History

It all began in 1988, two years after Kendo in Czechoslovakia had been found. Mr. Toru Giga, who had worked at Japanese embassy at the time and had been first teacher here, was about to return home to Japan. He suggested that there should be a Kendo tournament in Prague before he leaves. In August 1988 there was the first ever tournament of Kendo in Czechoslovakia, Japanese martial art, which was still virtually unknown in the country. "Zero" year Prague Kendo Cup was in fact a single club tournament and was won by Mr. Vladimir Hotovec, who won the beautiful trophy (which he actualy acquired) for the first time. Few days after the tournament Mr. Giga finally left home. Since this time we have the Prague Kendo trophy, a cup made of glass about 1,5 high. Later the glass pedestal was added with names of the winners.

Next year there had been discussion obout the Prague Kendo Cup and it was decided to organize the tournament officially and to make it an international event, so that the Czech kendokas, who had very dificult time getting abroad under the rule of Communism, can develop contacts with foreign colleagues. 1st Prague Kendo Cup was held in November 1989. It was a great succes, many foreign competitors as well as European Kendo notables took part in the tournament and others have supported it, namely Mr. Wolfgang Demski from Germany. It helped greatly to promote Kendo in Czechoslovakia and to promote Czechoslovak Kendo in abroad. Tournament was won by Mr. Sergio Velasquez from Holland, the European champion at the time. Also present was His Excelency Japanese ambassador.

2nd Prague Kendo Cup was held in the different era - Communism had finally fallen and things got much easier. People could travel to foreign countries to learn Kendo there and foreigners could travel to Czechoslovakia freely to teach and share their knowledge. 2nd Cup was held in 22nd September 1990 and it was joined by two sensei sent by ZNKR. Tournament was won by Mr. Hiroshi Karita from Germany.

Third Prague Kendo Cup was held following year 1991 and was again supported by three members of ZNKR delegation, namely Takuma Sadafumi, Iwatate Saburo and Kubo Katsumi senseis. Tournament was won by Mr. Frederic Tran from France.

Following years were difficult for the Czech Kendo, economic and social changes and transformation made many people quit. In such situiation, it was difficult organize such a big tournament with this significant international presence.

Although it was decided to make Prague Kendo Cup every second year, it wasn't until 1995 when next event was held, which was won by Mr. Sturany from Germany.

Organising such event by only a few people was indeed a very difficult task and so the big Prague Cups were put off for several years (until 1998).

Prague Kendo Cup 1996 was held in much smaller scale than previos years. In fact, it was rather a friendly tournament between Czech and Austrian kendokas. This tournament was won by Mr. Filip Baumruk from Czech Republic.

Since 1998 Kendo in the Czech Republic has been organised under Czech Kendo Federation, which took the continuity of the Prague Kendo Cup tradition as one of its priorities. So since 1998 Prague Kendo Cup, there is a growing number of participants and quality of Kendo as well as the number of international competitors (in 2004 we had nearly a hundred competitors) and it is since 1998 that the Prague Kendo Cup is held every year in October. One of its traditions is an international Kendo seminar, which is led by a skilled sensei before the actual tournament.

In 1999 the tournament hosted 28 competitiors from 5 countries. See more info here.

In 2000 te tournament was dominated by Hungarian Kenshis.

In 2001 we had 33 participants from 6 countries. Seminar was lead by Mr. Kamemoto. More info here.

In 2002 just before the Prague Kendo Cup we received the sad news that Mr. Toru Giga, the first sensei in former Czechoslovakia, passed away. To honor his memory, it has been decided, that from year 2003 the tournament will be re-named to Toru Giga Prague Kendo Cup. The seminar was led by Mr. Demski. More info here.

In 2003 the seminar was lead by Kamemoto sensei. There were about 80 competitors. More info here.

Almost hundred competitors from 8 countries took part in the event in 2004. Tournament was held under the patronage of HE Mr. Koichi Takahashi, the Japanese ambassador. Seminar was lead by Kamemoto sensei. More info here.

So was the case in 2005, with the same number of contestants from 7 countries. Seminar was lead by Mr. Ruytaro Kamemoto and the chief referee was Mr. Hiroshi Ozawa. More info here.

In 2006, more than 120 participants from 11 countries took part in the seminar and tournament. The seminar was headed by Mr. Hiroshi Ozawa. More info here.

In 2007 the seminar was led solely by the European senseis, headed by Mr. Jörg Potrafki. Tournament was again very succesfull with over 120 participants from many countries. The tournament was split ladies and open categories. More info here.

In 2008 the seminar was led by 8th dan Sensei for the first time - Shigeki Yamanaka sensei, Hachidan Hanshi. Tournament was a little smaller, with about 70 participants - it was split to ladies and men categories. For the first we also held examinations up to 3rd Dan. More info here.

In 2009 the event hosted 130 participants from 15 countries. Many senseis were present, headed by Ozawa sensei. Seminar lasted 3 days. We had exams up to 4th dan for the first time. Tourmanent hosted about 80 participants. More info here.

 

Here are all the results of the Prague Kendo Cup:

1989 - men
1st S. Velasquez (HOL)
2nd L. Lipecki (POL)
3rd R. Niewert (GER)
   
1989 - ladies
1st A. Neumeister (GER)
2nd I. Benkmann (GER)
3rd A. Neméth (HUN)
   
1990 - men
1st H. Karita (GER)
2nd S. Velasquez (HOL)
3rd Fiedeldei (GER)
   
1990 - ladies
1st I. Benkmann (GER)
2nd T.Kurys (HOL)
3rd H. Kotlářová (CZE)
   
1991 - men
1st F. Tran (FRA)
2nd V. Hotovec (CZE)
3rd S. Velasquez (HOL)
   
1991 - ladies
1st A. Neméth (HUN)
2nd I.Benkmann (GER)
3rd N. Muller (FRA)
   
1995
1st H. Sturany (GER)
     
    
   
1996
1st F. Baumruk (CZE)
2nd C. Lettau (AUT)
3rd T. Berger (CZE)
  V. Mládek (CZE)
1998
1st C. Lettau (AUT)
2nd F. Baumruk (CZE)
3rd D. Hauck (AUT)
  V. Mládek (CZE)
1999 - web
1st F. Kovacs (HUN)
2nd W. Mraz (AUT)
3rd T. Csontos (HUN)
   
2000
1st G. Erdelyi (HUN)
2nd A. Hessel (POL)
3rd S. Dubi (HUN)
  F. Kovacs (HUN)
2001 - web
1st J. Sengfelder (GER)
2nd C. Lettau (AUT)
3rd R. Jastak (POL)
  W. Mraz (AUT)
2002 - web
1st S. Dubi (HUN)
2nd J. Ziegelheim (CZE)
3rd R. Jastak (POL)
  C. Lettau (AUT)
2003 - web
1st W. Mraz (AUT)
2nd J. Ziegelheim (CZE)
3rd M. Dutescu (ROM)
  M. Jastak (POL) 
2004 - web
1st F. Baumruk (CZE)
2nd M. Wial (POL)
3rd J. Cílek (CZE)
  W. Mraz (AUT)
2005 - web
1st A. Dubi (HUN)
2nd O. Mattausch (AUT)
3rd M. Miyoshi (CZE)
  W. Mraz (AUT)
2006 - web
1st S. Sugino (GER)
2nd K. Yearwood (POL)
3rd J. Koss (POL)
  O. Mattausch (AUT)
2007 ladies - web
1st J. Lujic (SRB)
2nd N. Maj (POL)
3rd A.Wial (POL)
  E. Wožnica (POL)
2007 open - web
1st M. Fritz (CZE)
2nd K. Bosak (POL)
3rd M. Jovanovic (SRB)
  K. Grosiak (POL)
2008 men - web
1st J. Cílek (CZE)
2nd M. Jastak (POL)
3rd B. Bress (HUN)
  M. Fritz (CZE)
2008 ladies - web
1st A. Betley (POL)
2nd D. Dohanyosova (CZE)
3rd J. Stejskalova (CZE)
  J. Ziegelheimov (CZE)
2009 men - web
1st S. Gasparin (HUN)
2nd R. Jastak (POL)
3rd B. Ban (CRO)
  M. Kelm (POL)
2009 ladies - web
1st K. Grosiak (POL)
2nd A. Gdeczyk (POL)
3rd A. Woźniczka (POL)
  J. Ziegelheimová (CZE)
 

 

Acknowledgements

We wish to appreciate the help of all the Kendo senseis, who led the seminars and refereed the competition or supported it another way in the previous years. Also we wish to thank those many people, who organised the tournament over the years. We wouldn't be this far without their hard and often unnoticed work.

We hope to continue the tradition in the future.

Finally, we wish to thank Mr. Vladimír Hotovec for information and cooperation during creation of this page.