What teaching or lesson from your sensei do you hold on to most dearly?
Yamaguchi sensei once told me, “Shiono sensei, make sure the kids have fun at kendo. They have their whole lives to learn the fundamentals but they need to enjoy kendo first.” I try my best to remember this.
What are some things you'd like to say to your sensei that you didn't have the opportunity to say when they were alive?
I’d like them to know that while they may not remember us, we remember an amazing amount of what they taught us.
Do you have a favorite waza? Besides feeling that you're adept at that waza, why do you enjoy it so much?
Kote-nuki-men and kote-kaeshi-men are both my favorite waza. I enjoy waza that require you to set up and bait your opponent into hitting what you want them to hit.
Who were some of the biggest influences in the development of your kendo? Can you elaborate on their influences?
Shikai sensei taught me all of my fundamentals while Arima sensei taught me how to effectively use various waza in shiai.
Have you learned any important life-lessons from kendo?
Kendo has taught me to be both confident and humble. Teaching kendo has also taught me the joy of serving others and volunteering my time to help others grow.
For what accomplishments are you proud of in kendo?
What makes me most proud is tosee the great group of CMKD kids bond with each other and grow as both kenshi and people.
What has been a significant challenge for you in kendo?
Fighting injury has been a challenge for me during kendo.
What do you emphasize when you teach?
I encourage all of our students to focus on the fundamentals and always have enthusiasm when they practice Kendo.
o Were you on any teams that represented your region, or the USA? Which years?
o Have you received any major awards/placements (SCKF, USA, Worlds)?
o Did you spend any time training overseas? With whom?
o Are there notable accomplishments for the dojo or federation that you are proud of?
Kendo allows boys and girls, men and women of all ages and background to practice towards, and have the opportunity to compete in something at a very high level. Even if you’re not a gifted athlete, kendo rewards those who practice hard and put forth the effort to sharpen their skills. Kendo has given me experiences that I would’ve never had in any other sport or activity. I can think of participating specifically in two teams that exemplified both the this:
As a youth, I was on a team that represented USA at Pan-American games hosted by the Olympic committee in Mexico. Our teams brought home gold medals in all the divisions. Two things were significant about this particular tournament for me. First, this was my first experience having to go through the pressure of an elimination tournament to make a team. The second was the experience of being part of the USA team for this international event. Our team of young teens traveling to another country without our parents was very memorable, to say the least. More than the tournament, the interaction with sempai and building friendships with rivals is what I remember most fondly.
The second was my participation in the Team SCKF men’s team for the 1993 AUSKF Championships held in Santa Clara. I was a brash 18 year old boy competing alongside and against men. I remember the feeling of excitement lining up in the finals with senpai like Spencer Hosokawa and Steve Kinomoto besides me, looking to face a fierce Team NCKF squad with Yuji and Kenji Onitsuka, Mike Minami, Arnold Matsuda, Don Tanaka, Tetsu Nishimoto. That excitement didn’t last as we suffered a disappointing loss to NCKF, to take second place. I remember being extremely down, feeling like I let down my teammates and all of the kenshi from our federation who supported the team. It was a very memorable lesson in humility.
When did you last participate in an examination for Kendo promotion? What was the experience like?
I last participated in an examination for Kendo promotion in 2011. It was a learning experience and I continue to focus on getting better every practice.
Shiono-sensei was born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1974.
Shiono-sensei's family roots were embedded with the Samurai, and his grandfather practiced an early version of Kendo in Japan. Shiono-sensei started Kendo at Chuo Dojo at the age of seven (7) under the tutelage of Shikai-sensei, Arima-sensei, and the late Murakami-sensei.
Shiono-sensei currently holds the rank of 4 Dan and teaches and practice at CMKD.