Naginata was first introduced in Israel in 2006 by Chad Goerzen (2nd Dan at that time), who was a direct student of a famous naginata teacher - Tanaka Miyako (Hanshi - the equivalent of 8th dan).
Chad stayed in Israel for 2 years, and did his best promoting naginata in local martial art schools. However, despite Chad's efforts the naginata didn't spread. At it's peak, only 4 people trained on a weekly basis.
After Chad's departure at 2008 only one student (Gur Nedzvetsky) continued to practice. Despite having no teacher, dojo or experience he continued to practice what he knew, hoping that one day he will have an opportunity to learn more.
At 2009 Gur moved to Berlin and joined the German Naginata Federation (DNagB). Knowing that he will soon need to return to Israel he attended as many training events and seminars as he could. During the short time he spent in Europe Gur had attended the following events:
1. The 2009 International Naginata Federation Seminar in Prague, where he was tested for the first time and had acquired 4th kyu.
2. A seminar in the Netherlands where he had successfully passed the 3rd kyu exam and also took second place in a kyu shiai competition.
After returning to Israel at the beginning of 2010 Gur had opened a Naginata club in Jerusalem and began teaching.
2011 - We had a solid group of 6 practitioners. Naginata practice happened on a weekly basis.
2012 - The group grew and we had first Taikai which combined of ENGI (Kata) and Individual Shiai. 12 people attended.
2013 - Another group was opened in Kfar Eldad, with Gur Nedzvetsky still as a leading teacher.
We had several isshu jiai trainings with the Kendo practitioners in Jerusalem.
Later on Gur flew to an International Naginata Federation seminar in Seattle and both passed for 1st kyu and took first place in a shiai competition of up to 1st dan.
Another great achievement was that we had established official contact with the European Naginata Federation and began the process of creating the Israeli Naginata Federation (ISRNF)
2014 - The two groups continued to practice on a weekly basis.
Kyu exams were held in Israel for the first time.
Two Israeli representatives: Gur Nedzvetsky and Omer Barmuha had attended the International Naginata Federation seminar in the Netherlands.
Gur Nedzvetsky had passed 1st dan exam, and again took first place in a shiai competition of up to 1st Dan.
Omer Barmuha had passed an exam for 4th kyu and made good performance in a kyu level ENGI (Kata) competition.
2015 - While having still only around 20 practitioners,and only one teacher, we have managed to run several Naginata events in Israel. ISRNF was accepted as a temporary member of the European Naginata Federation.
2016 - This year brought a huge boost for the Israeli Naginata.
Another group was opened in Petah Tikva, and the overall amount of practitioners grew to about 40, most of them kids and teenagers.
Also, a first ISRNF seminar and championship took place for the first time, with David D'hose (5th Dan, President of the ENF) as our guest teacher.
12 practitioners had passed 4th kyu examination and others had passed 5th and 6th kyu exam.
Later in December we had another two days seminar which concentrated on bogu training. In the end a taikai was held.
An Israeli representative (Gur Nedzvetsky) had attended the European Naginata Championship for the first time. While being unable to participate in the championship itself, due to it happening on Saturday (Shabbat) Gur had participated in the Goodwill shiai tournament (Dan category) and won first place. Later that week on the ENF seminar Gur had passed the 2nd Dan examination.
2017 - The success of the previous year had continued to 2017. With a new dojo and several new practitioners, we have managed to organize a special bogu seminar and also our annual two-day Jerusalem taikai.
But our main event remained the 5 days long seminar + ISRNF championship. This year we had enough people compete on several categories: Engi, Shiai kids, Shiai Juniors and Shiai Adults. Also ,for the first time we had team shiai!
The seminar was led once again by David D'Hose sensei from Belgium. I also must mention that no less then 20 people took kyu examinations, including 4 people who passed 1st kyu.
A delegation of 6 practitioners attended the international seminar, organized this year by the INF and the German Naginata Bund in Mainz, Germany.
All of us had the chance of practicing with amazing senseis and got many corrections and good advises.
2018 - While the academic year ended well for all Naginata clubs of the ISRNF, the beginning of the new academic year wasn't easy to launch. Some members didn't continue the practice, however very soon new ones joined and things went on the right path again.
This Year we became part of the IKBF (Israeli Kendo and Budo Federation)
Also, in October we participated in the 11th European Naginata Championship and took 1st place in both Kyu (Avihai Arnon) and Dan (Gur Nedzvetsky) division of the Goodwill tournament. For the Dan division - Israel took first place for the second time in a row!
In that event, two practitioners (Netta Sheinkman and Ben Sacks) passed 1st dan grading and Gur Nedzvetsky passed 3rd Dan.
We are now at the beginning of 2019, and we are looking forward to a great and new year, which is sure to bring us a lot of fun, success and practice hours!
Israeli Naginata Federation.
Chad Goerzen teaches naginata 2006
First Jerusalem Taikai 2012
ISRNF Seminar 2016
INF Seminar 2017
European Championship 2018