Monday, 8 July 2013

2013 Mu Mon Kai Summer Celebration

On June 29, 2013, Mu Mon Kai hosted our first Summer Celebration class. Building on the success of last year's Mid-Year General Meeting we decided to schedule a full-day of training, learning, and socializing. In order to differentiate between our Year-End class, itself a celebration of the art of Iaido, we decided to dedicate this day to the people that make up this wonderful community.

With 6 hours available to us due to a class-swap with the JCCC Kyudo Club, we were able to split the session into three T's:
  1. Training
  2. Taberu
  3. Talking
....yeah, I just made that up.

Training - Practice time was broken into two sections sandwiching a snack break. The first session was focused on the "Too Many People" list from the Guelph Recap Notes; observations that the Japanese Sensei underscored as common and repeating failings of Canadian Iaidoka. With hard training and focus on these points, we'll be able to demonstrate our commitment to the instruction of the Japanese Sensei, as well as our dedication to improve our own Iai.

In session two, our members were treated to instruction in MJER Oku-Iai iwaza and tachiwaza techniques. While the majority of us would not be practicing these kata until later in our Iaido careers, it's important to understand the extensive lineage of our school.

Taberu - With such a diverse membership in the Mu Mon Kai and Affiliates Iaido groups, what better way to celebrate it than a potluck; and we were definitely not disappointed with the variety of food. From Japanese cold-soba to Portugese fried fish-cakes, Romanian cabbage-rolls and even a intact honeycomb, our palettes savoured a rainbow of flavours, a somewhat fitting end to Pride-Week in Toronto.

Gotta have some fruits & veges

Martin is a bee-keeper...who would've thought


Talking - Following the success of last year's "Meet the Sensei" theme of presentations, where each Sensei talked about themselves and the influence Iaido has had on their lives, we decided to expand the talks to create a friendly and educational environment that is not normally seen within a regular schedule class.

We began with a recap of the first half of 2013's Events and Recognition by Patrick & Hanna

  • Mu Mon Kai's February visit to a special edition of the US East Coast Iaido Seminar and Shinsa with visiting Chihiro Kishimoto Sensei allowed us to further grow the bond between our club and our friends south of the border. 
  • In March, the first of hopefully an annual seminar in Vancouver, BC, with Ohmi Sensei helped forge a stronger connection between the Canadian West and East coast.
  • Next MMK journeyed to the southern tip of Ontario to participate in the annual Welland Iaido Clinic, a truly fun and educational affair with a unique format.
  • In April, MMK hosted our bi-annual Tameshigiri seminar, inviting non-Iaido members from the JCCC whom we are proud to call friends, as we shared our mutual love of the Japanese martial arts.
  • Finally, we had another great turnout at the May Guelph seminar, with over 20 participants from our dojo. 

As with these seminars, the next few talks highlight the fact that the greatest assets MMK can provide to the Iaido community are our generous and dedicated members. Each of these subjects deserve a session, article, or lecture of their own, and I hope to make that possible in the near future.

Sensei's Introduction into Mu Mon Kai by Ohmi-sensei, Carole, Enore, Mike G, Mike H, Bruce
To match the JCCC's 50th Anniversary celebration, each Sensei gave a brief talk about their experiences before joining MMK and what it was like in those first few years.

Practicalities of Iaido and relationships that can be found within other martial arts by Bruce
A fun and educational demonstration with the help of Mike G

Importance of Lineage, History, and Culture by Mike H
A deep and passionate discussion well-deserving of being published

Start of the Affiliated dojo program and Brock by Chris
An example of commitment to one's Sensei and the acceptance of responsibility

Start of Affiliated dojo in Peterborough/Oshawa and Thank You Message by Martin
A brief history of a group that can potentially becoming the largest collection of Iaidoka in Canada

Photography and Iaido - Purpose in the Art by Oz
A philosophical approach to finding your path towards perfection

Photo courtesy of Ozan Yigit

Up Next

MMK BBQ (August 11) with special talks:
Common injuries and prevention by Scott
Japanese etiquette in the martial arts by Hanna


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