As caretakers of the Kenshikan Dojo, the Melbourne Budokai launched the ‘Kenshikan Restoration Project’ in early 2010 to address the urgent repairs needed to ensure the future use of the Kenshikan dojo. After twenty years of almost daily usage and extensive weather exposure, key parts of the Kenshikan facility had steadily deteriorated with the external roofing material and the dojo floor suffering the most damage.
Over the space of two years members of the Melbourne Budokai came together to secure financing, raise funds, and contribute time and effort to enable the Kenshikan to be restored. In 2010, Kenshikan's roof was repaired, and in late 2011 Kenshikan closed its doors for four weeks to have a completely new floor built under the supervision of a dojo floor specialist from Japan.
The Kenshikan Trust and the Melbourne Budokai wish to thank the Australian Kendo Renmei, the Victorian Kendo Renmei, and all clubs and individuals around Victoria and Australia that generously donated funds to help make the restoration project possible. The Restoration Project has ensured the continuation of the Kenshikan legacy and has provided an even better and safer venue for the practice and development of Kendo, Iaido, Jodo and Naginata for all Australians into the future.
How do you construct a timber floor for a Kendo Dojo in less than 3 minutes? Watch these videos!!
Way back in 2008, discussions started regarding the upgrade of the timber floor at Melbourne Budokai (MBK). The dojo's timber floor had been constructed just prior to when the dojo first open in July 1990. After many years of use, it started to deteriorate.
It was decided that MBK will start a fund raising campaign for a project to upgrade the dojo's floor. A special fundraising account was setup in 2009 and the club started to raise money.
Thanks to the hard work and generous donations of many people, other clubs and organisations, by the end of 2010, there were sufficient funds for the MBK committee to seriously start looking at upgrading the floor.
Szwarcbord Sensei enquired about the timber needed, and he and Yano Sensei started discussions with Shiina Sensei from Japan about the construction of the floor.
After much organising, the New Zealand pine needed for the floor and other things required for the construction of a new dojo floor were purchased and the start date was set! It was decided that November 2011 will be when the construction would commence. It was estimated that it would take a few weeks to construct.
Delivery of the first lot of timber to the dojo was done on the 4th of November 2011. Construction started on the 7th of November 2011 and finished on the 9th of December 2011. There was a big clean-up of the dojo on the 10th of December 2011 and the dojo re-opened for normal training on the 11th of December 2011.
It was a great effort by everyone involved in the project and a big thanks goes to them – there are far too many people to mention here.
To create the attached video of the construction of the floor, I setup my camera in a corner of the dojo (where the small statue of Kenshiro Otsuka stands - for those who are familiar with the dojo). Using a timer, it was programmed to take a photo every few minutes throughout the day. The time between photos was varied depending on the activity for that day.
Each morning, on my way to work, I went to the dojo to start the camera to take the photos. At the end of the day, on my way home, again I went to the dojo, stopped the camera and removed the CF card containing the photos to download them. The camera was left in exactly the same spot. The CF card was inserted back in the camera the following morning. The video consists of 1507 photos and runs for 2 minutes and 30 seconds!