Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a good holiday season and we hope to see you at Kendo and Iaido class. Here is a list of upcoming events:


National Events:


Annual AUSKF/RMKIF Membership dues.


It is within the first few months of the year that membership information and dues are collected. Membership allows you to participate in national and regional events such as regional and national training seminars and tournaments as well as test for and hold rank in Kendo and/or Iaido. Membership also entitles each member to limited liability insurance. Please consider either becoming a new member of the All United States Kendo Federation(AUSKF) and Rocky Mountain Kendo and Iaido Federation(RMKIF) or if you are already a member please strongly consider renewing your membership.


Regional Events:


RMKIF Tournament has been discussed and currently is TBA.


Wyoming Events:


Kendo:


Feb. 24th, 25th, and 26th.(will only be cancelled if a RMKIF event coincides)


Gasshuku(special training seminar.) Please note that at the moment this is the only special training seminar in Wyoming or the region until Summer training in Denver. Don''t miss a great opportunity to learn about Kendo shiai and shimpan or tournament match, competition, and referee. Guest instructors will be traveling to train with us, please be there if you can! If you would like to participate in the national, regional, or local Kendo tournament than attendance at this gasshuku is required.


Gasshuku dates:


Feb. 24th 5pm-9pm

Feb. 25th 9am-4pm

Feb. 26th 9am-4pm


Cost is $20 per person and welcome party is 7pm Saturday evening, location TBA.


Iaido:


No special Iaido training is scheduled at this time.


Regular class schedules:


Cheyenne:


Kendo resumes on Tues. Jan 3rd.


Wado-ryu resumes on Weds. Jan. 4th.


Iaido class is scheduled based on participation, please contact either Doug Benton or Scott Tullis.


Laramie:


In order to help with scheduling here are the dates and times for our semester Kendo and Iaido classes in Laramie:


Monday and Wednesday classes resume at Slade Elementary school:


-Weds. Jan 18th 2006.


Here are the only dates that we know we won''t be having Kendo class in Laramie on a Monday or a Wednesday:


-March 13th and 15th during Spring break.


Due to unforeseen activities at Slade Elementary school we may have to cancel a class to accommodate our hosts.


Sunday classes resume(tentative) for Iaido and Kendo at the College of Education Prep. Gym:


Sunday the 28th of January, 2006.


Here are the only dates that we know we won''t be having Kendo class on a Sunday:


Spring Break and Easter Break or March 12th and April 16th.


Due to unforeseen activities at College of Education Prep. Gym we may have to cancel a class to accommodate other activities.


Club Equipment Rental in Laramie:


-Please remember to submit rental fee on time. The rental fee helps us to keep equipment in good repair, replace outdated or unsafe equipment as well as purchase additional equipment for club use.


Training and traveling beyond Laramie!


Remember that Kendo and Iaido are also offered in Cheyenne on Tuesday and Thursday evening from 630-8pm. Everyone is highly encouraged to attend class at least once per semester if their schedule permits.


Kendo and Iaido are also offered three times weekly in Englewood and if you are able to go even once over the course of semester this will also be of great benefit to you. For those interested we can arrange an occasional group outing. Most often Iwakabe Sensei will not charge for normally scheduled class, but it is always polite to offer.


Reflection of Kendo and Iaido training in Wyoming for 2005.


After a full year of training we have the opportunity to look back at many major happenings for Wyoming Kendo and Iaido.


-3 participants and 1 spectator went to AUSKF National championships from the Laramie dojo, 2 participants went from Cheyenne Budokan. The AUSKF National championships is held once every three years.


-Cheyenne Budokan and Laramie Kendo hosted AUSKF team coach Koike Sensei, 7th dan from PNKF for a two day training seminar held in the Half-Acre gymnasium on campus.


-Godo gieko training for Kendo and Iaido was offered to all students.


-O''Connor Sensei and some of his students from Rapid City, South Dakota paid us a few visits to offer instruction and advice as well as participation in training seminars.


-Kwon Sensei from Colorado came up to offer instruction and advice as well.


-Wyoming had a very good showing at the End of Year special training and shinsa in Denver.


-In spite of dojo location difficulties we managed to forge ahead and continue to offer Kendo and Iaido in Laramie.


-Tameshigiri (mat cutting practice) was held in Cheyenne. Traditionally this is accomplished with tatami or bamboo mats, however additional material mats of non-specific long grass were used due to availability and cost.


-Our website finally materialized!


-We have been extraordinarily fortunate to have so many folks come travel to train with us this past year!


General Kendo and Iaido suggestion:


To participate with good spirit and good intent in events such as keiko (everyday training), gasshuku (special training seminar), godo gieko (mass training), shinsa(test), and taikai(tournament) provides a wide range of experience for the student of Kendo and Iaido. Most important is listed first.


Keiko-everyday training, regular Kendo or Iaido class. Consistent attendance helps to promote solidarity among colleagues and peers. Like footwork in Kendo the importance of weekly training cannot be over emphasized. This is not always possible, but over the course of a long period of time it adds up.


Gasshuku-special training seminar in Kendo or Iaido. After attaining a balance of consistent attendance at regular class and personal practice when possible the next consideration is attendance at a gasshuku. Here you may learn many new techniques in Kendo or Iaido as well as have the opportunity to work with sensei or students from other dojo. Gasshuku usually happens in our federation twice a year,and often times we host a kendoist of the highest caliber, such as Arima Sensei of the Osaka Police department. He is a hanshi, hachidan and one of a select group of leading authorities on Kendo. We have been fortunate to host gasshuku in Laramie with Koike Sensei, who is another top notch kendoist. Gasshuku schedule is not always convenient but it is important to do your best to attend these events and show support for your colleagues and peers.


Godo gieko-Additional training that is not a gasshuku. This training is scheduled infrequently and usually only a few hours long and will cover such things as kihon kata, preparing for a test or team try outs, etc. Most often a godo gieko is scheduled far in advance, and attendance is an important supplement to weekly kieko.


Shinsa-A test for rank in Kendo or Iaido, but also a place for you to attempt to perform at your highest level of exercise among peers. Rank is not awarded in belts but menjo, or certificate that notes progress against an international standard of exercise. It is important to present yourself for a test when you have culminated the proper amount of time and experience to see if your exercise has progressed and to reflect on keiko and gasshuku experiences. The concern of a kenshi should not be whether to pass or to fail but to continuously improve. Rank in Kendo and Iaido is a symbol of this progress.


Taikai-After one has trained regularly, developed an understanding of the rei-ho, can perform the basic techniques of Kendo, and understands how to perform in a shinsa and ji-gieko then participating in taikai or tournament becomes the next step. In a shiai or match you should perform your absolute best Kendo against an opponent who also should do their best Kendo. Victory is determined by yuko datotsu or correct striking of the target while using zanshin and seme. Doing your best in a shiai is most important no matter the outcome. Iaido taikai is slightly different, however many of the Kendo concepts concerning taikai are directly applicable to Iaido taikai.


Kendo waza:


Fumikomiashi. Stomping foot motion. Perhaps the most difficult basic footwork technique to learn and probably the easiest to perform incorrectly. It is the right foot and right hand that should synchronize together in the beginning. Eventually the left hand and left foot should receive more attention but for now we shall discuss Kendo footwork fumikomiashi and the right hand and right foot connection.


To begin with drive the right knee towards the opponent while pushing off with the left leg. The shinai should already be in motion raising up to strike the target. At the same time the right hand strikes the target with the shinai, and the right and left wrist is applying tenouchi to stop the motion of the shinai, the right foot should contact the floor in a stomping motion. Also kiai should be present at this time. It is important that the right foot comes down with the knee aligned above the ankle and the foot at least parallel to the floor. The tendency when learning this is to come down with force on the heel or lift the toes up. When a more experienced kendoist performs fumikomiashi often an audible sound can be heard and even sometimes a bit of impact can be felt in the floor. This is because they have learned a most efficient way to perform fumikomiashi after many years of practice and repetition. Please do not attempt to intentionally make a strong stomping sound while learning to perform fumikomiashi motion. All of these things will come in time. Finally, the left leg and foot should come in immediately and then okuriashi motion continues past the motodachi or as the exercise dictates. Remember to consider the principle of ki-ken-tai-ichi, or spirit, sword, body, and mind as one.


"Ichi gan, ni soku, san tan, shi riki," or "first eyes, second feet, third courage, and fourth skill or strength".