CAS sophomore Sung Hun Choi has led the NYU Kendo team to victory in several intercollegiate tournaments, including first place in the team division of the Harvard Invitational Shroyuhai Intercollegiate Kendo Tournament in late March.
Choi is one of the team’s more experienced members, having been well-practiced in Kendo well before his freshman year at NYU. Kendo, which means “way of the sword,” is a Japanese sport that has a base in martial arts. Competitors wield bamboo sticks in place of swords. The NYU team, which competes at the club level, has seen its share of success recently.
Choi said the team’s performance at the recent tournament was its greatest accomplishment — the placement marked the first time a team from the East Coast had won in more than a decade. Choi also said it is important to maintain the team’s values and respectability.
The team also won first place at a tournament at Cornell University, which Choi called the biggest collegiate tournament for Kendo on the East Coast, as well as Columbia University’s tournament. The team plans to compete in two more tournaments in April.
“We are all practicing hard to prepare ourselves,” Choi said.
Choi recalled that his own experience in joining the team was a positive one.
“I got into Kendo at NYU by Googling if NYU had a Kendo team,” he said.
Despite knowing little about the team when he joined, Choi said his experiences with his teammates have been highlights of his college career. Bonding during practice and outside of the club, the group is like a family.
“Everyone on the team was very welcoming when I joined,” Choi said. “It’s been really fun coming to practice for Kendo.”
He stressed the openness of the team to newcomers and said the NYU team is one of the most well-funded Kendo clubs in the country.
“Many of our members started Kendo during college, including our current president and captain,” he said. “Joining the Kendo club has been one of the best decisions I’ve made here at NYU, and I hope that others can say the same in the years to come.”
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, April 3 print edition. Sean Billings is a staff writer. Email him at email@example.com.