The Iaido Journal
2011 Mu Mon Kai Fall Koryu Seminar
copyright © 2011 Patrick Suen, all
As a member of the CKF, our club's primary focus is
on the standardized kata determined by the All Japan Kendo
Federation. However, it is in the koryu where we truly connect
with the people who passed down the art of Iaido from one
generation to the next.
The Mu Mon Kai Fall
Koryu Seminar was held at the JCCC on Saturday, October 15.
- Mu Mon Kai (home
Yoshinkan of Canada (former affiliate, Toronto)
- Kenshokan (former
- Kaigen Kai
(affiliated dojo, St. Catharines)
- University of
Rochester (affiliated dojo, Rochester)
(affiliated dojo, Rochester)
The seminar was
organized by Hanna Ikeda-Suen who showed great spirit in maintaining
order throughout the seminar while fighting through illness. The dojo
was booked from 3pm - 8pm and refreshments were served during the
break. Reservations were made for 20+ people at Tako Sushi for dinner. Even
though she was unable to participate, her efforts in making everyone's
experience the best it could be was very much appreciated.
Ohmi Sensei's opening
statement was very illuminating. Paraphrasing:
"To me, Seitei and
Koryu are the same thing. In Iaido, you must have an opponent.
Everything you do comes from this understanding. Is your blade angle
correct? Is your sword tip at the right location? All this comes from
knowing the scenario and facing your opponent. "
Agenda as follows:
1. Etiquette: Holding
the sageo. Shomen Rei. To Rei. Tying sageo.
2. Nukitsuke: Blade
angle when drawing. Wide. Tsuka-gashira center. Harusuke angle. Ohmi
3. Noto (Omori,
Eishin, MJER) options. Tsukagashira center
- Oe Masamichi was a tall, big guy. However, he used a 2.35
shaku sword, the standard for Tosa Iai. It was easy for him to perform
noto with Tsukagashira center. We must adjust our noto to the length of
our sword. It is mandatory that it stays within body length though.
4. Fundamentals of
MJER - Gokai. Technically and Mentally big. Cuts slightly down (exit
5. Chiburi: Tip low
front and back. Blood flow down. Not sweep around front.
- One sensei claimed that because of a samurai's top knot,
chiburi was performed sweeping around the front of the body so as not
to interfere. We should not make it that obvious though. Make natural
angle forward and down.
7. Breaking Koiguchi
has three ways: Show thumb. Hide thumb. Use thumb and index finger.
8. Seme is a
difference between Mugai-ryu (quick, no zanshin) vs MJER
- In Ohmi Sensei's opinion, in a real fight, Mugai-ryu will beat MJER.
However, MJER is about Seme, about controlling the opponent with your
spirit. That is the focus. If you're able to reach the highest level of
this, then MJER can just as well beat Mugai-ryu.
a. Uke Nagashi - Slow
- Yamamoto Harusuke used to travel around and stay at his student's
dojo. Once, when he was visiting Yamashibu sensei, Haruna sensei went
to train and asked about Uke Nagashi. At that time, Harusuke sensei was
already old and was doing the technique very slowly. Haruna sensei
asked, "Shouldn't this be fast?". Harusuke sensei replied, "Show me how
you do it.". Haruna showed him. Harusuke proceeded to say, "Yes! That
is Uke Nagashi."
b. TsukeKomi: Options
- Move back or not
c. Nukiuchi: Options
- draw with tsuki-age, draw with tsuki-age + uke nagashi, draw with
only uke nagashi
--- BREAK ---
History of MJER.
Iaido federation vs Kendo federation. Ku-den transmitted through mouth
only. So no way to really know if what we're doing now is the same as
what they used to do.
- We are often told that Mae has all the basics of Iaido. Ohmi sensei
once heard, and agrees, that it is really Yokogumo that has all the
basics of Iaido. Not Seitei Mae. Not Omori-ryu Mae.
c. Hayanuki with
demonstration by M. Hodge (4 Dan)
--- BREAK ---
How to have opponent
- Breath, hips,
- try movements
without sword to use hip
Oku-Iai - Yukizure -
Demonstrations and individual corrections
We concluded the night with great conversations at Tako Sushi.