A small-ish group of hardy and spirited kendoka participated in our 1000 Cut Challenge fundraiser for Japanese Earthquake Relief on Saturday, May 14.
For those unfamiliar with the “1000 Cut Challenge”, our club held the first one in 2004 as a fundraiser for Team Canada’s trip to the World Kendo Championships. We have held them intermittently since then. A “cut” is one properly executed strike. It’s a long day of basic practice, with keiko (sparring) to break things up. Over the course of the day, participants will make and receive around 1000 strikes. Non-kendo people may think it insane, but those who participate generally consider it time well spent.
One of this year’s participants suggested that “Ow – my everything” should be the slogan of the 1000 Cut Challenge. Strikes aren’t always as precise or as controlled as we would like them to be, so everyone accumulated approximately 3 practices worth of wear and tear. Burning feet, muscles and lungs were par for the course. Somehow we all got through it, and afterward enjoyed a good dinner out at Sushi 8 in Welland where we appropriately stressed out the kitchen staff as we replenished lost fluids and calories.
I want to thank first and foremost those who participated. I couldn’t have done it by myself, and your energy and enthusiasm were greatly appreciated. Without participants, we couldn’t have had donors, so a huge thank you to all who donated! Our preliminary results show we raised $710 for Japanese Earthquake Relief, which will be donated to the Lions Clubs Internation Foundation who will then distribute it to Lions clubs in Kumamoto to be used as needed for recovery efforts. I know a few participants indicated they will be collecting donations this coming week. If you are interested in donating, please contact me and I can send you the coordinates.
The 1000 Cut Challenge is part of our club’s heritage and I am happy we were able to use it again as a successful fundraiser. Thank you again to all of our donors and participants!!