In what is shaping up to be a marathon season of demonstrations and workshops to bring greater exposure to Naginata in Northern California, senior members of the NCNF over the weekend led a two-day introductory Naginata workshop for approximately a dozen members of the Shinsei Sogo Budo Dojo in Fairfield, California.
Tangoubukan sensei Martin Nobida and Mayo Arai Kennedy a few weeks earlier performed a Naginata demonstration for the Japanese Student Association at California State University, Fresno. A week later, Tangoubukan members assisted San Francisco Dojo sensei Chad Goerzen in a demonstration at the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival. Still to come in the the next few weeks will be a demonstration at the Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival, a demonstration and ishujiai participation in a Bay Area university kendo club godogeiko, a possible NCNF Spring seminar, a workshop at the Clockwork Alchemy festival, and a demonstration at the Santa Cruz Japan Cultural Fair.
Last weekend's Fairfield event had its roots in March, when the sensei of the dojo, Brian Goodrich Camp, contacted the USNF, expressing his interest in learning more about Atarashii Naginata and possibly joining the federation. This set off a series of events that eventually led Nobida, along with Arai Kennedy and Goerzen, to arrange an introductory workshop for Goodrich Camp and his students.
For the first day, instruction centered around only the fundamental swings and strikes. Arai Kennedy and Goerzen introduced students to some happo buri swings and datotsu drills. The instructors concluded the session by demonstrating uchikaeshi in bogu, some kakari geiko, and a short exhibition of jigeiko.
On the second day of instruction, Nobida reviewed material from the previous day, then introduced shikake oji 1 and 2 to the group. Some students did both attack and defense. Goodrich Camp and kenshi Carl Sciortino (nidan) from the Sacramento Kendo dojo also donned bogu to serve as targets for the students in more datotsu drills. The session closed with Nobida doing a bit of ishujiai with both Goodrich Camp and the Sciortino.
Though nothing has been set in stone, both the NCNF and Goodrich Camp are looking to start some kind of regular Naginata training in Solano County. More information is certain to come.