Important Covid-19 Message to Members and Those Interested in Joining Renbu Dojo

Thank you to our members and to the many who have sent inquiries to us about joining Renbu Dojo.

We are in the midst of some uncertain times. While I wish I had all the answers right now, the truth is I don’t have any where near the vision to what the next 6 to 18 months hold for Renbu Dojo.

Our Dojo Status

Our last practice was on Wednesday March 11 2020.

As soon as the Province of British Columbia issued an Emergency Notice, our senior members and management all agreed to cease all practices for the safety of our members and the community.

Since then (March 11 2020), we have set up a twice-a-week Zoom workout session for our members led by Daisaku Taguchi-sensei, Hisae Taguchi-sensei, and Juneko Kurahashi-sensei and a host of volunteer senior instructors who lead us through vigorous warmups, workouts and, suburi sessions. We even get together at parks (and social distance). I am grateful for the resilience of all our members, parents, senseis, and supporters during this time. We may be the only club in North America that was worked out regularly, every week, twice-a-week since March 2020!

I am so proud to be a member of Renbu Dojo during these times!

Hopeful for BC

We have watched our Province battle hard, under the guidance of Dr. Bonnie Henry, to flatten the curve. We were optimistic in May 2020 as we were trending in the right direction and were hopeful that by September 2020, we would be back at practice. Sadly, July 2020 saw a spike in the Corona virus cases and as a Province, we were headed in the wrong direction.

Bottom line: we trust Dr. Henry and will comply with any and all directives from her.

We Haven’t Given Up

We’re still very much active in Kendo.

One of our senior instructors Makiko Ara-sensei, Vice President – West, Canadian Kendo Federation (CKF), was instrumental in leading a virtual Kendo seminar that welcomed 275 CKF members and 65 kendo-practitioners from around the world from countries like South Africa, Mexico, Japan, Korea, USA, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Belgium to unite us all with the motto: “Grow Stronger Together”. It is the only worldwide seminar during this pandemic that was aimed at providing training resources to all kendo-practitioners. Bravo to all those that participated!

You can get recordings to all key sessions by joining the CKF and providing a nominal donation here.

The seminar featured World Champion Daiki Kiwada as the conference keynote!

What Next?

I believe in full and radical transparency in all that we do and the answer to the question “What Next?” is: “I am sorry. I don’t know”.

I don’t know when we will be able to practice next.

I don’t know when this pandemic will be over.

I don’t know when the City of Burnaby, (where we practice and with whom we work closely with) will allow us to use our community center again.

I wish I had more answers for you.

Please be patient with us.

We would like Renbu Dojo, with returning and new members, to come back stronger than ever. We want to grow with you again and most importantly, we want nothing more than to see you healthy and safe, both mentally and physically, today and forever.

Thank you to all our members who have stood by us and thank you for all of you have sent us emails during the last few months wanting to join! I wish we could accommodate you. For now, be kind. Be calm. And be safe!

Always,

Dean Ara
Head Instructor
Renbu Dojo