Details here are for the planned 2020 seminar which, unfortunately, had to be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. Hopefully in 2021 we will host the even with the same people!
Head instructor: Yano Nobuhiro
This years Edinburgh kendo seminar (2020) will be taught by Yano Nobuhiro sensei, kyoshi hachidan. Yano sensei is one of a small handful of elite professional police kendo instructors that work in Osaka police department.
After graduating from Miyazaki prefectures kendo-powerhouse, Takachiho high school (while still a student his team managed second place in the All Japan High School Championships), he joined Osaka police force in order to pursue his passion for kendo.
As a police man he spent a few years in the tokuren squad (a small group of select men and women whose job is to do kendo day-in-day-out) before being hand-picked to become a police kendo instructor, something than not all tokuren members are given the opportunity to do. His first position after instructor-training finished was a five year stint as a teacher at the Osaka police academy. Soon after this period, in 2008, he passed hachidan on his first attempt (he was 46 years old at the time).
For the last ten+ years, like other police kendo instructors, Yano sensei has moved around different police stations within Osaka prefecture teaching kendo to police men and women of all ages and abilities.
The 2020 seminar will be Yano sensei’s second time teaching kendo in Scotland.
Full name: Yano Nobuhiro
Grade: Kyoshi hachidan
Born: 1962, Miyazaki prefecture
Work: Osaka police dept., 1982~current
Passed hachidan: 2008 (first attempt)
Instructor: George McCall
George, a fully qualified Japanese high school teacher, has been working at one of Osaka prefectures top academic public high schools for over a decade. Teaching kendo is part of his job, which makes him the only non-Japanese public high school kendo teacher in Japan.
George ran Edinburgh kendo club from 2000-2003 before moving to Japan. Since moving to Japan, George has studied kendo almost exclusively under police professionals.
George has been returning to Scotland to teach kendo in Edinburgh since 2008.
Full name: George McCall
Grade: Renshi rokudan
Born: 1975, Scotland
Work: Fully qualified high school teacher
Lived in Japan: Since 2003
Assistant instructor: Nagaura Ryuichi
Ryuichi is a graduate of the high school kendo club that George teaches in Osaka, though he had already graduated before George became the kendo teacher there. They met and established a relationship while Ryuichi was a student at Osaka University. Upon finishing university, Ryuichi worked for a bit in the Kansai region before moving to – and finally settling in – Canada, where he continues to practise kendo.
The 2020 seminar will be Nagaura sensei’s second time teaching kendo in Scotland.
Full name: Nagaura Ryuichi
Born: Osaka, Japan
Other friends who have helped instruct in the past include: Jon Fitzgerald and Andy Fisher.