Posts 2013

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December 17th 2013 | Rites of Passage

"Honour was of utmost importance to the samurai in life and in death. Kendo is considered as one of the last living forms of Budo, Therefore during training it's very important to keep alive the old principles."

As it is tradition at Shidokan, a junior recruit is officially welcome to the club through an initiation ceremony called the "circle of death".

The ideal behind the "circle" is to give the student the opportunity to show courage in a non-stop fight against senior members. To "die" fighting with honour. We would like to congratulate our recruits, - you fought with honour and you made us very proud !

December 14th 2013 | Toida Sensei and Emy Ugaji Toida visit Shidokan

A few weeks before the holidays Shidokan decided to invite a good friend for some good old Keiko. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Toida Kenji Sensei and his wife Emy Ugaji Toida for their kind visit. Every time we practice together is definitely a treat and a learning experience !

We went over the basics and did some very special footwork drills. The class ended with full on jigeiko, Toida Sensei was kind enough to practice with most of us. Once finished, we went to get some refreshments at PJs as usual..

Toida Sensei and Emy-san, please come visit us again soon!
- Shidokan

December 7th 2013 | Iaido Grading

Two weeks after the kendo grading, another Shidokan contingent travelled to Toronto to challenge iaido grading. We are very happy about the great results, again 100% success rate for all our Shidokan members. In this very special occasion we would like to congratulate our own Dean Jolly Sensei, who has been granted the rank of 5th dan, you made us all very proud !

We were very happy to see an old friend and fellow Shidokan brother: Angel Dumitru (who is now a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force) came to the grading to offer us his support!

We also would like to express our sincere gratitude to Stephen Cruise Sensei and Goyo Ohmi Sensei for their constant help !
And of course to our dear Santoso Sensei; without him none of our achievements would be possible.

November 24th 2013 | Kendo Grading

The day after the JCCC tournament, the Canadian Kendo Federation held the winter Kendo grading at the Ryerson University. We are very proud to announce that all our members passed their exams, from 1kyu up to 4th dan, Congratz guys, Fantastic job!

We would also like to thank Santoso Sensei for his infinite patience with us and constant guidance.

November 23rd 2013 | JCCC

On November 23rd, a large Shidokan contingent travelled to Toronto to participate in the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center (JCCC) Annual Kendo tournament.

It was a considerable effort and expense to measure up against kendo practitioners from all around Canada and the United States. This was also the last competition of the year and a great opportunity to see how the very demanding summer training season and all the experience gathered in all the fall competitions improved the quality of our kendo.

We were very lucky to have Matsuura Sensei and Tsuji Sensei close by to point out the things we must still work on in order to improve our kendo.

The results were encouraging, We would like to congratulate Jose Furtado for obtaining bronze medal in the 2dan-3dan division, great Job! Thanks to Matsuura Sensei and Tsuji Sensei for their constant guidance.

November 2013 | Quebec Regional Championship - Granby

On November 2nd, Shidokan traveled to Granby (QC) for the provincial championship. Kendoka(s) from all around Quebec participated. Shidokan had the largest participant contingent with 15 participants. Each dojo was also able to register two teams.

It was a great experience for our junior members, and our seniors definitely had a great performance. For the third time in a row the team final was fought between Shidokan Team A and McGill Team A.

Shidokan made it to the finals almost in all divisions . We would like to congratulate:

  • Ruby, Silver medal (Womens division)
  • Juan Francisco, Silver medal (Mudansha division)
  • Max, Gold medal (mudansha division)
  • Adam, Silver medal (1dan / 2dan division)
  • Shidokan A, Silver medal (team division)

We would like to thank Santoso Sensei for his constant guidance, and special thanks to our junior members who came to support us ! Great job Shidokan, let's keep training hard!

October 2013 | Iai with Ohmi Sensei

On October 13th, the day after the Montreal Kendo Taikai, our dedicated members attended a iaido seminar given by Ohmi Sensei - 7th dan Kyoshi. It was a great opportunity since he happened to be in town. Ohmi Sensei reviewed every Seitei Kata putting a lot of emphasis into the very basics.

Ohmi Sensei also explained to us how various Iaido concepts such as Zanshin (awareness), Kigurai (confidence) transcend various schools and styles including Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu, Muso Shinden-ryu and Seitei Iai.

He also explained to us the importance of achieving depth in our practice and how to perform proper 'kokyu' (breathing). The practice concluded with a grading simulation which was greatly beneficial to our members that were preparing for their next rank exam.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude and utmost respect for Ohmi Sensei, for his patience and kindness towards Shidokan, Arigato Sensei!

October 2013 | Montreal Taikai

On October 12th, Shidokan participated in the Montreal Taikai, organized by the McGill kendo club. This time the tournament took place at École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS). Many high ranking Sensei from all over Canada and numerous members of the Canadian National team on both men's and women's side participated in the tournament.

Our demanding training during the intense summer months paid off and we were able to show a higher kendo level than in previous opportunities.

Such intensity was required in order to match up with the many experienced kendoka(s) from Quebec and other provinces.

Many of our beginners were also present at the event and they were able to witness some very good kendo in a very competitive tournament. - Thanks for your support guys !

Our congratulations to Juan Francisco Leyva for obtaining bronze medal in the mudansha division.
Let's keep training hard !

September 2013 | New beginning

We would like to take this opportunity to give a warm welcome to our newest recruits. As freshmen the road ahead might seem very difficult from time to time. We hope you can find the patience and dedication within yourselves to overcome every obstacle you may encounter in this new path.

We promise you hard work and lots of fun ! Welcome to the Kan!

September 2013 | Special joint practice

On Sunday, September 8th, team Canada member Tuan Anh Hoang conducted a special intensive practice at our dojo.

Kenshi(s) from McGill Kendo Club, Montreal Kendo Club, Acadamie Martiale Serei and Shidokan participated in this very physically demanding practice that was modeled on the Team Canada practices.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to Tuan Anh for his devotion towards the growth of kendo in Quebec and we hope that we could enjoy many more practices like this one.
- Shidokan

August 2013 | The 1st Canadian National Iaido Championship

The 1st Canadian National Iaido Championships wrapped up last August 31st and it was widely recognized as a success by those who came from far and wide.

Members from dojo(s) all around Canada and from the International Kendo Federation participated in the 2-day seminar focusing on the principles of competition in Iaido. The seminar was led by: Chihiro Kishimoto Sensei (Hanshi 8 Dan) and Atsumi Hatakenaka Sensei (Kyoshi 8 Dan)

For Shidokan, it was a fantastic experience,words can not express all the challenges , feelings and knowledge gained over the 3 days. We are very proud to have achieved the bronze medal in the nidan division through our own Sandy Lee Gonye, Congratz Sandy!

“The sword is not an item to cut, but to protect yourself and those that are important to you.”
- Kishimoto sensei

“Everything starts and ends with etiquette”
- Hatakenaka sensei

Thanks to Okusa Sensei and the CKF for organizing such wonderful event. And to our dear friends Ohmi Sensei and Cruise Sensei.
Looking forward to the next one!

Visit the full gallery.

August 2013 | Otakuthon

Shidokan was invited to participate in this year’s anime convention: “Otakuthon”. The event took place at the Montreal Congress Palace.

It was a great opportunity for our members to share the wonders of kendo with many potential practicioners, giving them the opportunity to try a few hits. It sure was fun.

We would like to thank the Otakuthon organizers, specially Tobi Mallette, for the kind invitation and our sincere gratitude to all our members who volunteered to participate in this event. Special thanks to Lara from MKC who gave us a hand !
We'll be there next year !

August 2013 | Montreal Kendo Rensei Taikai

On August 3rd, the day following our seminar with Matsuura Sensei and after a week of training with Asaoka Sensei, a Shidokan contingent including Travis Hill headed to MKC for the Montreal Kendo Rensei Taikai

This yearly event is a great opportunity for all kendoka in Quebec to practice in a "shiai environment" and receive instant feedback from high-ranking Sensei.

This year we were fortunate to receive advice from amazing Sensei(s) such as Asaoka Sensei, Toida Sensei, Yoshida Sensei from Boston and our dear Sensei(s) from our dojo(s) in Quebec as well.
The tournament has a round-robin format and all participants received feedback immediately after their fights from at least one high-ranking Sensei supervising the court.

We started the day with regular basics practice at very high intensity for at least 1 hour. After a short break the Taikai started. In total there were 10 groups divided by ranks and gender.
Shidokan performed very well, we were evaluated for our progress since the last tournament, as well as our grasp of the techniques covered in the very loaded week prior to the Taikai. We were also given objectives to work on for the next tournament.

We would like to extend our warmest gratitude to our brothers from the Montreal Kendo Club for organizing this wonderful event and to all the Sensei(s) for their priceless advice.

Looking forward to the next one !!

PS. Thanks to our devoted junior member Luis Martino for the photos !

August 2013 | Matsuura Sensei and Travis Hill - Homecoming

On August 2nd, Shidokan Legend: Yutaro Matsuura Sensei came back home to pay us a visit and this time he wasn’t alone. For the first time, his student Travis Hill came along to train with us as well. Coming from the same root we all fit in immediately as Shidokan brothers.

The set up was ready at our temporary location, the Loyola Chapel just across our normal gym, which is undergoing short renovations. Travis took the lead with the warm up and part of the class. The recent heavy training schedule helped us be in good shape to follow a higher intensity practice.

As a member of the USA national Kendo team, Travis displayed amazing speed and basics. He shared different drills with our senior members, an excellent addition to our own training. Throughout the practice, emphasis was placed on the fact that the most important techniques are the basic ones and that a lot of effort must be placed into mastering them. The practice was a great preparation for the tournament that was going to take place the next day at the Montreal Kendo Club.

Matsuura Sensei, the man himself devoted some of his time to show our 1kyu and mudansha group how to perform proper basics, as it is tradition at our dojo. Just like Funamoto Sensei would’ve done it. At the end of the practice Matsuura Sensei and Travis took the time to fight all of us giving a 100% and showing us their incredibly solid kendo. After the practice we enjoyed some well deserved refreshments, food and some great kendo talk.

We can't thank enough Matsuura Sensei and Travis for their dedication towards Shidokan and the great effort they make to visit us, always making sure we are on the right track.

- As you know Sensei, this is home, and Travis, we are very proud to see you wearing our kokorozashi dear brother, Shidokan is home for you as well.
Please come visit us again soon !!

PS. Thanks to our devoted junior members Luis and Paty for the photos !

July 2013 | Seminar at MKC with Asaoka Sensei

This past July, our brothers from MKC invited Suguru Asaoka Sensei (7th Dan Kendo, 4th Dan Iaido) all the way from Youshinkan Kendo Dojo (Vancouver, BC) to give a series of kendo lectures.

The main purpose of his visit was to give a 4-day seminar based on the concept of ki-ken-tai-ichi, or spirit-sword-body acting as one.

Asaoka Sensei was very patient with all of us and took additional time at the end of each practice to answer all our questions.

Our sincere gratitude to Asaoka Sensei for his patience and for all his advice, and to MKC for inviting us to this wonderful event.
We truly hope that it can be repeated again soon.

June 2013 | Spring activities

Shidokan's motto is "we never stop" and being so, we have been quite busy fulfilling many activities and duties during this spring.

Besides our gruelling spring/summer training we took part in the kendo grading and seminar hosted this year by Quebec Kendo Kai (Quebec City) and also in this year's Iaido seminar at Guelph led by 8th dan Kishimoto Sensei.

We have been very fortunate to receive visitors from different places and walks of life. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Shunichi Shibuya who came all the way from Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Also to Jeff Chand who visited us all the way from Victoria BC.

We really hope you visit us again !!
Let's keep training hard, oss !!

May 2013 | Kenji Toida Sensei visits Shidokan

Last May Shidokan had the pleasure of receiving the visit of a Kendo legend: Julio Kenji Toida Sensei, 6th Dan, active member of the brazilian national kendo team and his wife Emi Ugaji.

Toida Sensei conducted a master class. We worked on the very ground of our kendo and also performed a series of footwork and breathing drills.

He showed us a series of excellent excercises and we have to admit it was quite a gruelling class. Toida Sensei's kendo showed a magnificent and strong form and now that he lives in Montreal we are sure he'll help us improve our kendo.

We long for many more visits from Toida Sensei and we would like to express our outmost respect and gratitude for his kindness towards Shidokan.

Airgato Toida Sensei, arigato Emi-sani ! please come visit us again many times !!
- Shidokan

May 2013 | Summer season begins

It's a brave thing to join Shidokan in the summer...
We would like to take this opportunity to give a warm welcome to our newest recruits. As freshmen the road ahead might seem very difficult from time to time. We hope you can find the patience and dedication within yourselves to overcome every obstacle you may encounter in this new path.

We promise you hard work and lots of fun ! Welcome to the Kan!

May 4th 2013 | One dojo, One heart

On May 5th, Shidokan traveled to Granby, Quebec for the regional spring tournament now called The Granby Taikai. Approximately 100 kenshi from the strongest dojos in Quebec participated.

Shidokan brought the largest and loudest contingent of fighters and supporters. We had 7 competitors in the Kyu division, 2 competitors in the 1dan-2dan division, 4 competitors in 3dan and up division and 4 competitors in the womens division. It was also the first taste of battle for 3 of our members.

We were determined to improve on our previous results at the last Granby, which were a silver medal in the Kyu division, a bronze in the 1dan-2dan division, and silver in the team division.

Video of the final for teams Thanks to Granby Kendo Club.

We were without our captain, Tae Kyu, but Yan stepped in and made sure that the advice we received from Santoso Sensei was followed and that the team was properly coached and motivated.

The increased intensity and focus in our training in the last few months really shone through in our performances. With better control of the situation, we were able to better focus in key moments and land more precise strikes.

In the end we did manage to improve on the previous results by capturing both silver and bronze in the Kyu division, silver in the 1dan-2dan division and the fighting spirit award in the women’s division. Our B team came very close to eliminating two very strong A teams, but the most important accomplishment was the capturing of the gold medal and the winners’ cup by our A team.

The teams final was very close, and after a win in the fifth match the overall score was all tied up. After 10 minutes of finger-biting action and suspense, Yan was able to score the winning point in the sudden death tie-breaker. We are very happy with the results and we would like to give our thanks first and foremost to Santoso Sensei, Matsuura Sensei, Tsuji Sensei, to our club captain Tae Kyu Kim and to our acting captain Hai Tao Yan.

Congratz to all our members for such a wonderful performance !!

  • Women's fighting spirit award
  • Silver and Bronze medal, kyu Division
  • Silver medal, 1dan/2dan divison
  • Gold medal, Team division

Our immense gratitude to our mentors for their infinite patience !

April 2013 | Cleveland

During the first weekend of April, Shidokan's Gabriel Schor participated in the 25th Cleveland tournament.
For the team division he joined forces with Shidokan Senior: Tsuji Sensei, also with Sumi Sensei, Mr. Pigott from JCCC and Elizabeth Bergen-Bartel from the Chinese national team. They won the first match easily 5-0. In the second round they fought against another Shidokan Legend: Matsuura Sensei's Battle Creek team.

" It was a great experience to fight alongside Tsuji Sensei and under the leadership of Sumi Sensei. The whole team attitude was exemplary and I will remember this experience for a long time. My sincere gratitude to Tsuji Sensei for allowing me to fight alongside himself and Sumi Sensei and for their encouragements and also to Matsuura Sensei and Travis Hill for their support and feedback."
- Gabriel

April 14th 2013 | Special joint practice at Shidokan

On Sunday, April 14th, team Canada member Tuan Anh Hoang conducted a special intensive practice at our dojo.

Kenshi(s) from McGill Kendo Club, Montreal Kendo Club, Acadamie Martiale Serei and Shidokan participated in this very physically demanding practice that was modeled on the Team Canada practices.

We spent most of the kihon time on kirikaeshi and variations of it. We concluded with ji-keiko and we all appreciated the chance to fight people from different dojos.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to Tuan Anh for his devotion towards the growth of kendo in Quebec and we hope that we could enjoy many more practices like this one.
- Shidokan

April 2013 | Marko Sensei visits Shidokan

On March 29th Paul Marko Sensei from Etobicoke Kendo Club, lead our Friday night practice.

During the kihon part of the practice we focused on the basics of hitting a proper men. We spent the second half of the class doing ji-keiko and Marko Sensei made sure that he fought all of us.

He also provided us with very valuable feedback after that. We concluded the evening with some well deserved refreshments at our second dojo. (PJ's pub)
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Marko Sensei for his Kindness. -Please Sensei, come visit us again !!!
- Shidokan

March 2013 | Shidokan reunion in Toronto

Last March 16th, a Shidokan contingent travelled to Toronto to participate in the University of Toronto Kendo tournament.

It was a very special occasion since Shidokan Legend: Matsuura Sensei decided to join us is battle. He travelled from Michigan accompanied by his student Vlad Trusevich.

The level of Kendo in Ontario is definitely a serious challenge. Matsuura Sensei coached us through the tournament, giving us pointers about how to improve our performance and mindset during competition.

Another special reunion happened at the tournament between old Shidokan tigers who hadn't met in a long time: Lawrence Tsuji Sensei, Hugo Renaud and Matsuura Sensei, who were all part of the first generation of Shidokan, and had trained under Funamoto Sensei.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Matsuura Sensei for his devotion to Shidokan and for his patience with this new generation, we truly appreciate it.

February 2013 | Masters of the samurai sword

Near the end of February, Shidokan Kendo and Iaido club had the honour of receiving Ohmi Sensei (7th dan Kyoshi) and Cruise Sensei (7th dan renshi). We were treated to a weekend of Iaido practice under the guidance of these two distinguished guests from Toronto.

Training began bright and early Saturday morning at Concordia's Loyola campus as all participants were led together through the twelve kata(s) of Seitei Iai, the style of Iaido recognized and standardized by the All Japan Kendo Federation for grading purposes.

We continued training after a lunch break at the midpoint in the session. Ohmi Sensei taught us an important lesson applicable to both Iaido and Kendo through the story of Harigaya Sekiun, the founder of Mujushin Kenjutsu. A master swordsman, Harigaya believed strongly in the concept of ai-uchi: the exchange of simultaneous cuts or thrusts resulting in mutual “kill.” The mindset of ai-uchi is to have the resolution to strike down your opponent, even at the cost of your own life. Harigaya said, “those who are less than I, I will defeat. Those whose ability is greater than mine will defeat me. If my opponent and I are of similar ability, ai uchi will occur.” However, he believed the ultimate goal of ai-uchi was ai-nuki, or the mutual preservation of life.

At the end of the session on Saturday, we were treated to an Iaido demonstration by Cruise Sensei and Ohmi Sensei. The seminar contined on Sunday at John Abbott College with more focus on the Koryu Kata(s) (the old style).

Our immense gratitude to Ohmi Sensei and Cruise Sensei for their patience and devotion.
We hope to see you again very soon !

February 2013 | Victory at the 15th Memorial Detroit Kendo Tournament !

In February, three of our members took a 5 day trip to Battle Creek and Detroit, Michigan. They took part in three practices at the Battle Creek dojo led by Shidokan legend: Yutaro Matsuura Sensei.

They had a wonderful opportunity to practice different aspects of their kendo with Matsuura Sensei, such as proper kendo basics, “focus and mindset” and lots of jigeiko (sparring).

On the fourth day they drove to Detroit. They witnessed kendo grading and then participated in a seminar given by two time All Japan champion Ishida Toshiya Sensei (Kyoshi 8th Dan) for the men, and Ishida Yoko Sensei (Kyoshi 7 Dan) for the women. After the seminar we were lucky to take part in 30 minutes of godo-keiko with some of the other 300 participants at the seminar.

On the last day of the trip they participated in the Detroit open tournament, A word from senior member Gabriel Schor:

"We were all so happy to witness the victory of Ruby Kulikowska in the Mudansha division. It was the first time a woman won this category ever. After the tournament we drove back to Montreal. We were indeed very lucky to be able to take part in this, 2000km, 4 practices, 1 tournament and approximately 14 hours of kendo. We would like to thank Matsuura Sensei for his hospitality and coaching throughout the tournament and Santoso Sensei for his constant teachings."
- Gabriel

January 2013 | Family's tradition

As it is our tradition, in January the whole Shidokan family reunited to celebrate the achievements of the past year. All our members shared their thoughts and experiences and also their plans and objectives for the new year.

We welcomed some very young new members, as young as 3 months old, and also celebrated Sensei’s birthday as well as Ruby and Alysha’s birthdays.

The party was fuelled by delicious Korean food, sake and later on by Karaoke and beer. Our Korean members totally dominated the Karaoke scene and really showed the rest of us how it is done.

The future definitely looks bright for Shidokan. Happy 2013 !

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