History

About the Ballarat Kendo Club

Since its inception in 1987, the Ballarat Kendo Club and its members have achieved many things at local, state, national, and international levels.

Local Achievements

  • 1987
    • The first Kendo classes at the Ballarat Karate club begin in February.
      • Gary Oliver – Founder
  • 1993
    • First resident Sensei in Ballarat.
      • Katsumi Kuramochi
    • First demonstrations for schools and charities around Ballarat begin.
  • 1999
    • Inaugural Mumeishi 3′s Tournament.
      • Satoru Takada, Gary Oliver, Ryan Oliver – 1st
  • 2006
    • Ballarat hosts first public demonstration outside Melbourne by 140 Nittaidai University students.

State Achievements

  • 1990
    • State Individual Kyu Championship.
      • Tony Pickering – 1st
  • 1993
    • Ballarat wins State Open Team Championship (3 member teams only).
      • Gary Oliver, Jason Widdy & Tony Pickering
    • State Individual Kyu Championship.
      • Tony Pickering – 1st
      • Arpad Maksay – 2nd
  • 1999
    • State Individual Kyu Championship.
      • Tarl O’Mara – 3rd
    • State Individual Dan Championship.
      • Satoru Takada – 1st
    • State Kyu Team Championship.
      • Ballarat – 1st
  • 2000
    • State Kyu Team Championship.
      • Ballarat – 1st
    • State Individual Kyu Championship.
      • Ryan Oliver – 1st
  • 2000 – 2003
    • Mumeishi 3′s Tournament
      • Gary Oliver, Tony Pickering, Ryan Oliver, Tarl O’Mara & David Tannard – 2nd (various combinations)
  • 2001
    • State Individual Dan Championship.
      • Ryan Oliver – 2nd
  • 2003
    • State Individual Dan Championship.
      • Gary Oliver – 3rd
  • 2006
    • First State Iaido Grading held in Ballarat
    • First Victorian Junior Kendo Championship
      • Chris Brown – 1st under 13.
      • Patrick Brown – 1st Under 11.
  • 2007
    • Mumeishi 3′s Tournament.
      • Team Fighting Spirit Award – Jason Widdy
  • 2008
    • Inaugural Nagae Taikai (Kata).
      • 1st Gary Oliver & Tony Pickering, 3rd Tarl O’Mara & Ryan Oliver
    • State Kendo Championship held in Ballarat for the first time.
    • State Individual Dan Championship.
      • Ryan Oliver – 3rd
    • State Open Team Championship.
      • Ballarat – 2nd – Tarl O’Mara, Jason Widdy, Ryan Oliver, Gary Oliver and David Tannard.
    • Mumeishi 3′s Tournament.
      • 2nd – Tarl O’Mara, Ryan Oliver
    • Team Fighting Spirit Award – Tarl O’Mara, Ryan Oliver
  • 2009
    • Mumeishi 3′s Tournament.
    • Team Fighting Spirit Award – Jason Widdy and Carl Ruff
    • State Junior Championships
      • Chris Brown 1st, Sean Hearn 3rd.
    • State Championships – Veterans
      • Gary Oliver – 2nd

National Achievements


  • 1982
    • Octoberfest Individual*.
      • Gary Oliver – 2nd
  • 1983
    • Octoberfest Individual*.
      • Gary Oliver – 2nd
  • 1989
    • Okura Shield – service to Kendo.
      • Gary Oliver
    • National Kyu Team Championship.
      • Jason Widdy – 2nd
  • 1991
    • National Kyu Individual Championship.
      • Tony Pickering – 2nd
  • 1993
    • National Kyu Individual Championship.
      • Jason Widdy – 2nd
    • National Kyu Team Championship.
      • Tony Pickering & Jason Widdy – 1st
    • Fighting Spirit Award – National Championship.
      • Jason Widdy
  • 1996
    • National Dan Individual Championship.
      • Katsumi Kuramochi – 1st
  • 1999
    • National Junior Individual Championship.
      • Ryan Oliver – 1st
  • 2000
    • National Kyu Individual Championship.
      • Ryan Oliver – 3rd
    • National Iaido Team Championship.
      • Gary Oliver – 2nd
    • National Kendo Dan Team Championship.
      • Gary Oliver – 3rd
  • 2001
    • National Kyu Individual Championship.
      • Ryan Oliver – 1st
      • Tarl O’Mara – Fighting Spirit Award.
    • National Kyu Team Championship.
      • Tarl O’Mara & Ryan Oliver – 2nd
  • 2002
    • Dedication award for 9 years of inspirational kendo for youth within Australia.
      • Tarl O’Mara
  • 2005
    • National Seniors Individual Kendo Championship.
      • Gary Oliver – 3rd
  • 2007
    • National Seniors Individual Kendo Championship.
      • Gary Oliver – 3rd
  • 2009
    • National Kata Championship.
      • Gary Oliver & Tony Pickering – 2nd

* Octoberfest became National Kyu Championship in 1985.

International Achievements

  • 1992
    • Assistant Language teacher position at Inagawa, Japan.
      • Stephen Johnston (first ever appointee).
  • 1993
    • Saitama Summer School for Foreigners & Kumeikan dojo in Tokyo with Kubo Sensei.
      • Tony Pickering (1st time)
  • 1994
    • Saitama Summer School for Foreigners & Kumeikan dojo in Tokyo with Kubo Sensei.
      • Tony Pickering (2nd time)
  • 1995
    • Kumeikan dojo in Tokyo with Kubo Sensei.
      • Gary Oliver
  • 1997
    • First World Iaido Embu at World Kendo Championships in Kyoto.
      • Gary Oliver
  • 2001
    • Scholarship to Hakodate University, Hokkaido.
      • Ryan Oliver
    • Saitama Summer School for Foreigners.
      • Gary Oliver & Kumeikan Dojo in Tokyo with Kubo Sensei
  • 2003
    • Hong Kong Asian (Regional) Invitational Kendo Tournament.
      • Tony Pickering & Ryan Oliver – final 8 teams
  • 2004
    • Ballarat vs Inagawa tournament in Inagawa.
      • Gary Oliver, Tony Pickering, Tarl O’Mara, Ryan Oliver, David Tannard & Walter Butler
  • 2005
    • Assistant Language teacher position at Inagawa, Japan.
      • Ryan Oliver
    • Asian shimpan Seminar, Seoul, Sth Korea
      • Gary Oliver
  • 2008
    • Asian shimpan Seminar, Hong Kong
      • Gary Oliver