Sports Chanbara Federation has become the latest entrant into the Rwanda sports fraternity after officially launching their activities on Sunday at Amahoro Nation Stadium.
Sports Chanbara is a lively, low impact free-fencing sport that inculcates the spirit, grace and discipline of traditional swordsmanship, incorporating air-soft padded training weapons.
Chanbara uses safe equipment and lets participants battle at 100% of their strength power and capability, without the risk of injury.
According to Rwanda Sports Chanbara Federation, Secretary General, Jean Claude Rugigana, the sport was born when a pamphlet was published in 1971 by Sensei Tetsundo Tanabe, the originator and current president of the International Sports Chanbara, based in Japan.
The theme of the pamphlet was techniques developed essentially from self-defense.
“Until now, Rwanda Sports Chanbara Federation has 275 members from five clubs, for now we have not got legal status but we’ve started the process to register with Rwanda Governance Board, and hopefully, by end of the year, we will be a fully registered federation,” Rugigana said on Sunday.
He further added that, “The philosophy of Sports Chanbara is to keep the Samurai spirit alive by bringing thousand-year-old techniques into the 21st century. It complements all martial art techniques and styles through its slogan ‘The harmony of the world.’
Sports Chanbara was introduced in Rwanda in 2013 by Sensei Tsutomu Takahashi, a 6th Dan, who was working in Rwanda.
The five clubs making the new federation include; New Vision Chanbara Club, United Chanbara Club, Strong Chanbara Club, Sulfo Chanbara Club and Samurai Chanbara Club.
The sport is played in different countries including Egypt, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda (Africa), USA, Mexico and Canada (America), Germany, France, Italy, Russia, UK, Serbia, Belgium and Poland (Europe), Japan, South Korea, Australia, Nepal, Malaysia and Israel.