Head Instructor Biography

BRUCE  CAMPBELL

BRUCE CAMPBELL

Kendo & Iaido Head Instructor

BRUCE  CAMPBELL

BRUCE CAMPBELL

Kendo & Iaido Head Instructor

The Short Story
• Started Judo at age 13 and practiced for a total of 10 year between 1966 and 1983
• Began Kendo in Calgary, Canada in 1979 and have practiced continuously since
• Began Iaido in 1985 and have practiced continuously since
• Earned Kendo rokudan in 2002 and Iaido godan in 2001
• Former President – BC Kendo Federation;
• Began Matsu Kai (formally Sunrise Coquitlam) Dojo in 1996
• Head instructor, Matsu Kai Kendo and Iaido Dojo
• Kendo and Iaido grading judge
• CKF Chief Referee for Iaido – Western Region

MARTIAL ART RANKS:

> Rokudan (6th) Renshi in Kendo
> Godan (5th) in Iaido

Matsu Kai Dojo
Kendo & Iaido
Head Instructor

Rokudan 6th Renshi Kendo (CKF 2002), Godan 5th Iaido (CKF, 2001)

The Short Story
• Started Judo at age 13 and practiced for a total of 10 year between 1966 and 1983
• Began Kendo in Calgary, Canada in 1979 and have practiced continuously since
• Began Iaido in 1985 and have practiced continuously since
• Earned Kendo rokudan in 2002 and Iaido godan in 2001
• Former President – BC Kendo Federation;
• Began Matsu Kai (formally Sunrise Coquitlam) Dojo in 1996
• Head instructor, Matsu Kai Kendo and Iaido Dojo
• Kendo and Iaido grading judge
• CKF Chief Referee for Iaido – Western Region

The Longer Story

I began martial training when I was 13 and living in Cranbrook, BC. I was a tall, scrawny kid and got picked on a lot so I suppose I was looking for a way to protect myself.

A visiting teacher named Ken Shannon was ikkyu in Judo and offered classes. I was one of the first to sign up and was instantly hooked. I clearly remember pounding the dusty canvas-covered tumbling mats for nearly 2 months as we learned ukemi-waza (breakfalls) and then slowly began going though the throws and groundwork. The physical stuff was wonderful but so was the strict protocol what I now know was reiho.

I continued with Judo until I went off to university and put my martial training aside to pursue another passion middle distance running.

After graduation I took up Judo again in Coquitlam BC. Over the next 8 years I continued in Judo as I moved around Western Canada and then into Houston, Texas. Each year I watched as more and more interest was given to “sport” Judo rather than “martial” Judo.

In 1979, while I was still in Calgary I discovered a Kendo club run by Reverend Ikuta-sensei a Buddhist priest. I was to learn years later that he was one of four brothers from Steveston, BC Canada who were products of a very rich Kendo tradition stretching back to 1917. In Ikuta-senseis dojo I re-discovered the tradition of respect and formality used to shape and give focus to the otherwise violent parts of budo. It was like that first Judo class so many years ago and, again, I was hooked.

When I moved to Houston Texas in 1980 I studied some Judo but drew more and more to Kendo and even tried a little Iaido. My stay in Houston was short and I returned to Vancouver, Canada where I joined the Vancouver Kendo Dojo in the Fall of 1983. At that time there were about 40 active members and a very large parent-lead support group. Unfortunately, the senior teachers had recently left and certain internal matters prevented a new teacher from taking leadership of the club. Soon the membership began to fall and I moved to the Sunrise Dojo in 1985 under the leadership of M. Asaoka Sensei. There I was very lucky to have a long string of high-ranking Kendo sensei visit and teach us. The club grew and prospered.

In 1997, Asaoka-sensei formed another Kendo dojo and that allowed Uegaki-sensei (Kendo Nanadan) and Taguchi-sensei (Kendo Rokudan) to take over leadership of Sunrise dojo. Under the Sunrise organization, I began the Coquitlam branch of Sunrise Kendo and in 1996, with their support, I became an independent dojo within the BC and Canadian Kendo Federations.

In 1986 I began Iaido under M. Asaoka-sensei and continued both Kendo and Iaido with him until he withdrew from Iaido to concentrate on his business affairs. Ken Maneker sensei took over leadership of the Iai group and a few years later with the guidance of his teachers Omori-sensei (Hanshi Hanchidan MJER Iaido) and Konaka-sensei (Hanshi Hachidan Kendo, Hanshi Hachidan Hokiryu Iaido) from Kyoto Japan, he formed Shin Ken Kai Iaido. In 2003 I added Iaido to the practice at Matsu Kai dojo and have practiced there ever since.

Kendo and Iaido are fundamental elements in my life. The reward of continual learning combined with the satisfaction of helping others offers something very special. Through Kendo and Iaido I have discovered the meaning of the phrase “your students are your teachers” and at the same time, I have experienced the richness of physical, mental, spiritual and emotional growth through my martial training.

Today, with the endless support of my wife and students, I find myself more and more at peace with the world around me.

Bruce Campbell,
Coquitlam, BC, CANADA – September 05, 2021

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