November 22, 2006

A couple pics from 2006 SEUSKF tournament

Memphis Dojo:
L to R: Rowan Troyer, William Thornton-Leonard, Conrad Delancey, Ester Lim, Steven Oh, An Giang, Billy Delancey, Kazuto Yasuda, Don Crittenden
(not visible: Larry Runnels, Corbin Runnels, Nick Runnels, Adam Wilson, Walter White, Rogers Gossett

Memphis B Team
L to R: Billy Delancey, Rowan Troyer, Conrad Delancey (slightly hidden), Ester Lim, Steven Oh

November 21, 2006

Memphis results at 2006 SEUSKF Tournament/Testing

There were approximately 130+ competitors at the 2006 SEUSKF Tournament, hosted by Triangle Kendo Club in Chapel Hill, NC this past weekend. It may have been one of the biggest SEUSKF tournaments in recent memory. Every year, it seems to get bigger and bigger as more people take up kendo throughout the southeast.

For most of the Memphis contingency, it was their first tournament.
I think it was an overall good experience for everyone. For some, it was their first time doing kendo with someone outside of our own dojo. For others, it was only the second time.

In the individual divisions, we unfortunately did not have anyone place. Since Yasuda-san and I were tied up as shinpan in other rings, some of the details of individual performances are lacking (for now). The youth divisions, as well as the 1.dan-2.dan division, had more participants than I can remember in years past. Some of the details I can recall for the time being:
William Thornton-Leonard actually won two of his matches in the 1st round/round robin but for some odd reason was not advanced to the 2nd round. (Still not sure why that happened).
Yasuda-san, competing in the 3.dan+ division, had arguably the toughest draw of any competitor in the entire tournament. For the first round/round robin, he drew 5.dan Hyun-sensei (TMG) and 4.dan Yoshida-sensei (TKI). Yoshida-sensei wound up advancing to the quarter-finals before losing to Tanaka-sensei (4.dan?, GKA), who went on to finish in 2nd place in the division. For myself, I drew Kim-san (3.dan, GKA) and Imai-sensei (5.dan, TMG), the latter of which placed 1st in the division. I'm looking forward to this Wednesday's class to try and piece together how everyone did in the individual competition.

The level/quality of competition was quite fierce this year and the future of SEUSKF kendo looks good with younger and stronger players emerging and developing.

In the team competition, the Memphis A team tied for 3rd place (out of 19 teams). This was the first time in the club's history that a team has placed in the SEUSKF tournament.
Memphis A consisted of:
Senpo - An Giang (3.dan)
Jiho - Walter White (1.dan)
Chuken - Don Crittenden (2.dan)
Fukusho - Rogers Gossett (3.dan)
Taisho - Kazuto Yasuda (3.dan)
En route to the 3rd place finish, the Memphis team lost to a very strong team from Georgia Kendo Alliance (GKA) which eventually went on to win the team division.

The Memphis B team had a tough road to climb from the onset. This was the first tournament for every member of the team. Unfortunately, since the A team was competing at the same time, I don't recall who the B team faced. I do remember some details, and some were provided after the fact.
Senpo Rowan Troyer (unranked, 9 yrs old, all of 4 ft tall) fought his match to a stalemate, which in team competition can be as good as a win.
Jiho Conrad Delancey (4.kyu, 12 yrs old, all of 4.5 ft tall) lost his match by only one point to a player more than twice his height and almost twice his age.
I know that Dach-sensei is very very happy with the results of both teams and is sorry that he missed out on the trip!!

Final tournament results for each division will be posted as soon as possible.
Without question, the strongest contingency for this year's tournament came from GKA.
Arai-sensei (6.dan) informed me that they have up to 80 regular students now, with some very strong 3.dan and 4.dan players. There is also a 1.dan player from GKA who is showing some strong development in using jodan. I can't recall his name, but we will all be seeing him again in the future --- he'll be someone to watch out for!

Congratulations to everyone who passed his test:
Rowan Troyer - 6.kyu
William Thornton-Leonard - 4.kyu
Conrad Delancey - 3.kyu
Billy Delancey - 1.kyu
Adam Wilson - 1.kyu
Ester Lim - 3. kyu
Larry Runnels - 1.kyu
Nick Runnels - 5.kyu
Corbin Runnels - 5.kyu
Walter White - 2.dan

(Sorry if I have forgotten anyone's name here)..

REMEMBER: There WILL be class THIS Wednesday (the day before T'giving). Class will be pretty light, with some discussion on everyone's tournament experience.

October 20, 2006

Memphis Kendoists get noticed at Iaido Nationals..

Link to the full story from the Cinncinnati Enquirer

Quoted in part:

During the last few days, Cincinnati became the center of attention for Iaido lovers, teachers and students across the country as it hosted the U.S. Samurai Sword Championships and Seminar for the first time at the Corryville Recreation Center.

The youngest competitor was 12-year-old Conrad DeLancey, 12, of Memphis. He and his father took up the sport about a year and a half ago and came to their first competition this weekend along with their teacher, Harry Dach, known as a sensei. He’s one of the younger Iaido students, Atkins said. The art takes such discipline and practice that it helps kids stay focused. It also teaches manners, posture and respect. The care used when they fold up their robes after competition rivals that of an American flag being folded.“I just always wanted to learn how to use a sword,” said the dark haired, freckled boy. “I think that’s just neat that you can know how to use it and use it without cutting yourself.”


March 21, 2006

2006 SEUSKF Stats

There are 24 dojos that make up the SEUSKF.

318 kendoka have registered with the regional and national federations.
- 76 youths (17 and under)
- 242 adults (18+)
- 259 males
- 59 females

Memphis is the 6th largest dojo in the SEUSKF with 18 registered memebers.

The top 10 are:

1. Gulf Coast Kendo Club (Bradenton, FL) - 52 members
2. Georgia Kendo Alliance (GKA) (Atlanta, GA) - 42 members
3. Koryo Kendo Club (Richmond, VA) - 36 members
4. Annapolis Kendo and Iaido Club (Annapolis, MD) - 23 members
5. Triangle Kendo Club (Raleigh-Durham, NC) - 21 memebers
6. Memphis Kendo Club (Memphis, TN) - 18 members
7. (tie) Tennessee Meiji Gaikuin (TMG) (Sweetwater, TN) - 16 members
7. (tie) Northern Virginia Budokai (Fairfax, VA) - 16 members
8. Northern Raleigh Kendo Club (Raleigh, NC) - 15 members
9. Charlotte Kendo Club (Charlotte, NC) - 14 members

The SEUSKF covers 7 states:
South Carolina
North Carolina

February 24, 2006

IMPORTANT: New SEUSKF News (2/24/06)

I received an email from Sensei Jim Parker, President of the SEUSKF, regarding some important stuff that concerns all of us ... members and non-members alike.

I'll cut right to the chase and paraphrase the email (most of it is direct quoting):

1. If you are not a member of the SEUSKF or the AUSKF, you will either pay a higher fee for participating in SEUSKF activities or you will not be allowed to participate in SEUSKF activities. It is not fair for paying members to subsidize a non-member.

2. Members of another region may be required to pay a higher fee for participating in SEUSKF activities.

3. A non-member of the SEUSKF/AUSKF will not be allowed to test.
[MKC's note: #3 is not exclusive to SEUSKF regional events where promotionals are held. It *DOES* include in-house promotions!!!]

4. Dead Lines for registration will start to be enforced. If you show up to a tournament or an exam on that day - you will most likely not be allowed to participate.
[MCK's note: Make special note of this if you have NOT signed up to join the SEUSKF/AUSKF for THIS year, you will NOT be allowed to compete at the SEUSKF annual tournament in the Fall of 2006 if you intend to sign up "on site"...]

5. Applications may begin to require you to show proof of membership. Kendo Card: If Nationals doesn't prepare-the SEUSKF will.

6. Promotion exams:
a. If you are not in bogu-there is no reason to be testing.
b. The sensei of the Dojo/Club should be involved in recommending what rank someone is Challenging. Simply putting down "judges decision" doesn't help us judge where to place this individual and could harm a better player's change of passing by being paired up with a lower skilled opponent.
c. The dojo/club sensei's signature and recommendation is a part of the application.

7. People who are not participating need to get involved to help run the tournaments, promotional exams, etc. This is part of kendo training and needs to be taught in the dojo. Every kenshi at about 3-kyu and above should be able to help score at the table, keep time, run flags & locate competitors. Sho-dans and 2-dans should be being taught how to shimpan in the dojo so that when they become 3-dan and have to judge in the SEUSKF tournaments - they will have some knowledge.

8. To test outside the SEUSKF, you must have the SEUSKF presidents signature and permission to test as well as your dojo/club sensei.

2006 SEUSKF Tournament

The SEUSKF is looking for a Dojo/Club to help put on this years Tournament. At a minimum we will need space for 3 courts and possibly 4. This primarily involves arranging for a gym, tables and chairs for the court, tape for the floor, stop watches, medals/plaques (this could be done by the SEUSKF or by the dojo/club), possible banquette, brackets (can be done by SEUSKF and/or the Club). This tournament is normally held in October or early November.

MKC Note: Memphis last hosted the SEUSKF Annual tournamnet sometime around 1997 with pretty decent success thanks to the efforts of Dach-sensei who did pretty much all the work himself. Hosting a tournament is a MAJOR undertaking, but with the number of people we now have involved in our group, it would not be an impossibility. This is something the group should perhaps consider doing -- if not this year, then maybe next year. It's not entirely fair that the same groups wind up hosting it year after year (namely, Charlotte and the Citadel groups) because of everything involved, but it's also not entirely fair that the tournament always seems to be held so far away from Memphis, thus limiting who from our group can go and get some much needed experience practicing with other kendoka. The items listed above from Parker-sensei's email barely scratch the surface of what's needed. The primary factors which need to be taken into consideration are:
1. Securing an area for the tournament (in our case, possibly the community center's gym),
2. Arranging the post-tournament banquet,
3. Securing/arranging hotel availability for travellers,
4. Securing/arranging ground transportation for any groups who fly into Memphis,
5. Sharing some of the costs for VIPs (read: normally visiting sensei from other federations who may be invited)... hotel rooms, food, transportation...

As I said, it's not impossible for a group our size to host this tournament, but if we offer to do it (it would be immediately approved, trust me), ALL of us must be committed to helping out in every way possible. It MUST be a group effort!!]

The SEUSKF is also asking dojos to host kendo AND/OR iaido seminars.
[If we are not willing or are unable to do the SEUSKF tournament, a kendo/iaido seminar would be another great opportunity for our group. In order to pull off a seminar, the same basic 5 things listed previously would still be needed (perhaps minus a banquet) but on a smaller scale. Memphis last hosted a NATIONAL iaido seminar a few years ago which was met with much success.]

MORE NOTES: If Memphis were to host the SEUSKF tournament or a kendo/iaido seminar, there is a GOOD chance that we would get players from other federations to participate, due to Memphis' central location and airport accessibility


We are trying to get a SEUSKF web site up to help post more information. Again your input and assistance is always appreciated. The most important thing is to spread the information that is put out to other members.


February 02, 2006

SEUSKF News Items

2005 SEUSKF Tournament Results:

Shodan-Nidan Division:
1. Chang Oh (GKA)
2. Yuki DeSouza (GKA)
3. Nobuhiro Sekita (TMG)

Sandan+ Division:
1. Kotaro Yoshida (Triangle)
2. Yukihisa Tokunaga (Triangle)
3. Yoshimi DeSouza (GKA)
3. Daisuke Sugiyama (Dartmouth)

Seniors (45 and up):
1. Shinobu Maeda (TMG)
2. Don Seto (Shidogaikuin, DC)
3. Kunitoshi Arai (GKA)
3. Sokichi Kishi (Orlando)

Junior Youth (12 and under)
1. Ryo Eguchi (Torrance)
2. Brandon Oh (Koryo)
3. John Murden, Jr. (CKIC)

Senior Youth (13-17 yrs old):
1. Yuki DeSouza (GKA)
2. Akira Hara (GKA)
3. Uendae Park (GKA)
3. Nobuhiro Sekita (TMG)

1. Yoshimi DeSouza (GKA)
2. Yatsuki Hoang (Koryo)
3. Jessica O'Quinn (GKA)
3. Ryoko Barr (GKA)

1. Yoo Chong (GKA)
2. Tae Youn Park (GKA)
3. Shunsuke Kishi (Orlando)
3. Pavel Litterback (GKA)



Ken Strawn's Travelling Tip:

When you fly to a Kendo event, you may have encountered the problem [Ken has]. Besides [his] bogu bag and shinai bag, [he] must carry an additional case for [his] kendo prosthetic. When you fly coach, you are restricted to two bags. Twice [he has] had to pay an additional $80 for the third bag.

[Ken] recently flew to California for a kodansha test and this happened again. The lady processing [his] luggage told [him] to tape two of them together and the airline would count it as one. On the return trip, [he] tried this with duct tape --- and it worked!

Remember though, in this post-9/11 world, to put the tape on in a manner so that the suitcase can be opened for inspection without the agents having to cut away your tape and lose one of your bags.

A couple notes from the SEUSKF Board of Director's Meeting --- 17 Sep 2005

1. Treasurer's report -- ending balance as of 9/14/05 was $7,961.05
Total SEUSKF membership: 274

2. Promotional issues: Ken Strawn brought up his feelings that dojo promotionals are getting out of hand. No procedure for holding the promotional has ever been sent to the dojos. Main issue is that permission must be asked of the Vice President of Promotions (Mike Quinn) or results will be nullified. Dojo promotionals can go no higher than 1-kyu. New procedure will be issued.

3. Citadel Seminar -- March 9/10 with Kakehashi Sensei (8-dan) and Miyazaki Sensei (7-dan). SEUSKF agress to pay for one sensei's ticket. A seminar fee will be charged to help cover the other sensei's ticket. Suggested to hold spring promotional in conjunction with this seminar in order to promote attendance (spring promotional usually held at TMG). Plan is for only SEUSKF members allowed to attend.

4. Mentoring -- Maeda-sensei requests travel expenses be paid by SEUSKF for his traveling once a month to assist new dojo in Nashville. After reviewing SEUSKF policies and procedures, dojo must request mentor ahead of time and nothing has ever been set about paying mileage for mentors. As SEUSKF cannot afford to send mentors to every dojo who requests one, it should be the responsibility of the dojo to pay travel expenses for a mentor as much as possible. It is decided to pay Maeda-sensei who traveled in good faith for the two trips he already had made and to decide future requests on an individual basis.

5. Arai-sensei has been asked to become Vice President of Competitions
6. Next meeting is set for January 28, 2006 in Charlotte.


SEUSKF Board of Directors:
President - James Parker (
VP-Promotions -- Mike Quinn (
VP-Education -- Shinobu Maeda (
Secretary -- Eddie Miller (
Treasurer -- Ken Strawn (
At Large -- Kentaro Hara (
At Large -- John Murden (
At Large -- Kotaro Yoshida (

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