The Iaido Journal  Sept 2003
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Eastern Canadian Open Iaido Tournament

Enore Gardonio

A Report on the Eastern Canada Iaido Seminar and Tournament - June 21 and 22, 2003, held in Brossard, Quebec

Your intrepid reporter left Toronto at around 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon and braved afternoon traffic on the Don Valley (a whole hour and a half of it) to the 401 and then to an uneventful trip to Montreal. We hit Montreal at around 9:00 p.m., came to a screeching halt and faced stop and go traffic for more than another hour. I have to report that the mood in the car was not exactly upbeat by that time. We finally reached Brossard by around 10:30 p.m. and found that Ohmi sensei and Steve Cruise sensei had got there a few hours before we did and already had that glow that only a few (?????) beers can give. We signed in at the motel and went to a local watering hole to attempt to catch up. Couldn't do it, but it was a brave attempt. We found out then that Kim Taylor sensei was unable to attend because of a bad back. He was sorely missed the whole weekend. Bill Mears sensei was, unfortunately, also unable to attend and very much missed. I'm sure he was there in spirit.

Next day, somewhat bleary eyed, we signed in along with iaidoka from Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Guelph. There were over 40 students and instructors participating in the seminar and tournament. The seminar began with an introduction by Ohmi sensei and Steve Cruise sensei and by short speeches of welcome. We did a short warm-up and then broke into separate groups:  non-Kyu (led by Sandra Jorgenson), Kyu (led by Dave Green) and Dan (led by Steve Cruise).  Ohmi sensei 'floated' and helped where he was required. Most of the morning was spent on Zen Ken Ren Iai. Lunch was a surprisingly good sandwich. The afternoon continued with the same grouping but with instruction slanted more to testing and competition, and for the seniors - koryu (both Muso Shinden Ryu and Muso Jikiden Eishen Ryu). After 4:00 p.m., Ohmi sensei spent close to an hour instructing on proper competition and testing etiquette. He pointed out that a test starts as soon as you line up ready to walk into the testing area and that you are not only tested on technique but also on proper dress, attitude and demeanour. The evening continued with a wonderful dinner at an Oriental restaurant. Things are a bit hazy after that, I believe we went back to the motel and ended up in Ohmi sensei's room preparing for the tournament............

The tournament was held the next day with no glitches, moving smoothly through all divisions with the final matches being left to be decided at the end of the tournament. An Iaido demonstration by two of the winners of last year's tournament (a tradition in Canada) was held before the matches began.  A Ju jitsu demonstration was performed after lunch (the children were very good) and a demonstration of Naginata was performed by Sandra Jorgenson and Lorraine d'Artois just before the 3rd /4th Dan competition.

Below are the event winners for the 2003 Eastern Canada Open Iaido Championship:
Non kyu 1st place    Bruno Belhumeur 
2nd place   Manon Levasseur 
3rd place    Simon-Pierre Laporte 
3rd place    Karine Dolce 
1st kyu 1st place    Eric Brichau 
2nd place   Adam Ashton 
1st-2nd dan 1st place    Misoo Ko 
2nd place   James Black 
3rd place    Ken Morgan 
3rd place    Mike Castellani
3rd-4th dan 1st place    Sandra Jorgenson 
2nd place    Ed Chart 
Budo Spirit             Philip Michael Gagnon

Congratulations to all participants.

After the tournament, a kyu grading was held for 13 students ....all passed ... congratulations.

All in all it was a very successful weekend. I would like to express my appreciation to Serge Laporte, Manon Levasseur and the Kimochi Iaido Dojo of Brossard for doing such a wonderful job in hosting the 2003 Eastern Canada Open Iaido Championship.  A special thank you as well to Steven Cruise who hand made all of the trophies.

TIN Sept 2003