About the Taikai
The PNKF Women’s Taikai was started in 2001 and is held every 3 years in the greater Seattle area. Each time a different guest instructor is brought in and teaches a week long seminar at the various dojos in the PNKF. At the end of the week the taikai is held at the Renton Community Center and includes individual dan and kyu divisions. The tournament starts off with the team event, each team being comprised of 5 members and beginning with a round robin format, leading into a single elimination bracket. Click here for more on the taikai rules.
The range of taikai participants have included Hawaii, Vancouver BC, Montreal, Nebraska, Georgia, California, New York, Oregon and of course Washington.
Why does PNKF have this taikai?
Over the years there has been little attention or emphasis on women’s kendo outside of Japan and Korea. With this in mind, the concept of an event that was solely for women in North America was obvious.
As a leader in promoting women’s kendo, the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation stepped up to the task. PNKF was the first tournament to offer a woman only division and at this time has both a kyu and yudansha division for women. We decided it was time for an event on a much larger scale that would build a sense of community amongst the various kendo groups in North America.
Along with a tournament it was decided that having a seminar that was a week long prior to the tournament would provide not only a learning opportunity but an opportunity for women kenshi in North America to network and build friendships. Tournaments are not all that conducive to building friendships but working together in a seminar setting certainly is. Each time we have brought a guest instructor to teach the seminar.