Koryu meets Gen Dai Ryu
A two day Martial art seminar is concluded… Two martial arts, one a modern budo, the other a Koryu dating back centuries. Both instructors are masters in their own field and they both are exceptional
in 12 session, each about an hour long, over one weekend, we examined concepts of body movement and basics of body physics.
I have introduced Toby Threadgill, and Robert Mustard on this blog before, so I spare you the repetition, however, for those looking to improve their skill at any martial art this seminar was a gold mine. I use the word martial art deliberately, because the seminar was not purely about Aikido or Shindo Yoshin Ryu, which was really evident form the participants who came from a variety of arts. Wado Ryu Karate, Yoshinkan Aikido, Tomiki Aikido, Jyu jitsu, Tradtional Aikido, and Judo.
The good news is, the message is spreading, we had more on the mat this year that we did last year. Both instructors were fired up and both were on form.
I had contemplated writing descriptive anecdotes of what took place, but I would probably complicate this blog and would not do the seminar justice.
There are some principles that apply to all martial arts, finding those principles, and the common base is what makes the difference between a good martial artist and an exceptional one.
One technique leading to another we examined the essence of each technique, the bases of why it works -the ‘Riai’ which the basic foundation of why the technique works. This is why it really was an event with a difference. What Threadgill sensei particularly offered, to me a budoka who has not had any Koryu exposure before (apart form the same seminar last year) was an insight into the historical element of some of the techniques and how it was applied on the battlefield.
The historical element of any technique is truly important, it makes all the difference to the development of the art and progression of skill.
Perhaps one can take the martial art forward without knowing a lot of history of the art but If nothing else understanding the history adds sense to many of the moves that seems unnecessary. We do what we do for a reason, the problem is much of the knowledge of that reasoning has worn thin by the rapid spread of martial arts over the last few decades or so. This seminar was really useful readdressing that issue.
I expect this seminar will become an annual event in view of the success and popularity. It is not very often that we see Koryu instructors visiting the UK and I sure hope this trend continues. There is some really impressive skills within the Koryu arts and it would be great to see it every now and then and be a part of it.. if transiently.
Perhaps equally interestingly is the ‘Gen Dai Ryu’ or the modern martial arts, which despite being a young art compared to Koryu still has a phenomenal depth of knowledge and skill set when the right practitioner comes around.
So… were from here for the tour?… the week is still young and the seminar was merely the beginning. Yet to come, are vists to dojos around the country, each day of the week culminating in what will certainly be a promising ‘Gasshuku’ in Preston next weekend.
I shall write more about the tour as the week goes by…