From July 14 to July 18, 2016, Taka Budo Dokokai Martial Arts Inc. organized a private seminar in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu Kenjutsu. Below describes how this seminar evolved.

On July 14, we travelled from Saskatoon to La Ronge. On the way, we stopped at Little Red Park for our first training session. We looked at Kurai, as well as on posture, hand grip, and feet positioning.

Then we drove further North, and stopped at a gravel pit to continue our session. This time, we looked at simple kumitachi.

After this session, we drove further North and stopped at a campsite to continue training. However, the bugs were mightier than the sword, so we escaped and drove straight to la Ronge. After supper, we wanted to try another outdoor session, but also this time the bugs were persistent and buggy.

Friday July 15.

We studied the Yagyu Shinkage-ryu Rei, and reviewed what was studied the day before. Then we were introduced to the 5 kata of Sangakuen no Tachi, and started to learn foundational skills that would allow us to learn these kata. We continued the day with studying Itto Ryodan and Santei Settetsu. In the afternoon we started to study Hankai Hanko (eye opener), and continued after supper with Usen Saten.

When we returned home, we had a long philosophy discussion into the middle of the night as we studied key concepts from Yagyu Shinkage-ryu strategy.

On Saturday July 16, we trained in regular karategi with traditional obi. We did a review of the four kata, and then studied Chotan Ichimi. After lunch, we continued with foundational skills, and then transitioned to a more dynamic way of performing the 5 kata. At the end of the evening we ended with the dynamic version of Zantei Settetsu, my personal favourite kata which is very representative of what Yagyu Shinkage-ryu stands for.

On Sunday July 17, we reviewed all the techniques, and then continued with the dynamic versions of all the kata. We reviewed all the skills. Sensei then demonstrated the 5 katas as they were originally designed for teaching skills for use in the battle field. We finished with a kata with the kodachi.

Monday July 18 was a travel day, filled with philosophy and shoptalk. Next to techniques, philosophy plays an important part in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu.


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