The Iaido Journal  June 2008
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Seminar Season, Spring 2008

copyright © 2008 Kim Taylor, all rights reserved

The seminar season has slowed down a little bit, so here are some notes and pointers to photographs and videos for everyone to check out.

First, the U. Guelph spring seminar for iaido and jodo.

The seminar information can be found here: We had a record turnout for our 6 instructors from Japan (and our home grown folks too) and full days for both iaido and jodo practice. The seminar included lots of training, gradings in both iai and jo, demonstrations by all the students and of course by the sensei as well as our usual fun things like the auction. This year we had an impromptu movie evening which we may add to next year's schedule since it was a big hit.

Mr. Kevin Lee was kind enough to grab some shots of the seminar and you can click to see them here. I include a few here with the comments that popped into my head when I saw them.

2008 UG spring iaido seminar
Did I turn the lights off this morning?

2008 iaido seminar
Yes I have your money. No you're not getting a refund.

2008 Jodo U. Guelph
How to translate "watching".

Iaido 2008
Little did Ron know that David had spotted his arch enemy. "Why is he reaching for his blade" he thought.

2008 iaido seminar Guelph
What do you think?

2008 Guelph jodo
Now what? How many times do I have to....

2008 jodo Guelph
You are SO going to pay for that

Many thanks to all the instructors and students who make this seminar such a success each year.

On June 5 and 6 I attended the AUSKF National Iaido seminar.

Dennis Ralutin photo
Photo by Dennis Ralutin

Had a great time at the seminar with Yamazaki hanshi and Saiki hanshi. That's me in the background trying to hear the translation. There were some interesting acoustics in the Bryn Mawr gym due to that wonderful multi-curved roof.

click for large file
Photograph (click for large file)

Demonstration video (27mb)

Pam Morgan and I drove 10 hours down to Bryn Mawr and stayed for the two days of instruction, then headed home while the national championships (Saturday) and the gradings (today) were happening. Yamazaki sensei had the 3dan and up class for the first day and a half and concentrated for the first part on kihon. The second part was a run-through of seitei and demonstrations by the various levels from 6-7dan to 3rd with comments on levels and technique. I thought it was dead on to be doing so much kihon in a senior class. It tends to be what you need as you go up in experience.

Yamazaki s. also spent some time with the entire group explaining the difference between kata as mould or shape/container and kata which contained life. The next AUSKF seminar will be in June 2009 in Boise Idaho, I recommend heading there if you are curious about the lecture and they bring Yamazaki sensei back.

Dennis Ralutin: Yamazaki s.
Yamazaki sensei: photo by Dennis Ralutin

The Friday afternoon class was given over to a referee's seminar with Saiki sensei and he gave a thorough overview of proceedure along with some comments on judging to levels, and of course, judging fairly.

Dennis Ralutin: Saiki sensei
Saiki sensei: photo by Dennis Ralutin

Pam was in the junior class and was full of praise for Saiki sensei's instruction, and then exhausted enough to sleep through most of Pennsylvania on the way back home after Yamazaki sensei's kihon class on the final afternoon.

I'd like to thank John and Sachiko Prough for their organization of the seminar, all their helpers, and the AUSKF sensei who were very kind to us.

Finally, we come to the June 9-13 Swordsmithing class

The 2008 swordsmithing class

The 2008 swordsmithing class has completed their course, with everyone coming away with their tanto. Details on the course can be found here:

I took some shots on the final afternoon as the class was finishing up the rough polishing on their heat-treated blades and were making habaki. You can find the photos here.

Here's some video featuring the class in the Floradale smithy of Thak the Armourer (Robb Martin). Check out his course pages for more photos of past swordsmithing classes.

Many thanks to the students and of course to Muh-Tsyr Yee and Robb Martin for providing their instruction and encouragement. The next seminar will be held in July 2009.

Inspecting the tanto

And that's my summer so far. Hope yours is going well.

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TIN June 2008