ECNF Supernatural Seminar

by David D’hose

This year’s ECNF seminar got off to a supernatural start for the practitioners, who saw the petals of sakura trees fall thanks to the vibrations of an earthquake.

This year, Mark Berghaan and David D’hose were invited to New York by ECNF to lead the course, along with Ellery Engalla. As in previous years, it was a great opportunity to share knowledge with participants from Virginia, Connecticut, Canada and the New York region.

The day began with an iaido demonstration given by members of the federation.

During the course, the groups rotated to take advantage of the presence of the three teachers, in a warm atmosphere. At the end of the afternoon, kyu, first dan and second dan grades were awarded after a short gi geiko with the teachers.

shodan:  Gwenyth Evans and Nikki Bernstein

nidan: Jeremy Frandon, Birgit Siegert-Iriyama and Daiki Iriyama 

It was a very busy day, which we celebrated in a small Mexican restaurant, from which the senseis came out staggering under a mountain of gifts offered by practitioners grateful for having given them this beautiful day of classes. We finished the day with kyu and dan grade examination.

On Sunday, a beautiful day of tournaments followed the course, between engi for dangai and yudansha and women’s and men’s shiai for dangai and yudansha.

The tournament was punctuated by some fine fights, and the referees had no trouble finding fighting spirits.

Dangai Engi :

1st Carlin Fisher / Gwenyth Evans (ECNF)

2nd Ziomara Medero – Vargas / Lydia Scharff (ECNF)

3rd Jonathan Nga Lee / Athena Vithal (CNF)

Yudansha Engi

1st Jessica Espinosa / Rebecca Pomeroy (ECNF)

2nd Daiki Iriyama / Birgit Siegert-Iriyama (CNF)

3rd Jeremy Frandon / Ji Ni (CNF / GNYNF)

Dangai Men’s Shiai

1st Banrong Hu (CNF)

2nd Liam Stiles

3rd Gabriel Poujoli

Dangai Women’s Shiai

1st Lydia Scharff (ECNF)

2nd Nina Kornfeld (GNYNF)

3rd Elizabeth Jackson (ECNF)

Yudansha Men’s Shiai

1st Jordan Macklem (CNF)

2nd Jeremy Frandon (CNF)

3rd Daiki Iriyama (CNF)

Yudansha Women’s Shiai

1st Rebecca Pomeroy (ECNF)

2nd Julia Rycyna (ECNF)

3rd Mary Phan (CNF)

Fighting Spirit (Kantosho) Award: Otto Herman

Sasha Corchado received the beautifull Yamauchi medal for the beauty of her budo.

The Yamauchi Award Medal is given only once per recipient which is returned the following year for the next recipient.It was created after Sachiko Yamauchi Prough sensei’s death by her husband John Prough sensei in 2012.The award can be received by anyone regardless of rank and to patrons of naginata. It represents the ideals of budo, good ethics, accomplishments in naginata, upholding the principles of naginata and to maintain reiho to others, those who always act in good faith, honor and integrity. This award goes above and beyond the dojo. To this date, 12 members have received the accolade since 2012.

pThe Funahara Cup was created in the mid 2000’s after the passing of Funahara sensei which it is named after. Funahara sensei was well-loved in the community for her personality, humor and strictness regarding technique and form. The Funahara Cup is exclusive (like the Yamauchi Award) to JSS (Japanese Swordsmanship Society). This award is given to 1st place winners of Yudansha Engi. It represents a high ideal for the martial arts for those in the understanding and quality of shikaki oji/engi.

After many thanks, the senseis ended the day in a Korean restaurant, praising the hospitality of Ellery Engalla, Axel Noorman and the work of Ji Ni and Rebecca Pomeroy.

And just as supernaturally, our two renshis’ stay ended with a solar eclipse.