Posts 2015

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December 19 2015 | Another great year ends

Another succesful year ends for Shidokan, looking forward to keep learning and improving together in 2016. Thanks to our dear mentors for their patience and dedication. Special thanks to Toida Sensei and our brothers from MKC for joining us for last keiko-2015!

Thank you Santoso Sensei for your constant guidance in both Kendo and Iaido; every valuable lesson keeps helping fortify our foundations, not only as martial artists but as better persons.
Happy new year 2016!!

Dec 12 2015 | Women's Joint Practice

This last weekend McGill Kendo club hosted a joint women's practice. Some of our members attended the Saturday practice. The practice was attended from women from McGill, AMS, and Shidokan. It was a good opportunity to focus on our kihon, as well as keiko with women from other clubs in the area before the end of the year.

Thank you again to the hosts for all your hard work in organizing the event. Hopefully we can return the favor next year!

Dec 5 2015 | Winter Grading

On November 29th, our kendo grading applicants traveled to Toronto for the Winter Kendo Grading. The exams taking place ranged from 1kyu to 7Dan. The exam consisted of two rounds of jitsugi, followed by kata.

Shidokan had applicants in both the 1Dan and 4Dan categories. We'd like to congratulate all of our applicants, all of whom passed their exams.

The next week, our Iaido grading applicants headed to Toronto as well for the Winter Iaido exams. There was a pre-grading seminar in the morning, which was a good opportunity to get some pointers and advice as to what the judges would be looking for during the exam. All participants were split into groups based on the level they were grading. It was a lot to take in for the day, but we'll be sure to apply what we learned in our regular training.

Grading commenced in the afternoon. The exams ranged from 1kyu to 4Dan, and we had applicants in the 1Kyu, 1Dan, and 3Dan categories. Once again, our applicants did very well and everyone passed their respective exams.

Thank you to our Sensei and Senpai for all of your help and guidance in preparing us for these events. Well done everyone!

Nov 21 2015 | Quebec Regional Championship - Granby

A large contingent from Shidokan traveled to Granby on Saturday for the Quebec Regional Taikai. The tournament was split into it's usual categories: Women's, Mudansha and Shodan, Nidan and Sandan, and Yondan and up. For some of our members, this was their first tournament.

We arrived early and prepared for the competition with a quick warm-up and keiko. The mindset for today was to give our best and to fight without regret.

Overall we had a good performance and are proud of the spirit that everyone brought to their fights. In the Mudansha-Shodan and Women's categorie, Shidokan managed to bring back both bronze medals, as well as the Fighting Spirit award in the Women's category. A few of our seniors were missing this time around, but everyone stepped up and one team managed to make it to the second round, and the other brought home the silver.

Thank you to Santoso Sensei for your continued patience and guidance. As well, we would like to express our gratitude to the organizers of the tournament.

Nov 1 2015 | Joint practice at UdM

On December 1st, we were invited to a joint practice at AMS, led by Kenji Toida Sensei. Kendoka from many dojos were present, and the spirit displayed throughout the practice was a great inspiration.

We were able to work on our tenouchi through wrists exercises and one-handed suburi, all the while striving to keep strong kiai and good posture. With grading right around the corner, we were then given the opportunity to work on our shinsa, facing different partners every time. Toida Sensei reminded us of the importance of keeping a strong connection with our partner, from the moment we enter the court to the moment we leave it.

We were then treated with godokeiko for the rest of the practice, before refreshing ourselves with some cold beer to celebrate Schneider Sensei's birthday! Our sincere gratitude goes to Schneider Sensei and AMS for hosting the event, as well as to Toida Sensei for sharing his knowledge with us. We look forward to the next practice!

Oct 18 2015 | Kendo Kata Seminar at Shidokan

On October 18th, we were treated with a seminar entirely focused on Kendo Kata, led by Kenji Toida Sensei and Junko Ariyama Sensei from MKC. Other dojos also joined us for the day, with members from MKC, AMS and McGill Kendo Club.

The seminar was a tremendous aid for all of us, especially for those who were preparing for their grading. We had the chance of working on and fixing every detail, and are now more confident about our Kata

We discussed key points as we went through the five basic kamae, the differences in footwork, and the importance of keeping a strong connection between uchidachi and shidachi. Everyone had the opportunity to practice the first seven (Tachi) Kata together, after which we split into two groups, to allow higher-ranking kendoka to also work on Kodachi Kata. Finally, we regrouped for godokeiko before parting ways.

As our Kendo technique progresses, so should the execution of our Kata, which aid in the comprehension of important concepts. The seminar was successful refresher, and a good opportunity to improve. We hope to have similar events in the years to come.

We wish to thank the Senseis for their patience and guidance, as well as everyone who attended the seminar.

October 10 2015 | Shidokan visits McGill

On October 10, we paid a visit to our friends from McGill Kendo Club and enjoyed a great practice. We are all very thankful for the advice received from D'Orangeville Sensei and all the sempai.

It was a nice surprise to be joined by members of JungKo Kendo Club from Toronto, who were also visiting.
- Thanks to all our friends for the practice. Hope to see you all very soon!

September 2015 | New Beginnings

Fall marks the start of another semester. After a break from training in the last few weeks of August, our members return to the dojo, ready to get back to work. Our doors have opened to new and eager students as both Kendo (September 8th) and Iaido (September 12th) start back up again.

To all our new recruits: Welcome! We look forward to training with you as you walk down this new path.

Our sincere gratitude to D'Orangeville Sensei and our friends from McGill Kendo Club for joining our Friday practice, We will visit you soon !

August 9 2015 | Otakuthon

On August 9, 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.

The demonstration started with an iaido demonstration from three of our members. For the most part, the kata were demonstrated individually, but for a few of them we prepared a special demonstration with two partners using bokken.

Afterwards, our kendoka demonstrated some of our drills, particularly kirikaeshi and oji waza, followed by some practice shiai fights.

At the end, members of the audience were given the opportunity to practice some basics with us. It was a lot of fun and we hope to see everyone there again next year!

July 31 2015 | Tsuji Sensei visits Shidokan

On Friday, July 31st, 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. As has always been the focus at Shidokan, we placed a lot of emphasis on basics.

We warmed up with exercises aimed at correcting our posture and footwork. Building on that, shinai in hand, we reviewed our cuts and improved our tenouchi, through suburi and wrist exercises. After a quick break, we applied everything we had learnt in a spirited keiko.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Tsuji Sensei for his visit, and to both him and Santoso Sensei for their patience and continued guidance. We look forward to another great practice!

July 2015 | Summer training & activities

Things are heating up in the dojo as the summer continues. Even so, it's always nice to receive visitors who are ready to brave the heat of training with us. Thank you to those members from MKC who visit us throughout the summer!

We also had the pleasure of training with Josh Moore from Boston Kendo Kyokai while he was visiting Montreal and Michael Kavich from Louisville Kendo Club. Thank you for joining us and we hope to see you again next time your in the area!

We also would like to thank Montreal Kendo Club for hosting a fund raiser to help support children in need so that they can participate in sports summer camps. The main objective was to raise awareness against poverty in our community. A very noble task.

Jun 27 2015 | Spring Kendo Exams

On Saturday, June 27th, some of our members traveled to Quebec City for the Spring Kendo Examinations. The exams being held ranged from 1Kyu to 3Dan, and we had applicants in almost every category.

Each applicant had to perform kirikaeshi at the start (1Kyu-2Dan only), followed by the two rounds of jitsugi, and finished with kata. We're happy to say that all of our candidates passed. Congratulations on all of your hard work!

Thank you to all of our sempai and everyone who has helped us train and prepare. And of course, thank you to Santoso Sensei for all of your patience and guidance. We are ever grateful for your continued support!
Now, back to work and to keep training even harder!

Jun 20 2015 | 6th Naginata World Championship

This year, the 6th World Naginata Championship was held in Montreal at McGill University, providing us with the rare opportunity to go and visit an international event like this. The day started with the opening ceremony and kata.

This was followed by the women's and men's individual competition, and later the team matches as well. The day ended with a friendly match between some of the Naginata competitors and a team of kendoka from McGill University.

It was a great chance to observe Naginata practitioners at an international level, as well as to see and look for some of the similarities in principle and practice between Kendo and Naginata. Some of our members also got a chance to meet Alex Bennett Sensei of Team New Zealand. Perhaps one day we'll see the WKC held a bit closer to home as well.

Jun 19 2015 | Visit to MKC

On Friday, June 19th, we paid a visit to our brothers from MKC. Training was led by our dear friend Kenji Toida Sensei. We also met with our friend Hugo Renaud, who used to train at Shidokan many years ago.

As usual, it was agreat practice!, - Thank you so much for letting us join you!

Jun 13 2015 | Kendo Kata in the park

Summer is here! it's a great time to practice outdoors. Since the beginning of May, in preparation for the upcoming kendo grading, Shidokan members have been taking an extra day to enjoy the sun and practice Kendo kata in the Notre Dame de Grâce Park. Both series have been covered: "Nihon Kendo Kata" & "Kata Bokuto ni yoru Kendo kihon waza keiko ho"

Everybody has been quite diligent and we hope to continue with the good work. Special thanks to our organizer: Alysha Hum, for all her logistics efforts.

May 17 2015 | Preparing for the WKC16

The 16th World Kendo Championship will be held in Japan near the end of May. Due to the preparation of many national team members in Montreal for this event, members of Shidokan and other dojos in the vicinity have had the opportunity to practice with high caliber kenshi. Since the beginning of the year, several kenshi, together with members of the Canadian and the Venezuelan national teams, participated in practices led by Julio Kenji Toida Sensei, from the Brazilian national team.

Practices were geared towards shiai to prepare for the world tournament that would soon take place. Whether it was training for individual or team shiai, and even some focus on how to be a good shinpan, we all learned something and we all improved. The training was grueling, but highly rewarding in the end.

We thank Toida Sensei for leading the sessions, and to McGill University for providing the space to practice. The bar has been raised, now we go back to train.

May 16 2015 | 25th Iaido & jodo Seminar - Guelph

As it is tradition, this year some members of Shidokan participated in the the twenty-fifth annual Spring Iaido & Jodo seminar held at Guelph Univesity. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the Sei Do Kai dojo.

The seminar was organized by Kim Taylor Sensei and had as special guests: Maehara Toshio (hanshi 8dan), Hatakenaka Atsumi (8dan), Ohmi Goyo (7dan) and Stephen Cruise (7dan). As always, it was a wonderful chance to practice iaido with other practitioners and to learn from the special guests present. Many thanks to the organizers and hosts for this annual event!

May 15 2015 | Moscoso Sensei visits MKC

On May 15th, following a North American Kendo tour, Michael Moscoso Sensei (5th dan) visited MKC. Luckily, many Shidokan seniors were present as well to enjoy the class.

We would like to thank MKC and Mosoco Sensei for the opportunity to practice together, as well as for the kindness and advice.

April 26 2015 | Quebec Regional Kendo Championship - Granby

On Sunday, April 26th, a Shidokan contingent traveled to the Cegep de Granby - Haute Yamaska to compete at the Quebec Regional Tournament. As per usual, all participants were grouped in four divisions: women's, mudansha and shodan, nidan and sandan, and yondan and up.

We arrived early and started our warm up with strong spirit, determined to do our best. Our motto for the day was 'no fear'. With that in mind, we prepared for a long day of battle.

Shidokan did very well in the mudansha-shodan division. We managed to bring back a bronze medal in the sandan-nidan division and Shidokan brought home the Fighting Spirit Award as well as a bronze medal in the women's category. Our teams also fought hard in their respective courts, giving their best against tough opponents and earning a silver medal. We returned to Montreal in high spirits and celebrated with some spicy Korean food at Shabu Shabu where Santoso Sensei joined us to celebrate.

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

April 4 2015 | 26th Cleveland Kendo Tournament

On the weekend of April 4th, one of our members: Gabriel Schor, participated at the 26th Cleveland Kendo Tournament/Greater Northeastern United States Kendo Championships in Cleveland. The event started on Friday with jigeiko followed by godo keiko attended by several high ranking sensei, including Inoshita Sensei who was the main organizer of the tournament.

Afterwards, there was a grading seminar and mock grading for ranks between 1kyu and 5dan given by Onda Sensei from Tokyo and Kato Sensei from New York. They emphasized the importance of chakuso, or the correct way to wear the kendo gear, at all levels and how those attempting higher ranks must be extra careful as their way of wearing their equipment would set an example for other students. On Saturday everybody participated in the individual and team tournament. It is a massive tournament that took place simultaneously on six courts throughout the whole day. After the tournament there was another godo keiko session with several 6dan and 7dan senseis.

On Sunday the gym was opened early and some of the participants took advantage for a short keiko session. The main seminar was lead by Onda Sensei, 8dan Kyoshi, kendo shihan of Tokyo Police Kendo. During the warmup, Onda Sensei stressed the fact that the warmup exercises should be performed in such a way that they can used as a base to build up to good kendo, not treated as an isolated activity. Next, Onda Sensei explained that kiri-kaeshi must first be big, second it must be firm, third it must be accurate and only lastly it can be light. This order is mandatory as it emphasizes first mastering the basics. After waza and some jikeiko, the last hour was reserved for another godo-keiko with some of the highest ranking sensei present.

April 4 2015 | Our friends from AMS

On April 4th, our friends from AMS Kendo Club paid us a visit, it was a great practice! It's always a pleasant time when we receive visitors during our regular practice schedule. It provides an opportunity outside of special events, such as seminars and tournaments, to keiko with friends from other dojos. It provides both new insight into our own practice and gives us a chance to experience kendo with some less familiar faces.

Thank you very much for your kindness, we hope to spar with you again soon!

March 28 2015 | Inazuma Taikai

In preparation for upcoming tournaments, Shidokan hosted an internal junior “lighting tournament” Inazuma Taikai in order to complement our training and to give our members the opportunity to experience ‘combat pressure’ in real time.

There are many things happening during a kendo tournament: pressure, etiquette, rules. For an experienced kendoka all these factors are simply the norm, but for a kendoka without experience, the formalities of entering the ring (shiai-jo) may seem overwhelming at first.

It was a great experience for all of us. Many of our junior members were exposed to pressure in combat, shiai rules and etiquette for the first time. It was also a great opportunity for our senior members to sharpen their judging skills being able to recognize an ippon with confidence.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our beginners who acted as volunteers: keeping the time, taking pictures, keeping the score, and placing the tasuki (colored ribbon) on the competitors. And special thanks to our friends from MKC who also helped us achieve our goal.

Mar 7 2015 | University of Toronto Kendo Tournament

For the first weekend of March, many of our members made the journey to Toronto for the annual taikai hosted by the University of Toronto that took place on the Saturday. This year we had enough participants for two full teams.

The tournament hosted a large number of competitors, mainly from Ontario and Quebec. The competition was a good opportunity to test our mettle against some very skilled kendoka from other regions. It was also a treat to get to see Team Canada in action before the 16th World Kendo Championship taking place later this year.

Congratulations to Justin McNeil-Smith for taking home the bronze medal in the Kyu-Shodan division! As well, we would like to congratulate Kenji Toida Sensei, who accompanied us this weekend, for winning gold in the Yondan and up category. It was also very nice to see our friend Lawrence Tsuji Sensei at the tournament - as always, thank you for your guidance!

Time to reflect on both the wins and losses of the day so that we can incorporate it into our training moving ahead. Looking forward to the next competition!

Thank you again to Justin and Robert for helping us with accommodations for the weekend!

Feb 28 2015 | First CKF Iaido Grading in Montreal

On Saturday, January 28th, we had the pleasure of hosting the first CKF Iaido grading in Montreal, following our habitual seminar led by Goyo Omhi Sensei and Stephen Cruise Sensei.

The day started off with a seminar in the morning, focusing entirely on Seitei Iai. This attention to Seitei allowed for all the grading applicants to have a last chance to prepare and get some feedback before the afternoon grading.

After lunch, the grading began. It was open to applicants for 1kyu, 1st Dan, and 2nd Dan. Overall, it was a very successful grading. Congratulations everyone on a job well done!

The seminar continued once more after grading. The group was split in two, with Ohmi Sensei leading many of the newly-ikkyu back through Seitei iai while Cruise Sensei took those who hadn’t graded and focused on Koryu kata(s) for the rest of the afternoon. Afterwards, there was dinner at Kanda to celebrate over sushi and sake.

The seminar continued on Sunday at John Abbott. It touched on Seitei again, but the focus switched to Koryu with the pressure of grading off. All kata(s) of the Chuden level (Hasegawa Eishin-ryu) were reviewed as well as special drills such as haya-iai, diving into technical details and differences between Chuden and Okuden levels, such as 'noto' and 'tatehiza'.

Thank you to all the volunteers and everyone who worked hard to make this grading successful. Special thanks to Christian D'Organgeville Sensei, president of the CKF, for attending this inaugural event.
Once again, congratulations to all of the applicants. We hope to have this opportunity again in the future!

Feb 22 2015 | Women's practice

On Sunday Feb 22nd, the first women’s practice of the year was hosted by our friends from Académie Martiale Serei (AMS) at the Centre Sportif de l'Université de Montréal. The practice was led by Ariyama Sensei of Montreal Kendo Club (MKC) and was attended by female practictitioners from AMS, Shidokan, MKC, and McGill Kendo Club.

The practice started by taking it back to the basics, focusing on footwork, posture, as well as proper cutting distance and height. The emphasis was largely on precision. This was followed by some exercises aimed at learning how to do good tai-atari and how to maintain proper kikentai ichi, especially for people of smaller stature.

Afterwards there was practice shiai and jigeiko, giving everyone the opportunity to try out what was learned and worked on during the first part of the practice. It was also an opportunity to learn and develop shinpan skills.

Thank you very much to Véronique Marchand from AMS for organizing the event, and thank you to Ariyama Sensei for taking the time to lead us. We hope to see everyone again soon!

Photo credits: Our sincere gratitude to our friend Simon On (from AMS Kendo Club) for the great pictures!

Feb 6 2015 | Growing Iaido family

Last year, the Canadian Kendo Federation announced the establishment of a new Eastern Canada Iaido Grading to support our members in Quebec and the Maritimes.

The inaugural event will be held on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at Shidokan, following the Montreal Iaido Seminar. In preparation to this event, the entire Shidokan Iaido family got together for a very special practice. Let's keep training hard!

Jan / Feb 2015 | On full swing

The year has already seen some great practices! We would like to take this opportunity to thank our dear friends from Quebec Kendo Kai, who joined us for a few kendo and iaido practices, Please come visit us again!

As the month progressed, On Jan 18th many of our members went to McGill Kendo Club to attend the QC Special Joint practice of the month as well as another practice, 2 weeks after (Feb 1st), with members of Team Canada led by coach: Matthew Raymond and team captain: Shigemitsu Kamata.

It was a great chance to learn from some very skilled kendoka. We look forward to the next opportunity!

January 2015 | New beginning

The start of the semester means it’s yet again time to say welcome to our new recruits. The road ahead is difficult, but we look forward to your company as we walk the path together!

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"!

January 2015 | New Years Celebration

Shidokan ushered in the New Year with our annual gathering. Instead of a brunch, to start off 2015, we celebrated with sushi and sake at Kanda.

It was a time to reflect on our accomplishments and how much we’ve grown over the past year. It was also an opportunity to think ahead to the goals and challenges that await us in the upcoming year. We also celebrated the birthday of our dear Santoso Sensei and Alysha-san.

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.

Here’s to looking forward to another great year!

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