As organizers we always try to make each year's event better than the previous. This past weekend, the East Coast Iaido Seminar and Taikai exceeded all expectations. With the meticulous planning and execution, the Shidogakuin and Ken Zen Institute Kendo and Iaido dojos put on a packed weekend of equal parts education and celebration.
Under the guidance of Kishimoto Chihiro Sensei (Hanshi 8 Dan Iaido, Chiba) and expert demonstration by Okuda Kazuma Sensei (Kyoshi 8 Dan, Hiroshima), the 90+ participants were lead through the intricacies and details of Zen Ken Ren Iaido. The Sensei' themselves were equally honoured to see the dedication and commitment of all the participants coming from across the eastern United States and Canada.
- Saturday - Seminar + Banquet
- Sunday - Grading + Tournament
Once again, it was a pleasure to participate and represent our dojo at one of the only two tournaments with both Canadian and US competitors. All four participants representing Mu Mon Kai won at least one match, with my wife, Hanna Ikeda-Suen defending her Gold in the 2nd/3rd Dan division and also being awarded the first ever "Kishimoto Cup".
- Justin Lee (1st Kyu) - 3rd Place (1 Kyu + 1 Dan division)
- Hanna Ikeda-Suen (3 Dan) - 1st Place (2 Dan + 3 Dan division)
- Bruce Meecham (4 Dan) - Won one match, then fell to the eventual champion (4 Dan+ division)
- Patrick Suen (4 Dan) - 3rd Place (4 Dan+ division)
While deepening our knowledge of the art and achieving success in competition are nice, it is primarily the relationships we've built that matter in the end. The people we've met at his event, and through other shared Iaido seminars, have been some of the most kind, generous, honest, and genuine individuals we know. It is our honour to be able to call them friends.