2021-2022 Season Highlights

Hey everyone!

We’ve come to the end of the 2021-2022 season! We’d like to say a big thanks to the exec team for leading the club this season and to all our new and returning members for their effort and dedication that continues to make McGill Naginata Club great! Let’s take a moment to look back on the highlights of this season.

First of all, we’d like to give a shout-out to all our new members. Welcome to McGill Naginata Club! Many of you transitioned from learning how to hold a naginata in September to competing in the Quebec Regional Taikai and the Canadian Winter Classic a few months later! Keep up the great work!

We’ve been training hard at weekly practices:    

Group photos after practice in the Activities Room – October 2021
McGill Naginata Alumni dropped by for a visit – November 2021
New members who joined in September take part in teaching the new cohort of beginners at the Winter Activities Night – December 2021
McGill Naginata Club gets festive for the holidays! – December 2021
Group photos after practice – March 2022
Final practice of the season – April 2022

In addition to practice, we had a few competitions and seminars throughout the year!

McGill Naginata Club made an excellent showing at the annual Canadian Naginata Federation seminar hosted in Montreal in October! Kudos to everyone who attended! In addition to advancing their naginata skills, they had the chance to network with sensei and fellow naginata athletes from across Canada!

Group photos at the Canada Naginata Federation seminar – October 2021

In November, McGill Naginata Club participated in the 2021 Quebec Regional Taikai. We were joined by members from the Rosemont Naginata Club as well as the Saint-Eustache Naginata Club. Congratulations to Akiko for winning the Fighting Spirit Award!

Quebec Regional Taikai Group photos – November 2021
Quebec Regional Taikai – Shiai photos

In March, McGill participated in the 2022 Canadian Winter Classic and was joined by the Rosemont dojo from Montreal and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre dojo from Toronto.

Canadian Winter Classic Engi-Kyogi competition
Canadian Winter Classic Shiai competition

McGill had a great showing at the tournament. Grace and Akiko won the Best Match Award for their Engi performance! Grace won first place in team shiai! Audrey and Grace both won the Fighting Spirit award! Congratulations on their achievements!

Canadian Winter Classic – Grace and Akiko in their award winning engi-kyogi match!
Canadian Winter Classic – Grace (white tasuki) in team shiai competition
Canadian Winter Classic – Audrey and Khoa in Engi-Kyogi

In addition to tournaments and practices, we had many fun socials throughout the year including Karaoke night, Jackbox parties, Bubble tea, and watching movies.

Having a social at the cinema!

Moreover, McGill Naginata Club got awesome new jackets with the logo designed by one of our club alumna, Sage!

Group photo with the new McGill Naginata Jackets!

We would also like to make a farewell announcement to our senpai who are graduating this year and to Simon sensei who is moving to Vancouver (and perhaps starting up a club there too)! Congratulations to Mei, Grace, Akiko and Marco for finishing undergrad at McGill and congratulations to Simon on his new job! We thank them for being our friends and mentors and for their leadership in McGill Naginata Club! We wish them the best in their future endeavours and we hope to see them at future seminars and taikais!

Thanks to everyone for making this season a success and we hope to see you next season!

Welcome back! Outdoor practices Fall 2021

Welcome back to our returning members and a warm welcome to all our new members! Thank you to everyone who made it to our first practice of the year! The school year is ramping up and so is McGill Naginata. While the weather is still suitable, we will be holding practice outdoors at Jeanne-Mance park on the field across the street from the statue on:

Wednesdays: 5-7pm

Saturdays: 3-5pm

Please note that Covid-19 precautions are in effect; masks and vaccine passports are required at practice. Stay tuned for more information on the announcement of indoor practices and upcoming events!

Fall 2020 – McGill Naginata Online Sessions

Most unfortunately, we will not be holding open practices, official practices, and fun events like Shinjin Taikai and the much anticipated CNF seminar and taikai this Fall 2020 semester.

Fear not though, for we are all still here! For advanced naginata enthusiasts, for beginners who are hoping to join the club, and even for those who are still unsure of what this all is still, we are running online sessions every Wednesday evening from 6-8pm EST.

These are virtual events we organized for you to see what practicing naginata is like and to learn about the culture behind this wonderful martial art. Not only that, it’s a great opportunity to meet and chat with the wonderful people that make up our club.

September 23 Session – ft. Frank & Julia

Come on out, take a break from your video lectures (or jobs), and hang out with us. We look forward to seeing you all!

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!

McGill at the 2019 World Naginata Championship

The tournament

On the 5th & 6th of July, in Wiesbaden, Germany, members of the McGill Naginata Club had the opportunity to represent Canada and compete in the World Naginata Championship and the World Goodwill tournament.

Team Canada after the World’s tournament

Team Canada got the following results:

Zen Nihon KataMarija Landekic & Antoine fromentinTop 10
Men EngiAndrew Boyd & Jordan Macklem4th Place
Women Team ShiaiMarija Landekic, Lutan Liu, Mary Phan2nd Place
Women Individual ShiaiMarija LandekicTop 8
Men Individual Shiai (Goodwill)William ChoiTop 8
Men Individual Shiai (Goodwill)Kevin HalléTop 8
Women Individual Shiai
Julia Luo4th place

Simon Bruins also competed in the goodwill tournament for the Dutch team

The Seminar

After the tournaments was a 3-days Naginata seminar followed by a grading where all the attendants could practice with people from various countries.

Congratulation to Marija Landekic who successfully graded for yondan.

The Germany trip

Beyond the tournament and the seminar this was a fun and exciting trip for everyone who attended.

Jeremy and Simon having fun at the Sayonara Party

Hello, Winter 2018

Thank you to everyone who came out to our open practice! Congrats to everyone who graded, you all levelled up! 🙂

For this Winter semester, our practices will be in the Aerobics room on the basement level of the McGill Athletics Centre:

  • Wednesdays: 9 – 10:30 PM
  • Saturdays: 1 – 3 PM

Check the Events tab to see this season’s events!


Fall 2017 Semester Wrap-Up

It’s that time of year again: holidays are coming up, meaning finals seasons for students, and more importantly, we’re approaching the last couple of practices before we break for the New Year. This semester saw many new members join the club and a growing group of us representing McGill at the CNF tournament. Here’s to more people learning about Naginata and growing the club!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the end of semester party at Simon’s place this Saturday Dec 2 after practice!

Winter Semester Wrap-Up

Wow, it was our most eventful season thus far! We had our first Gasshuku and were whipped into shape, attended and competed in the JSS Seminar & Yamauchi Memorial Tournament in the States, and held two gradings.

Thank you to the JSS for hosting the seminar and tournament, to the visiting sensei for coaching us all. We learned much, and had a wonderful time meeting and practicing with everyone. Special thanks to Ellery-sensei for hosting us at his home, it held an impressive number of people.
Great job Kevin and Will for bringing back second in Dangai Engi!

Finally, congratulations to everyone who graded these past couple of months, so happy to see us improve and grow as a club

2016 Fall Events

Autumn has come and with it the last of this year’s Naginata events!

Oct 8-9, ECNF Seminar – East-Coast Naginata Federation (US Naginata Federation) is hosting a seminar in Alexandria, Virginia on Oct 8-9th, 2016. If you wish to attend, speak to Simon or Marija soon. This seminar is always on Thanksgiving weekend so the CNF often participates. Car pooling is an option.

Oct 15-16, CNF Seminar and Taikai – Canadian Naginata Federation seminar and tournament. The most important event of the year for the Naginata community in Canada! Our annual seminar with sensei from around the world, national championship tournament, and grading up to 2dan (tentative) this year. Talk to Simon or Marija for more details.

Oct 28- Nov 1 ENF Championships and Seminar– European Naginata Federation Championships. Hosted in Brussels this year. Keep an eye out for videos and results!
Event Trailer: https://youtu.be/QuWQ88gU8rY

Nov 19-20th, RMNF Seminar, Indiana – Rocky Mountain Naginata Federation (US Naginata Federation) is hosting a seminar in Batesville, Indiana on Nov 19-20th with Takami Tanner-sensei! If you wish to attend, speak to Simon or Marija. The CNF often participates, so car pooling is an option.

Dec 3-4th, AJNF Taikai – All Japan Naginata Federation Tournament. The #1 viewing event of the Naginata calendar, if you watch no other tournament, this is the one to pay attention to! Whether streamed live or posted on youtube, videos are usually available thanks to the hard work of the foreign Naginata community living in Japan. A guide to the event may be published by the Canadian community, owning to the success of last year’s guide.


March Updates

The MNC is now well into it’s first semester, so plans for the end-of-semester practice are well under way. The 3rd week in April will be our final practice of the Winter semester (officially). However, that doesn’t mean practice stops! We have now secured our bookings for the summer semester so please check the times and dates listed.

Note that we’ll have two practices in the Studio instead of the Aerobics room (May 14th, and June 22nd), but that all other practices will now be in the Aerobics room itself. And thank goodness we’re not going to be in the fiery hell of Gym 2 during the summer…

Practice days have changed from Tuesdays to Wednesdays, and as the gym closes at 9pm, practice will finish at 8:30pm during the summer, which means (!!!) more time for beers! 😉

Saturdays will continue as usual.

Stay tuned for news of outdoor practices at times/days in addition to normal practice too 😀