How old were you when you started Kendo and why did you start?
I was born in 1974 in Paris. My height is 171 cm.
I started kendo at eleven years old. My sensei, Gerard TRAN was my father’s friend who proposed me to try kendo in his dojo in Montfort L’Amaury (50 km from Paris)
When I was a child, I was shy and introvert and practicing kendo with such generous sensei helped me to be more confident. Budo spirit gave me a frame to experiment human relationships.
What do you find attractive about Kendo?
Years after years, I improved my kendo practice and matured my mind.
Early, I knew that Kendo would be an important part of my life. Now I am 47 years old and I still follow the path to progress.
Kendo is a precious way to share with different people that we couldn’t meet in classic life.
For me Kendo is attractive when we follow the purpose which benefits are visible in the long term.
Particularly to hold in esteem human courtesy and honor and to associate with others with sincerity. Seeking Victory only serves to satisfy the ego.
Is there anyone in your family that plays kendo?
I have 3 children (2 girls and a boy) but only my son Alexis (12 years old) is practicing kendo too. But it’s not easy for a father to teach his son so that, usually an other sensei teach him (Andreev Sensei). I hope that like me, he will find in kendo a real way to improve himself, mold his mind and body and feel better by cultivate a vigorous spirit and meet and share other people with respect and sincerity.
Have you participated in any world championships? Have you won any prizes in European competitions?
I have participated to two WKC : Santa Clara in 2000 and Glasgow in 2003. I have been 3 times winner in team EKC (Bale, Switzerland1998, Lourdes, France 1999 and Bologna, Italie 2001) and reached the third place in senior individual competition in 1998.
What did you feel after participating in world and European competitions?
I have been proud to represent my nation and appreciate meeting other kenshis in other countries.
What are you proud of in Kendo?
I’m proud to teach to children because they represent the future for our discipline.
Do you have hobbies other than kendo?
I don’t have time for other hobbies in addition to the Kendo practice with my job, family and other responsibilities. Usually, I go running in the forest near my house, It’s a good exercise to strengthen the legs and hips (improve movement in Kendo)
What are your future goals in kendo?
My future reasonable goals in Kendo is to maintain a good level of practice with basics and remain legitimate as a high ranking kenshi. My dream would be to dedicate my life in kendo but until now, kendo does not make money in France.. (we can’t live economically off the practice of kendo).
Do you have any kenshi whom you look up to as you goal and why?
In France, each year, we are lucky to meet many Japanese sensei who come to France to teach Kendo. Each of them teached us a valuable lesson and it would be impossible to tell which one is an example for me because all of them have their own teaching, particularity and feeling. Among them, NAGANO sensei, SUMI sensei or FUJIWARA sensei are significant for me.
When I was young, I had the chance to meet SUMI sensei in my dojo and many years after he often comes back to France and it is a real pleasure for all of us.
We are also lucky to have YOSHIMURA sensei in France who spent all his life to the mission of development of French Kendo. We could never thank him enough.
Other sensei have been decisive in my progression in Kendo, like LABAYE Sensei who is an example for me. But many other French sensei are examples. HAMOT sensei, PRUVOST sensei, TUVI sensei, CARPENTIER sensei.. and many others. Now, due to my height, I often refer to small eight sensei who deliver a strong and beautiful kendo (TODA sensei, SUMI sensei, EIGA Naoki sensei).