JASSA Fall Matsuri - October 18, 2008:
Visiting Sensei - October 16, 2008:
Schleyer Sensei (of Pittsburg, PA) joined us again for kendo and showed us some new drills that will help our kendo.
Visiting Sensei - October 15, 2008:
Baena Sensei (of Mexico) led the youth kendo practice; afterward, Joe and Baena Sensei practiced Iaido.
Visiting Sensei - October 14, 2008:
Titus Schleyer (of Pittsburg, PA) and Frederico Baena (of Mexico) were both in San Antonio for a conference and attended our practice. Both Sensei pointed out things we need to work on, and we heartily thank them for taking the time to improve our kendo! After practice, we all went out for beer and food. The two instructors shared great stories about attending "Kitamoto," the foreign kendo leaders camp sponsored annually by the All Japan Kendo Federation in Kitamoto, Japan.
Kendo Taikai (Austin, TX) - October 12, 2008:
This year's Longhorn Invitational Team Kendo Taikai was the 7th annual, with 11 teams from 8 clubs representing Texas, Mexico, and California. RCIKK celebrated its fifth year competing in the Taikai and had its best showing yet winning enough matches to make it out of the round-robin pool and into the quarter-finals. Congratulations to AKNL (Nueva Leon, Mexico) team A for their first place win!, Austin team A for second place, and SCKO (Southern California Kendo Organization) and Laredo (Texas) team A for their third place wins. Congrats also to our own Marco Garcia who scored the first point of the Taikai.
Nate's Last Practice - September 25, 2008:
Nate's last practice with us. Good luck in Florida, Nate!
RCIKK Visitor - July 31, 2008:
Robin Dommissee from the Austin Kendo Doshikai joined us for practice.
RCIKK Visitor - July 24, 2008:
Our friend Carlos Guerra from Houston was in town and joined us for practice.
Craig Sensei's 70th Birthday Party - July 20, 2008:
Happy birthday Sensei!
AUSKF National Kendo Championships (Las Vegas, NV) - July 3-5, 2008:
Sometimes it pays to be a "big fish" in a "small pond." So our very own Joe and Marco joined the team of the Southern United States Kendo and Iaido Federation for the national kendo championship (held every third year, in the year before the world's championship). Although our team did not bring home any awards, they brought back wonderful memories of the competition, parties, and magic of Las Vegas. Special thanks to Marco and Cintas Corporation for providing the great team uniforms.
SUSKIF Training Day (Houston Budokan) - June 7, 2008:
Our local kendo federation (Southern United States Kendo & Iaido Federation or SUSKIF) hosted a special training event in Houston. Too bad Rose and Joe were practicing iaido in Pennsylvania.
AUSKF Iaido Summer Camp (Bryn Mawr, PA) - June 5-8, 2008:
Each summer (usually close to Joe and Rose's anniversary), the All United States Kendo & Iaido Federation sponsors a multi-day training event for ZNKR-style iaido. The 2008 camp was hosted by the Japanese Swordsmanship Society with special assistance from the Princeton Kendo and Iaido Club. The setting was incredible at the historic Bryn Mawr College.
Two instructors from the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei (ZNKR), Iaido Section attended the camp: Masahiro Yamasaki sensei, 8 dan hanshi iaido and 7 dan kyoshi kendo and Takaharu Saiki sensei, 8 dan hanshi iaido and 7 dan kyoshi kendo. Yamasaki sensei had previously attended the AUSKF 2007 Iaido Camp in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This was Saiki sensei’s first visit to the camp.
RCIKK Visits Dallas - June 1, 2008:
Scott visited our friends at the Dallas/Fort Worth Kendo & Iaido Kyokai; thanks to Ichimura Sensei and David Cooper for taking care of him!
SUSKIF Training Day - May 4, 2008:
In preparation for the kendo national championship, RCIKK sponsored a training day in San Antonio. A hard practice was followed by a cookout at Joe's house in his shady bamboo grove.
Kumomoto En Children's Day - May 3, 2008:
Each year JASSA hosts Kumamoto-En Day at the San Atonio Botanical Gardens in conjunction with Children's Day. This year we did some Iaido demos and conducted our standard Kendo practice on the grass.
Asian New Year Festival - February 9, 2008:
We celebrated the Year of the Rat at this year's Asian New Year Festival held at the Institute of Texan Cultures.
Budokan Matsuri (Houston, TX) - January 13, 2008:
One of the Budokan's traditions is an annual party for all members of the dojo to celebrate the new year by making mochi (sweet rice balls). Sensei Koga, his mother, and his fellow kendoka (visiting Professor Toya-san) supervised the rice cooking, with a small army of helpers and pounders. Mrs. Kogo supervised the sweet makers.
Everyone pitched in to make a huge feast. Nine different nationalities were presented directly (not through American descendants), prompting Sensei Craig to observe that the Budokan was its own United Nations. These countries included Columbia, Mexico, USA, Germany, Hungary Japan, Norway, China, and Estonia.
On the first Friday of the New Year, in a quiet moment, Sensei Craig and the other Sensei at the Houston Budokan named Joe as a hatamoto in iaido. Congratulations, Joe!
Everyone grumbles about getting out for practice on New Year's Day, but it's an annual tradition. We cut paper with iaito and bokken, which is harder than it may sound. We always get a good laugh at the random headlines, and we end the event with mochi and champagne.