Local martial artist wields samurai sword to win gold at international competition

Oshawa native Warren Wagler is a practitioner of the traditional Japanese martial art of iaido

Oshawa native Warren Wagler, a member of Kenshokan Dojo with locations in Peterborough, Oshawa, Tweed, and Lindsay, won the Haga Cup at the 2019 East Coast Iaido Taikai (competition) held in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 17, 2019, as part of the inaugural delegation for Team Canada Iaido. Wagler holds the rank of sandan (third dan) in iaido, the traditional Japanese martial art of swordsmanship. (Photo courtesy of Team Canada Iaido)
Oshawa native Warren Wagler, a member of Kenshokan Dojo with locations in Peterborough, Oshawa, Tweed, and Lindsay, won the Haga Cup at the 2019 East Coast Iaido Taikai (competition) held in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 17, 2019, as part of the inaugural delegation for Team Canada Iaido. Wagler holds the rank of sandan (third dan) in iaido, the traditional Japanese martial art of swordsmanship. (Photo courtesy of Team Canada Iaido)

Local martial artist Warren Wagler recently brought home gold from an international competition.

Wagler practices the traditional Japanese martial art of iaido (pronounce ee-eye-do) — drawing and cutting with a samurai sword.

Wagler belongs to Kenshokan Dojo, a local martial arts group that offers training in iaido at locations in Peterborough, Oshawa, Tweed, and Lindsay, as well as classes in karate in Peterborough and Oshawa.

Warren Wagler practising the traditional Japanese martial art of iaido (drawing and cutting with a samurai sword). The Oshawa native, who is a member of  Kenshokan Dojo with locations in Peterborough, Oshawa, Tweed, and Lindsay, won gold in the  sandan (third dan) division at the 2019 East Coast Iaido Taikai (competition) held in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 17, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Team Canada Iaido)
Warren Wagler practising the traditional Japanese martial art of iaido (drawing and cutting with a samurai sword). The Oshawa native, who is a member of Kenshokan Dojo with locations in Peterborough, Oshawa, Tweed, and Lindsay, won gold in the sandan (third dan) division at the 2019 East Coast Iaido Taikai (competition) held in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 17, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Team Canada Iaido)

The Oshawa native, who holds the rank of sandan (third dan) in iaido, won the Haga Cup at the 2019 East Coast Iaido Taikai (competition) held in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 17, 2019, as part of the inaugural delegation for Team Canada Iaido.

At 22 years old, Wagler is the youngest member of the Team Canada Iaido delegation. He began practising iaido at the age of 14 under sensei (instructor) Jim Wilson at Kenshokan Dojo.

Iaido is related to the Japanese martial art of kendo (sword fighting) but, unlike kendo, iaido focuses on methods of drawing and cutting with the sword.

Warren Wagler (holding the Canadian flag at left) is the youngest member of Team Canada Iaido, which competed at the 2019 East Coast Iaido Taikai (competition) held in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 17, 2019. (Photo courtesy of  Team Canada Iaido)
Warren Wagler (holding the Canadian flag at left) is the youngest member of Team Canada Iaido, which competed at the 2019 East Coast Iaido Taikai (competition) held in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 17, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Team Canada Iaido)

There is no physical contact with iaido; it is a solo martial art that helps develop mental discipline and physical skills through the practice and perfection of forms called kata, consisting of sequences of movements executed against one or multiple imagined opponents.

“I practice iaido because it is both challenging and fulfilling as you are constantly evolve your skills to achieve perfection,” Wagler says. “It is well worth the effort. To others iaido may seem like an individual art, but to me iaido is my second family.”

Wagler, who graduated from the architectural technology program at Durham College in 2017, has previously won gold at the Canadian National Iaido Championships in 2013 and 2016, and silver as a member of Team Canada at the 2018 Pan-American Iaido Taikai.

Comments