2002 was a busy year for our club, giving us several seminars, public demonstrations of iaido, and other opportunities for improvement and growth. Unfortunately, the year was not without tragedy. On January 18, one of our former members and strong supporters, Beatrice Longoria, was killed by a drunk driver on her way home from aikido practice. Later in the year, Rose was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism, and Bryan lost his home in a horrible fire. Throughout these sad times, we were able to focus on our practice and draw strength from our friends in the kyokai. 2002 showed us in graphic detail that iaido and kendo are great forms of exercise and mental discipline, but they also provide us spiritual and emotional strength to face our everyday lives.
Holiday Party - December 2002:
Thanks to Joe and Rose for hosting the Christmas party.
Budokan Christmas Party (Houston, TX) - December 2002:
Sensei Craig examines a katana, assisted by Santa Claus (a/k/a Sensei Lawson) and Sensei Smith. The katana was a gift from the students and instructors of the Houston Budokan, in appreciation for the "lean years" when Sensei sacrificed items from his personal collection of swords to ensure the dojo's financial stability.
Naturally, RCIKK ended the year with our traditional Samurai Christmas Party!
In October, our club gave an iaido demonstration at Central Park Mall as part of the Japan Day festivities sponsored by the Japan America Society of San Antonio.
October also saw the criminal conviction of Larry Johnson, who pleaded guilty to the intoxication manslaughter of Beatrice.
Diane attended the Iaido Summer Camp in Seattle and had a wonderful time.
Without full-time sensei in residence in San Antonio, we greatly benefit from a number of special guest instructors who willingly contribute their time and talent to us when visiting San Antonio for other reasons. We are even more blessed when these special guests are able to stay for one or month months, as the case was with Hideyoshi Takahashi-san and Genji-san, who were Japanese military officers studying at one of our local military bases.
Farewell And Best Wishes To Hide-San And Genji-San!
In June, our members attended the iaido seminar hosted by Dallas Kendo & Iaido Kyokai. In iaido testing, Ian Penry achieved sankyu; Diana Cieslak, nikyu; and Bryan Snow, shodan (making him our first home grown shodan).
Diane provided demonstrations for the Japan Day hosted by the Northside School district. When SAC was closed for break, Mike Quigley, Japanese sword expert, lectured on the history and appreciation of Japanese bladed weapons.
Russell Ichimura Sensei and Al Brodie of Dallas conducted an excellent iaido and kendo seminar for our members.
We participated in the Asian New Year festival at the Institute of Texan Cultures.
On January 18, one of our founding members was killed by a drunk driver. We held a special memorial practice for Beatrice at our next practice and were joined by members of the Sho Shin Juku Dojo (where Beatrice practiced aikido and iaido).
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