Posts 2014

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December 2014 | Another succesful year ends.

Another great year for Shidokan has passed! Our kendo and iaido skills have definitely improved, and our fellowship is stronger than ever. We have learned truly valuable lessons this year, many of which we shall never forget.

2014 proved to be a very challenging year. We are very lucky to have a great mentor in Santoso Sensei and great friends, such as Tsuji Sensei and Toida Sensei, who have offered tremendous guidance when we needed it most. To them and everyone else who has helped us this year, we would like to express our sincere gratitude!

The foundations of our dojo are fortified with the strong spirit of our growing family. We are looking forward to new challenges that we will face in 2015! Of course, there was no better way to finish the year than with good keiko.

Happy new year 2015!!

December 2014 | Breakfast Television visits Shidokan

On Thursday, December 11th, the crew from Breakfast Television paid a visit to Shidokan to get an idea of what the club is all about. Many of us met at the dojo and braved the early morning for a demonstrative practice.

The crew filmed a variety of short pieces throughout the morning featuring both Kendo and Iaido. Our members showed the crew some of our warm up drills, kata, and more. At the same time, the host interviewed one of our senior members, Adam, who explained and summarized some of the key points of what we do. The host even put on a bogu and joined us for some friendly keiko before the end.

We are very thankful to our guests over at Breakfast Television who initially approached us to do this. It was a lot of fun, and a great opportunity for us to help bring some positive attention to both Kendo and Iaido in the local media.

Hopefully there will be many more chances such as this in the future to help generate interest in the Kendo and Iaido communities.

December 2014 | JCCC, Iaido and Kendo Grading

On the last weekend of November, some of our members ventured forth to Toronto in order to participate in the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center (JCCC) annual kendo tournament.

It was a challenging day, with the tournament attracting many skilled kendo practitioners. While the competition was formidable, it was a great chance to see how all of our training from the year has paid off before we enter 2015. Furthermore, it was an excellent opportunity to test our mettle against kenshi from a large number of dojos from across Canada and even from the United States.

We are also very grateful to Tsuji Sensei who was at the tournament and provided us with guidance and feedback.
The following day there was a winter Kendo grading held by the Canadian Kendo Federation at JCCC. We are very proud of our members who graded, all of whom passed their exams, ranging from 1kyu to 4th dan. Everyone did a wonderful job!

On the following weekend, another Shidokan contingent travelled to Toronto to participate in the Eastern CKF Iaido grading & Seminar. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our members who passed their iaido grading as well. As Sensei always says "grading is just another step in our journey towards the far away mountain."

We would like to thank Santoso Sensei for his continued patience and guidance.

November 2014 | Toida Sensei visits Shidokan

On Saturday, November 22nd, we received the visit of Julio Kenji Toida Sensei and Emy Toida Sensei. With kendo grading approaching, we were treated with a special practice emphasizing shinsa in order to get our minds ready for the task ahead.

The practice was divided into three parts. First, we focused on the basics. Starting with kiai, we stood facing a partner and worked on the use of our core. We then moved on to improving tenouchi through wrist exercises, striking kote and do.

Finally, we performed footwork exercises, ranging from okuri-ashi to lunges, aimed at developing our fumikomi whilst keeping good posture.

Second, we spent some time working on kirikaeshi. Toida Sensei showed us the proper form to maintain throughout the drill: large, smooth cuts with strong kiai for every set of ten hits. Shinsa-style keiko followed, where every kendoka could bring out their best kendo in order to set our minds on the upcoming grading.

Finally, we loosened up with some kakari-geiko and had a chance to have keiko with Toida Sensei. After some quick pictures, we had breakfast together to kick off the weekend. We hope to see Toida Sensei very soon, - please come visit us again!

November 2014 | CLAK 2014

On the 2nd week of November, the IV Latin-American Kendo Championship (CLAK) was held in the city of Merida, Mexico. Many countries from South-America, Central-America and the Caribbean region took part in this event.

One of our own Shidokan kenshi (Juan Vasquez) was selected to participate, representing the country of Peru. Other kenshi(s) from Montreal took part as well, such as Kenji Toida (for Brazil) and Carlos Chourio (for Venezuela).

The week was full of activities, Godokeiko, Kendo & Iaido Seminars, Shinpan Seminar; And of course 2 days of full competition.
It was clear that the Kendo level of all countries has greatly improved and that all the hard work is paying off.

"It was a great experience to participate amongst competitors with such level of commitment and intensity in their kendo, I feel motivated to keep demanding the very best in my own training here in Montreal" - Juan.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our dear friend Kenji Toida Sensei , who passed his 7th dan Kendo exam.
An amazing achievement, well deserved!

November 8th & 9th 2014 | Iaido Seminar with Cruise Sensei & Ohmi Sensei

Since their first visit in 1991, Cruise Sensei and Ohmi Sensei have continued to lead iaido seminars in Montreal in collaboration with Shidokan. This year, the annual two-day fall seminar was held at our John Abbot location.

The first day was dedicated to Seitei Iai. Some of the more prominent themes of the day were the differences between Mae and Shohato, as well as the understanding of the relationship between movement, posture, and "teki" (enemy) position in order to achieve correct waza. The second day focused on the first four katas of Omori Ryu in Muso Shinden Ryu.

Pictures from our training prior to the seminar:

During both days, Senseis emphasized the critical value of improving our training through the development of a precise understanding and fluid execution of the kata. We would like to thank Cruise Sensei and Ohmi Sensei for more than 20 years of continued guidance, and we hope to see you again soon.

November 8th 2014 | Quebec Provincial Championship - Granby

On Saturday, November 8th, Shidokan kendoka competed at the Granby Provincial Tournament, hosted by the Cegep de Granby - Haute Yamaska. Six dojos were represented by over 80 participants in four divisions: women's, mudansha and shodan, nidan and sandan, and yondan and up.

The spirit of the dojo shone brightly that day. We had trained hard and warmed up with a strong spirit, determined to do our best. As our members readied for their fights, we recalled Santoso Sensei's words: "Do what you believe in, and believe in what you do."

Shidokan did very well, bringing back a bronze and a gold medal in the mudansha-shodan division, as well as a bronze and a silver in the sandan-nidan division. Our teams also fought hard in their respective courts, giving their best against tough opponents.

We returned to Montreal in high spirits. We then had dinner at PJ's where Santoso Sensei joined us to celebrate.

We would like to express our gratitude to the organizers of the tournament for setting up this competition twice a year, as well as extend our thanks to Santoso Sensei for his patience and his constant guidance.

October 19th 2014 | Special Joint Practice with Kawamura Sensei

In the month of October, Shidokan had the pleasure of holding yet another joint kendo practice and seminar, with the additional honor of hosting two special guests: Kawamura Sayuri, 7th dan & Kawamura Michiya, 5th dan, during their visit to Canada from Japan.

The dojo shook with the combined spirit of the great number of our friends in attendance from around the city, including Montreal Kendo Club, McGill University Kendo Club, and Acadamie Martiale Serei.

The first part of the practice focused on the basics, especially footwork and distance. Afterwards, we practiced many waza with emphasis on tenouchi, before moving onto mawari geiko and jigeiko. Another valuable lesson of the day was to remember the importance of the maintaining the center, especially when striking. After the practice, everyone was invited to come out and enjoy each other’s company over dinner and drinks.

We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to both Kawamura Sensei(s) for taking the time to visit us and for leading the practice. We would also like to thank Toida Sensei of MKC and Tuan-Anh from McGill for all their help with the organization of the practice. Also, our gratitude to Ariyama Sensei for her help with the translation during the practice.

It was truly a great opportunity to learn and practice together. We look forward to the next one!

September 27th 2014 | Tsuji Sensei & Shidokan 40th !

On Saturday, September 27th, we received a special visit from Lawrence Tsuji Sensei. While Tsuji Sensei practices at Markham Kendo Club nowadays, he had trained alongside Santoso Sensei under our founder, Funamoto Sensei. It was a perfect opportunity for us to reconnect with the roots of our dojo.

From the moment the warm-up started, the dojo was filled with our spirit and determination. We challenged and honed our basics, starting with footwork exercises aimed at correcting our posture before relaxing our wrists and improving our tenouchi through successive strike drills.

Tsuji Sensei emphasized the importance of setting up your strike and maintaining good kamae, encouraging us to correct any flaws in our posture.

After a quick lunch break, we spent an hour reviewing our kata. We used the time to develop seme and datotsu-bui, and improved our sense of correct striking distance. Tsuji Sensei reminded us that practicing kata is imperative to improving the foundation of one's kendo. This became apparent as we moved on to ji-geiko. Everyone showed strong spirit, fighting to the best of their abilities. We were even treated with a keiko between Santoso Sensei and Tsuji Sensei.

In the evening, we celebrated Shidokan's 40 years and Funamoto Sensei's legacy together with our fellow iaidoka over a nice dinner. We had a great time and would like to sincerely thank Tsuji Sensei for taking the time to visit and join us for a whole day, as well as Santoso Sensei, Dean Sensei, and Robert Sensei for their continued patience and constant guidance.

Happy birthday Shidokan! Many more to come.

September 9 2014 | 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 7 2014 | Special Joint Practice

On Sunday September 7th, many of our members attended a Quebec joint practice hosted by the McGill Kendo Club. This special practice was led by Toida Kenji Sensei from the Montreal Kendo Club and was also attended by a special guest: Jin Whan Lee Sensei from Toronto.

The practice focused on shiai, consisting of practice shiai, mawari geiko, and finished with kakari geiko. There was also an emphasis placed on the importance of being a good shinpan and advice was given on how to do that.

Thank you to Tuan-Anh Hoang for organizing the practice and our sincerest gratitude to Toida Sensei for leading it. We hope to see everyone at the next one!

August 2014 | Otakuthon

On August 23, Shidokan was invited to participate in Otakuthon, Montreal’s annual anime convention. Many of our members attended the convention, taking the opportunity to exhibit both kendo and iaido to those interested in learning more about these martial arts.

Our practitioners started with an iaido demonstration. It was followed by a kendo demonstration consisting of both basic and advanced kihon drills followed by many individual shiai matches. Afterwards, audience members were given the opportunity to try a few hits of their own.

We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the Otakuthon organizers for once more inviting us to take part in this event. Thank you to all of our members who volunteered to participate in the events! See you next year!

August 2014 | Camping Trip

As this hot summer season approaches its climax, a Shidokan contingent adventured into a fun camping trip. Our destination was a Wildlife Reserve, in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec.

It was a joyful experience since the first moment we arrived. Part of our convoy ended up unexpectedly exploring wild territory unmapped in our devices. Once the group was complete, we headed to set camp in front of a majestic lake.

We had the opportunity to practice suburi outdoors, swim across the lake, test our 'ax skills' chopping wood, test our 'shinken skills', going for adventurous hikes and of course build amazing campfires while sharing great music, stories and drinks. A wonderful bonding experience that shall be repeated in years to come.

We will incorporate more iaido training next time, We hope all our iaido members from Loyola and John Abbott College can make it next time.

Our sincere gratitude to our dear Amelie Tessier for the fantastic organization!
And now, back to work!

July 2014 | Women's Practice at Shidokan

Last July 6th Shidokan hosted another Quebec Women's practice, led by Junko Ariyama Sensei from MKC. The practice was attended by women from McGill Kendo Club, Shidokan, Montreal Kendo Club and l'Académie Martiale Serei.

The practice centered on precision and technique. The first half consisted of a close and careful look at the basics: suburi, kiai and proper footwork. This was followed by a careful breakdown of a few oji-waza and hiki-waza. Finally, the practice ended with a few rounds of team shiai.

Thank you to everybody who joined us, and once again to Ariyama Sensei for your guidance!

July 2014 | Hot Summer Training

Shidokan's motto is "we never stop" and being so, we have been quite busy fulfilling many activities and duties during this hot summer. Our kendo and iaido training has continued through the spring and summer, making one class more challenging than the other.

We have been very fortunate to receive visitors from different places and walks of life. We would like to take the opportunity to thank our friend Mr Carlos Liu, from IGA Kendo Club in Manila, Philippines who payed us a visit last June 26th.

Also, we want to express our gratitude towards our dear friend Paul Marko Sensei (Etobicoke Kendo & Iaido Club, ON) for paying as a visit on July 3rd, - Your advice is most valued, Sensei!

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

June 2014 | Canadian Nationals

On June 28th, Shidokan participated in the 18th Canadian National Kendo Championships, organized by the McGill kendo club. Many high ranking Sensei(s) and members from Dojo(s) all over Canada participated in the tournament. The divisions for this tournament were: Juniors, Women's, Mudansha, Yudansha and Teams.

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

We enjoyed a “Master class” shiai demonstration of East vs West, performed by recognized Sensei(s) from different dojo(s) as well as a iaido demonstration performed by our dear friend Goyo Ohmi Sensei, and Shidokan's very own Dean Jolly Sensei.

Kendo Nationals are definitely a challenging experience. We got a lot of feedback and will keep training together in order to continue improving. As Santoso Sensei always tells us "practice, practice, practice"

Thanks to our dear Shidokan photographer Ochuko Kpolugbo for the great pictures!

Special thanks to our dear friend Pham T. Quoc for letting use some of his wonderful photos.

June 2014 | Summer Kendo Grading

On Sunday June 1st, the Summer Kendo Grading for the eastern region of Canada was held at the Montreal Kendo Club.

We were very lucky to have the opportunity to challenge our next kendo rank here in Montreal. Our members had been preparing for quite some time, not only for their jitsugi (demonstration fight) but for their kata as well.

As Santoso Sensei says, 'Grading' is just part of our training. The challenge of obtaining our next rank helps us set milestones and rather than being considered as the "end" of a cycle, it should be embraced as the "beginning" of a new one.

We would like to congratulate all our members who took part in this grading. It can be a very difficult and nerve-racking experience.
- We hope you are motivated and we hope you never stop trying. Gratitude to MKC for hosting this special event and to our dear instructors for their constant guidance.

Special thanks to our dear friend Pham T. Quoc for letting use some of his wonderful photos.

May 2014 | QC Women's practice

On Sunday, May 18th, many of Shidokan’s female practitioners set out to McGill Kendo Club for a joint women’s practice led by Ariyama Sensei. The practice was attended by women from McGill Kendo Club, Shidokan, Montreal Kendo Club, l'Académie Martiale Serei, and Quebec Kendo Kai.

The practice started off with a close and careful look at kirikaeshi. However, in preparation for the upcoming tournaments in June, the majority of the practice focused on shiai training and oji-waza. The biggest lesson of the day was timing, and its importance was emphasized in each of the drills that we did.

Thank you to McGill Kendo Club for organizing the event, and thank you Ariyama Sensei for your guidance!
We look forward to seeing everybody again soon.

April 2014 | Quebec Regionals, Granby

On Sunday April 28th Shidokan travelled to Granby (QC) for their regional spring championship. Shidokan brought an overwhelming contingent of over twenty members.

It was a great opportunity for many of our junior members to participate in their first tournament and for our seniors to test their mettle as they took many of the division finals by storm. Shidokan registered two teams, with Shidokan Team A facing off once more with McGill Team A in the finals.

Congratulations to all of our participants for their hard work and for showing a tremendous amount of spirit and support at the Taikai. We would also like to congratulate:

  • Women's
    - Ruby Kulikowska: Gold
  • Kyu/1Dan Division
    - Minh Phan: Gold
    - Robert Carson: Bronze
  • 2Dan/3Dan
    - Tong Dinh: Gold
    - Gabriel Schor: Silver
  • Teams
    - Shidokan A: Silver

We would like to thank Santoso Sensei for his constant guidance and patience with us! Also, thank you to Matsuura Sensei who travelled all the way to the tournament and provided us with much advice.

We understand there's a long road ahead of us and lots of work to do, let's set mind and heart to purpose!
- Shidokan

April 2014 | Special Joint Practice at Shidokan

On Sunday April 13th, our friend Tuan Anh Hoang from McGill Kendo Club organized a special joint practice at our dojo. This special practice was led by Toida Kenji Sensei from Montreal Kendo Club.

The practice centered around shiai preparation, with focus on footwork and the shiai mindset. Toida Sensei placed great emphasis on the many characteristics of ippon, including the importance of tenouchi as well as demonstrating strong kiai and zanshin.

The second half of the practice was set aside for team shiai, giving everyone the opportunity to apply the lessons of the day.

Thank you to all the Kenshi(s) from McGill Kendo Club, Montreal Kendo Club, Acadamie Martiale Serei and Shidokan who participated in this special joint practice. We hope to continue these special practices and to see many of our friends from all dojo(s) in Quebec in the future.
Our sincere gratitude to Toida Sensei and Tuan-Anh !

April 2014 | Training never stops

The last month of the winter-kendo season is drawing to a close, but we have maintained the same level of enthusiasm and intensity in our practices. In preparation for the upcoming competitions we have implemented more focus on shiai training. We have definitely seen the improvement within our ranks.

Our iaido members are also showing great diligence: every kata from our koryu is being examined and practiced with much care and detail. Our junior ranks have been practicing Omori-ryu while our seniors focus on the chuden level as well.

We are happy to see our bonds of friendship and camaraderie growing stronger than ever through devoted practice, an ideal that Santoso Sensei always reminds us of.

We hope that our effort and dedication will bring us success.
“Be better today than you were yesterday, and then strive to be better still.”
- Shidokan

March 15th 2014 | Matsuura Sensei

On March 14th and 15th, we received the visit of Yutaro Matsuura Sensei. He came home all the way from Michigan for a 2 day special practice with us. On Friday, we spent most of the time practicing footwork and basic drills. The emphasis was on "doing each drill perfectly" even if it meant at a slower pace. The practice concluded with Ji-geiko, where Matsuura Sensei took the time to fight all that were present and willing.

On Saturday we reviewed the drills that we did on Friday but spent more time doing more advanced drills. We were reminded to make sure that what we practice in kihon is not forgotten during the more advanced drills.

Again, we concluded the practice with Ji-geiko and Matsuura Sensei took the time to fight all of us and through his own example emphasized that we should treat all fights the same way, no matter who we fight, we should always give our 100%. After the practice, we enjoyed some well deserved refreshments, food and some great kendo talk.

A week after, our brothers from the Battle Creek dojo had a wonderful performance at the 2014 Kentucky Kendo tournament, including our very own Ruby Kulikowska.
- Congratz!

March 9th 2014 | Quebec women's practice

On Sunday, March 9th, a contingent of Shidokan’s female members attended a special Women’s Kendo seminar led by Ariyama Sensei and hosted by Club de kendo de l'Académie Martiale Serei. It was an excellent opportunity for us to train with other women kendo practitioners.

The seminar started by bringing us back to the basics and ended with a practice shiai. Afterwards there was extra time for jigeiko followed by celebratory drinks.

One of the most valuable lessons that we took away from the seminar is that women don’t need to fight rough or try to overpower their opponents with force in order to win. It is more important to display confidence and to focus on having good, clean kendo technique. As Ariyama Sensei said, women should practice ‘beautiful’ kendo.

Thank you to AMS Kendo Club for organizing the event, and thank you to Ariyama Sensei for your guidance!
- Shidokan

March 2nd 2014 | Special joint practice at MKC

On Sunday March 2nd, our dear friend Toida Kenji Sensei conducted a special joint practice at the Montreal Kendo Club.

Kenshi(s) from McGill Kendo Club, Montreal Kendo Club, Acadamie Martiale Serei, Shidokan and other dojo(s) from QC participated in this special practice.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to Toida Sensei and MKC for making possible this special practice. We hope we could enjoy many more practices like this one in the future.
- Shidokan

February 18th 2014 | A friend from Seoul

We would like to express our gratitude to our friend Tae Hyoung Kim who paid us a visit all the way from Seoul, Korea.

We enjoyed a great practice together and hope it can be repeated soon,
Please visit us again!

February 16th 2014 | 16th Memorial Detroit Kendo Tournament

On the third weekend of February Shidokan participated in the 16th Memorial Detroit Kendo Tournament.
The event began on the Saturday with Kendo grading and a seminar led by Kendo Kyoshi 8 Dan Yamazaki Masaru Sensei.

On the next day, Sunday 16th, the tournament took place. We would like to congratulate our members for their excellent performance:

  • Ruby Kulikowska - 1Dan category, Bronze medal
  • Gabriel Schor - 2Dan category, Silver medal

In the team matches Gabriel joined forces with Markham Kendo Club, led by Sumi Sensei and Tsuji Sensei (Shidokan senior). It was a great opportunity because Shidokan senior instructor (Battle Creek, Michigan) Yutaro Matsuura was there to oversee our players and offer his valuable advice, thank you Sensei!
A wonderful experience, one to be remembered.

January 2014 | 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!

We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Kenji Toida Sensei for paying us a visit, it's always a wonderful learning experience having Toida Sensei teaching us. Please visit us again Sensei !

January 2014 | Family tradition

The whole Shidokan family reunited in January for our annual New Year’s brunch to celebrate the achievements of the past year with delicious Korean food and sake.

Some of our senior members shared their thoughts and experiences from the past year, in addition to their plans and objectives for the upcoming year. We also celebrated Sensei’s birthday, as well as Ruby and Alysha’s birthdays. We would like to thank Santoso Sensei's friend: Mr. Liu for joining us on this occasion. We would also like to thank him for his amazing calligraphy gifts.

Let's have another great year 2014 !

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