Thursday, 15 September 2011

Welcome! ...part 2 of 6

How did I get here? ( 2008 )

2008 . Integration & Kyudo
Three years down and a Japan training trip to boot! We're finally starting  to feel like a real part of the Iaido community. No longer were we listening to stories, staring wide-eyed as we imagine following our Sempai and Sensei' footsteps. Instead we were generating some of our own! I also started taking a larger part in our club's own activities as a few of us took over hosting the Ontario Iaido Open taikai and other annual events. The Cultural Centre's grand Kobayashi Hall would be, for a weekend, transformed from a part-time ballroom/auditorium, into a standardized tournament arena. The taikai was such a success that we repeated these efforts for the next two years. Our involvement around Ontario also grew as we started to pay regular visits to other dojos. Whether helping out at our affiliated club in St. Catharines, or just dropping in on a class with our Tateyama friends in Ottawa, we always met up with some friendly faces. 

[ -------------------------
--- Tangent --- This may happen from time to time as things just pop into my head. You may have noticed me using the words “we” and “us” more often than “I” and “me”. To understand why I do this is simple. My brother and I are twins. For 30 years now we’ve gone to the same school, same dojo, and even the same company for work. I did not have much experience being alone, and now, the times we are separate, I spend that with my wife. I hope I never have to experience the alternative.
-------------------------- ]

In September, a one-day workshop was held at the JCCC to introduce (for most participants) the art of Kyudo.  This event was announced earlier in the year, and was lead by Mie Takahashi (5 Dan).  The waiting list was long, and we were lucky to make it into the second, and last, demonstration. Mie was very kind and patient with all of us, as were we humbled with her generosity and effort in speaking English.  One area that she has improved immensely since moving to Toronto. When an introductory class was announced a few months later, we jumped at the chance to learn more. Mie was joined by Salvatore Gianfreda (5 Dan) whose love of life and people made us all feel warm inside. The enthusiasm was palpable. The students, instructors and even JCCC administration were proud of this beginning. Kyudo was (and still is)extremely rare in Canada, and we all looked forward to starting up this new community.

1st Introductory Course, Toronto
From what we've been told, the start up of Iaido in Canada was not very different less than 30 years ago. Even now, basically everyone knows (or has heard of) everyone else. Now for us to start the same thing with Kyudo is VERY exciting.

--- Note --- The JCCC Iaido club (Mu Mon Kai) is currently the largest Iaido club in the Canadian Kendo Federation with over 35 registered members. The JCCC Kyudo club (Seikyu Kai) is also the largest Kyudo club in the Kyudo Association of Canada with over 25 registered members.

No comments:

Post a Comment