Newsletter April 2017


Words from President

Dear Naginata Friends,

Easter is now over and I hope you all had a chance to enjoy that great period of the year. The first spring seminars are about to end with Italy, France and little tournament in other ENF countries. Do not forget to send us news about your activities that we can post in the ENF Newsletter.
As a reminder, the next INF seminar in Mainz will take place from 14 to 16 of July and there will be a Tendo ryu seminar just before from 12 to 13 of July in Wiesbaden next to it.

Wish to see you all there.

In the meantime I wish you a happy spring time

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Technical Tips

A Naginata trip around North-East America

A few days after the fantastic NNR Spring Seminar with Imaura sensei and her students I was lucky enough to
have a vacation to the USA and Canada.
As is often the case I try to combine vacations with some Naginata.
This time however I would try to get as much as possible in there.
My schedule:
  • Friday March 31st: training  at Japanese Swordsmanship Society (JSS), New Jersey
  • Saturday April 1st: 18th JSS Nichibukan Naginata seminar, New Jersey
  • Sunday April 2nd: 6th annual Yamauchi Memorial Tournament
  •  Tuesday April 4th: training at JCCC Naginata Club, Toronto
  • Wednesday April 5th: training at University of Toronto Naginata Club, Toronto
  • Thursday April 6th: training at Club de Naginata de Montreal, Montreal
  • Friday April 7th: training at McGill Naginata Club, Montreal
  • Saturday April 8th: training at McGill Naginata Club, Montreal
  • Sunday April 9th: training at McGill Naginata Club, Montreal
  • Tuesday April 11th: training at Kachimushi Naginata Club, Mount Holyoke
  • Wednesday April 12th: training at Kachimushi Naginata Club, Mount Holyoke
  • Friday April 14th: training  at Japanese Swordsmanship Society (JSS), New Jersey
Ofc ourse I needed some time for traveling between the cities and some sightseeing, amongst which was a visit to Niagara!
But I think I did pretty well filling it with Naginata considering the time available.
My goal for this trip was to visit my Naginata friends (amongst which fellow Dutchies Simon Bruins and Axel Noorman),
to practice Naginata, but also to learn about how other people outside Japan practice, how their facilities are and what tips they would give me.
The journey started in New Jersey at the JSS Nichibukan dojo.
This is a dojo currently led byEngalla sensei.
The next day we had the JSS seminar for which I was asked to be an instructor.
The seminar had 93 people attending, this includes the instructors.
This was even bigger than the last ENF seminar! There were people from all over the USA and Canada.
There even was someone from the newly created group in Puerto Rico.
At this seminar there were many groups who all seemed like a big Naginata family as the atmosphere was positive and friendly.
The seminar’s top instructors were Tanner sensei (Tennessee) and Saxton sensei (Southern California).
The next day there was the Memorial tai kai for Yamauchi sensei in which I was able to compete in the shiai.
In this tai kai I saw some very skilled people in engi and shiai.
I was particularly impressed by some of the people in the dangai (kyu levels), this will surely result in interesting shiai in the following WNC’s!
After the tai kai finished I joined Davis Sensei from the JCCC Naginata Club on her way back to Toronto.
In Toronto I was happy to join the practices and see Kubo Sensei again with whom I had graded for 5th dan on the same day in 2014.
In Toronto the level is high, the facilities are great and the motivation amongst the people is fantastic.
They have some really great examples with their teachers. I can recommend a visit.
In Montreal I joined in the practice at Club de Naginata de Montreal with Fromentin sensei as the teacher.
The teacher I had met when he was still living and practicing in France around 2005.
In this club I saw people I have met at the first time I visited the JSS seminar in 2010.
The atmosphere was good, the people are experienced and work hard to improve.
The next few days I practiced at McGill University.
This is a fairly new club, started by Landekic sensei and Simon Bruins.
The facilities are great, the teachers are skilled, have charisma and know how to motivate people.
The club is young, motivated and social.
After Montreal it was time to get back into the USA and visit Axel Noorman, who frequently practices at Mount Holyoke College.
The club at the college is called the Kachimushi Naginata Club.
They are a group of students who practice by themselves for most of the time.
Their practice is currently led by two captains with the highest grade being 1st kyu.
Their facilities are great and they have daily practices with a friendly, family-like, motivated group.
They work hard and are sure to keep a steady progress in Naginata as many of their alumni have done.
I finished my trip back in New Jersey where I had my last practice withEngalla sensei and his students.
I feel lucky to have had this opportunity and have met with so many nice and motivated people who share my passion for Naginata.
I hope to see them all again in Germany for the World Championships and INF seminar.
Mark Berghaan