Happy New Year to all!
It has been a difficult year for many with the ongoing global pandemic, but I am so pleased to see that most AKR groups have been able to resume kyudo practice and I anticipate that safe kyudo training will continue to expand as we go forward into 2022. Thanks to all who sent in their pandemic kyudo practice summaries and photos; these have been sent to the ANKF for publication in a future ANKF Kyudo Magazine issue.
We may need to wait another year or more for in-person National or International seminars and shinsa to resume, as there have been no announcements for ANKF/IKYF events in 2022.
We were fortunate that the ANKF and IKYF authorized the first-ever video shinsa for Shodan and Nidan candidates in September, open to IKYF-member countries. The AKR had 38 successful candidates, with 23 newly promoted to Shodan and 15 promoted to Nidan. I am hopeful that video shinsa may be continued in 2022 and beyond, and perhaps be expanded to include the affiliates in the countries that are not yet IKYF members.
Two countries of South America have now submitted applications for IKYF membership, Argentina and Brazil. The AKR supports both countries in their IKYF membership applications.
Last year, the AKR formed a committee to start working on a kyudo promotional video. That video was released in October 2021, and at the time of this writing, the video has been viewed more than 27K times!
Kudos to the video committee for their many hours of planning, filming, editing, music, and post-production. I hope it will result in new inquiries and new members for all the AKR state Renmei.
In other news, the IKYF allowed us to bundle all payments together to save on wire transfer fees, so toward the end of the year, we initiated a group payment for subscriptions to the ANKF Kyudo Magazine (published in Japanese). Eleven AKR members took advantage of the offer for the 2022 magazine subscription. If additional members are interested in subscribing in coming years, we can do a repeat of this offer each December.
The monthly AKR Video Forum was inaugurated in June 2021 and has been well received, with growing attendance each month, now including kyudo friends in South, Central, and North America. Speakers from 2021 included Dan DeProspero sensei, Yoshiko Buchanan sensei, Steve Scott sensei, and Earl Hartman sensei. We thank each of them for their time and for sharing their passion for kyudo. We will continue the monthly Forums in 2022, and the speaker lineup will be announced soon.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
Maria Peterson, AKR President