The Second National Iaido Seminar, organised by Dublin Iaikai, took place on 26th and 27th June in the Belgard Community Centre, Tallaght, Dublin. This long-awaited event was very well attended, with people coming from as far afield as Limerick and Sligo. Especially welcome were the delegation from the Roshukai Dojo in Belfast. A broad range of martial arts were represented at the seminar, including Aikido, Kendo, Karate and Jujutsu, and experience levels varied from those who had never done any Budo before to high-grade black belts.
The seminar was led by Victor Cook Sensei, 7th Dan Renshi, assisted by his wife Terry, who holds the grade of 5th Dan. Cook Sensei's illustrious Budo career spans over forty years, and his many distinguished achievements and exceptional teaching skills make him one of Europe's most respected exponents of Iaido.
The Saturday morning session started with Sensei giving a brief introductory talk and demonstrating the correct way of holding the sword. This was followed by an introduction to the four basic elements of Iaido: nukitsuke, drawing; kiritsuke, cutting; chiburi, cleaning the sword; and noto, resheathing. Sensei then took the class through each of the twelve forms of Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei Seitei Gata, the standard set of the All-Japan Kendo Federation. It was a mark of Sensei's ability, and the students' diligence and enthusiasm, that all twelve of the kata were covered that day. The day finished with Sensei giving a demonstration of some old-style Koryu kata, breath-taking in their power, speed, grace and beauty. Everybody worked extremely hard during the day, and all were very tired but well satisfied with a good day's training.
In Sunday morning's class, Sensei went through the kata again, ensuring that everybody had a good understanding of the basics of the forms. After lunch there was a free practice session, followed by an open Kyu grading. For the grading, candidates had to perform three Seitei kata of their own choice. The grading panel comprised Cook Sensei, Mrs Terry Cook, and John Gibney.
The results of the grading are as follows:
Rokkyu (6th Kyu)
Barry Mc Gee
Gokyu (5th Kyu)
Keith Mc Clean
Shane Mc Munn
Colette Mc Namara
Yonkyu (4th Kyu)
Sankyu (3rd Kyu)
Congratulations to everyone on their hard work and achievements.
The success of any event like this depends on the assistance and dedication of a large number of people. Dublin Iaikai are particularly indebted to Cook Sensei; Terry Cook; Aisling Gibney; Stuart O'Moore and the members of Tallaght Tomiki Aikido Ryu; Liam Brown; the Belgard Community Centre; Impact Ireland (Metals) Ltd; Alan de Lacy of de Lacy Architects Studio; and of course, all who attended the seminar.
Everybody had a most interesting, informative, and enjoyable weekend. Indeed, bookings have already started to come in for next year's seminar! Cook Sensei was very impressed. â€œI have rarely seen such a degree of enthusiasm at a seminar. We have here a nucleus from which Iaido in Ireland can start to develop and flourish.
Iaido classes are currently being held in the Greater
Friday, 7.30 8.30 p.m. at the Master's Temple Dojo, Seaview Complex, (behind DART Station), Bray, Co. Wicklow. For further details contact Master Massan Ghorbani on (01) 2864085 or (086) 8350062; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, 2.00 3.20 p.m. in DCU Sports Complex, Glasnevin, Dublin 9. These classes are run in association with the Dublin Kendo Club. For more information contact John Gibney on (086) 8233162; email email@example.com
Dublin Iaikai website: www.iaido.ie