Now that it has been over a week from the 2002 Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido seminar with Takada Gakudo Sensei (iaido hanshi, 9th dan; jodo kyoshi 7th dan) - an interesting but exhausting week with six to seven hours of training per day - I would like to share some of my experiences with you.
On Monday, 3rd of June we started at noon by going through the Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido Shoden level. Takada Sensei always wants to check the senior iaido teachers' technique in the beginning of a seminar. After that we continued with all other dan grade students with Chuden level techniques. Then we had Jodo training and Shoden level for all members, and at first we concentrated on the basics of both arts. The last lesson of the first day was a lecture for iaido grading judges.
On Tuesday we started again with the senior iaido teachers, as Sensei wanted to teach a new Toho set to us. Here I must explain a bit. Last summer Takada Sensei left Dai Nippon Iaido Renmei to found a new organization called Nippon Iaido Kyokai together with some other people, and in September there was a big inauguration ceremony in the Iseyama Jinja for the new association. There are some pictures of this occasion in http://www.ran-yu.co.jp/hp-3/aiyou/aiyousya/aiyousyarepo/aiyou06.htm.
As in other Japanese Iaido associations, the Kyokai Toho set is a set common to all member ryuha and is used also in grading. This new set has, however, also another function: as all techniques in it are done from the standing position, it can be used as a starting set for those who have knee problems. The techniques are from the participating ryuha of the Nippon Iaido Kyokai. The founder members of the Kyokai were from Muso Shinden Ryu, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Ono-ha Hoki Ryu, Mugai Ryu, Shinshin Sekiguchi Ryu and Omori Ryu. The techniques and ryuha are:
1. Korantô Musô Shinden Ryû
2. Yukichigai Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû
3. Tôrôken Shinshin Sekiguchi Ryû
4. Musôgaeshi Mugai Ryû
5. Mukôzume Hôki Ryû
The rest of the week went on about the same schedule. First in the morning there was a lesson for the seniors followed by Jodo and Shoden for all members and a lunch break. In the afternoons we started by Tachi Uchi no Kurai paired technique lessons for 'nidan and up' level, followed by Chuden or Okuiai sets and the last training was for all, a Shoden class.
On Saturday we had also Keishi-cho Ryu iai for senior members. On Sunday we had first Shoden and jodo lessons followed by a short break. After that we had jodo and iaido gradings and also a Shinsa-in test for judges. The day ended with a party, and on Monday Sensei flew to Sweden to hold another seminar there.
If you would like to have a look at the Enbu of the Kyokai at the Setojinja in Yokohama on May 2002 please visit: http://www.ran-yu.co.jp/hp-3/aiyou/aiyousya/aiyousyarepo/aiyou16.htm