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gendzwil
4th March 2003, 16:28
Well, I think I'm recovered enough... we held the annual Saskatoon Kendo Club Seminar over the weekend. We had around 80 participants, making it the biggest ever seminar. Many thanks to Tsumura-sensei from JCCC, Okusa-sensei from UBC, Shiono-sensei from Banff, Takagaki-sensei and Nakano-sensei from Steveston and Hayashi Mako-sensei from Vancouver for taking a weekend out of their lives to help us out in the sticks. I'd also like to thank the heads of the various clubs who showed up (Tom Yamashita, Manitoba, Hiroaki Izumi, Regina, Stephanie Bozzer, Edmonton, David Harding, UBC) and all their members for making this such a success. And of course thanks to Miyaoka-sensei, without whom there would be no Saskatoon Kendo Club.

Charlie Kondek
5th March 2003, 14:48
Wish I could have been there. After reading this, I looked up Saksatoon on a map. Looks like a nice place! The maps make it look like there is nothing between Saksatoon and Edmonton except vast wilderness. Is correct?

Would love to cross swords with you sometime, Neil. (Maybe Guelph some year? Or Toronto?) That's so great that you have a sensei out in "the sticks."

gendzwil
5th March 2003, 15:22
There's a few smaller towns between Saskatoon and Edmonton. North Battleford is around 15 K people and I think Lloydminster is 25 or 30 K. But, yeah, the prairies are lightly populated. The guys from Winnipeg all took Friday off so they could make the 9 hour drive from Winnipeg and arrive in time for the godo keiko Friday night. It's a little over 5 hours from Edmonton and they also all made it. We really appreciate that kind of effort, and it's indicative of Prairie kendo. Everyone playing kendo out here is doing it by choice, not because they were told to. It makes a big difference in attitude, and all the sensei who visit comment on the enthusiasm.

PS I wouldn't call the praires wilderness, either - it's all cultivated farmland. Wyoming and Nevada are a lot more desolate - drive for miles and miles there without seeing any houses or towns.

Charlie Kondek
5th March 2003, 17:58
Yeah, as a Michigander, I'm used to spending time in Canada - Windsor, Ontario, the "cleaner Detroit." I'm a big fan of our neighbors to the north. Sounds like you have - not an embarassment of kendo riches, but certainly a good kendo community up there. By that I mean a bunch of committed people - I've never really run into a "bad" kendo community.

We run into the JCCC guys regularly at Midwest events, and they're all quite good. I keep meaning to make my way up to Guelph for iai, but time and money have not permitted it.