Upcoming Alumni Event (November 2)

In advance of the Gakuren Team departing for Japan, we will be hosting an alumni event on Saturday, November 2 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm at the GSU Pub, located at 16 Bancroft Avenue.

We will be having a light keiko followed by dinner and refreshments nearby. All are welcome to attend.

Please note that this event is free to attend, and UTKAN encourages and welcomes any interested individuals to attend as a send-off for the Gakuren Team.

Gakuren Team Announcement

Gakuren Team Announcement

Further to the Canadian Kendo Federation email, we are pleased to announce the team that will be attending the Gakuren Alumni Taikai in Japan on December 1, 2019. They seven UTKAN members are:

  • Tomas Flecker (Kingston Kendo Club)
  • Xiaohe Chen (Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Kendo Club)
  • Owen Ward (University of Toronto Kendo Club)
  • Issac Ru (University of Toronto Kendo Club)
  • Fidel Labit (University of Toronto Kendo Club)
  • Mark Kawabe (Niagara Kendo Club)
  • Naim Ghany (University of Toronto Kendo Club)

We’d like to thank all of you – our wonderful community of alumni and friends – for your support in making this trip possible. For anyone who will be in Tokyo during the tournament, please let us know as we’ll be hosting a few social events!

Proudly sponsored by U of T affinity partners:

Discover the benefits of affinity products!

A Second Short Kendo Film

As a part of the ongoing UTKAN documentary, we’re pleased to share a second short kendo film from a recent event.

Filmed on Friday, April 26, 2019. Produced by Sebastian Ko.

We’ll be filming more in the future – so be sure to come out to our upcoming events!

Team Selection & A Short Kendo Film

Guidelines for Team Selection

As announced at our last event, the guidelines for team selection for the Gakuren Alumni Taikai are now available. We’ve also confirmed with the organizers that the date of the tournament will be Sunday, December 1, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.

Team selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Active participant in the alumni community and related UTKAN events
  • In possession of a UTKAN nafuda to wear during the tournament
  • In adequate health condition with the ability to participate in a full day of kendo activities
  • Available to travel to Tokyo, Japan and attend the tournament on December 1 , 2019
  • A member of Canadian Kendo Federation in good standing
  • In possession of a valid passport with ability to enter and leave Japan without legal hinderance

For more detailed information, please see the Gakuren Alumni Taikai – Guidelines for Team Selection (2019).

A Short Kendo Film

As mentioned at our previous events, we’ve begun work on a mini-documentary about the upcoming trip to the Gakuren Alumni Taikai. As a part of that ongoing process, we’re pleased to share a short kendo film from our most recent event.

Filmed on Friday, April 5, 2019. Produced by Sebastian Ko.

In the coming months we’ll be reaching out to members of the alumni community to conduct short interviews – so stay tuned!

Zekken Order & February Event

Zekken Order

We’ll be doing another UTKAN zekken order from Sam Cappiello sensei’s store in Buffalo. The zekken features the UTKAN crest, and is stitched on traditional #10,000 weight aizome cotton. 

The cost per zekken is $50 CAD. 

If you would like to get a zekken please send us a quick email with the name you would like on it by Friday, February 15. We’ll be doing a group order to save on costs.

Please note that the UTKAN zekken will be required to attend the Gakuren Alumni Taikai.

February Alumni Event

As announced last month, our next alumni event will be on Friday, February 22 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Dance Studio at the Athletic Centre.

We will be having a light keiko followed by dinner and drinks nearby.

Please note a day pass is not be required to attend this event. When you arrive please let the Athletic Centre staff know you are here for the University of Toronto Kendo Alumni Network event.

We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Photo from the 2019 New Year’s Alumni Event.

Gakuren Alumni Taikai & New Years Event

Gakuren Alumni Taikai

We are pleased to announce an opportunity for all U of T alumni to participate in the Gakuren Alumni Taikai in Tokyo, Japan this December 2019.

The tournament organizers have welcomed us to send a team of seven alumni to compete. The tournament requires that the seven-person team composition consist of the following:

– Three players who are 22 years of age or older;
– Two players who are 35 years of age or older;
– And, two players who are 45 years of age or older.

In addition, all players on the team must be graduates of the same university.

If you are interested in attending the tournament please send us an email at utkan@alumni.utoronto.ca. We will be selecting the team of seven players towards the end of the year, and will be sharing more information at our upcoming events.

UTKAN will be providing a subsidy to cover the travel costs for the team to attend the tournament. This is subsidy is made possible thanks to the sponsorship we received from U of T’s affinity partners.

Please reach out if you are interested in attending, helping out with organizing, or have any questions as we get ready for this exciting opportunity!

New Years Event

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a New Years event on Friday, January 25 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Dance Studio at the Athletic Centre.

We will be having a light keiko followed by dinner and drinks nearby.

Please note a day pass is not be required to attend this event. When you arrive please let the Athletic Centre staff know you are here for the University of Toronto Kendo Alumni Network event.

We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Proudly sponsored by U of T affinity partners:

Discover the benefits of affinity products!

Holiday Social

As temperature dips, it’s a reminder that we are coming to an end of a another great year. 2018 has been an important year for the U of T kendo alumni community; and it’s you, all of you, who have made it possible.

We will be hosting a holiday social on Saturday, December 8th. If you can make it, we’d love to see everyone – and we have some exciting news and plans to share about 2019.

Here’s another interesting bit of kendo history we managed to dig up.

It’s a bit hard to recognize without the full-sized mirrors and bogu closets – but you’re looking at the Athletic Centre’s fencing Salle!

Clubs Day

With the hype of clubs day in the air, we wanted to take a quick moment to share an interesting piece of kendo history:

In 1999 kendo was on the front page of the Toronto Sun – with two alumni front and center!

A New Beginning

Welcome the University of Toronto Kendo Alumni Network (UTKAN). We are a network of University of Toronto graduates with a passion for kendo. Many of our members are active at the University of Toronto Kendo Club – while others practice at various clubs across the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, and the world.

As a network associated with the Alumni Relations Office, our goal is to provide a community for U of T alumni around the world to connect through a shared interest in kendo. As a martial art, kendo has been practiced at the University of Toronto for more than 40 years – and the number of kendo alumni has been steadily growing since then. We’re proud to have more than 80 active alumni at the moment and are always looking to rekindle connections with other alumni – whether they are past, present, or future kenshi.

UTKAN was created with our shared connection to the University of Toronto in mind, and reflects U of T’s motto: velut arbor aevo – as the tree grows through time.