Ichi-go, Ichi-e (one time, one meeting)
An old Kung Fu proverb states that “it is better to spend five years looking for a good martial arts teacher than spending 20 years in martial arts training with a bad instructor”.
This could not have been truer. When I heard about the seminar I signed up immediately.
I did not know of Threadgill sensei but had heard impressive things about him from impressive martial artists, and as far as references go, they don’t get any better. I was looking forward to meeting him and to what I was promised would be a very interesting seminar.
The level of skill demonstrated was both inspirational and aspirational but what amazed me most, is the underlying clarity and depth of understanding the principles that underpin the technique, the historical backgrounds of the moves and the mechanisms of the techniques. Even more impressive was the ability to explain, demonstrate and deliver the message of true Budo.
The seminar saw a tag team style of instruction, with one leading with a technique explaining the concepts and the principles and after some practice the other would explain how that same principle applied to the other martial art.
In my opinion, that seminar could have been held in any serious dojo in the world and would still have been beneficial and relevant.This was highlighted by the fact that some of the attendees came from very diverse backgrounds, jujitsu, Aikido, Judo and even a couple from Karate. The seminar was lively and buzzing, the energy was abundant and the action constant.
I have trained with mustard sensei many times, so it was easy for me to have my name on the list the moment this seminar was announced, However, I had not met Threadgill sensei before this weekend, but I know that if he permits me, I will most certainly be at every one of his future seminars in the UK, I would be a fool to miss them. I can almost guarantee that you will rarely find such high-caliber instructors, who are as generously giving and yet humble.
Take home message?
Next seminar that either or both instructors lead in the UK make sure you’re on it. You will not regret it.
Since I started with a proverb I will finish with one, the Japanese say: “one time, one opportunity” although the origin of this proverb is not actually in the field of Budo it is often used in the martial art world, to mean seize the opportunity you have, you may not get another, sure enough, these opportunity don’t come knocking every day seize what you can.
I can’t promote this event enough. I believe another on is planner for next year. Don’t miss out.
17th September 2012
Robert Mustard sensei is a nana-dan (7th degree black belt) in Yoshinkain Aikido which he studied for 35 years 10 of which in Japan under the direct guidance of two legendary martial artists, Takeno Takafumi and Chida Tsutomu sensei’s. Mustard sensei’s power and swift execution of his technique is phenomenal, what is more phenomenal is his teaching ability, sense of humour and humility.
Tobi Threadgill sensei In 1985 initiated training under Takamura Yukiyoshi, headmaster Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu. In 1992 he founded the Soryushin Dojo and in 1994 was appointed a branch director of the Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin Kai. In 1999, he was one of three people to be awarded a menkyo kaiden in Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu. Sensei’ Threadgills impressive understanding of body mechanics and demonstration of exquisite skill is well-known to those who train with him. He has an amazingly in-depth understanding of budo, a pleasure to be with on the mat training or off the mat chatting about budo.
Link to 2013 event: