Pienaar champion in promoting Kendo locally – Awarded Ambassador’s Commendation
Sensei André Pienaar at a special and historic occasion held last week received the Japanese Ambassador’s Commendation for his efforts to promote Kendo, a martial arts activity that embodies the heart of Japanese culture and traditions.
The ‘Ambassador’s Commendation’ is awarded by Ambassadors of Japan to individuals or groups who have made a distinguished contribution to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and their country of assignment.
The special award to Pienaar was endorsed by Hideaki Harada, the Ambassador of Japan to Namibia.
Pienaar started training in 2015, with Shinichi Hamada-San from the Japanese Embassy and established the Windhoek Kendo Club in 2016.
With the support of the Embassy, he started to promote this unique martial art and sport through demonstrations at cultural events locally.
The Namibia Kendo Federation (NKF) has been registered with the Namibia Sports Commission since 2017 and has approximately 20 active members, comprising men, women, and children.
To improve their skills, experience and for grading purposes, senior members of the Namibia Kendo Club also participate annually in International Seminars, hosted by the South Africa Kendo Federation (SAKF) in Johannesburg, which has created a great like-minded relationship between the two countries. Namibia is also becoming increasingly popular amongst established Kendo teachers with high Dan ranks around the world, gladly offering international seminars sharing their skills.
The Musashi Kendo Dojo is situated in Edison square in the Southern Industrial Area of Windhoek where practice sessions (Keiko) take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 18:00.
The NKF aims to establish more Kendo Dojos in Namibia in the years to come, targeting the coast and the north of the country as possible areas of growth and Kendo gives Namibians the opportunity to learn about Japanese values and virtues, as practised already centuries ago by the samurai, and which are still ingrained in today’s culture and lifestyle of Japan.
Kendo has been part of the Japanese culture for centuries and is a way to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the katana or sword. Its purpose is to mould the mind and cultivate a vigorous spirit, while living a life of character, developing human courtesy, honour and sincerity.