2006 Saskatoon Seminar

The 17th Annual Saskatoon Kendo Seminar was held March 3-5, 2006. About 90 people participated in the 2006 seminar, we are growing every year. I'd like to thank our guest sensei: Kimura-sensei from Toronto, Okusa-sensei from SFU, Shiono-sensei from Banff, Ara-sensei from Renbu, Taguchi-sensei from Renfrew, Takagaki-sensei from Steveston and Harding-sensei from UBC. The success of this seminar would not be possible without the support of the instructors from all the visiting clubs. Once more strong delegations came from Calgary with Stephen Moses, Edmonton with Stephanie Bozzer, Winnipeg with Corie Namba and Tom Yamashita and Regina with David Fowler. This year we once more had a naginata contingent led by Deryck Webb.

Thanks also to Lance Wall for all his help. Special thanks to Kim Porter, multi-tasking between registrar, court manager and chauffeur duties, all with a broken foot.

We had a very nice godo-keiko on Friday night, and then took over the hotel bar, swamping the one poor waitress with our drink orders. During the Saturday morning seminar, Kimura-sensei taught much of the morning, with a particular emphasis on ki-ken-tai-ichi. We then split off into four groups according to level and had a chance to pick up some advice from the other instructors. After a great lunch organised by Lester Young (thanks, Lester), we had our tournament. This year it seemed that no one club dominated, although I'm pleased to note that Saskatoon took back the team trophy from Manitoba.

Saturday evening we had a great meal at the Mandarin restaurant (thanks to Ryan Chappel) followed by the usual party at my house. Special thanks to my lovely wife Donnagail, for helping host so many. Highlights of the night included presentation of the fighting spirit award to both Tom and Yoshi of Manitoba Kendo Club for their demonstration of strong spirit even though they are not so young as some of their opponents. Gifts were presented to all sensei, organised by Adam Beck - thanks, Adam.

Sunday morning we held the grading and although not everyone passed, the overall quality of the candidates was quite good so I feel the quality of kendo in the prairies is still coming up. The candidates for ikkyu this year were particularly nice. We passed 9/9 ikkyu, 5/6 shodan, 5/8 nidan and 1/2 sandan. Congratulations to the successful Saskatoon candidates: Dustin Blanchard (ikkyu), Adam Beck and Sean MacFadden (shodan) and Justin Fedorchuk (nidan), and to former Saskatoon member Mika Asai-Coakwell (sandan).

Due to poor road conditions, all of the visiting clubs went home at noon. Saskatoon members had Kimura-sensei, Okusa-sensei and Harding-sensei all to themselves for our regular club practice. Everyone learned a lot, and we hope that the sensei can see their way clear to returning next year.

Thanks again to all, and we hope to see you next year. Mark your calendars for the first weekend in March.

Tournament results (note the first listed 3rd place fought the winner in the semi):

Beginners (non-bogu)        Kids                      Mudansha
1. Steve King, RKC          1. Bryn Williams, MKC     1. Shinji Marumo, EKC
2. Andrew Pike, RKC         2. Drew Collins, SKC      2. Grant Gordon, CKC
3. Garth Brown, MKC         3. Aaron Cannitz, SKC     3. Lloyd Choi, CKC
3. Mike Patterson, SKC                                3. Shawn MacFadden, SKC

Women                       1-2 dan                   3+ dan
1. Kyoko Miyata, MKC        1. Motoaki Sato, SKC      1. Dean Ara, Renbu
2. Keiko Marumo, EKC        2. Jared Fedorchuk, SKC   2. Daisaku Taguchi, Renfrew
3. Mika Asai-Coakwell, EKC  3. Darren Berrar, CKC     3. David Harding, UBC
3. Corie Namba, MKC         3. Koichi Izumi, Renfrew  3. Neil Gendzwill, SKC

Team                        Fighting Spirit Award
1. Saskatoon Kendo Club     Yoshi Kusumoto, MKC
2. Manitoba Kendo Club      Tom Yamashita, MKC
3. Calgary Kendo Club
3. Edmonton Kendo Club

- Neil Gendzwill