Stephen Hladky

Assistant Instructor - Yondan (4 Dan)

Personal Experience:

I began practicing kendo with the Edmonton Kendo Club in 2007 while studying at the University of Alberta. A good friend of mine had been practicing with the club and strongly encouraged me to join. I attended a class in late August of that year to see what it was all about and to give me some time to think about it before possibly starting in September. However, I never really needed that; within the first five minutes of practice I knew this is something I had to do.

My first three years of kendo introduced me to etiquette, footwork, basic sword techniques, and the strong social community of kendo practitioners. I found this time to be very nurturing to me as a person and it inspired me to make this art a true part of my life. Since my shodan (1 Dan) grading, I have been expanding my kendo horizons by travelling as often as I can to practice in other regions. I regularly attend seminars across Western Canada and I participate in major kendo tournaments when I can, including the Steveston Kendo Taikai in Vancouver and the JCCC Senior Open in Toronto.

International Experience:

In 2017, I was chosen as one of two Canadians to attend the 44th Foreign Kendo Leaders' Summer Seminar in Kitamoto, Saitama, Japan. This week-long training camp admits only fifty people each year from around the world to study under some of the highest ranked kendo masters. It was here that I trained with some of my role models, passed my 4 Dan grading examination, and forged friendships with my roommates that will last a lifetime. This event has been the highlight of my kendo career thus far and I continue to try and share this experience with my students as best I can.

While most of my training takes place in Canada, I have travelled to the United States and Japan on occasion to practice with various clubs, such as the San Francisco Kendo Club and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS).

Competition Results:

2022 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 2nd Place - Open Division
2019 Alberta Kendo Tournament - 1st Place - Men's Team Division
2019 Alberta Kendo Tournament - 2nd Place - Men's 2 Dan and Up Division
2019 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 2nd Place - Team Division
2018 Alberta Kendo Tournament - 1st Place - Team Division
2018 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 2nd Place - Team Division
2018 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 3rd Place - Open Division
2017 Canadian National Kendo Championship - 3rd Place - Men's Provincial Team Division (Alberta)
2017 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 1st Place - Team Division
2017 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 3rd Place - 3 Dan Division
2016 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 3rd Place - 3 Dan Division
2015 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 2nd Place - 3 Dan Division
2014 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 2nd Place - Team Division
2014 Saskatoon Kendo Club Taikai - 2nd Place - 3 Dan Division