Halifax Kendo Club

Ancient History

The following is a brief history of our club (by Steve Quinlan to 2005, and various members from 2005 on (Jason Heath, Steve Harris and Adam Nelson) from its opening until now. To skip to the more recent history, click here




 The Halifax Kendo Club (originally the Dalhousie Kendo Club) was founded by Mark A. MacLeod in September 1998. Originally trained in Italy, Mark wanted to continue his practice of Kendo here in Canada as well as introduce an essentially unknown martial art to the maritime provinces. Upon receiving special permission from Sensei Roy Asa, president of the CKF, as well as him agreeing to become our club's official sponsor, the club was opened!

 Classes began shortly thereafter, being taught by Mark MacLeod and Yoko Nonaka (Sandan) with an initial class of over One Hundred people!

 As the Dalhousie Kendo Club had just started, the students had to conduct their practice without any equipment for the first two weeks. No Shinai, Hakama/Gi, nothing. We focused on basic footwork and kiai, although "Suburi" was still attempted.

 Our equipment finally arrives, and we're finally well underway. Strangely enough, everything is a lot harder when you have a shinai in your hands! Mark introduces a new practice routine: 1000 suburi every class! Whether we practiced for one hour or two, we met our quota. Hard work, but it only took about 1/2 an hour in total ;-)

 Soon after the club opened, we had two very important guests come and practice with us: Sensei Roy Asa and Andrew Asa. Asa Sensei gave an informal seminar on basics, and formalities, as well as answer any questions or address topics that various students had. Kendo enthusiasm reached critical mass... (Movie to follow soon.)

 Some of the Dalhousie Kendo Club members are not satisfied with only 6 hours practice per week! Yoko Nonaka starts to hold an extra hour of practice every week for the die-hards. These include: Steve Quinlan, Trevor Ryan, Chris Digout, Louis-Paul Chiasson, Cheryl Hurley, Eugene Wong, Eric MacLeod, Sung Lee and Chris Banks. Thanks Yoko!

 The Dalhousie Kendo Club holds its first annual tournament.

 Members from the Dalhousie Kendo Club begin to hold practices at Saint Mary's University in order to further promote Kendo in the city. Some of the members who attended both "clubs" were practicing on the order of 10 hours per week!




 Mark Macleod resigns as club president/treasurer and turns it over to a new executive consisting of club members in order to pursue his studies in Med-School. The new executive consists of: Dave Wood, President. Steve Quinlan, V.P., and Trevor Newcombe, treasurer.

 Dave finishes school, and gets engaged! He soon resigns as club president, with the new executive consisting of: Sung Lee, President, Steve Quinlan, V.P., and Trevor Newcombe, treasurer.

 The club is renamed to the Halifax Kendo Club.

 Mark MacLeod and eight other members from the club go on a "Kendo Trip" across Europe!! 15 near-death experiences, the "smartie-can" incident, and manipulative "hostesses" are all but memories now.

 The 2nd annual tournament is held.

 The executive is changed around again slightly. Steve Quinlan, President, Baha Baydar, V.P., Trevor Newcombe, treasurer.




 Various members of the club begin travelling to Toronto to practice at different clubs and meet other Kendoka. The infamous Halifax Kendo Club Road Trips begin, and an Elite group of "Kendo Friends" results: Steve Quinlan, Cheryl Hurley, Tim Rasmusson, Baha Baydar, Ryan McKinnon, Crystal Rose, and Trevor Newcombe. The stories and pics from those are not for internet usage...sorry. But key terms like "Lemons", "Ryans Bucket", "Tim's Sheep" and "No, I'm @#$%-ing %#&@-faced!" ought be enough.

 The Aztec Adventures begin, usually consisting of Baha, Steve, Cheryl, and Tim. Interesting "necklaces" and "head gear", as well as quotes like "Hey, these pants are pretty comfy!" still bring smiles to all our faces. hehe.

 HKC road trips start including the UoT open, the Ontario open, and the Detroit open. The "Mirror Incident" (and many, many more) resonates through all our memories even to this day.

 Sensei Bryan Asa runs a Kendo seminar at the HKC, making many new friends and preparing five HKC members for their Ikkyu grading...all of who passed! Re-match (from the Ontario Open) between Sung and Asa Sensei. (Movie to follow soon).




 Four members from the HKC receive their Shodan (Steve, Ryan, Tim, Trevor), and three others receive their Ikkyu (Cheryl, Crystal, Baha).

 Steve takes a break from Kendo for two months due to some surgery. Cheryl, Baha, and Tim keep Steve from sneaking his bogu on before he's supposed to. Thanks guys...I guess.

 The third annual HKC tournament is held. This time, due to some "funding" the HKC pays for hotel rooms for any visitors that want to come and participate. We end up having almost 50 participants coming from the Montreal Kendo Club, McGill Kendo Club, and Quebec Kendo Club to name a few. We also had Sensei D'Orangville, and Sensei Raymond acting as Shinpan during the tournament. Raymond Sensei also ran a Kendo Seminar the next day. Everyone had a great time, and are already excited for the next tournament!

 Ohmi Sensei (7th Dan Iaido, 6th Dan Kendo) holds an Iaido Seminar here in Halifax, and then practices Kendo with us. Awesome! (Movie to follow soon.)

 Members of the HKC are invited to attend a Team Canada practice weekend at McGill University by Sensei D'Orangville, a practice session with Kimura Sensei (from Japan) with the Montreal Kendo Club, and an excellent Thanksgiving dinner at Dave and Kozue's house! Most of the HKC members were in complete agreement that that was "The best Kendo event we've ever been to!". TC events included meeting and doing Keiko with all of Men's and Women's Team Canada, geiko with both teams head coaches Murao Sensei, and Noda Sensei. Geiko with TC manager Tizzard Sensei, and of course geiko with Sensei Roy Asa. The session with Kimura Sensei included basic waza, and the first seven Kendo Kata. Following that was some awesome geiko, and Dave Stankaitis' famous Kirikaeshi session with Kimura Sensei.

 Two more HKC trips: The 2002 Ontario open (where Ohmi Sensei gives Steve some "words of wisdom", right Tim?) and the 2003 UoT open.

 Last but not least, while waiting for Cheryl to get dressed and join us for an Aztec adventure, Tim and Steve invent "The Tube"...*shudder*.




 Sensei Richard Tizzard visits the HKC for some practice. Wow, he's good.

 On August 19th, Sensei Roy Asa visits the HKC. Its been four years since his last time in Halifax, and he was very pleased with the progress our club has made in that time. On August 21st, Sensei Glen Yamada visits the HKC. This will have been his first visit with us, and we look forward to many more.

 Oct.4th / 2003 will be the HKC's 4th annual tournament.

 Hurricane Juan hits Halifax on Sept. 29th / 2003.

 Oct. 24th / 2003, the tournament is finally re-scheduled for Nov.22/2003. Sensei Matthew Raymond will be attending as head judge.

 Nov 9th / 2003 Two members from the HKC, Chris Hamilton and Steve Quinlan head to Toronto for the 2003 Ontario Open.




 March 28th, 2004. The 18th annual UoT invitational tournament was held with an astonishing 260 participants! Although a somewhat smaller group than normal, Halifax was represented by Steve Quinlan during the event....and the only person wearing the white w/ black stripe style Hakama and Gi. Thanks to Montreal Kendo Club for adopting me onto their "B" team.

 October 23rd-24th, 2004. The HKC hosts its annual Kendo event. This year the focus was placed on the seminar aspect vs. a tournament aspect. An in club tournament was held as a starting point for the rest of the weekend. For the third year in a row, Sensei Matthew Raymond visited Halifax and took the role of head judge and seminar leader. Christina Grava from the UoT club also took part in the events. Nine hours of Kendo in one weekend...what more needs to be said?

 November 28th, 2004. Once again, the HKC represents the Maritimes at the Ontario Senior Open which was again hosted by the JCCC. This year, Steve Quinlan and Chris Banks attended the event. First off, Chris managed to win 3rd Place in the Shodan/Nidan division! Secondly, we assembled a team which Andrew Asa (Tournament Coordinator) dubbed "Team North America" as it consisted of Chris and I (Halifax), Antoine (McGill), Steve (Seattle), and a guy from Buffalo who's name I just can't remember. For a mish-mash assembled team, we did quite well. We won our first match, which was great. Our second match was against the JCCC B team. We managed to tie them and forced a tie breaking bout, which the JCCC won. Great fun! December 5th, 2004. The annual CKF grading. This year, two people from the HKC successfully challenged for their new rank. Steve Quinlan passed his Nidan exam, and Paul Ottaway passed his Ikkyu...even though the airport lost his Shinai and Bokuto! Movies coming soon.




 March 10th-13th, 2005. Ohmi Sensei of the JCCC visits the HKC for the second time. He leads a number of Kendo and Iaido sessions. Everyone had a great time, and we can't wait for his next visit! April 14th, 2005. A sad day at the HKC, as one of our "core" members is moving away and hence leaving our club. Kim is returning home to Ontario after completing her studies here at Dalhousie University. She plans on continuing to practice Kendo as well as Iaido, with her sights set on either the JCCC or UoT Kendo clubs. Good Luck Kim! We'll miss you.

 October 14th - 16th, 2005. Raymond Sensei of the UofT Kendo Club visited us again for our annual tournament and seminar. Steve Quinlan took first, Sean O'Neil had second and third was split between Marc Michaud and Jason Heath, TJ received the Kigurai Award and Ryan O'Neil showed true fighting spirit and was awarded the clubs 2kg Shinai. Day two was the seminar focusing on basics, and day two was Kata 1, 2 & 3.

 November, 2005. Steve Quinlan leaves Halifax, NS for Kingston, Ont where he leads us from afar and in spirit (Kingston Kendo Club). In his wake he leaves Jason Heath and TJ Clarke to run the classes. Executive changes: Jason Heath, President; Lance Bohaker, Vice-President; Simone Fearn, Vice-President; Marc Michaud, Treasurer. Good luck to them and good luck in Kingston Steve!

 December 4th, 2005. Jason Heath, Steve Harris, and TJ Clarke traveled to Toronto to challenge for Ikkyu and the annual CKF grading. All three passed and had an amazing time at the JCCC during their two day stay in Toronto.

 December 7th, 2005. Club temporarily closes for Holidays and for assessment.




 January 5th, 2006. HKC re-opens for the new year.

 January, 2006. TJ goes on his first tour to the Mid-east. Expected return, July 2006.

 March, 2006. More changes for executive positions due to absence and time out for school. Marc goes on to complete a thesis, leaving Jason and Lance to continue with his duties as Treasure. Simone has other interests that take her away from classes.

 July, 2006. TJ returns from his adventures. And another member, Chris Banks, also returns. Welcome back, to you both.

 August, 2006. Demonstration held in Yarmouth, NS, goes well.

 September, 2006. HKC continues. Some minor updates and additions to the website.

 October, 2006. We have seminar with two guest Sensei. Johnsons Sensei, and Hogi Sensei.

 December, 2006. Visits from Chris Hamilton (Hawaii) and Chris and Yaku (Japan). A hitting dummy is constructed, but I have no way to bring it to class at the moment.




 January, 2007. More website updates. First "Little Japanese New year" Demo Held. There must have been over 1500 people there!

 March, 2007. Some changes to the Club's Committee.

 June, 2007. Cristina and Steve visit from Kingston. Welcome back - even if it is just for a week. First time the Hitting Dummy makes it to class.

 July/August, 2007. New Class Schedule created to help with budgeting. Over next several weeks there are a few classes held at Bushudokai, Halifax. (Thanks Ray!)

 September 17th 2007. We have to close. There are no further practices, out side of what we do at home.

 Through to December 2007. Plans are in the works... A new 'committee' is created consisting of: Terrance Clarke, President; Steve Harris, Vise-President; and Jason Heath, Treasurer.




 January, 2008. A better idea of when the Club may re-open (at this time "Spring or so" is as close as we know.

 March 28th, 2008. Classes begin! It's currently only 1 hour or so a week. But we are practicing!

 June, 2008. Classes move to Banook Canoe Club for the summer.

 September, 2008. Classes move back to Southdale-North Woodside Elementary.

 November 21, 2008 Club members Steve Harris and Adam Nelson travel to Kingston, Ontario for some special practices with Quinlan sempai in preparation for their Shodan and Ikkyu gradings respectively.

 November 23, 2008. Steve and Adam attend and pass their gradings in Toronto, Ontario.


Recent History