The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Prestigious Honours for Maltese martial arts team in Japan

Malta Independent Saturday, 10 May 2008, 00:00 Last update: about 10 years ago

Two brothers, Christian Bajada Renshi and Roderick Bajada Renshi, accompanied by a group of students from Classical Budo Association Malta (traditional martial arts school which they run in Luqa), have just returned from a trip to Japan after an invitation by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, the oldest and most prestigious society of Japanese traditional martial arts. Presided by a board of Japanese experts, with members and ex-members of the Japanese government, the society boasts some of the most fundamental names in Japanese cultural heritage. Not only is the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai sanctioned by the government, but it is also governed by his royal excellence Prince Higashi Fushimi Jigo, “chief abbot” of Shorenin Temple, and brother to Princess Kotaigo, wife of ex-emperor Hirohito.

The Bajada brothers, who are both officially qualified by the same Japanese society in Traditional Jujutsu and Iaijutsu, also carry the prestigious title of Renshi, which they were awarded on the personal recommendation of Dr Hiroyuki Tesshin Hamada Hanshi, chairman of the international division, sealed by his royal excellence the Prince himself. It is worth mentioning that the brothers’ reception of this title was indeed an exception since never had such an honour been bestowed upon any non-Japanese Budoka of so young an age. Apart from the numerous exhibitions given by the Bajada brothers, they were also present, as official international representatives of this society in the Maltese Islands, for a number of board meetings.

The students from Classical Budo Malta consisted of Kevin Enriquez Sensei, Daniel Zammit Sensei, Ramon Lautier Sensei, Oliver Mifsud Sensei, and Leigh Calleja, also official members of the DNBK. The team gave excellent exhibitions in Classical Jujutsu and Iaijutsu, as well as in traditional weapons such as Bojutsu, Jojutsu and Hojojutsu, in the presence of the highest Japanese authorities in the Butoku Den, a hall which was built in the eighth century and which has been the training venue for Samurai warriors throughout the ages. It is, moreover, a great honour in Japan to perform Jujutsu on wooden floors without any protection mats, a task in which the Maltese team excelled after exhibiting a series of techniques and throws on the hard, antique, wooden floors of the Butoku Den.

The Maltese team, which had been preparing hard for this memorable occasion, also succeeded in achieving various honours, including the highest awards available for the occasion: the World Butoku Sai Individual Yushu Sho – Outstanding Award Christian Bajada Renshi and Roderick Bajada Renshi, Team Shorei Sho – Team Commending Award twice in the World Butoku Sai and the Rensei Taikai, Individual Rensei Taikai Yushu Sho – Outstanding Award Kevin Enriquez Sensei, Individual Doryoku Sho – Great Achievement Award Daniel Zammit Sensei, Ramon Lautier Sensei and Oliver Mifsud Sensei and 1st Leadership Award Christian Bajada Renshi and Roderick Bajada Renshi. For this event, 40 different countries from all over the world were present with over 1,000 black belts, and thus it is an honour that the participation of Malta was one of the most highly acclaimed.

One must also mention that the hospitality of the Japanese people is one of the strongest points of this beautiful and culturally rich country.

For more information about this event, refer to the official website of Classical Budo Association Malta:

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