My name is Balázs Tóth. I have been intrigued by Eastern culture ever since I was a child. In December 2002, after trying various types of sports, I started to do kendo at Szeged Kendo Association. I was eleven years old, and what amazed me most at that time was the samurai sword, the armor, and the beauty of kendo’s movements. When I was attending high school, I felt an incredible urge to compete and to achieve more and more. After a lucky meeting in 2007, my friend, Naoki Terunuma’s family invited me to visit them in Japan. This was the first time for me to visit the homeland of kendo, and I was thrilled with the spirituality, the mood and the magic of Japanese dojos. In Hungary, each time I met the delegation of Kokushikan University, who were visiting our country, was a defining experience to me. In summary, all the experiences listed above contributed to my decision; devoting my whole life to kendo. I would like to express my gratitude and say thank you to Abe Tetsushi, who has always supported me in everything and still does, to this day.
After graduating, I applied to the University of Physical Education, to PE-sports coaching major. Due to an exchange program, I managed to go to Kokushikan University in 2012. It was a dream come true for me. When I got back home after 12 months of hard training at Kokushikan University, I had a feeling as if something was still missing. I knew I had yet to learn a lot both in the practice of kendo, and the theory of budo, and that Japan was the place where I could gather that knowledge.
In 2015 I applied for a Japanese State Scholarship, which made it possible for me to spend one and a half year in Tokyo and to be at Kokushikan University again. I was researching the theory of Japanese sword fighting, and traditional methods of training with the help of Ujiie Michio, an 8 dan hanshi. After coming home, I managed to reconnect with the childhood love I used to feel towards kendo and the samurai philosophy, which made me very motivated as a competitor as well. I consider myself to be extremely lucky since prestigious masters like Ujiie Michio and Ota Masataka dignified me with their time, attention and support. I could now fill up that void, which I felt after arriving home from Japan in 2013. I believe that all the experience, knowledge, impact and being with Japanese people so much makes me suitable for giving advice and help in getting to know budo and kendo. Of course, the road is not over yet… true learning has just started.
My trips to Japan:
Summer 2007.: Secondary schools: Ikubunkan, Obirin, Takanawa, Hachióji jissen, Kokushikan University
Summer 2008.: Ikubunkan High School
Summer 2010.: Tókai University
March 2012 – March 2013: Kokushikan University
June 2015.: Kendo World Championship
April 2016 – August 2017.: Kokushikan University
Most important achievements:
2015. XVI. Kendo World Championship Tokyo, Japan – Men’s team, 3rd place
2012. XV. Kendo World Championship Novara, Italy – Men’s team, 3rd place
2009. XIV. Kendo World Championship Sao Paolo, Brazilia – Men’s team among the best 8
2017. XXVIII. Kendo European Championship Budapest, Hungary – Men’s team, 3rd place
2013. XXV. Kendo European Championship Berlin, Germany – Men’s team, 3rd place
2011. XXIV. Kendo European Championship Gdynia, Poland – Men’s team, 1st place
2015. XXIV. ABKF Nakakura cup Brussels, Belgium – Men’s individual category 1st place
2015. National Individual Championship – Men’s category, 1st place