2007 Saskatoon Seminar

The 18th Annual Saskatoon Kendo Seminar was held March 2-4 2007. Attendance was down from last year, as about 65 people participated. I’d like to thank our guest sensei: Kimura-sensei from Toronto, Kamata-sensei from Etobicoke, 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 Flora Chan, Edmonton with Stephanie Bozzer, Winnipeg with Corie Namba and Tom Yamashita and Regina with Koichi Tada.

This year I was conspicuous by my absence in the weeks leading up to the seminar.  Thanks to Jared Fedorchuk and Kim Porter for handling the seminar and grading registration, Kaiser Ali for driving the visiting sensei, Kyle Zeabin and Flavio Ishii for organizing meals, Adam Beck for selecting the gifts and the Miyaoka family for hosting the party at their restaurant.  Thanks also to Lance Wall for all his help.

I missed the godo-keiko on Friday night due to travel delays, but I’m told it was good. During the Saturday morning seminar, Kimura-sensei taught much of the morning, this year emphasizing kiai. We then split off into four groups according to level and had a chance to pick up some advice from the other instructors. At the tournament, it was a good year to be on the home team, with the bulk of the medals going to Saskatoon. I’m especially pleased that Saskatoon successfully defended its team title.  After the tournament was over, Kamata-sensei had some demonstration matches with Tada-sensei and Harding-sensei, which everyone enjoyed very much.

Saturday evening we had a great meal at the Mandarin restaurant followed by the party, this year held at Yohei Restaurant.  The medals and trophies were handed out, along with some WKC T-shirts courtesy of Shigemitsu Kamata and Robin Tanaka. 

Sunday morning we held the grading. Congratulations to the successful Saskatoon candidates: Kaiser Ali, Erin Bradley, Flavio Ishii, Mike Patterson and Lester Young (ikkyu); Dustin Blanchard (shodan); Azusa Kanaya, Masashi Noguchi and Kyle Zeabin (nidan). 

Saskatoon members had Kimura-sensei, Kamata-sensei and Harding-sensei all to themselves for our regular club practice. Kamata-sensei led us all through some entertaining basics drills, and then we had a great round of godo-keiko.

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

Tournament results :

Beginners (non-bogu)        Kids                      Mudansha
1. Justin Street, EKC       1. Bryn Williams, MKC     1. Mike Patterson, SKC
2. Ashley Rocher, SKC                                 2. Ryan Chappel, SKC
3. Wesley Myers, SKC                                  3. Chris Jensen, EKC
3. Anand Elango, SKC                                  3. Linden Paine, MKC

Women                       1-2 dan                   3+ dan
1. Takako Matisz, SKC       1. Jared Fedorchuk, SKC   1. Koichi Tada, RKC
2. Mika Asai-Coakwell, EKC  2. Motoaki Sato, SKC      2. Takako Matisz, SKC
3. Flora Chan, CKC          3. Keiko Marumo, EKC      3. Tom Yamashita, MKC
3. Reuche Gabac, MKC        3. Masashi Noguchi, SKC   3. Neil Gendzwill, SKC

Team                        Fighting Spirit Award
1. Saskatoon Kendo Club     Keiko Marumo, EKC
2. Edmonton Kendo Club
3. Calgary Kendo Club 3. Manitoba Kendo Club

– Neil Gendzwill