh knowledge and skills to deal with sport-related injuries or emergencies.

Enhance the coaching & development programme and prepare candidates for the British Kendo Associations Coaching Course, Level 1, which is the minimum qualification needed to set up dojos within the BKA and apply for coaching insurance.

 


Hizen Foundation and the Kendo Club

Hizen Foundation's Coat of ArmsHizen Kendo Club was established in 1974 and has been operated by Hizen Foundation since 2004. The charity’s objective is to promote community participation in healthy recreation through the provision of facilities for the learning of kendo (Japanese fencing) and other similar activities.


Why Are We Crowdfunding?

Hizen Foundation has been self-sufficient since its inception thanks to a diverse group of enthusiastic and committed kendo practitioners’ financial and in-kind contributions throughout the years. Unfortunately, this long tradition was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. The closure of the dojo and lack of regular activity have led to the reduction in the number of practitioners, undermined our ability to recruit new members and, eventually, caused significant loss of income.

Having assessed our options carefully, we devised a plan to secure COVID relief support to revitalize the club and open up new possibilities to grow. We believe that Crowdfunding with a potential support from Sport England represents the best opportunity to achieve our objectives.

                              Jeff Humm, Trustee of Hizen Foundation


If our campaign is successful, the funds raised will be used to:

  • Secure the venue for Hizen Dojo and ensure that it will be able to continue at the present location in the centre of London and help us pay for the facilities at Somers Town Community Sports Centre (STCSC).
  • Encourage our members to restart kendo and taisoken as soon as COVID restrictions are lifted so that they will become active again as well as attract new practitioners and expand our membership.
  • Introduce a coaching & development programme to facilitate the future growth of our martial art community.


Securing the Venue for Hizen Dojo

Japanese martial arts such as kendo are typically not-for-profit activities, and kendo at Hizen Dojo is no exception. Hizen Foundation does not have salaried or contracted staff, does not maintain offices and keeps overheads to a minimum. The most significant aspect of the operational costs is the payment for the venue where the teaching and practicing of martial arts takes place. 

The Dojo SpaceSTCSC                                                                                                                                                STCSC and the Dojo

We are lucky to have found our home in Somers Town Community Sports Centre (STCSC), itself a charity-operated initiative in Inner London, where Hizen Foundation has secured several two-hour practice slots every week. 

The facility is well-suited for our martial arts with features that are far and few between (e.g. special wood flooring that provides proper amount of cushion and high level of safety). The easy access in an Inner London location enables us to provide services to a London-wide community.

Nevertheless, until our existing members feel comfortable to return and new ones will join us to practice, our primary source of income (donation via membership and practice fees) will remain low and the venue hire will be challenging. Together with the STCSC Management we believe that your donation is crucial to help us secure Hizen Dojo's presence at the current Inner London location.

                               John Kennedy, Centre Manager, STCSC


Restarting the Practice and Attracting New Members

Although many of us have been itching to get back to the dojo, we are acutely aware of the fact that the longer people are not able to practise, the more difficult it will be for them to restart. We also need to attract new members to flourish in the future.

In order to encourage and incentivise members of the community to restart and join us to practice we offer introductory sessions as well as various membership and practice fee reductions.

We will organise a week-long kendo practice to celebrate returning to the dojo as soon as possible after the COVID restrictions are lifted. 

1623060697_stcsc_flyer_small.jpgReaching out to new members and to promote our activities, particularly in the local community of NW1, London, where Hizen Dojo is located, require improved communication and online presence. With more funding we will be able to redesign and relaunch our website, send out regular updates on our social media channels and contribute to promotional campaigns arranged by our host organisation, the STCSC.


Coaching & Development Programme

Hizen Foundation and its dojo have had a long history of outreach to support budding kendo clubs and student groups interested in the art of kendo, such as the Queen Mary Kendo Club at Queen Mary University, London (https://qmkendo.wordpress.com; https://www.facebook.com/groups/queenmarykendo) or students of the Alperton Community School, London.

                              Students of the Alperton Community School

We intend to continue the outreach, but in order to enhance the impact, we would like to start a coaching and development programme to provide better quality training and secure the future growth of our martial arts community.


Your Support Matters!

Your support would help us to fulfil Hizen Foundation's mission to enable people of all ages and abilities to practice kendo and taisoken.  

We would be grateful if you could donate to our Crowdfunder campaign and amplify our efforts by promoting this campaign among your family, friends and colleagues. 

Have a look at the reward section of this page where you can choose from a carefully curated set of rewards. We hope that you will find something to your liking.

Last but not least, we also hope that you will consider joining us practising the physically and mentally rewarding martial art of the Japanese sword!

Thank you!


Hizen Mon and Bokken

                               Hizen Emblem and Bokken (Wooden Sword)


Further to our campaign, please read about kendo, taisoken, and check out some of our members' videos and testimonials on what Hizen dojo means to them and how they benefited from practicing martial art.


What is Kendo?

Kendo is a combination of two Japanese words – “ken” meaning “sword” and “do” meaning “road” or “way”. The result is “the way of the sword”.

Kendo in the Edo Period                 Kendo Practice in Japan in the Edo Period (17th-19th Century)

The earliest written reference to Japanese swordsmanship dates from the 7th century. By the end of the Age of War in 1573, many different schools of swordsmanship had formed based on tried-and-tested techniques developed over the centuries. In the Edo period (1603–1867) the aims of martial arts changed under the influence of Buddhism and Confucianism, and came to emphasize the development of good character and the cultivation of mental discipline. The basis of modern kendo, along with the shinai (bamboo sword) and bogu (armour) were all developed during the mid-Edo period.

Shinai and Bogu                                  Shinai (Bambo Sword) and Bogu (Armour)

Modern kendo that has gained social and international recognition is not the martial art of feudal Japan, but a new sport-like physical training system that encompasses aspects of the Japanese spiritual tradition.

Kendo Practice at the 30th Anniversary Celebration at Hizen Dojo              Kendo Practice at the 30th Anniversary Celebration at Hizen Dojo


What is Taisoken?

As well as kendo, Hizen Foundation also supports other activities related to the Japanese sword. Taisoken is one of these. It is formulated and developed around traditional sword movements and drills to suit all levels of health in women. The female-only classes continue to grow under the supervision and guidance of our senior instructor, and have been successful in offering women the opportunity to practice this unique form of total body and mind training within a safe and supportive environment.

Taisoken Practice                                                       Taisoken Practice


Benefits of Practicing at Hizen Dojo

Please take a look at some statements and videos from our dojo members who speak about their experience:

“Anyone spending any amount of time at Hizen Dojo can tell you that it's a very special place to be a part of. It's the dedication of the students and our sensei (teacher of martial art in Japanese) that makes it about more than just sport, where everyone shows up week after week come rain or shine because they want to improve themselves.” Francesca, Hizen Dojo Member

                                                              ***

“I entered Hizen Dojo almost twenty years ago, almost as soon as I first came to London. It quickly became a linchpin of my life here, my practice only interrupted since then by parental commitments (indirectly also thanks to Hizen Dojo – as I met my wife at practice), and, less happily, the recent restrictions on social life. The high quality of teaching, of the students and the social dimension makes it a special place not only as a school of martial arts, but as a social space, too. If we want to recover what has been lost during the pandemic, we should make an effort to preserve such places in London.” Peter, Hizen Dojo Member

                                                               ***

“For me, kendo is the ideal combination of beautiful dynamic movements, physical challenge and constant development of perception, alertness and presence. I believe that Hizen brings out the best of everyone and I consider myself very fortunate that I have the opportunity to train here.” Christian, Hizen Dojo Member

                                                               ***

“What makes kendo at Hizen special for me is that I feel the teachings can often be applied to personal life as well, and has helped me grow into a better person by increasing my strategic thinking, confidence and self-control. If you are looking for a practice that brings you more than fitness, but also has spiritual, cultural and philosophical dimensions, kendo at Hizen Dojo is the perfect place to experience this unique discipline.” Antoine, Hizen Dojo Member 

                                                               ***

My husband and I have been practicing kendo at Hizen Dojo for 7 years. I asked him recently: "How has kendo changed you, in one word?" He said: “confidence”. I asked myself and I said: “resilience”. Kendo has given us a lot of positive influence that we did not even realize in the beginning. Female kendoka are commonplace in the dojo, the energy out of the female kendoka is nothing less than the male kendoka. I feel equal. Hizen is a great place to start kendo, because our sensei and senpai are willing to share their learning during the practice.” Jing and Junlin, Hizen Dojo Members

                                                                ***

“Please check out our video and support Hizen Dojo!” Celia and Valerie, Hizen Dojo Members

                                                                 ***

Tammie“Taisoken, and my fellow students have become an important part of my life over the last three years. I had stopped working out and was looking for an exercise that would engage my mind and keep me motivated. Making new friends and feeling so welcome was an additional bonus. At work, it quickly became a great topic for Monday morning meetings and client ice-breakers. Now I see it as an all-round exercise for weight loss, toning, cardio and flexibility. I look forward to every class and bought my own bokken to practice during lockdown. My health, confidence in my physical abilities and the way I hold myself has improved so much in my 40s. I believe taisoken has a lot of credit for this, due to its holistic approach I continue to be motivated and inspired in improving my health and fitness.” Tammie, Taisoken Group Member

                                                                ***

Anna“I started coming to taisoken in 2014 and haven’t looked back since! Taisoken gives me a great workout that pushes my body and helps me train muscles I didn’t know I had. Sessions are always really varied with a mixture of paired work and circuits which means you never get bored (and often forget you’re exercising). I’m particularly grateful for the support the club receives from the Hizen Foundation. This support helps keep the club affordable, means we can train with bokkens and have access to a consistent, high-quality place to train in the centre of London. Other than giving me a great workout, taisoken is really social. Everyone at taisoken is really friendly and welcoming and the club has a real sense of community. After sessions we all go to a local café, grab a drink and have a chat. I’ve met some of my closest friends in London at taisoken” Anna, Taisoken Group Member

Group Chat of the Women’s Taisoken Group


Kendo Competition and Social Life at Hizen

Hizen Taikai 1Hizen Taikai 2

Hizen Taikai 3 Hizen Taikai 3

Hizen Social 1Hizen Social 2

Hizen Social 4Hizen Social 3 





Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Kendo - Celebratory 'Return-To-The-Dojo' Event

Participation in a celebratory 'Return-To-The-Dojo' summer event (or earliest time possible), a traditional week-long practice on consecutive evenings.

£10 or more

Kendo - Offer for NW1 Residents

If you live in the post code area of N1, you receive 50% reduction in practice fees for six months.

£10 or more

Taisoken - First Time Practice

Trying out Taisoken for the first time? Bring a friend and your friend practices at half price (£5) while your practice is covered by your pledge.

£10 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Half-Price A-Level Curriculum Advisory Session

A one-hour A-level curriculum advisory session in science subjects with Dr. Laiyi Weng. Dr. Weng received his PhD degree in quantum optics and materials science in University of Oxford and he currently works as a quantum scientist for a quantum technology startup in Cambridge (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/laiyi-weng-6103841a8). The online session will cost £25 (normally £50). The offer is valid until the 31 Dec 2021.

£12 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Introduction to Classical Guitar with Janos Agocsi

Get 50% off on a £40 spend on an Introduction to Classical Guitar Lesson with Janos Agocsi in North London. Since his training at the prestigious Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Janos has played as a soloist, as a band leader, composed film scores and collaborated with musicians across diverse genres. He is the Head of the Guitar Department at the North London Conservatoire (http://janosagocsi.com). The offer is valid until 30 Oct 2021.

£15 or more

Taisoken - Sword Fitness Class

Bring two friends and join a practice together at no cost beyond your pledge. Class numbers are limited. To hold a place, please email [email protected]

£20 or more

4 of 12 claimed

Japanese Eyeglass Case Sleeve

These padded textile eyeglass case sleeves provide a snug home for your glasses when you’re not wearing them, or they make a stylish gift for your loved ones. They come in various patterns. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£20 or more

1 of 11 claimed

Cat Pouch Bags

These cute two-piece cat pouch bags are made of Chirimen kimono crepe fabric, and can hold your credit cards, keys, and/or other small items. They also make the perfect gift for your loved ones. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£20 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Virtual Lab Tour and Biotechnology Industry Review

Jing Xiangyi, a biologist at Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is offering a virtual lab tour (on Zoom) and introduction to the cell and gene therapy industry for students who seek a career. She holds a BA in Natural Sciences from University of Cambridge and an MSc in Chemistry from Imperial College, London. At CGT Catapult she specialises on downstream processing and characterisation of viral vectors. The offer is valid until 30 Sept 2021.

£25 or more

2 of 3 claimed

Chirimen Drawstring Pouch and Compact Mirror

These stylish drawstring bags in Chirimen kimono crepe fabric each include a compact mirror and can hold additional toiletries as well. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£25 or more

2 of 20 claimed

Chirimen Zip Purse

These Japanese purses with side pocket and zip are made of bright Chirimen kimono crepe fabric. They can be used as a make-up bag or a pencil case, or whatever takes your fancy. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£25 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Consultation for A-Level or Art Portfolio Building

One-hour consultation for A-Level or Foundation Course Art Portfolio building and submission with Armando Alemdar Ara (https://www.armando.co.uk). Armando is an artist and co-founder of Neomodernism, an artistic movement that places particular importance upon the aesthetic and spiritual attributes of painting. Armando is also an art historian and runs the Art and Design Faculty of Alperton School, London. The offer is valid until 31 October 2021.

£30 or more

3 of 9 claimed

Sensu (Japanese Folding Fan) for Women with Case

‘Sensu’, the iconic Japanese folding fans have been used by both women and men in Japan for hundreds of years. The available folding fans are as stylish as they are practical. Their size range from 18-20 cm for women. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£40 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Furoshiki (Japanese Wrapping Cloth, 70 X 70 cm)

Furoshiki are traditional Japanese wrapping cloths used for carrying goods and wrapping gifts. We offer 10 pieces of cotton Furoshiki in various colours and patterns measuring a generous 70 X 70 cm. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£40 or more

1 of 6 claimed

Sensu (Japanese folding fan) for Men with Case

‘Sensu’, the iconic Japanese folding fans have been used by both women and men in Japan for hundreds of years. The available folding fans are as stylish as they are practical. Their size is approx. 23 to 24 cm for men. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£45 or more

2 of 9 claimed

Zori Sandals for Women

‘Zori’ are flat, thonged Japanese sandals that can be easily slipped on and off as needed - the ancestors of the modern flip-flops. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£50 or more

0 of 2 claimed

One-On-One Still Life Painting Workshop

Still Life Painting, 2-hour art practical workshop either for one adult (1 Available) or one child (1 Available) with Armando Alemadar Ara (https://www.armando.co.uk). Armando is an artist and co-founder of Neomodernism. He is also an art historian, a qualified teacher and runs the Art and Design Faculty of Alperton School, London. The offer is valid until 31 Oct 2021.

£55 or more

0 of 6 claimed

Zori Sandals for Men

‘Zori’ are flat, thonged Japanese sandals that can be easily slipped on and off as needed - the ancestors of the modern flip-flops. Please follow or copy this link to your browser and see photos of all the reward items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knufsqj04gp3ho3/AADQrltFqIyLYRH1Jybp-gG6a?dl=0

£55 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Outdoor Family Photo Session

Annika Bloch, an award winning professional photographer, offers a one-hour outdoor family photo session in West London that includes a mounted 10”x8” fine art print. The offer is a significant discount from her regular fees! (The offer is valid until the end of August 2021). Please check Annika's beautiful work and details of an outdoor photo session at https://annikabloch.com

£55 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Osteopathic Assessment and Treatment (30 mins)

A great value offer of osteopathic assessment and treatment (30 mins) at Pegasus Clinics (https://www.pegasusclinics.com), a contemporary osteopathy centre specialising in treating sports injuries in Edgware, London. The type of treatment is based on the assessment and specific individual needs. Please contact Mr. Narendra Arjan, a registered osteopath at [email protected] Offer valid until 31 Dec 2021.

£100 or more

Kendo - Associate Hizen Membership

Associate membership - if you wish to support, or occasional visits (10 free practices) until the end of 2021.

£150 or more

Kendo - Hizen Membership for One Year

Standard Membership - If you wish to support and practice with us from 1 July 2021. Practice donations apply each time you come.

£150 or more

Kendo - Beginners Introduction Course (4 weeks)

Beginners Course (4 weeks) incl. use of club equipment.

£200 or more

Kendo - International Hizen Membership

If you are an international, non-resident Kendo player visiting Central London, you will have a dojo to practice and a Kyoshi Nanadan Sensei willing to help you between July 2021 - June 2022

£250 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Limited Edition Artwork by Armando Alemdar Ara

Limited Edition (Run of 10 - 1 available) signed and numbered giclee print artwork, title: Forever and Always, 55x40cm (images of Armando's Rewards: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jaz0md5yy78pfs3/AABlr0HJPIM28lk6mpYewO3ra?dl=0). Armando's art is in public and private art collections in the UK, Europe and the USA and is represented by fine art galleries in London, UK; California, USA and Istanbul, Turkey (https://www.armando.co.uk).

£300 or more

Kendo - Six-Months Practice

If you choose this option, it includes your standard membership and you will be able to practice for six months (25 weeks, 4 hours per week) from 1 July 2021.

£600 or more

Kendo - One-Year Practice

If you choose this option, it includes your standard membership and you will be able to practice for one year (50 weeks, 4 hours per week) from 1 July 2021.

£750 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Original Drawing Artwork by Armando Alemdar Ara

Original drawing artwork, title: 'Solitude', ink on paper, 29x39cm. (Images of Armando's Rewards: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jaz0md5yy78pfs3/AABlr0HJPIM28lk6mpYewO3ra?dl=0) Armando's art is in public and private art collections in the UK, Europe and the USA and is represented by fine art galleries in London, UK; California, USA and Istanbul, Turkey (https://www.armando.co.uk).

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Free Breakfast For Two at Café Brunello's

Café Brunello’s, a charming and friendly independent establishment serving fine sandwiches, cooked breakfasts and hot meals on Green Lanes in North London is offering a free breakfast up to the value of £30 for two (the offer is valid until 30 October 2021). Find Café Brunello’s at http://cafebrunellos.co.uk

£1,500 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Original Painting Artwork by Armando Alemdar Ara

Original painting artwork, title: Forever and Always (Tribute to Rodin), oil on canvas paper, 60x40cm (images of Armando's Rewards: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jaz0md5yy78pfs3/AABlr0HJPIM28lk6mpYewO3ra?dl=0). Armando's art is in public and private art collections in the UK, Europe and the USA and is represented by fine art galleries in London, UK; California, USA and Istanbul, Turkey (https://www.armando.co.uk).

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