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The Wavell School

Kendo player visits Japanese Club

By Grace Houghton 8U & Geethika Ashok 8V

On Friday 3rd May 2019 the Wavell School was treated to a visit from British wheelchair kendo player, Ali Golchin. Some of our Japanese Club members were given the opportunity to meet him in advance of the main meeting at lunchtime and ask him about how he got this far in his life living with cerebral palsy.

According to Google dictionary, cerebral palsy is a condition caused by impaired muscle co-ordination or other disabilities. It is mostly caused by damage to the brain before or at birth. Although Ali Golchin, or Ali G as he is sometimes known as a nickname, suffers from this condition, he practises martial arts in a typical studio with no other disabled people accompanying him.

Kendo is a martial art that Ali does and enjoys. Kendo originated from Japan and it was invented to kill others with swords. Kendo includes battling with bamboo sticks called shinai. We asked Ali how similar kendo was to fencing, but it turns out it’s quite different for many reasons. Ali has a lot of friends and family that support him and he was kind enough to let one of our club members to try on the kendo equipment and explained how everything works. Ali G is currently learning Japanese and hopes to learn other languages like Korean.

Ali has an amazing way of looking of life; he sees himself as equal to others and despite his condition, he reaches for the starts and would rather be treated like everyone else.

We thank Ali G for coming to see us and we enjoyed meeting such as inspirational person. Arigato.