It is in Modena that the CIK, in collaboration with the European Naginata Federation, organized the
13th European Naginata Championships this year. So, in early September, almost all the members of
our beautiful federation gathered first for a seminar led by Kirsi Höglund (5th dan), Mark Berghaan
(Renshi), David D’hose (Renshi), and Tyl Dermine (4th dan). Unfortunately, we were unable to benefit
from the expertise of Imaura sensei (Kyoshi), who had to stay in her hotel room after a difficult night
of illness. Nevertheless, many of you were present to prepare for your grading exams and the
championships the following day, as well as to share your knowledge, as was proposed in the group
of the highest-ranked practitioners.
After the lunch break, some began their written exams while others engaged in free training.
Following this, the kyu and dan grading exams took place in the sweltering heat in the large
hall, under the serious gaze of our three European Renshi, for nearly three hours.
Following the grading exams, the judges gathered to carefully review the new regulations
established by the technical director for competitions. It was not without difficulty, as there
were numerous changes and many judges present. This meeting raised many questions, but
everyone acknowledged the work done by the technical director, François Dermine.
Finally, in the early evening, the General Assembly of the European Federation began. During
this assembly, we were all delighted to welcome Switzerland as a permanent member and
Spain as a new temporary member, bringing the total number of ENF members to 15.
After this long day and a good meal, everyone rested before the big day of the European
Championships. The opening ceremony of the 13th European Championships started with the
Italian and European national anthems sung by a choir. With sparkling eyes filled with joy,
practitioners from all our member countries listened to the opening speeches of the
competition before taking up their naginata to start the engi tournament. Then came the
individual women’s competition with always intense duels.
A small lunch marked the day, followed by the individual men’s competition, ending with
matches between women’s and men’s teams. The competition was intense and technically
impressive, more dazzling than ever from year to year. The results are now available on the
The awards were presented by all the judges and officials to the sound of the national anthems
of the winners. Belgium and France stood out as the most rewarded nations, but everyone
experienced their share of emotions and rewards.
It was a great day that ended with a beautifully organized festive meal by the Italian Federation in a restaurant where everyone could raise their glasses and savor the delicious cuisine of Michelangelo’s country.
The next day, it was the turn of other practitioners to compete in the goodwill competitions.
The technical director’s ambition here was to allow as many people as possible to participate.
Between the zen nihon kata competition and the goodwill for children, there was an engi
event, as well as goodwill competitions for kyu and dan ranks. Even though not all these
competitions were always orchestrated exactly as the technical director wished, the events of
the day delighted everyone and concluded with a medal ceremony amid the applause of
members from all the federations who came for this grand tournament.
The president greeted the practitioners and organizers and invited everyone to come to the
next championships in Sweden in 2025.