Category Archives: hatsunuki

hatsunuki News US Embukai


The 2009 US Embukai was another great success with participants coming from Belgium, France, and Canada as well as the US.  Next year will be the tenth anniversary and we look forward to being a part of that event.

The next event on our horizon occurs on New Year’s Day.  Hatsu-Nuki is the term for first draw of the year and is usually performed in Japan on Jan. 1 at dawn at a Shinto shrine.  We don’t have ready access to a shrine, but endeavor to do it with the same spirit of solemnity.  In Japan, the ritual is followed by a breakfast and hot sake toast to the new year.  Here in Houston we do it outside at dawn, so our participants tend to wear as much under their iaido clothes as necessary.  [The photo above is from the 2004 hatsunuki.]

hatsunuki News Other demo Tanida-Sensei US Embukai

Website redone using iWeb

The website has been completely redone using iWeb mainly for ease of updating.  The photo albums are still in work and will be added later.

What has happened since last I wrote?  Hatsunuki on Jan. 1.  Tanida-Sensei’s visit during Feb. 29 – Mar. 2, during which the following tested:  Ali & Jon for yondan, Ron for sandan, and Dale & Beverly for nidan.  All who tested received menjou (certificate).  No other traveling, even to Denton, occurred after this.  I just felt like staying close to home and working on long neglected projects, such as rebuilding this website from scratch.

Another significant event that occured last year is Jon’s departure from Houston to Kansas City, Missouri, and his establishment of a new dojo there.  See his website for more information.

For the future I look forward to seeing Jon again when I travel to Kansas City to join him and Charles-Sensei in a demonstration of MJER at the their annual Japan Festival.

Also, I want to visit Sensei soon, and visit Neil-Sensei in Baton Rouge.  Then the 8th annual US Embukai is in November.

Demonstrations hatsunuki Houston Japan Festival Japan News Other demo shodan shiken Taikai Tanida-Sensei Tanida-Sensei koshukai US Embukai

Another two years go by….

This is a recap of some of the highlights of the past two years, which have been good for us. For a more complete listing see the Past Events link. The class schedule is unchanged, but the monthly fee has increased.

2005 – Everyone who tested at the Shodan Shiken in 2005 received their rank. Also that year I went to Japan to participate in the annual All Japan Eishin-Ryu Embukai in Sakai City, and several practices in Chiba and Sakai City. When not involved in Iaido activities I did some sight-seeing around the Tokyo/Chiba area. In early October we traveled to Denton for the 5th US Embukai.

2006 – At dawn New Years Day members of the dojo who could attend participated in our annual hatsu-nuki outside despite the warm weather and attendant mosquitoes and fire ants. In March at the annual koshukai & shodan shiken in Denton there were four people testing. They were Ali for sandan, Jon & William for nidan, and Ron for shodan. All who tested achieved their rank. Also this was my first time sitting at the judging table with Tanida-Sensei, John-Sensei, and Susan-Sensei. In April we had a very successful demonstration at the annual Houston Japan Festival. Thanks to the Japan America Society of Houston for inviting us. In late May & early June David and I traveled to Washington & British Columbia to tour around the area. In addition to sight-seeing and eating some of the best salmon in my life I visited the Hokusei Dojo in Everett (thanks, Scott), and attended the annual Canadian Iaido Association (CIA) summer seminar in Vancouver BC (thanks to Esaka-Sensei and Ted-Sensei). On Aug. 20 we did a demonstration at a church on the Northwest side of town. In mid November we traveled to Denton for the 6th US Embukai.

2007 – For our hatsu-nuki the weather was actually cold so we had no bugs to bother us. The hot sake toast tasted very good! In March we had six testing. They were Emily for godan, Jon & William for sandan, Ron for nidan, and Dale & Beverly for Shodan. All who tested achieved their rank. In April we were fortunate to have Charles-Sensei come to help us with our best ever demonstration at the annual Houston Japan Festival. Thanks to to Charles, and thanks to the Japan America Society of Houston for inviting us back. In August we heard the terrible news that Ted Davis-Sensei, president of the Canadian Iaido Association (CIA), suddenly died after a brief illness. In late August David and I went to Japan to participate in the World Science Fiction Convention held in Yokohama. This was the first time this particular convention had been held in a non-English speaking country. The Japanese fans put on a very memorable event. After the convention we joined a group of fans for a 9 day whirlwind tour of Japan that included Tokyo, Hakone, Mt. Fuji, Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Osaka. During the convention I stole away for a day to attend a practice lead by Tanida-Sensei. After the tour was over we stayed over in Osaka to attend another practice in Sakai City. In mid November we traveled to Denton for the 7th US Embukai.


Also in November our dojo building came under new management, and our dues increased from $50 to $79/month.

Denton hatsunuki Japan News San Antonio Sword Show shodan shiken US Embukai

Certificates, Events catch-up

Certificates Arrive

While at The Dojo in Denton earlier this month, Sensei surprised me at the Thursday class when he presented me with my nidan certificate. He also gave Joe’s certificate to bring back to him. At the very next class Joe was at, I surprised him with it.


Events Past and Future

The San Antonio Sword Show is now just a fond memory, as is the training trip to Denton which occured July 31- August 3. Coming up fast is the trip to Japan to train with Sensei’s Sensei. During the two weeks (Oct. 8-22) that Joe and I will both be gone formal classes will be cancelled. Prospective students and other visitors are advised to wait until after the 22nd to arrange to watch a class. Coming on the heels of that trip is the U.S. Embukai in Texas which will occur on the first weekend in November. Then in December is our dojo Xmas party. We will bring in 2004 at dawn on New Years Day with hatsunuki, first draw.

Denton hatsunuki Houston Japan Festival Japan News San Antonio Sword Show schedule shodan shiken Tanida-Sensei Tanida-Sensei koshukai US Embukai

Lots going on; Mirror installed

Saturday Practice Moves to Sunday & Friday Practice Time Change

I am finally getting around to making some much needed changes to the web site. Thank you for your patience, and thanks to those who offered to help. As the regular students already know, the Saturday practice has moved to Sunday from 12:30 – 2:30. Also, as of April 25, the Friday practice is now 8:30 – 9:30.


Events Past

This is a quick overview of events past.  In October the 2nd Annual Texas Embukai was a great success with six instructors in attendance. Four from our group attended. In December Jack Bieler of Denton visited us one day and lead a special practice. On New Year’s Day we had our first ever Hatsunuki celebration in Houston. In January Charles Mahan of Denton visited us one weekend, leading practices on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In early February Joe and I went to Denton for training with sensei. Later that same month, four of us journeyed to Denton for Tanida-sensei’s seminar, and two of us tested for nidan in the shodan shiken held on Sunday. In March most of the school was involved in one way or another in the wall construction (for a large mirror), and general dojo upgrade/remodeling. In April three of us and Charles Mahan, who happened to be in town, demonstrated at the 2003 Japan Festival in Hermann Park in downtown Houston. Also that same weekend, Charles lead our Sunday practice, and two of us entered the traditional sword division at a local martial arts tournament,– Joe Charles won first place and I took second in the advanced track. The very next weekend Sensei and Tom Thomas came down to spend a very enjoyable weekend with us. We trained hard during the day, and at night watched videos and had a lot of fun (and little sleep). In May I had two five foot tall sections of mirror installed on the newly built wall. This was a tremendous improvement over the hanging closet door mirrors.


Events Future

The San Antonio Sword Show, May 23-25, is rapidly approaching. We will be joining Sensei and his local students in a demonstration of Eishin Ryu from 2 -2:30. In the future is a trip to Baton Rouge when Sensei travels there to visit Neil and Doug. In the not-too-far future is our trip to Japan in October.

Denton hatsunuki News San Antonio Sword Show Tanida-Sensei

News Update

We were very fortunate to have Jack Bieler of Denton visit us for a training session Saturday, December 29. He patiently worked with us on Seiza and Batto Ho no Bu for almost four hours. Thanks Jack. Afterwards we retired to a local restaurant for dinner and more visiting.

Recently I have heard that there will be no San Antonio Sword Show this year, reportedly due to the organizer needing a break after about 20 years of putting one on every year. This is unfortunate, not just for the vendors it draws, but also because there are some folks that I rarely see outside of that event. Perhaps next year.

I traveled to Denton for hatsunuki. In addition I was able to train with Sensei, and Charles on New Year’s Eve. Thank you to both.

There is a slight possibility that Tanida-Sensei will be in Houston during the last weekend of January. If so we could see a number of folks from Denton, as well as Baton Rouge and Nacogdoches, converge on our dojo.