On the last weekend of June 2006 the Serbian Budo Council (SBC) hosted a 3-days seminar in Aiki-Jutsu and Kenjutsu. This seminar was ran by distinguished guests from America, Phil Scudieri sensei and Celinda Ellsworth sensei. Guests were first taken around Belgrade, the capitol of Serbia, for sightseeing of Kalemegdan fortress, Knez Mihajlova street, Scadarlija, and other landmarks of this beautiful city.
On Friday 23rd of June in the large Hall of Sport Center Pozarevac, the Vice-President of Kenjutsu International Association of Instructors (KIAI), Mr. Phil Scudieri, has opened a seminar for local Budo club, also known as SHINBUKAN, as well for guest-clubs, members of SBC, from Vrsac (GOSHINKAN), from Smederevo (MUSASHI) and from Petrovac. Aiki-Jutsu and Kenjutsu demonstrated by Phil sensei and Celinda sensei were very formal, and in many aspects new to lots of young practitioners from SBC, who are mostly used to principles of Gendai jujutsu. Kenjutsu lessons have included both basics (kihon) and advanced principles, drawn from Ito Ryu and Tenshin Ryu. Phil sensei strongly emphasized few major determinants of Japanese swordsmanship and aiki-jutsu, such as zanshin, use of same ashi-waza and same body motions, applicability of same strategies, the definition of a swordsman as a "heihojin" - the one who studies not only a single weapon art, but entire art of military affairs. On more than few occasions a well known sentence was said: Swordsman is not a karate guy wit a stick. The significance of distinguishing various principle of different arts was specially underlined. This is important because in many clubs and dojo these arts are practiced under the same roof, same as in Delaware Budokan, owed and run by Phil and Celinda sensei, where they teach Karate, Aiki-Jutsu and Kenjutsu.
All participants were very satisfied with a pleasant friendly approach of teachers from USA, and were also impressed with their exceptional high technical qualities. At the end of the day 1 some of the participants have demonstrated their arts in front of KIAI leaders. Dr. Ivica Zdravkovic, president of Serbian Sports Chanbara Association (4th Dan ISCA), also used the opportunity to promote certain SBC members for their sport result, leadership and technical advancement. These newly promoted instructors are: Adrijana Barsi from Vrsac (GOSHINKAN), promoted to 1st Dan Chanbara, Igor Kesic from Smederevo (MUSASHI), promoted to 1st Dan Chanbara, and Srdjan Spasic from Pozarevac (SHINBUKAN), promoted to 2nd Dan Chanbara. Finally, on behalf of KIAI, and with agreement of KIAI president Nick Sleep from England, Phil Scudieri sensei was awarded with a HANSHI certificate, for his 35 years long instructional work, supreme level of technical skills and academic knowledge and his outstanding contribution in promotion of Japanese sword arts on an international level.
On Saturday 24th of June Phil and Celinda held another similar seminar for members of martial arts club in Petrovac, hosted by Srdjan Ilic sensei. Guests from USA have been also received by the mayor of town, and they were interviewed by local media, same as in Pozarevac. In the evening Phil and Celinda were also present at the regular chanbara class in Pozarevac, where the youngest students have performed Kihon Dosa, Happo Giri kata, Chanbara and Sport Kenjutsu fights (Ji geiko).
On Sunday the guest were taken to Sabac town, to run one more seminar for members of PANTHER club, headed by Milan Vujasin sensei, president of SBC. This seminar - same as previous ones - was attended by over 40 practitioners, including instructors and students from Vrsac, Petrovac and Pozarevac.
At the end of the seminar Phil Scudieri sensei and Celinda Ellsworth sensei have expressed their gratitude for hospitality and a warm welcome to all in SBC. The next meeting with kenjutsu and chanbara instructors from Serbia is announced for 2007, when a large KIAI meeting should take place in England.
SBC members give their deepest gratitude to Phil sensei and Celinda sensei for their friendship, good atmosphere they have created, their wiling to teach all the attending people and their patience with those who met with traditional Aiki-jutsu and Kenjutsu for the first time. Special gratitude comes from members of SHINBUKAN school, who have enriched their Shinbukan kenjutsu with new knowledge, including certain ceremonial principles (reiho), traditional drills (undo) and a very beautiful Taikyoku no ken kata, which is as of now official part of Shinbukan kenjutsu curriculum.