Volume 2 number 4 absolute #6 Sept 1990
A publication of limited distribution: Send your stories, comments or announcements to Kim
Taylor, Dept. of Animal and Poultry Science, (519)824-4120 ext 6225 FAX (519)836-9873
PHOTOCOPY AND SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER!
SEMINARS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
CKF CHAMPIONSHIPS The University of Guelph Iaido club
participated in the Kendo Championships held recently. As a new CKF dojo the members joined the opening parade for the first time. The championships were attended by delegates from many countries representing the International Federation. There was a demonstration of Kendo no Kata followed by Sei Tei Gata Iaido.
Next year the world championships will be held in Toronto at the end of June. There will be an Iaido seminar and grading held at the same time for Iaidoists from around the world.
JAPANESE ARTS DISPLAY The University of Guelph will be the site of a display of various Japanese arts September 16 1990. The event will be held in the Arboretum Centre and at the moment demonstrations planned include Bonsai, Taiko drummers, Iaido, Tameshigiri (cutting), Sword polishing, and Kendo. Displays are from 10 AM to 5 PM.
DON HARVEY VISIT Don Harvey Sensei, 5 dan ZNKR, will be visiting Canada the last week of September. He will be sharing his considerable knowledge with us on September 29 and 30 1990. Harvey Sensei has studied in England under Fujii Sensei and in Japan under Haruna Sensei. Mark Sykes Sensei will also be visiting, he has recently returned from Musashi Dojo in Japan.
The seminar will be held at the University of Guelph Athletics Centre. Students of all styles of Iai are invited to attend, some sleeping bag accommodation is available. Call or write Kim Taylor for details.
Send all information on seminars etc. to the editor as soon as possible. It's incentive to publish the next issue.
From the Sei Do Kai, University of Guelph.
SEI TEI GATA OF THE JAPAN KENDO FEDERATION
TACHI-AI NO BU (STANDING SECTION)
7. (NONAHONME) SANPO GIRI (three sided cuts)
As you walk forward you are accompanied by a man one step behind on each side and one man in front.
This technique was often done "walking style" in the past. For walking style there are 5 steps to the draw The normal style has three. In normal style, begin walking with the right foot, on the second step (left foot) turn the toes in and step down as you grasp the tsuka.
Turn to the right and step in this direction with the right foot (third step) as you draw the blade up out of the saya keeping the edge up. As you step down strike in kiri otoshi, at a slight angle. The blade travels close to your left ear as you strike the man on your right who has just stepped up even with you. This strike will only have enough power to cut down to his left shoulder.
Start the draw facing the forward opponent and put pressure on him, then suddenly cut down the man on the right.
On the first cut draw forward (semeru) until the right hand is at eye level. Turn, still drawing the blade up and out then cut down to the right. This cut is similar to Morote Zuki. The angle of this cut is from the top right corner of the opponent's head, midway between right temple and shomen, down through the tip of his nose so the angle is more steep than that for Morote Zuki.
The foot position is angled. The hips are turned toward the opponent and the feet 15 degrees off line toward the front. There is a slight Okuri-ashi on the cut. The final sword position reflects the angled body posture and new cutting angle.
The original draw, up and down straight from overhead was difficult and unnatural, the new version is more realistic and easier to do. The former draw (above the head) could not be done in one motion, nuki tsuke must be one motion, draw and cut.
Turning 180 degrees to the left on your toes, raise the blade through uke nagashi to jodan and grasp the tsuka with the left hand. Cut down the left hand man with kiri otoshi from hidari hanmi.
Bring the right foot up to the left and turn 90 degrees to the right while raising the blade through uke nagashi to jodan again. Step forward with the right foot and cut down the third opponent in kiri otoshi.
Turn and raise the sword to jodan as you grasp with the left hand. This is all one motion. Make sure the jodan is high and back or the cut will be small. Turn almost 180 degrees to face exactly 90 degrees left with the feet lined up. Cut with a small Okuri-ashi. The angled foot position on the first cut allows you to turn on your toes and have your feet lined up in the proper position for the second cut.
Make sure to keep the blade horizontal as you raise it for the next cut.
After the third cut raise the blade slowly up to jodan while stepping back to hidari jodan gamae with the right foot. This step back should be a normal walking distance long. At jodan the blade should lean 45 degrees back from vertical. This is zanshin while you check all three opponents.
Step back so that you can see the first two opponents with your peripheral vision.
Step back with the left foot into migi gamae as you snap the blade down and to the right side to clean it. The left hand moves to the hip. The blade comes to rest in the same position as for Kesa Giri above.
Make sure the chiburi is a big motion. Both hands should come down together.
The noto is the same as for Morote Zuki.
l'Aikido de la Montagne, 3734 Avenue du Parc, Montreal Quebec, Canada. H2X 2J1.
Roy Asa, c/o Japan Camera Centre, 88 Lesmill Rd. (Don Mills) Toronto Ontario, Canada. M3B 2T5. (FAX (416)445-0519)
Mitsuru Asaoka, 2445 Cape Horn Ave. Coquitlam B.C. Canada. V3K 1K1 (604)525-5080 FAX(604)520-5999
Douglas Blue III, 673 Panorama Trail West. Rochester N.Y. 14625.
Jim Callfas, 88 East Lynn Ave. Toronto, Ont. Canada. M4C 3X2 698-8688.
Central YMCA Aikikai, c/o Stuart Rae 375 Brunswick Ave. #504, Toronto Ontario, Canada. M5R 2Z3
Kazuo Chiba, 3846 Eagle St. San Diago California USA. 92103
Malcolm Copp-Taylor, Yugenkan Dojo, Unit 19, Charlton Trading Estate, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England, BA6 8ER.
Stephen Cruise, 10 Glenborough Pk. Willowdale Ontario Canada. M2R 2G5 (416)229-4986
Ted Davis, Dept of Biology, University of Victoria. Box 1700 Victoria B.C. V8W 2Y2
Doshikan Kendo Club, c/o Shozo Kato 124 East 79th St. Apt 3A New York NY. USA 10021(212)535-6470
Don Harvey, 81 Sandcliffe Road, Midway, Burton-on-Trent, Staffs. DE11 7PH.
International Kendo Federation c/o Nippon-Budokan 2 Kitanomaru-koen Chiyoda-ku Tokyo Japan. 102 (211-5804, 211-5805)
Japanese Swordsmanship Society, PO Box 1116 Rockafeller Stn. New York, New York. USA 10185 (212)691-2891
JCCC 123 Wynford Dr. Toronto Ontario Canada. M3C 1K1
Ken Zen Institute, c/o Kenjun Kasahara 152-158 West 26th Street New York NY. USA 10001 (212)741-2281
Roy Kennedy, 124 Glen Springs Dr. Scarborough Ontario, Canada. M1W 1X8
Larry Nakamura, 24 Beckwith Road, Etobicoke Ontario, Canada. M9C 3X9. (416)622-2962
New England Aikikai, 2000 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge Mass. USA. 02140 (617)661-1959
New York City Kendo Club, c/o Noboru Kataoka 46 West 83rd Street New York NY. USA 10024 (212) 874-6161
Goyo Ohmi 43 Milington Cr. Ajax Ontario, Canada. L1T 1R3 (416)683-8346
F.Y. Okimura, 7557 de Normanville, Montreal Quebec, Canada. H2R 2V2.
Renbukan Dojo, c/o Mr. Tamio Tateno, 207 Nelson St. Brantford Ontario, Canada. N3S 4C2.
Pierre-Paul Rivet, 12 Desmarteau Boucherville Quebec. J4B 1Z9.
Robert Savoie 532 Avenue Duluth E. Montreal Quebec Canada. H2L 1A9 (514)288-8679 or 842-0342
Dr. D.W. Schwerdtfeger, 8580 Lakewood Shores Road NW. Rice, MN 56367.
Sei Do Kai Iaido, c/o Kimberley Taylor, Department of Animal Science, University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario, Canada. N1G 2W1. (519)824-4120 ext 6225 FAX (519)836-9873
Marion M. Taylor, 32 Bedford Court Amherst, MA USA 01002 (413)256-0219
Valley Aikido, c/o Paul Sylvain, 131 King St. Northampton Mass. USA. 02140
Peter Verra, 1452 Paddington Ct. Burlington, Ont. Canada. L7M 1W7. (416)336-7159
Katsuo Yamaguchi, 3-24-1 Shinbori Higashiyamato-shi, Tokyo Japan 189. (0425-65-9146)
Yasuo Yamashibu, Tonda-cho-1-4-2, Okayama Japan 700. (0862- 25-5471) (FAX 0862-23-9433)
Yugenkan Dojo, c/o Mr. Bill Mears, 100 Elmwood Ave. Crystal Beach Ontario, Canada. L0S 1B0. (416)871-7772 ext. 314
Zanshin, Ecole D'Aikido et Iaido, c/o Donna Winslow, 5425 Bordeaux #503D, Montreal Quebec, Canada. H2H 2P9 (514)521-6786
CLUB 'O THE MONTH
Last issue the we incorrectly named Dale Schwerdtfeger Sensei's club the Twin Cities Aikido Centre. Although that is where they practice the club is named the Muto-kai and is linked with the Shu Shin-kai of Tsumura Sensei in Tokyo.
We are now out of up to date information on clubs. If your club has not been written up yet send us your information.
This is the first of a series of letters from Mr. Don Harvey of Burton-on-Trent, England. He has studied Iaido for many years both in England and Japan.
LETTERS FROM ENGLAND
By Don Harvey, 5dan
IAI-DO IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Organized Iai-do has been formally practised here for about 15 years. For the past 12 years we have had at least one seminar each year arranged by individual clubs under the auspices of the British Kendo Association. For each of the past 12 years Ishido Sensei 7th dan from Tokyo has headed up the delegation. For the first 8 years the seminars were combined with regard to style, sensibly so, as the practise was predominantly Seitei Iai. For the past 4 years, however, we have had separate seminars, one for Muso Shinden Ryu and one for Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, this reflects the more detailed instruction being given in Koryu. Ishido Sensei has looked after the Shinden group while Haruna Matsuo Sensei, 7th dan has instructed the Eishin Ryu group. From time to time the two groups do get together and compare notes on Seitei Iai and consequently the Seitei Iai in the UK is homogeneous irrespective of the Koryu studied. It would be remiss of me not to mention the outstanding contribution made to the British Eishin Ryu by Fujii Okimitsu Sensei. His dedication, patience and skill continues to inspire us as it has for well over 20 years.
The 1990 summer seminars in London look like being the best yet. There will be 12 or 13 Japanese Sensei coming headed by two Hachidan Hanshi plus four 7th dans. Gradings will be held up to Godan. There are 12 people eligible to take this grade based on lapsed time and hopefully we will add to the half dozen or so existing UK 5th dans.
Each year the seminars become more and more cosmopolitan. We have people coming from Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany and hopefully people from Canada. Over the years we have built up excellent friendships with the Sensei and many of our members have visited Japan to train both with Mr. Ishido in Tokyo and with Mr. Haruna at the Musashi Dojo in Ohara, Okayama. Some of our people have actually settled in Japan, others have spent extended periods up to two years training and learning the language. All of this activity is extending our knowledge and cementing strong ties with the knowledge base back in Japan. Strong ties are also being built between the UK and the other countries represented. I will be visiting Canada late September and will train with people in the Toronto area. This hopefully will strengthen ties between Canadian and UK Eishin Ryu.
GENERAL IAI-DO OBSERVATIONS
I continually ask myself how can something that looks relatively simple be so difficult to learn and even more difficult to understand! It seems to me that every time I begin to understand one thing then that understanding reveals more mysteries, its like peeling away at the layers of an onion. One thing that I have learned is to remain open minded or as Haruna Sensei would say, 'You must be big hearted.' One of the greatest aids to learning that I have found is to look and compare what other people do irrespective of grade. Sometimes it is difficult to know what questions to ask, when you compare you are able to highlight the differences and there, automatically, you have the questions to ask. The next problem, of course, is understanding the answers. Answers to questions fall into several categories, for example the answer to a particular query may be of the type 'right or wrong' these are the easiest to understand, you may be shown an 'alternate but acceptable' way, or you may be shown a 'preferred or recommended' method, or you may be shown a 'personal interpretation' and so on and so forth. The problems and confusions begin when we misinterpret say, a 'recommended' way as being a hard and fast 'right' way to do something, hence my statement about remaining open minded lest we fall into this sort of trap. When I spot a difference the temptation is to say, 'that's wrong.' As I get more mature in my Iai (or maybe as I get older!) I am able more to bite my tongue and ask why it is done in a particular way, then to explain why I do it differently, I then make a note of the difference so that I can check up on it later.
I have been very interested to read the Technical Notebook articles in the Iaido Newsletter. It has provided me with fresh views of Kata to compare with my own performance and understanding, and that of those whom I come in contact with here in the UK. Sure enough there are differences, and these differences have given me questions to ask my Sensei. I hope that by highlighting these differences for you in your Newsletter, it may give you the necessary questions to ask, so that your knowledge base expands and all of us students of Iai-do will benefit together. It is in this spirit that I offer this in the hope that you accept it in a 'big hearted' way. Once this year's seminar and grading is over I will send my notes over for publication in the Newsletter in the hope that they will be of interest.
One topic sometimes skirted over is the concept or principle of 'sen'...combative advantage. Many things are encompassed in this. For example, demeanour, etiquette, tidiness, economy of movement, awareness, discipline etc. I like to think of it as the body language of Iai-do. 'Sen' is easily lost. The most common cause is fidgeting ie. uncontrolled and unnecessary movements, either through habit or nervousness. The beginning and ends of kata are the most vulnerable times for untidiness and unnecessary movement therefore extra care should be taken. Compared to the actual moving parts of the form you remain for quite a long time in the start and finish posture, consequently the little extras that creep in are more noticeable. My Sensei tells me that each performance should be as if I were being graded. Avoid the feeling 'Oh! well, it doesn't matter its only a practise.' Make all the moves concisely. Adopting the seiza posture at the beginning of a form is notorious for generating those unnecessary extra moves. Try to move the feet, hands, hakama etc. directly to their finish position. If you feel your hakama is trapped don't be afraid to adjust it, better to do this before commencing the movement rather than end up flat on your face during the movement, but avoid turning hakama sabiki into an extravagant flourish! Better still try and discover why it became trapped and adjust your preparation accordingly.
You may be like me; I struggled to make my body feel comfortable with the movements required for my Iai-do training. It is a good feeling when one feels that a form or set of forms can be done reasonably fluidly. Herein lies a danger! I call it the 'fur lined rut' syndrome and it applies equally well to other aspects of life in general. Once you feel 'comfortable' there is a reluctance to change anything or to experiment or to push oneself, the fear is that you will lose the 'comfortable' feeling. This feeling is your enemy, it is the enemy of learning and advancement. You must develop your awareness of this enemy's presence and strive to defeat it.
THE SWORD THROUGH THE MEIJI PERIOD
With the Meiji restoration in 1868, Japan embarked on a period of westernization, neglecting for
many years its traditional culture. As part of the process of dismantling the old bakufu the feudal
families gave up their lands to the new government. This meant that many of the old martial
schools lost their financial support. As the samurai classes were absorbed into the new society
and the nation looked to the west for inspiration the traditional budo went into decline.
Several factors combined to keep the arts alive through this period. The Dai Nippon Butokukai was organized in 1895 and in 1911 formed a specialty school which hired many of the budo experts of that generation. In the same year Kendo and Judo were introduced into the middle schools as compulsory exercise. This resulted in the budo being taught to the general public which allowed some of the old teachers to make a new living.
During the same period the new conscript army needed to be trained. Schools like the Toyama Gakko which was organized in 1873 included the traditional martial arts as well as the western theories. The Toyama Ryu was developed in 1925 (Showa) and included Gunto Soho, Iai performed with the army sword. This school was based on the teachings of the Omori Ryu.
THE NATIONAL POLICE FORCES
The third factor in the preservation of budo was the police force, organized in 1874. The police sword unit called the Batto- tai fought during the Satsuma rebellion (1877) when all available government forces were thrown into the effort. In one battle the police kenshi fought the Satsuma swordsmen of the Jigen Ryu to a standstill. This was one of the main reasons that the sword was adopted by the police in 1879 and remained standard equipment until the end of the Second World War. The sword provided an alternative weapon which lay between the club and the gun in lethality.
The police sword forms called the Keishicho Ryu Gekken Kata were developed in 1886 by the swordsmen assigned to instruct the forces. The following swordsmen were instructors during these years.
|Ueda Umanosuke||Kyoshin Meichi Ryu|
|Shindo Munen Ryu|
|Matsuzaki Namishiro||Shinkage Ryu|
|Shingai Tadatsu||Tamiya Ryu|
|Takao Tesso||Tetchu Ryu|
|Mitsuhashi Kan'ichiro||Togun Ryu|
The set of 10 katas developed by a committee of these instructors was the first standardized kendo kata in Japan. The techniques represented 10 schools as follows.
1. Hasso:Jikishinkage Ryu
2. Henka: Karuma Ryu
3. Hachiten Giri: Hozan Ryu
4. Maki Otoshi: Rishin Ryu
5. Kadan no Tsuki: Hokushin Itto Ryu
6. A-un: Asayama Ichiden Ryu
7. Ichi-ni no Tachi: Jigen Ryu
8. Uchi Otoshi: Shindo Munen Ryu
9. Hasetsu: Yagyu Shinkage Ryu
10. Kurai Zume: Kyoshin Meichi Ryu
In the 1920s and 30s the swordsmen instructing the police included Hiyama Yoshihitsu, Hotta Shitejiro, Nakayama Hakudo (founded Muso Shinden Iai), Saimura Goro, and Shimizu Takaji (25th head Shindo Muso Ryu, head Ikaku Ryu).
With the prohibition of almost all martial arts practice in 1945 by the allied forces in Japan, the budo went through another period of decline. One exception to the ban was the police force which was allowed to continue training in budo for their practical and fitness aspects. From the National Police Reserves came the National Safety Corps (1952), then the Self Defence Forces (1954) which is the modern Japanese armed forces.
Today the martial arts as practiced in the police academy are some of the strongest and roughest in Japan.
THE POLICE IAIDO TRAINING...KESHI RYU
The Iai kata described here date from the founding of the police forces in the early Meiji. The kata were developed to teach the fundamentals of Iai without the need for prolonged study of one of the Koryu. In this respect it is similar in intent to the Seitei Gata Iai of the ZNKR or Iaido Toho of the ZNIR. In North America these techniques are taught by Takeshi Mitsuzuka Sensei.
The Iai set contains five techniques, each from a different style. The katas are designed to deal with an attack from the front, back, right and left sides and finally an attack from four directions at once.
The waza and their school of origin are as follows.
1. Mae Goshi: Asayama Ichiden Ryu
2. Muso Gaeshi: Shindo Munen Ryu
3. Migi no Tekki: Kyoshin Meichi Ryu
4. Mawari Gake: Tamiya Ryu
5. Shiho: Tatsumi Ryu
The Shindo Munen Ryu was founded by Fukui Yoshihira (Kahei) in the mid 1700s.
The Kyoshin Meichi Ryu was established in Kansei (1789-1801) by Momoi Hachirozaemon Naoyoshi and has roots in the Toda, Itto, Yagyu and Horiuchi Ryu. Momoi Shunzo Naoichi taught at the Kobusho military school. (f. 1854)
The Tamiya Ryu is a school founded by Tamiya Heibei Shigamasa who was born in the later part of the 1500s. He was a student of Hayashizaki Shiganobu Jinsuke and is accepted as the second headmaster of the Muso Jikiden Iaido lineage. From the Tamiya Ryu came the Shin Tamiya Ryu which was involved in the Mito Anti- Bakufu movement.
The Tatsumi Ryu was founded in the early 1500s, before the birth of Hayashizaki and included Iai training in its curriculum. It predates the Muso Jikiden lineage.
Draeger, Donn F. 1983, "Modern Bujutsu and Budo", Weatherhill, N.Y., N.Y.
Finn, Michael 1985 "Kendo no Kata; Forms of Japanese Kendo", Paladin Press, Boulder Colorado.
Kammer, Reinhard 1986, "The Way of the Sword; The Tengu Geijutsu-Ron of Chozan Shissai", Arkana, Boston Mass.
Warner, G. and Donn F. Draeger 1982, "Japanese
Swordsmanship", Weatherhill, N.Y., N.Y.
This is pretty much all the information that I have on this particular school of Iai, the forerunners, and its times. If any historians out there have more information I would love to hear from you. ... Kim