Student Impression of Noble House Kenjutsu dojo
This is a condensed testimonial yet valued account of my life as a student and as a friend of this special and unique school.
In September of 1996 I just happened to come across a posted flier at Edmonton’s Fringe Festival advertising a 2 day introductory seminar about the Japanese Samurai Arts. I being a martial artist since the age of twelve and also being of skeptical mind was very reluctant to pursue this rare opportunity. Once I made my inquiries I was instructed to meet with the current members of this Kenjutsu School and the rest of the prospective students. Upon my arrival an immediate feeling of comfort and acceptance manifested itself. Everyone I had met had come from different backgrounds and walks of life. Some were current martial arts instructors of other schools, while others were university or college students. Most members I have later come to realize were professionals working in Healthcare, Law Enforcement and even specialized branches of the Canadian government. Looking around I felt content knowing I’d be studying with those with a seemingly higher aptitude to learn and maturity level to maintain good training rapport.
More than 16 years later I’m still here and loving every moment of it. I could hardly fathom how anyone would not want to be part of a group of valued friends were everyone cares about everyone else’s progress and development aside from their own.
Our Sensei shares his compassion to teach exactly what he was taught and that is to preserve the originality of our specific schools philosophy and terms of martial engagement. The attention to detail in the seemingly simplest of techniques has shown to be the important building blocks for carrying out higher level techniques safely and effectively. For someone that wants to run before learning how to walk this would undoubtedly pose quite a problem especially if you are looking for a quick fix.
Like other schools, a hierarchy of discipline is established and enforced. Rather than to support one’s own illusions of power, the primary focus is to learn and to maintain as much as possible the original structure of the samurai and to ultimately provide a safe environment for all school members. Previously having the compliance of a brick wall I have personally gained much from this being on both ends of the stick; Senpai versus Kohai.
My Sensei’s delivery deems one to listen unyieldingly with eyes wide open. The sacrifice, respect, kindness and patience he has thus far extended has simply been amazing. Notwithstanding his method of teaching according to the aptitude and physical prowess of each member, our Sensei has always focused on sharing with us as much as possible - Equally. Our Sensei has definitely proven his sincerity to care about our development in this one gesture alone and as such we have all adopted this way of helping one another when required.
Generosity being of a prevailing trait in this school, the act of self-giving and essence of sacrifice has been displayed by each member to include their own families and friends of Noble House Kenjutsu. Everyone has shared their time outside and within scheduled class times to help support various school activities. Demonstrations, for example, have been done throughout the years for monies to be anonymously given to local charitable organizations. As such this school has been recognized locally in a positive light by city broadcasting and other various local organizations. Furthermore, books and martial arts equipment have been donated by existing and former members to help support potential and newer members in their development and training.
Though our organization runs as a nonprofit establishment, it maintains itself as an active school that requires a commitment to support the development of its members and to charitably provide to the community where possible. Over the years I have developed friendships that are for a lifetime and overall have become a better person because of the nonsectarian teachings shared by our Sensei regarding the philosophies, spiritual enlightenment, and humbling methodologies of martial engagement particular to our schools lineage. There is so much more I could share about my experience within this school however I would likely be charged with being boastful, biased, and highly exaggerated.
E. H. VALANTE’, RRT, HBOT.