A Year in Review 2019-2020

What an eventful year it has been! As we prepare to open up a new semester, let’s do a quick recap on what McGill Naginata has been up to this past year.

Smiles bright with anticipation for new beginnings

Winding down from World’s, we continued to train hard, welcomed new beginners, and held our Fall 2019 Shinjin Taikai. It’s as always, a lovely way for our kouhais (junior members) to demonstrate the fruits of their training.

Shinjin Taikai Scoresheet

In October, our members helped organize the second Martial Arts Day at McGill. It was amazing to see so many students come out to give everything a try. Additionally, we were joined by McGill Aikido, McGill Kendo Club, and the McGill Jukendo and Tankendo club. Each club was able to showcase their art at the end and what an amazing demo it was. Overall, it was a very successful day and we hope that this event further bolstered their interest and awareness of the martial arts.

Coming up was the annual CNF seminar and taikai. It was held in Toronto so we had the pleasure of taking a road trip there. What’s a better way for everyone to bond than a four hour car ride with good snacks, good music, and most importantly, great company?

It’s so exciting to see the development of the Canadian Naginata community. From all the memorable fights we witnessed, CNF’s high caliber is clear for all to see. We observed over 60 competitors this year, each and every one displaying amazing talent and potential. CNF will always be something to look forward to every year.

Denny’s – another end to CNF

We opened up 2020 with yet another Shinjin Taikai. As it’s stipulated that kouhai can only compete if they have been in bogu for three semesters or less, we’ll need to start prepping our new kouhai for bogu otherwise we won’t have enough competitors for the next Shinjin Taikai!

In February, Rachel Hahn-Morris, President of the British Naginata Association and chief instructor of the London Naginata Dojo came to visit us. Although it was only one practice, our members surely learned a lot from her in bogu practice and jigeiko.

Please come visit again, Rachel (front, center)!

Soon after came the notorious gasshuku (training camp). What’s notable is that it was our first ever gasshuku away from Montreal and the McGill gym. This has been a long term goal of our’s to make this happen and we have the efforts of our dedicated exec team to thank for making an away gasshuku come to fruition. Eating, sleeping, and training hard together was truly an experience that we’ll never forget. To top that off, the Red Barn had no showers, truly an unprecedented ordeal for McGill Naginata. That being said, the smell of our sweat (and tears) is essential to a true gasshuku experience.

A group photo before it begins, when we’re all still as fresh as daisies
She said, “show your personalities guys!” – Mei (far left) foreshadows our near futures

Thankfully, there’s exactly one week between gasshuku and the 2nd annual Winter Classic Taikai – the optimal recovery time for the optimal level of success, n’est ce pas? The thing that makes these taikais something to anticipate is seeing our friends from Toronto and Edmonton. It was a full day of shiai which was incredibly rewarding to see and be a part of.

Winter Classic participants. We missed you Edmonton!

Lastly, we would like to bid farewell to William Choi, our beloved first captain of the McGill Naginata Club. He was also one of the first ever members to join the club and has since, dedicated his utmost efforts in making invaluable contributions to not only the McGill club, but to Team Canada as well at World’s. We wish him the best of luck on his future endeavours and hope to see him again!

As everyone knows, the year was abruptly cut short when the pandemic hit Canada and all facilities closed down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, we remain optimistic that we can continue our practice in a safe way as we prepare for the opening of a new semester. McGill Naginata will be back in action soon, so until then!

2019 JSS Seminar & Taikai

A belated results update – McGill had an amazing showing at the JSS Yamauchi Memorial Taikai this past March!!!!

Thanks to the ECNF for hosting a great tournament, to Frank’s family for making our stay so comfortable. Congratulations to all and keep up the hard work!

Results

Dangai Engi
Second: Karina Aksakal/Célia Slama

Dangai Shiai Women’s Division
First: Joanna Nguyen
Second: Akiko Nakagawa
Third: Henintsoa Rakatomalala

Dangai Shiai Men’s Division
First: Keisuke Nakajima
Second: Sam Zhou

Yudansha Shiai Men’s Division
Second: Simon Bruins

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CNF Seminar 2018

Where can you get beat up by people from across Canada and learn from real Japanese renshi? — That’s right, at the 2018 CNF Seminar and Tournament here in Montreal.

On the Saturday we split into groups and worked closely with sensei from Canada, the U.S., and Japan. Everyone who came learned something new!

On Sunday, we showed off our skills in Shiai and Engi matches. Special thanks to new members who showed up on Sunday to run the tournament (we couldn’t have made it work without you).

Tournament Photos

Results

Congratulations to the following members of McGill Naginata:

Marija Landekic

  • 1st place yudansha shiai
  • 3rd place yudansha engi
  • 2nd place team shiai

Simon Bruins

  • Kanto-sho award (fighting spirit)

William Choi

  • 1st place dangai shiai
  • 1st place engi dangai
  • 2nd place team shiai

Helen Liu

  • 2nd place team shiai

Julia Luo 

  • 3rd place dangai shiai

Sam Zhou

  • 2nd place team shiai

Henintsoa Rakotomalala

  • 3rd place engi dangai

Mei Yang

  • 3rd place engai dangai

… and all the members of McGill naginata who graded. Everyone passed!

Toronto Taikai and Summer Fun

Hey everyone,

A lot has happened since our last update: execs have changed, spring practice has ended… oh and we went to drove to Toronto to participate in the annual Toronto Taikai.

Our team was represented in Toronto by the following members of McGill Naginata:

Will, Kevin, Julia, Sam, Chris, Karina, Simon and Marija

Engi Matches:
1st Place – Kevin and Will
2nd place – Sam and Julia

Individual Shiai Matches:
3rd Place – Marija

Team Shiai Matches:
1st Place – (Julia, Marija)
2nd Place – (Chris, Simon)

Huge thanks to the U of T Naginata Club for organizing the taikai, and to the Luo family for hosting the team over the weekend!!

Summer Practices

Note that we will be practicing at slightly different hours over the summer:

  • Wednesdays: 6:30-8:00pm
  • Saturdays: 1:00-3:00pm

You can find us in the Aerobics Room of the McGill Sports Complex.

See the Schedule page for more details.

Have an exciting summer, and we look forward to seeing you all next September!

2018 JSS Seminar & Taikai

A full day’s worth of seminar info overload, an amazing tournament, and who could forget the dogs at Frank’s place 😆

We had the amazing opportunity to practice with people from all over the US and Canada. McGill Naginata played in all Dangai divisions of the tournament (some of us for the first time!!), and played in the Yudansha tournament as well.

Many thanks to the JSS for hosting the NY Seminar and Taikai, to the sensei for all the feedback and learning.

Results:

McGill Naginata was represented by –
Henintsoa, Joanna, Mei, Sage, Chris, Frank, Julia, Sam, Chloe, Helen, Will, Kevin, Simon

Dangai Engi
2nd Place – Kevin and Will

Dangai Men’s Individual Matches
2nd Place – Kevin
3rd Place – Will

Dangai Women’s Individual Matches
2nd Place – Helen
3rd Place – Julia

Special shoutout to Frank’s parents for accommodating us and providing food. The trip was that much more comfortable and enjoyable thanks to them.

We look forward to attending the seminar & tournament again next year!

CNF 2017

The CNF Seminar and Tournament this past weekend was a great success and an amazing opportunity to practice with people from all over Canada! Congrats to those who competed & graded and thanks to everyone who came to represent our club!!

McGill Naginata Club was represented by:

Marija Landekic
– 1st place Yudansha Engi

Simon Bruins
– 1st place Yudansha Engi

William Choi
– 1st-kyu
– 2nd place Dangai Engi
– 3rd place Team Shiai

Kevin Hallé
– 1st-kyu
– 2nd place Dangai Engi
– 2nd place Team Shiai

Helen Liu
– 2nd-kyu

Julia Luo
– 2nd kyu
– 1st place Team Shiai

Sam Zhou
– 3rd-kyu
– 2nd place Team Shiai

Frank Stabile
– 3rd-kyu

Chloe Wang, Virna Xi, Paul Wei, Sage Minard, Kevin Lee, Chris Axon