Holiday Party - December 2004:
In a different twist, we held our holiday party at a pizza parlor in King William.
Thanksgiving Day Parade (Houston, TX) - November 25, 2004:
Houston's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade included a unique entry this year from the Japanese Consulate-General: a mikoshi or Japanese shrine. Satake USA sponsored the shrine, which was borrowed from the City of Long Beach, California. The many volunteers needed to carry the mikoshi were provided by the Japan Association of Greater Houston, the Houston Budokan, and RCIKK. Please click the picture of Joe, Rose, Marco, and Bill to see more pictures of this exciting event. And don't forget to ask the guys about the foiled convenience store robbery and the prairie dog restrooms.
RCIKK MJER Iaido Seminar - November 4, 2004:
Sensei Scott Irey traveled to San Antonio to offer additional instruction in MJER iaido.
RCIKK Goes To Tokyo - November 2004:
Well, the entire club didn't go to Japan, but one of our own did. Marco traveled to Tokyo for the wedding of a friend and visited a number of sights of interest to his fellow kendo and iaido students, including the famous tomb of the 47 ronin (Sengaku-ji Temple) and a fascinating bogu shop. The tomb has special meaning for those of us connected to the Houston Budokan, as a Chiba family member was counted among the 47 ronin. Thank you, Monique, for these great pictures. Thanks also to the efforts of Sensei Craig and Sensei Koga, for making arrangements for Marco to practice kendo at a wonderful dojo in Tokyo.
Taiho Jitsu Clinic (Houston, TX) - October 29-31, 2004:
In Japan, the use of firearms, even amongst police forces, is limited. But most police officers are advanced martial artists, training in a number of traditional Japanese martial arts, like kendo and judo. Japanese police forces are also trained in special techniques designed to disable an opponent and lead to the opponent's safe arrest.
Tsueno Sengoku Sensei taught several classes for the students of the Budokan and RCIKK, and he led an intensive two-day seminar for peace officers who traveled from all over the United States for this opportunity. Sensei Sengoku has instructed police departments throughout the world. His tournament career began in 1966 and includes, among many high honors, eighteen first place All Japan Judo Championships. Sensei Sengoku is currently head of the Tokyo Police Academy Jutsu-Ka Education Department. Through Sensei Sengoku's efforts, the Budokan received several sets of specialized armor (some shown below). Thank you, Marco, for sharing the pictures.
Demonstration - October 16, 2004:
As a member of the Japan America Society of San Antonio, we were asked to provide demonstrations for the annual Japan Day festivities. We were happy to once again give demonstrations at the Main Library in MJER iaido, ZNKR iaido, and kendo kata. Thank you, Allan, for saving the photograph from the "San Antonio Express News."
Kendo Takai (Austin, TX) - October 10, 2004:
We were happy to attend another team kendo tournament at the University of Texas at Austin and to see our many kendo friends from around Texas. Several teams competed in the tournament, from Austin, College Station, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Laredo, Oklahoma, Mexico, Southern California Kendo Organization, and three teams from different clubs in New York City. Joe competed on the Houston B team, and Marco competed on the Laredo team.
The winner of the Third Annual Longhorn Invitational Team Kendo Taikai was the New York "A" team (Kenshinkai). Second place went to New York City Kendo Club. Third place was shared by the Austin "B" team and the DFWKIK.
Thanks to Marco and Jimmy for the pictures.
ZNKR Iaido Seminar (Seattle, WA) - September 4-5, 2004:
The Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation hosted its annual iaido seminar in early September at the Cougar Mountain Zoo, Seattle, Washington. RCIKK members were warmly welcome. Noguchi Sensei (8th dan, iaido) and his students, Aoki Sensei (7th dan, iaido), and Suzuki Sensei (5th dan, iaido), were the guest instructors from Japan. In addition to giving instruction in ZNKR iaido, they also demonstrated koryu. Rose was happy to spend time again with her lady friends under the special guidance of Suzuki Sensei.
Party photo credits go to Joe Sheldon and serious photo credits go to Darrick (www.sacrilicious.org) and Brian Bloomquist.
Kendo Shimpan Seminar (Houston, TX) - August 21, 2004:
In August, several regional federations of the All United States Kendo Federation (SUSKIF, MWKF, GNEUSKF and ECUSKF) participated in a referees' seminar at the Houston Budokan. This event was limited to sensei who officiate at AUSKF events; however, several students from area clubs were invited to participate in kendo matches to allow the sensei to discuss the high points of officiating. Joe and Marco were happy to be included!
Thank you, Marco, for the great photographs. The first picture shows typical warm up stretches and exercises. The second picture shows Sensei Koga meditating in preparation of the coming seminar. The third picture features, from left to right, Sensei Ariga (7th dan, Dayton, Ohio), Sensei Tagawa (7th dan, Detroit, Michigan), Sensei Koga (7th dan, Houston, Texas), and Sensei Komizu (6th dan, Austin, Texas.
The final two shots are close-up pictures of the shinzen or the shrine at the Budokan, complete with an engraved stone with the Chiba mon (thanks to John and Ian Penry of TexRocks.com).
ZNKR Iaido National Camp (Boulder, CO) - June 10-13, 2004:
Thank you to the Yamakage Dojo for hosting the All United States Kendo & Iaido Federation (AUSKF) Iaido Summer Camp. All AUSKF clubs like RCIKK were encouraged to send members for instruction. Several instructors were present, including Ueno Sensei, Takeda Sensei, Yamaguchi Sensei, Kato Sensei, Murakami Sensei, Murasako Sensei, Konno Sensei and Hooper Sensei. Instruction in ZNKR iaido was followed by a taikai and testing. Joe and Rose slipped away early to celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary with a drive through Boulder and the neighboring mountains. The AUSKF website contains additional information about its annual camp: http://www.auskf.info/mainpages/AUSKF_Iaido.htm
Ueno Sensei brought the following chart to demonstrate the angles involved in the ZNKR kata:
MJER Iaido Seminar (Vancouver, Canada) - May 28-30, 2004:
The Canadian Iaido Association hosted its summer seminar with Esaka Sensei, hanshi, 10th dan, Vice president of the All-Japan Iaido Federation (ZNIR); assisted by Kaneda sensei, kyoshi (7th dan), and Raju Thakrar, renshi (6th dan) (translator). Seventy-three people attended the seminar and 22 people passed their dan examinations. This was a record attendance level. Can you spot Scott Irey Sensei and Diane Mirro?
Thank you to the CIA for use of its photograph.
Ides of April - April 15, 2004:
The kendo students indulge the webmaster's attempt to gather footage suitable for use on an "advertising page" for the club t-shirts.
Demonstration (Houston, TX) - April 3-4, 2004:
Each year the Japan America Society in Houston hosts a weekend festival celebrating all things Japanese. The Houston Budokan plays a big role in the event, providing mochi pounding, various demonstrations, and other support. Joe traveled to Houston to help.
Clear Lake Iaido, which practices MJER under Sensei John Ray and Emily Egan, also supported the event with an iaido demonstration.
In this first picture, Sensei Claudia Smith demonstrates a judo move. In addition to being our instructor in kendo and iaido, Mrs. Smith is a national and international champion in judo. In the second picture, Sensei Craig demonstrates taihojitsu. One of the dojo students wears the traditional samurai armor in the third picture. In the next picture, the drum team from Dallas wows the crowd with traditional Japanese music while, in the last picture, our sempai Mark Kirstein enjoys a quiet moment.
Kumihimo Seminar - February 7-8, 2004:
RCIKK sponsored a kumihimo workshop with Giovanna Imperia, an Artist in Residence from the Houston Center of Contemporary Craft.
is the Japanese art of braiding. It has been used to create the
beautiful cords and ties used in Japanese clothing, armor, and for the
Japanese sword. Modern applications include belts, jewelry, hair adornment, and
Chiba Connection (Osaka, Japan) - January 28, 2004:
When Rose and Joe visited Japan, they met with Sensei Toshitane Chiba (current head of the Hokushin Itto Ryu) and delivered an awesome garden stepping stone created by Ian and John Penry with the Chiba mon or family crest. Chiba Sensei was very impressed with the stone (and with Joe for having carried it in his luggage). Chiba Sensei took us to a special temple in Osaka where large turtles live in a pond. Unfortunately, it was so cold the turtles were all hiding! In this picture, Yoshiko Chiba and Rose look in vain for the turtles while Sensei Chiba looks back toward the temple.
Demonstration - January 24, 2004:
To celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Texas Folk Life Institute holds a special New Year's Festival. We've been asked to provide demonstrations for several years and enjoy the challenge of this venue - this time, under a tent and on concrete. This year's demonstration focused on MJER iaido.
RCIKK MJER Iaido Seminar - January 18, 2004:
On January 15-18, Scott Irey Sensei conducted a fun and immensely valuable MJER seminar in San Antonio. In four days, we experienced/endured/enjoyed 20 hours of practical training, interspersed with a wealth of information on MJER history and technical information. We also delighted in several memorable meals full of good food, gossip, mirth, and some killer impersonations. Our thanks to Irey Sensei for taking time out of his busy schedule to come play with us -- also to Charles Mahan, Emily Egan and Reed who joined us from The Dojo and Clear Lake Iaido.
Budokan Matsuri (Houston, TX) - January 8, 2004:
The Budokan celebrates the New Year with a special rice pounding and party. This year, the party followed the day after testing. The first picture shows the fabulous samurai-inspired cake. Thank you, Jason! The second picture captures Sensei Craig and Sensei Koga at rice pounding. The third picture features more rice pounding.
Making mochi is an old fashioned Japanese tradition that can be a rewarding community activity. People of all ages can participate in the process, either by boiling the rice, pounding the rice into a sweet mass, or forming little rice balls stuffed or coated with other edible treats.
Kendo & ZNKR Iaido Testing (Houston, TX) - January 17, 2004:
The Houston Budokan generally holds testing once a year, in January, as the sponsoring location for testing offered by the Southern United States Kendo & Iaido Federation. Rose was too busy testing in iaido, and Joe was too busy testing in both iaido and kendo, to take many pictures. But they caught a few shots of the children's testing. In the first picture, our sempai, Mark Kerstein, checks everyone's bogu. In the second picture, Koga Sensei gives last minute advice. In the third picture, the children bow out after testing. Joe and Grant helped with the testing and bow out, too.
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