Merging with other blog...
the link for that blog is: http://muskogeeyokie.blogspot.com.
Please come on over!
My walk down the path of Japanese martial arts.
Here's a picture of the sword stand that we use in class. My sensei made it himself! His handmade bokto and shoto are also in this picture, as well as his katana. The banner has the symbol that he made to represent his goods.
Here is Soga Sensei, himself, taking a picture just like the one, up above.
However, here is a picture of the current Tamiya Ryu grandmaster. I think his current age is 100+.
Just because I gave up my current iaido path doesn't mean I'm through with the sword. I searched around online for other options. I was hoping to find a style that teaches the Two Swords As One School school. The nearest one is on the other end of the country so I doubt I'll be joining up.
Above: Romanticized picture of Musashi; Below: a depiction of Musashi as a young boy (not so romantic!)
For those of you that don't know, that would be Miyamoto Musashi's school of fencing. He used two swords. While he was definitely a skilled swordsman, I recently read that he was also left-handed. This means that he learned to use a sword with his right hand (the Japanese arts are taught this way) and then when he picked up a sword in his dominant left hand, he didn't exactly have to retrain it. I'm sure that helped him along his way. So their HQ told me there were several "Musashi" schools but not so many that were official. I'd have settled for unofficial but he didn't offer any locations.
Here's a picture of my weapons shop. I feel sorry for these people when they see me darken their doorway. I've learned to come in with dictionary in one hand and a pencil and paper in the other. It's mostly a kendo shop but they carry a minor assortment of other things. I picked up some wooden swords here and some name patches for my aikido uniform. They passed me a couple of phone numbers for other sword classes.
One of them was a Toyama Ryu Battojutsu class. This differs from iaido in that it's not very old at all. It's basically what was being taught to the imperial army for use in combat. The name was given to it in 1925. It's basically a sword handling/skill class. They even do practice cuts on rolled up tatami mats. The class was very exciting to watch and really intrigued me. I'll be joining up in July. The sensei was a very warm fellow and he loaned me a copy of a VHS tape he made that was full of him and his sensei doing cuts and seminars.
That's me peeking over that guy's head.
This picture speaks for itself. I noted the people that I can recognize. Aoki Sensei is the teacher in charge of my dojo. Nishimura Sensei is the teacher that always shows up. Takeda Shihan is the master teacher in charge of Aikido Kenkyukai International. Doshu is.. well, Doshu.
I lifted this picture from the web. I believe it's a picture of Tamiya Sensei.