Student Impression of Noble House Kenjutsu Dojo
I joined Noble House Kenjutsu after spending considerable time looking for a martial art school in Edmonton that complimented my interests. I wanted something that I, as a martial arts novice, could learn, but had significant depth to keep me challenged for years, and that would also compliment my passion for history. I found all of this at Noble House Kenjutsu. Through Noble House I found a community of individuals devoted to teaching and learning the traditional methods and techniques of classical Japanese swordsmanship. Even with my lack of martial arts experience, the members of Noble House welcomed me in my pursuit of knowledge, challenged me to strive for perfection, and always supported my development with great patience and encouragement.
Training with Noble House Kenjutsu, while pursuing an academic specialization in Japanese history, allowed me to further appreciate the historical significance of kenjutsu and Noble House's role in keeping this traditional martial art alive. Moving away from Edmonton to attend law school meant that I would be unable to regularly train at Noble House - a decision that was very difficult to make.
Despite making the decision to leave, I continually return to Edmonton to train. Not only am I always welcome back, but both the students and Sensei of Noble House Kenjutsu spend hours providing me with additional refinement, teaching new technique and ensuring that I am still able to progress in my training and knowledge. The environment of continually sharing knowledge, experience and the kenjutsu system is one of the characteristics that first drew me to Noble House and continues to encourage me each time I return.
Since 2011, I have had the incredible opportunity to teach kenjutsu at the Ottawa Aikikai dojo. I count myself fortunate to be able to share kenjutsu here and have a group of students who also appreciate the martial and historical significance of this style, are excited to have the chance to learn, and passionate in their training. Through teaching kenjutsu I have learned to greatly appreciate two aspects of Noble House and this style of kenjutsu.
Primarily, Sensei’s knowledge of and focus on the details provides an unparalleled understanding of body mechanics and its interaction with the sword that I have not experienced in any other martial art. This is complimented by Sensei’s willingness to share all his knowledge and focus on providing detailed and personal feedback which allows his students to not only perform the techniques better, but learn a method in which they can also teach and pass on the details of this art.
Second, the style of kenjutsu taught at Noble House provides value and insight for students who run the spectrum from no background in martial arts to decade’s worth of experience. In teaching students with this wide variety of experience, I continually see moments where the students realize aspects of the inherent logic, martial efficiency, artistic beauty and ingenuity within this style of kenjutsu. For a martial art novice this may be feeling some of the power generated when the body and sword movement begin to combine, while for an experienced martial artist it has been described to me as appreciating the practical and martial application of the deep theories of distance and body movement found within this style of kenjutsu.
Overall, I am incredibly thankful to have trained with Noble House Kenjutsu over the years and that I have been honoured with the opportunity to share and help preserve the history, techniques, theory, and beauty of kenjutsu. I encourage anyone interested in either beginning martial arts for the first time or wanting to learn further details or another perspective on weapons based training to consider Noble House Kenjutsu.
Jeremy Ottawa, Ontario