by Colin Hyakutake-Watkin (Hyoho Niten Ichiryu - Kageryu)
First of all my heartfelt thanks must go out to Taylor Sensei all those that helped and participating from Canada, America, United Kingdom and Finland. And last of all but not least the Japanese participants living abroad.
Imai Masayuki Soke the tenth generation headmaster of the Hyoho Niten Ichiryu, Iwami Toshio Sensei Menkyo Kaiden and myself as acting Sempai of the ryu left Japan early Tuesday morning 10th September. We actually arrived the same day but this was because we had crossed the international dateline. In actual fact it was for me around twenty seven hours of waiting and flying before we arrived safely in Guelph Ontario. Some rather officious separating of translator and foreign visitors at the airport had not helped matters. But we eventually got there numb, tired and ready to start.
In his opening words at the seminar, Imai Soke spoke of the Yagyu Ryu description of having to meet and deal with an opponent with the force of a large boulder tumbling down a mountain. He spoke of Musashi's feelings relating to having to deal with the power and speed of a falling drop of water. Bearing this in mind the purpose of his visit to Canada was not just to relate the Hyoho of Musashi but a chance to see a very large drop of falling water called Niagara falls and experience its power. Needless to say he was thrilled to see 1.6 million gallons falling per second on his visit on 11th September.
Imai soke in front of the Canadian falls
He then went on to talk about the Hyoho of Musashi relating to religions of the world: That a lot of religions sadly did not practice what they preached such as Christianity and Buddhism and that the particular countries that these two religions had come from had not been given to embrace the teachings. That Musashi's way was to embrace ones fatality. Never to simply state that one would do something but never get round to it. And mainly that one should always endeavour to keep an honest mind and an honest heart in all things. The sword and the heart are as one. To learn the sword we must learn matters of the heart.
Imai soke and Iwami sensei, tachi seiho
The practical aspects of the seminar emphasized Musashi's action of moving with two feet rather than one remaining static. We hear of many techniques in other ryu such as go sen no sen and sen-sen no sen. Musashi used Sen no Sen in initiating an attack.
Students and sensei, niten ichiryu seminar
It is hoped that the next kenkyukai will be held in 2004. Anyone who has any interest in relating to Gorin no Sho and its true meaning would be advised to book early for what will be without doubt another one to go down in history.
Again my thanks to all and tears of praise for Imai Soke.