The Iaido Journal  May 2010
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How to Attend a Seminar

copyright 2010 Kim Taylor, all rights reserved

There are several seminars coming up in the next few months in North America, and all those who are interested in iaido or jodo should be paying attention to them. In fact, there is a bit of a circuit developing. The season starts off in May with the Guelph Spring Iaido and Jodo seminar which, in 2010 is celebrating its 20th year.  

Guelph Ontario: May 21-24, 2010
Guelph Spring Seminar

It is always held in Guelph, Ontario on the Victoria Day weekend (the first monday on or before May 24, or the weekend before Memorial Day). This year there are 8 sensei coming from Japan to teach at the seminar, including Kishimoto sensei, hanshi hachidan and head of the All Japan Kendo Federation iaido committee. For jodo the delegation is headed by Furukawa sensei, jodo hanshi hachidan from Tokyo along with Arai sensei. They are the instructors you see in the AJKF official jodo video.

Then in June the All US Kendo Federation has its annual iaido seminar, national tournament and grading. This seminar moves from place to place, this year it's in Texas and next year in Cleveland Ohio. If you miss Kishimoto sensei in Guelph, he'll be in Texas in June. Also teaching at this camp is Yamazaki sensei (hanshi hachidan) who will be at his fourth AUSKF camp. This seminar has become an annual event as well, and should be on everyone's yearly tour.

San Antonio Texas: June 9-13, 2010
Kishimoto sensei

Kishimoto sensei (left) and Yamazaki sensei (right)
Photos by Dennis Ralutin
Yamazaki sensei

Portland Oregon:  The next weekend, June 17-20, 2010 sees the Obukan (Portland Oregon) kendo, iaido, and jodo seminar with a group of sensei from Hiroshima, headed by Okuda sensei, (iaido, kyoshi hachidan and jodo, kyoshi nanadan) and Yoshihara sensei (kendo, kyoshi nanadan).

Vancouver, BC: July 3-4 2010, will see Oda sensei (hachidan hanshi) will be in Vancouver, BC for a seminar which I suspect may become an annual event. This event is still firming up but in the meantime here is a page with information about Oda sensei. You can contact me for the latest information on this seminar.

Calgary Alberta: August 12-15, 2010  For those who are interested in the more esoteric koryu, the annual Calgary seminar will feature Colin Watkin (Hyakutake) (menkyo) who will be teaching both  Kage-ryu and Niten Ichiryu. I will also be teaching Jodo at this seminar.

Colin Watkin

There are also regional seminars which are worth checking out, for example I will be teaching Iaido all day in Ottawa Ont. Oct 2, (Contact David Green <>) and then the next day I'll be teaching Jodo in Peterborough Ont, 12:30-6pm. (Contact Mike Chinadi  My qualifications to do that are renshi nanadan in Iaido and godan in Jodo (head of CKF jodo section).

So, lots of seminars to think about attending, but what do you do once you get there?

First, if you're a beginner or haven't done any of these arts at all, don't hesitate to sign up and attend. There will always be instruction for you by some very qualified people and it will be an excellent start to your career.

For those who have been practicing for several years, here are my thoughts and personal practices at any seminar I attend. For some of  you, these points will seem obvious but trust me, in 30 years of martial arts seminars I've come to understand that there is a need for this article.

Unka Kim's "Get a Clue" list for Seminar Attendance
Kim Taylor has been attending and hosting martial art seminars since 1980.

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