The Kenshokan Koryu Seminar, 2013
On November 2nd & 3rd, Kenshokan Iaido hosted its second annual Koryu Seminar in Peterborough at the Village on Argyle. We saw iaidoka from several Canadian cities, including Halifax, Fredericton, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph, and others. As well, we welcomed American iaidoka from Cleveland and Rochester. Each day saw an average of 40 people in attendance!
The weekend technically started on the Friday night at The Olde Stone brew pub where about 25 of us shared stories, food, and drink and lots of laughs in preparation for the next two days. It was wonderful getting reacquainted with everyone.
The first day of the seminar started at approximately 9am with over 40 people in attendance. We went through some basic koryu etiquette and the differences between it and seitei. From there, we broke off into three groups: mudan to shodan was led by Galligan-sensei; nidan & sandan was led by Taylor-sensei; and yondan & up was led by Ohmi-sensei. Unfortunately, about half way through the morning, Ohmi-sensei had to gracefully bow out due to the flu and Green-sensei led in his stead. We studied the first two sets of Omori and Eishin with a much welcome lunch of subs between sessions. Looking across the floor, you could see all of the iaidoka well engaged with their respected senseis. We were even visited by a photographer from the Peterborough Examiner and made the front page of the paper. Metal flashed, feet danced, and swords sang until 5pm.
Later that evening around 7pm, the majority of us gathered at a local Italian restaurant called Brio Gusto for dinner after a long and intensive day of MJER koyru. Wilson-sensei was seen in deep conversation with Taylor-sensei and Galligan-sensei, and the rest of the restaurant was abuzz with the laughter and lively conversations from all of the iaidoka. Good food, good drinks, and good friends made for a wonderful evening of socializing and discussing what was learned that day.
That night granted us an extra hour of sleep (thanks to Jim’s connection with the Time Lords) and everyone arrived fresh and ready for the full day of koryu ahead.
It started off with everyone breaking up into three groups: those who had never done koryu/had little experience; those who had experience; and those who were well versed. These groups were led again by Galligan-sensei, Taylor-sensei and Green-sensei. Throughout the first half of the morning, Oku Iwaza and Oku Tachiwaza were covered with a break for a pizza lunch. The second half of the day was lots of partner work covering Tsumiai no Kurai and Tachi Uchi no Kurai led by Taylor-sensei with the much-appreciated help of Pam Morgan. Many people, even well-experienced iaidoka, were able to practice techniques they'd had very little experience with or had never studied at all. The day ended with the raffling off of some items generously donated by SDK Supplies, a formal bow out, and the presentation of gifts to Taylor-sensei, Galligan-sensei, and Green-sensei.
All in all, the weekend was a great success! Many of us left with sore feet and sore knees, but most of all we left with a better understanding of koyru, new friends, and some great memories. See you all next year!