Seminar 2005

The (we think) 16th Annual Saskatoon Kendo Seminar was held March 4-6, 2005. Over 80 people participated in the 2005 seminar, the biggest yet. I'd like to thank our guest sensei: Kamata-sensei from Etobicoke, Taguchi-sensei from Sunrise and Takagaki-sensei from Steveston. I'd also like to thank all the instructors of the visiting clubs for making the trip along with so many of their students: Stephen Moses of Calgary, Stephanie Bozzer of Edmonton, Corie Namba and Tom Yamashita of Winnipeg and David Fowler of Regina. Thanks also to Lance Wall of my own club for bearing the brunt of delegated duties.

We had a very nice godo-keiko on Friday night, followed by some refreshments in various locations. Saturday morning was seminar, with Kamata-sensei leading the 3+ dan group in a shimpan seminar and Taguchi-sensei and Takagaki-sensei instructing the rest. Saturday afternoon we had our tournament. Some strong showings from the Calgary club, especially their junior members, and a good effort from various Saskatoon and Edmonton people but it was Manitoba Kendo Club's day with about half of the placings and a team win. Congratulations to Corie, Tom and the rest, clearly they've been working hard.

Saturday evening saw supper at a local Chinese restaurant ("Hello, Michelle? That will be 85 for dinner") followed by a party at my house where the various awards were presented. Highlights of the night included presentation of a special gift to Takagaki-sensei for coming to most of the praire seminars (Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Regina - Bob hits them all) over the last 7 years, and another gift to Miyaoka-sensei as congratulations for his recent promotion to nanadan. Both gifts were joint efforts on the part of all prairie kendo clubs. The loudest cheers were reserved for 11 year old Bryn Williams of Manitoba, who received the fighting spirit award for a very gutsy performance against kids twice his size.

Sunday morning we held the grading and I am pleased to report all passed: 12 ikkyu, 6 shodan, 3 nidan and 1 sandan. Congratulations to all candidates, the overall level was clearly higher than last year.

After most of the visiting clubs went home, Kamata-sensei and Taguchi-sensei joined us for our regular club practice, and endured long lineups at keiko for their valuable advice, administered in the traditional format of butt-kicking.

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. Matthew Jewell CKC     1. Riley Dawson EKC        1. Vincent Breault MKC
2. Phil Mattie CKC        2. Tim Lee MKC             2. Grant Gordon CKC
3. Paul Mattie CKC        3. Conner Mascho SKC       3. Shawn MacFadden SKC
3. Chris Jensen EKC       3. Bryn Williams MKC       3. Rochelle Reonal CKC

Women                     1-2 dan                    3+ dan
1. Kyoko Miyata MKC       1. Hisaki Kajiyama SKC     1. Daisaku Taguchi Sunrise
2. Corie Namba MKC        2. Koichi Miyamoto MKC     2. Neil Gendzwill SKC
3. Stephanie Bozzer EKC   3. Jun Park MKC            3. Yu Kurisu MKC
3. Julie Kim CKC          3. Anantha Duraiappah MKC  3. Kyoko Miyata MKC

Team                      Fighting Spirit Award
1. Manitoba Kendo Club    Bryn Williams, MKC
2. Saskatoon Kendo Club
3. Regina Kendo Club
3. Calgary Kendo Club

- Neil Gendzwill