Recently, Lance England Ed.S., was invited to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to lead a seminar in Satori-Ryu Iaido, a Traditional Japanese Sword Art that he currently teaches at the University of Tennessee as well as at Lance England Martial Arts. Hanshi England is the second ranking individual in Satori-Ryu Iaido and was awarded the title of Hanshi, which means Senior Instructor, by his Instructor, Soke Dale S. Kirby Sr. the founder of Satori-Ryu Iaido. Soke is the title awarded to the founder of a style of Martial Art. Satori-Ryu Iaido is the Traditional Style of Swordsmanship in Satori-Ryu Budo, an association of Dojos that share the same goals and philosophies.
Hanshi England has taught Satori-Ryu Iaido at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in what has been recognized as one of the longest running Martial Arts Programs at a major university in the United States. His classes and seminars have been offered by the University of Tennessee for over twenty-five years.
Education is important to the leadership of Satori-Ryu Iaido. Soke Kirby holds an MS Degree in Experimental Psychology, Hanshi England holds an EDS Degree in Education and Sensei Cichon holds an MS Degree in Special Education. They share the same goals of teaching the students of Satori-Ryu Iaido the skills of goal actualization and stress management in order to become successful, self-directed individuals. This is evidenced by the results from Hanshi England’s classes at the University of Tennessee where he has seen over 90% of his Black Belts graduate from college.
The seminar in Oklahoma City was hosted by Sensei Jerry Cichon, head of Satori-Ryu Budo of Oklahoma. Sensei is the title for an Individual who has become a Certified Instructor of a Martial Art. In addition to teaching the techniques of Traditional Swordsmanship, Hanshi England was also invited there to demonstrate techniques and modifications that are specifically for students who have been injured and are unable to perform some of the strict traditional techniques and positions required in Japanese Swordsmanship. This seminar, hosted by Sensei Charles Wallace, was held at the Hoshin Kan Dojo of Midwest City in Oklahoma. Those attending were senior students and Instructors.
The second day of the Oklahoma City Seminar, was held at the Wyndham Gardens Hotel in Oklahoma City. This portion of the seminar was opened to students of all levels of skill. The material presented ranged from the very basic to advanced material to challenge every student present. This proved to be a challenging day for some of those in attendance due to the nine-hour long training session. Testing for Rank was also conducted, during which two senior students, Dustin Wallace and James Wood, were able to earn the coveted Black Belt, or rank of Sho-Dan.
The Art of Satori-Ryu Iaido has seen a growing interest both inside and outside of the United States. Hanshi England believes that to be due to the message that Satori-Ryu Iaido has for its practitioners. Satori-Ryu Iaido is not about just winning trophies and medals or Ego Gratification, it is about Goal Actualization, continuous learning and challenging yourself.