Instructor Bio

Dave Rathnow

I began my martial arts training at the University of Victoria in 1982 where I joined the University Karate Club under the instruction of Thor Tandy Sensei and Roger Keeping Sensei. Both instructors believed in a strong philosophical emphasis in their training so much emphasis was given to the spiritual aspect of Budo training and how it could be used to improve oneself through disciplined training.

It was during this time that I got my first introduction to Iaido when I was shown a home movie of Tandy Sensei performing Iaido kata. Tandy Sensei had spent many years in Japan studying karate but he had also obtained a Yondan in Iaido. While the art fascinated me, it was not until many years later that I managed to find someone to teach me. There is an old saying "when the time is right, you will find your teacher."

I moved to Vancouver in 1986 and continued to study karate until 1993 when I was introduced to Ken Maneker Sensei and started studying Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido under him. In 1998, I moved to Calgary but did not start teaching students until 2002. In 2013, I passed my Rokudan grade in Kyoto, Japan. I still return regularly to Vancouver to attend Iaido seminars and spend time with Maneker Sensei.

During the summer, I volunteer at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens in Lethbridge, Alberta, where I give talks on the history of Iaido and perform demonstrations of the art.