Miguel Martinez is an astronomy PhD student at Northwestern University. He was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in New York City. He started both kendo (now 3rd Dan) under Noboru Kataoka-sensei and naginata (now 2nd Dan) under Katie Roche-sensei during his freshman year at Columbia University, where he was an officer of both clubs. He is also a student of Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido through his kendo teacher, Noboru Kataoka-sensei of the NYC Kendo Club.
In addition to budo, he has also studied the shakuhachi under James Nyoraku Schlefer-sensei and gagaku (ryuteki, kakko, taiko) with the Columbia University Gagaku Ensemble.
Laurence Kogetsu Smith has been training in several Budo disciplines for nearly two decades. In 2006, he started training in Meishi-ha Mugai-ryu Iai hyodo. He has been training under Brian Pettett-sensei and granted 5th degree (godan) by Tony Alvarez-sensei, head of the United States Federation of Mugai Ryu. Additionally, he has received his certificate of admission to the inner advanced teachings, okuiri-sho from Niina Toyoaki-gosoke (headmaster) of Meishi-ha Mugai-ryu Iai hyodo.
Since Mugai-ryu has a deep connection with Zen Buddhism, he sought zen practice for over fifteen years at Daiyuzenji Rinzai Zen Temple. It was also at that time that he started training in the Hojo no kata, the four seasons of the Jikishinkage-ryu.
In 2010, he began naginata training under Takami Tanner-sensei of the Rocky Mountain Naginata Federation in Atarashii Naginata and Bitokukai Tendo-ryu naginatajutsu.
In 2016, he was very fortunate to be accepted as a student of Peter Boylan-sensei of the Michigan Koryu Kenkyukai to train Zen Ken Ren Iaido and Shinto Muso-ryu. He was granted 2nd degree (nidan) in Seitei Jodo from the All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF).
He also trains in Genko nito ryu (two sword) and Shinto Muso-ryu Jodo Fuzoku Ryuha (Assimilated Schools), Kasumi Shinto-ryu kenjutsu, Isshin-ryu kusarigamajutsu and Uchida-ryu tanjojutsu. In addition to his Budo training, he holds an Assistant Teacher 1 certificate from the Ohara School of Ikebana, awarded by Associate Master / Instructor Margot Wang.