A brief history of the RKC DOJO, South Africa
The RKC DOJO (RKC) was founded in 2015 by Warren HO (5th Dan) and Andrew WHITTAKER (3rd Dan), with the intentions of bringing their combined knowledge and unique aspirations to the greater Kendo community.
As past students of the original San Kawa Kendo Dojo (SKKD) that was then headed up by the original founder of SKKD, Tony Hughes sensei (6th Dan, Renshi), it was both Warren and Andrew’s intention to use much of their SKKD experiences in the formation of the RKC.
To pay homage to this history and tradition, Tony Hughes Sensei was elected as the lifetime honorary head sensei of the RKC.
Both Warren and Andrew had also been members of the South African National Kendo Team, and had represented their country at several European Kendo Championships (EKC) and World Kendo Championships (WKC). Both have earned their National Sports Colours in Kendo.
Furthermore, between the 2 of them, they have over 20 years of experience working at a national level, as they have both served as executive committee members of the South African Kendo Federation (SAKF), the national governing body of Kendo, Iaido and Jodo in South Africa.
Lastly, both Warren and Andrew had completed their Martial Arts South Africa (MASA) Coaching Certification (NQF3), as well as both having had attended the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) Foreign Leaders’ Kendo Training Camp in Kitamoto, Japan.
Warren had also attended the European Kendo Federation’s Shimpan/Referee Seminar twice to further his knowledge of Kendo and Kendo refereeing.
To reflect the aspirations of its founders, the RKC set forth to accomplish three major objectives, namely to:
1) ...FOCUS on helping ALL their members develop good Kendo, Iaido, and/or Jodo..
2) ...Whilst still having FUN during their time of training and socializing together...
3) ...Resulting in lifelong relationships that make them feel a part of the RKC-FAMILY.
The RKC has adopted the Kendo proverb of "Kō Ken Chi Ai" (交剣知愛) , “the desire to achieve mutual understanding and betterment of humanity through sword training”, to help guide its members on their lifelong pursuit of Kendo.
As from January 2020, the RKC had ceased to be a non-profit entity, and had opted to become a professional martial arts institution.
In 2020, "Iaido", the art of drawing and cutting with a sword, and "Jodo", the art of the short staff, was added as additional Japanese sword-related martial art that was offered at the RKC.
As from the 27 September 2021, the "Rivonia Kendo Club" would be referred to as the "RKC DOJO" or "RKC". This subtle change in the name was because of the opening of a new RKC branch of the dojo in the eastern suburbs of Johannesburg. The RKC Dojo in Observatory opened its door for Kendo training on Tuesday, 5 October 2021.
Kendo Renshi, 6th Dan
Honorary Head Instructor
Tony Hughes Sensei is the founding member of the San Kawa Kendo Dojo (SKKD) of which the founding members of the RKC were past students of.
Tony sensei now resides in the UK where he continues to practise Kendo and provides guidance and support when possible.
Kendo 5th Dan; Iaido 1st Kyu; Jodo 1st Kyu
Warren has been practicing Kendo since 2003 and is a founding member of the RKC. He is also a past member of the SKKD and a student of Tony Hughes Sensei. Furthermore, Warren served on the South African Kendo Federation (SAKF) Executive Committee for 10 years, 4 of which as the SAKF President.
Warren has been a part of the National South African Kendo team at three European Kendo Competitions (EKC) and three World Kendo Championship (WKC), and has therefore earned his National Sports colours in Kendo a total of 6 times.
Kendo 3rd Dan
Andrew has been practicing Kendo since 2006 and is a founding member of the RKC. He is also a past member of the SKKD and a student of Tony Hughes Sensei. Furthermore, Andrew served on the South African Kendo Federation (SAKF) Executive Committee for 10 years as the SAKF Treasurer and thereafter as the SAKF Vice-President
Andrew was also a part of the National South African Kendo team at the World Kendo Championship (WKC) in Brazil and has earned his National Sports colours in Kendo.
Kendo 5th Dan
Ray started practising Kendo in the 90's and was amongst one of the first people to have started practicing Kendo in South Africa.
During the course of that time, Ray sensei has been a member of the South African Kendo Federation (SAKF)'s executive committee; participated in a number of Kendo Foreign Leaders Camps in Kitimoto, Japan; and has been instrumental in the development of the severa dojo's in South Africa, including Mushin Dojo and the San Kawa Kendo Dojo.
Ray sensei is now a full-time member at the RKC Dojo where his knowledge and experience is an invaluable asset to the club.
Kendo 5th Dan; Iaido 1st Kyu
Cedric is amongst one of the first Kendo students in South Africa when it was first introduced in the 1990's. Cedric had represented South Africa many times in both the European Kendo Championships (EKC), as well as the World Kendo Championships (WKC). Cedric has also taken part several times in the Foreign Leaders Seminar in Kitamoto, Japan.
Kendo 3rd Dan
Logan was one of the first students of the RKC Dojo when it first opened its doors for training in 2015. Through consistent and dedicated practise, he obtained his 3rd dan in Kendo at the end of 2020.
Logan is an Assistant Instructor at the RKC Dojo Rivonia.
Kendo 3rd Dan
Terry became interested in kendo in 2015 and he started his training at Kentokukai Kendo Club, Hong Kong. Terry had also participated in different Kendo tournaments in Asia, including Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Upon moving to South Africa in 2020, he started training at the RKC Dojo where he keeps training regularly.
Kendo 1st Dan
Thio has been practicing Kendo since 2015 and was one of the first members of RKC. Thio has aspirations to be part of the National South African Kendo team and represent South Africa in the upcoming European Kendo Championships (EKC).
Thio is an Assistant Instructor at the RKC Observatory Dojo.
1Iaido 1st Kyu
Jayson started his martial arts journey in 2018 practicing Kendo at RKC then took up Iaido practice in 2020.
Jayson is an Assistant Instructor for the RKC Iaido classes.
IaIaido 2nd Kyu
Carina is part of the Iaido team that began in Feb 2020 at the RKC dojo, and is 2nd Kyu in Iaido.
Carina is an Assistant Instructor for the KENDO KIDS classes.
Kendo 1st Dan; Jodo 1st Kyu
Heinz joined the RKC Dojo in 2018 and obtained his 1st dan in Kendo in December 2020.
Heinz is an Assistant Instructor for the RKC Jodo classes.
The Rivonia Kendo is affiliated to the following national and international associations.