Kendo Guest - December 13, 2006:
Sometimes it's a small world in kendo....
One of Marco's former dojo-mates from Laredo, Alonso Guerra, was a member of the Mexican National Team that competed in the 13th World Kendo Championships in Taipei, Taiwan. Many years ago, Alonso's father was also a member of the Mexican national team and competed against Sensei Craig. Alonso's brother now trains at the Houston Budokan. On Alonso's way back home, he graciously stopped in San Antonio and shared his exciting adventure with the kid's kendo class. Thank you, Alonso!
Holiday Party - December 9, 2006:
Thanks to Marco and Tatiana who hosted our annual holiday gathering at Marco's new house. They suggested a "White Elephant" gift exchange that was a lot of fun!
Kid's Kendo Starts - November 15, 2006:
On November 15, 2006, the RCIKK youth class officially started under Marco's leadership and with the guidance and blessing of Sensei Craig.
Kid's Kendo Floor Inaugurated - November 7, 2006:
Before the children's kendo class can begin, the adults need to "break in" the floor and fill it with good vibes. The floor is "stickier" than the dance studio where we usually practice, but it has a wonderful give throughout. After the group photo was taken, we toasted the floor with sake and wished the new class (and Marco) the best of luck.
Kid's Kendo Floor Installed - October 20, 2006:
Marco's children's kendo class will be held at The Karate Dojo, which has a typical mat-covered concrete floor. To make a safe place for kendo practice, Marco invested in a portable dance floor that arrived just in time to be installed on Friday night.
Peacher provided the technical expertise, assisted by Carmelo, Marco, and Joe.
Rose helped unload the trailer. Tatiana arrived to supervise us all.
Kendo Regional Training (Houston, TX) - October 15, 2006:
As part of a kendo educational tour, Sensei Kamei toured the U.S. Oct. 2-22, 2006, practicing in only six cities: Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Houston (at the Budokan), Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. It was an honor for RCIKK members Joe and Marco to meet and practice with Sensei Kamei.
Toru Kamei Sensei (b. Sept. 2, 1954): A Selected Biography
Kendo Kiyoshi on November 29, 1989
Kendo 8th Dan on November 30, 2000
4x All-Japan Kendo Championships (one time finalist and one time quarter finalist)
The 7th World Championships at Seoul, Korea
Three time All-Japan 7th Dan Tournament Champion at Iwate Prefecture
Two time All-Japan 7th Dan Invitational Tournament Champion at Kumamoto
Participated in All Japan Police Championships 14x
Participated in the All-Japan 8th Dan Championships 2x
RCIKK Demonstration @ The Karate Dojo - October 14, 2006:
You're not seeing double dates .... Setting an all time record, we were asked to do a total number of four demonstrations at two different locations in one day!
Marco Garcia is soon launching the first children's only kendo class in San Antonio, to be held at The Karate Dojo in San Antonio (where Marco is also an instructor). The Karate Dojo was kind enough to invite us to their annual awards banquet to showcase kendo and a couple of iaido kata. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without a star kid - in this case, Bianca, whose family traveled all the way from Laredo to bring us the incredible smiles of this little kendoka.
Every October, the Japan America Society of San Antonio (JASSA) hosts a festival or matsuri at the main library in downtown San Antonio. We're typically the only martial arts group invited to participate. This year, all the usual out-door activities, including our two iaido demonstrations, were moved inside due to rain.
We were fortunate to have a great table location for answering questions.
We were also very fortunate to again receive an indoor venue to show case kendo.
Kendo Takai (Austin, TX) - October 8, 2006:
For the second year, RCIKK sent a team of five to compete in the annual Austin tournament. The Hokushin Chiba Dojo (Houston Budokan kendo) sent two teams, and the "B" team included our friend, Brett, who sometimes trains in San Antonio.
to all the new kendo students and many family members that came out to support
the team's all-day effort. The extended Garcia family
should have won an award for their tremendous support
(fans included Marco's mother, aunt, cousin, friends, and lovely girlfriend).
Link to Penry pics.
Nothing like a surprise visit from your
instructor to keep you on your toes!
Seriously, thank you for stopping by, Sensei.
managed to make it to his favorite annual iaido event in Seattle, sponsored by
the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation.
The instructors from Japan included Noguchi Sensei (8th dan iaido) and Aoki Sensei (7th dan iaido) and Suzuki Sensei (6th dan iaido).
year, the Japan America Society of San Antonio celebrates children's day at the
San Antonio Botanical Gardens. This year, RCIKK was asked to provide a
demonstration at the newly replanted Japanese garden. Unfortunately, the garden
was rained out. But we still had fun at the new location.
Kendo & ZNKR Visit from Sensei Kerstein - March 30, 2006:
Sensei Mark Kerstein was in town from Houston
to finalize his son's adoption and very generously made time to practice with
Thank you, Sensei!
After many years practicing iaido and chiropractic in San Antonio, Diane Mirro decided to move to Washington state to start a new career, practice a more holistic lifestyle, and improve her iai under the closer watch of her instructor, Sensei Scott Irey. In Diane's honor, Sensei Irey and senior student, Anthony Pope, traveled to San Antonio to conduct an MJER seminar on March 6, 2006. On March 7, they conducted a joint seminar for MJER and ZNKR students. Practice was followed by dinner at a local coffee shop, which was simply overrun with sword enthusiasts wishing Diane fond farewells. The following morning, Diane hit the road for Washington!
RCIKK is a member of the Southern U.S. Kendo & Iaido Federation (SUSKIF), which in turn is a member of the All U.S. Kendo Federation (AUSKF). Each year, SUSKIF sponsors a testing event for kendo and iaido students. This year, the testing was held at the Houston Budokan. A record eight RCIKK members and their families traveled to Houston for this event. Although it was a serious day, everyone had a lot of fun.
Marco and Michael did some last minute "cramming" outside the Budokan, which backs up to a railroad track.
Joe played uke all day, while Rose helped with registration and photography. Sensei Craig dubbed Nima the official event photographer.
Every member who tested did a great job representing themselves and the club. Congratulations to Marco (advancing to shodan in both iaido and kendo), Michael (advancing to ikkyu in iaido), Phyllis (advancing to nikyu in kendo), and Del (achieving yonkyu in kendo at his first testing and only his second day in bogu!).
We were happy to be invited back to the Asian Festival for the sixth consecutive year with not one, but two, iaido demonstrations. The big event celebrates the lunar new year and the Asian cultures in Texas at the Institute of Texas Cultures. To honor the Year of the Dog, there was a special pug parade, and our Houston Budokan friend, Brett Turner, was there with his pug.
Unfortunately, this year we did not have free access to the "Back 40" for kendo, but we hope to remedy that next year. The two iaido seminars, one for MJER and one for ZNKR, were great successes and very different from the more flamboyant martial arts.
Thank you, Phyllis, for arranging our practice location for the special New Year's Day cutting practice. Lulling is kind to us!
In the first photo, Chris and Del contemplate doing iaido and practicing cuts on a matted floor, rather than hard wood. Challenges, challenges!
At the conclusion of class, the tradition continues with bubbly and mochi (sweet rice balls). Here's to another great year!