Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû iaijutsu Komei Jyuku es un koryû (escuela antigua) fundada entre la Era Eiroku (1558-1570), la Era Genki (1570-1573) y la Era Tenshô (1573-1592) por Hayashizaki Jinsuke no Shigenobu. Según la mayoría de los especialistas y estudiosos de la historia japonesa, fue la primera escuela en especializarse en el arte del iaijutsu (arte del desenvaine del sable japonés) , articulándolo y ordenándolo. Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû procede del feudo de Tosa, de la familia Yamauchi en la línea de Tôkyô y está reconocida por la Nihon Kobudô Kyôkai bajo el liderazgo del 21º sucesor legítimo de la escuela Sekiguchi Takaaki Komei sensei. Las clases en los dôjô están dirigidas por el representante para España de esta escuela, Sekiguchi Kenryû, quien ha sido autorizado a enseñar y transmitir estas enseñanzas samurai del feudo de Tosa.

Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu está liderada por Shimizu Nobuko sensei. Centrándose en el manejo de la naginata (alabarda japonesa) y el tantô (puñal) de Jikishinkage Ryû bajo los conocimientos adquiridos de la 17º sôke Toya Akiko sensei, que le concedió 8º Dan Hanshi a Shimizu sensei. También se estudian formas de etiqueta y protocolo derivadas de Ogasawara Ryû reihô y transmitidas por el 32º sôke Ogasawara Tadamune sensei, que le concedió a Shimizu sensei el Menkyô Kaiden así como el nombre de Ryôen. Las clases en los dôjô están dirigidas por el representante para España de esta escuela, Ryôen Ryûko, quien ha sido autorizado a enseñar y transmitir estas enseñanzas.

domingo, 28 de junio de 2015

Training in Japan: Wedding and Keiko

Sekiguchi Kenryû - Nakayama Aki

This trip to Japan was not only for tourism, training or study, but for something more: my wedding.
After getting married in Spain in the Franciscan convent church of my hometown (Benissa), Aki and I and our two families traveled to Japan to get married in Shinto ritual at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura.

Noguchi Fukuko sensei-Sekiguchi Kenryû- Nakayama Aki - Shimizu Nobuko sensei

The truth is that explain each and every stage of a traditional Japanese wedding would require a single book. The protocols to be followed according to the traditional Sahô are many and complex. The couple must follow a very precise indications both from the time of departure to the temple in a special wedding jinrikisha (rickshaw). In Wakamiya while our families listen the instructions to follow, Aki and I must read and sign the declaration "in fornt of the gods" (Seishi). It is the man who must do it with a Shôdô style, so I had to implement my rudimentary script to write our names and the year in which we are, based on the current Era (Heisei). After being escorted by a wonderful Gagaku orchestra (traditional Japanese music), we arrive at Maiden or pavilion where we were get married in the presence of the gods. Here again it is up to the man to read the words that are directed to the Shinto deities. Also Shinto priest and his assistant proceeded to make sacred readings and the priestess performed a ritual dance. First the priests and then Aki and I did Tamagushi Oharai with Sakaki tree branches. Both dance as this rite allude to the day when the Sun Goddess (Amaterasu not ōmikami) was locked in a cave. All these rituals have a purifying and repel evil spirits and at the same time draw the attention of the gods on those who will get married. Finally, husband, wife and their families drank sacred sake served in a golden teapot. After leaving the Maiden, again with the Gagaku music and a procession the ceremony ended, but the wedding feast continued with the family, held at the luxurious restaurant Kamakurayama. This protocol was almost higher than in the temple, every minute is scheduled in the banquet to the millimeter. Quite an experience of japanese traditions.

Nakayama Aki - Ryôen Ryûko

And all this many be thinking ... what has this to do with the bujutsu? Usually these events, especially the Shinto ceremony at the Maiden, only the nearby blood family is allowed. For me, besides my family and my new Spanish Japanese political family, I have a Japanese family of bujutsu. My teacher Sekiguchi Komei sensei, 21st headmaster Musô Jikiden Eishin ryû iaijutsu (Komei Juku) "adopted me" giving me his surname and named me Sekiguchi Kenryū. Also my teacher Shimizu Nobuko sensei, school leader of Ryôen ryû naginatajutsu, also "adopted me" appointing me Ryôen Ryukô. That is why I wanted to invite them to so precious ceremony and emotional day for me. Sekiguchi sensei unfortunately could not attend due to scheduling problems, so he sent on their behalf to one of his top instructors, Noguchi Fukuko sensei, who is also the school leader of Kôfu ryû kenbu. My naginata teacher Shimizu Nobuko sensei could go and so with her son, my good friend and "brother" Shimizu Masahito.

Nakayama Aki

Time to read the "shukuji" or speech for the couple, Noguchi sensei got up and read the really emoting speech who wrote Sekiguchi sensei for the moment. I really feel very honored that my teacher appreciate me enough to devote so many nice words. When emotions began to be quiet, it was time for the cheers, this time my naginata teacher, Shimizu senseispoke and also gave us so lovely words.


The banquet was enjoyable within the protocol, among others thanks to the work of emcee Aki maternal uncle and a magic show his paternal uncle.
We go out to the restaurant garden, and before Aki father's words a ruling ending event, Aki and I had a surprise prepared for our sensei.
Since Aki is my student of Ryôen ryû naginatajutsu (just over two and a half years ago), both conducted a embu of naginata. The kata were chosen with a special meaning. I acted uchidachi (katana), while Aki shidachi (naginata). In the first series of school (Shôden no Bu), we did the first kata (Minamo) where shidachi wins. We continue with the seventh kata (Naginata Zôri) where he won uchidachi. To finish and balance and harmonize we conclude with the sixth kata (Musubi Kiri) in which both draw or "tie" with a harmony and breathing: shiawase-kokyûhô. After that I took the naginata to finish with the last kata of the second series (Ryû no Bu): Kogarashi.
After this, Aki retired and I did a embu of Musô Jikiden Eishin ryû iaijutsu, following Noguchi sensei instructions I did the 3 kata of the Bangai Sanbon (Hayanami, Raiden, Jinrai) and the 5 kata of the Bangai Gohon (Mae, Aranami, Kesa Guruma, Taki Guruma and Tatsumaki).
With this ended the ceremonies and said goodbye briefly as the sensei we would see shortly.

Sekiguchi Kenryû

After a sightseeing tour where we showed the wonders of Japan to my parents and brother, it was time to train.
The first place was the Kamata dôjô, led by Fujii Katsuko sensei (the right hand of Sekiguchi sensei and his former student). Here I had the opportunity to train with Obiki Ritsuko sensei and Yamazaki Hiroo sempai. Keiko work was the three iaijutsu series of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu: Seiza no Bu (11 kata), Tate Hiza no Bu (10 kata), Oku Iai Iwaza (8 kata) and Oku Iai Tachiwaza (13 kata) . We also had the chance to see the "extra" Bangai Gohon series of 5 kata. I apreciate so much all the corrections and patience of my sensei and sempai when they showed me the correct forms.

Yamazaki Hiroo sempai - Sekiguchi Kenryû - Fujii Katsuko sensei - Obiki Ritsuko sensei

The second place of training was the dôjô located in Shinagawa. There I had the great chance to have a private keiko with Fujii sensei, which focused on improving those things I didn't understand so weel during the session of Kamata dojo. The work was the same, 47 kata in total, with many repetitions and many corrections. It is really impressive to see and train with Fujii sensei who at 75 years old can perform each and every kata, both seiza and tate hiza perfectly. Fujii sensei was already a student of the former headmaster of our school the 20th Onoe Masamitsu and she was kôhai of our current headmaster, the 21st Sekiguchi Komei, so she has countless years of study of iaijutsu.

Yamazaki Hiroo sempai doing hikitaoshi

As for Ryôen ryû naginatajutsu keiko, Shimizu sensei also gave me the possibility of a private workout with her. We choose the Kanagawa Kenritsu Budôkan. Inside the majestic architecture, you can meet students groups of iaidô, kendô, kyûdô, Koryû, karate...all bowing each other with respect and all creating a truly martial atmosphera. For example the shôdòjô we had allocated (as it was very large) we shared half with a group of Shintô Musô Ryû jôdô Kyûshû line (Otofuji-Suigetsukai).

Kanagawa Kenritsu Budôkan

Naginata training was focused on kihon and the 10 kata of the first series Shoden no Bu, in its part of shidachi and uchidachi. Towards the end of the 5 hours of Keiko, we also had occasion to see the five kata in the second set Ryû no Bu.
Shimizu sensei felt really comfortable in this place. Since the place is 65km away from its usual home and place of training (in Saitama Yoshikawa) I asked why this familiarity, and the answer was the following: Almost 40 years ago, Shimizu went to this same dôjô to receive classes of Jikishinkage ryû naginatajutsu by the hands of Toya Akiko, the 17th sôke (remember that Shimizu sensei is Tora no Maki-8th dan Hanshi in this Koryû). Shimizu sensei told me that usually it was she who had to move to Ôsaka to attend classes at the dôjô Jikishinkage ryû hombu, but occasionally, Toya sôke came to Kantô to provide special keiko in Kanagawa Budôkan and Chiba Budôkan, occasions that Shimizu did not waste. I felt honored to be able to train in a place that not only martial history in general, but in relation to our own naginata school. Right where Shimizu sensei had been a deshi, now I was the student and her the teacher.

Shimizu Nobuko sensei - Ryôen Ryûko

For the final practice session we returned to move to Shinagawa dôjô for a double session Musô Jikiden Eishin ryû iaijutsu led by Fujii sensei and Ryôen ryû naginatajutsu session directed by Shimizu sensei.
In iaijutsu Keiko they were also present Kojima Keiko sensei, Shimizu Nobuko sensei, Yamazaki Hiroo sempai and Onoe Masato sempai. We also accompanied by Sonoko Nakano sempai, secretary Komei Juku.

Kojima Keiko sensei - Fujii Katsuko sensei (seiza) - Shimizu Nobuko sensei

We started with Tôhô Gohon (5 kata) series followed by Seiza no Bu (11 kata), Tate Hiza no Bu (10 kata) and Oku Iai series Iwaza (8 kata) series. From here two groups were formed. One with the sensei and sempai where they worked the Bangai series and kenjutsu-kumitachi Tachi Uchi no Kurai Nanahon no Kata and myself alone I performed many times the Oku Iai Iwaza to correct all my mistakes. Finally, Fujii sensei asked me about some kata which had doubts and my answer was train the renzoku-waza Hayanuki Chudan morote, Hayanuki Chudan katate and Hayanuki chudan katate tachiwaza. The truth is that thanks to the sensei and sempai I learned many things that I hope to remember and teach to my students in Madrid.

Onoe Masato sempai
After iaijutsu keiko it was time to Ryôen ryû naginatajutsu where Shimizu sensei, Onoe san and I made the first series Shoden no Bu, both shidachi and uchidachi. We also had time to perform the kata Shihô Giri - Shihô Barai, where we study the reihô. Finally we get into two of the kata of the third series Tora no Bu: Hi Omote, and Hishô. I will not say which are the most difficult because each and every one of the kata of the third series are extremely difficult. Shimizu sensei says that when you get to master these kata both shidachi and uchidachi, the level will be equivalent to a 7th dan.
For ending all went to dinner at a restaurant as a farewell to Japan, because the next day he left for Spain.
This trip has been special from the first moment, marked by my marriage with Aki, there was also time for a hard and consistent training of bujutsu. The promise in gratitude to the efforts of my sensei is train hard, give my best in each Keiko and return next, stronger and wiser for them to see the fruits of the teachings.

deshi Spain hombu 

Thank you very much to my family for joining Japan, my political family for welcoming me into their home in Yokohama and treat me so well, my sensei for welcoming me warmly and teaching me so much and of such quality, and of course Aki, by marrying me and understand that my "honeymoon" had to be going from dôjô to dôjô, in this I think I have the most comprehensive and good wife in the world.

Jorge receiving the certificate of member of Komei Juku sealed by 21st Sekiguchi Komei


Once we returned to Spain, one of the first things I started to organize a Special Course Corrections Muso Jikiden Eishin ryû iaijutsu where to teach every one of the things seen in the Japanese Keiko. This course was effective the delivery to Jorge of its accreditation as an official member of Koryû (I brought from Japan). At this point we can say that the school grows in membership, since we Jorge makes two of us who are recognized as registered students Musô Jikiden Eishin ryu iaijutsu Komei Juku. Our Spain hombu has many students which are not yet members, but I have no doubt that with effort and tenacity in the keiko may get it soon.