New Issue of Kagami

Published on January 5, 2015 by in News

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The new fall issue of Kagami is now available, if you haven’t seen it you can download the PDF version here:

Kagami Fall Issue 2014

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HNIR Southern Seminar

Published on November 6, 2014 by in News

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HNIR Kent PracticeWe recently held the 2nd Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu Kenjutsu seminar at the end of October, at the University of Medway Chatham Sports Hall, which is always a good venue with easy access routes for everyone.   It was a great turnout and I hope everyone else took as much away from the training as I did. We are looking to grow the Kent HNIR group so do stop by the new Facebook page to keep up to date with goings-on and practice times.

https://www.facebook.com/HNIRKent

Really got to grips this time round with Kodachi and Nito which for me has always been rusty.  Looking forward to attending more HNIR events across the UK next year.

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European Koshukai October 2014

Published on November 6, 2014 by in News

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koshukai2014The first weekend in October has become a permanent diary fixture as it is the annual EU Koshukai where instructors come from Europe and descend on unsuspecting Belgium for a two day Koshukai and two day Gasshuku. Sadly, this year I could only manage the two day Koshukai, but thought I would share my thoughts, just in case you were thinking on coming to a knbk event in future.

This year held special focus for me as I had heard the famous four letter word uttered by Sensei the last time we’d met in the UK, no not that word…

Test…

I arrived the day before the event started and upon meeting Sensei at Mebis sensei’s house I think the second words out of his mouth was don’t forget your testing this weekend.

Do’h.

Anyways well get to that. The first day of the instructor seminar started with Eishin Ryu battoho. It never ceases to amaze me how many more details there are to try and remember. I am hoping some of it stays in my head. As always in the instructors seminar, Sensei’s method of teaching makes you feel like he is talking directly to you at all times, even if he is not looking at you. It’s kind of unnerving…

We also spent some time discussing budo and appropriate behaviour, we were guinea pigs for Lee sensei, who shared with us a simple formula to help us act appropriately depending on a situation. I don’t want to spoil it for our US cousins who will get this in November at their Koshukai but suffice to say it was a great help. We also discussed wa or harmony of the group and it was most enlightening.

We also learnt a couple of new phrases to use at mealtimes and I use them everyday at mealtimes under my breath. Don’t need the wife thinking I have lost the plot.

We retired from training to the local drinking establishment where we all learnt that to take a picture using a phone camera in Spain you have to say patata at it repeatedly. In his defence, Raul-sans picture came out well. After a few drinks we headed off for eats at a traditional Belgian fry house, which was kind of bizarre as it felt like we were in someone’s house.

After food, we returned to Antwerp and much needed bed and note taking time….

The second day started with Omori ryu and again I am amazed at the detail we get into. The kae waza also always answered the “but what if I did this” questions that tend to come up from time to time. It Is really great to spend so much time going into each waza in detail.

Again I hope some of it sticks.

We were visited by VanLoo sensei who stopped by, but couldn’t train as he had fallen off his roof only a day before. It was good to see him up and about.

In the afternoon, we practiced tachi uchi no kurai, which I always enjoy but never get too much practice. Again we had plenty of time to get into the details. We managed to get through all the kata by the end of the day. Doing ukekomi at full tilt from wakigamae has me grinning like an idiot. Looking around I wasn’t alone…

Now remember I was testing? It was my last day and was nearly 5pm. We stop then line up. I am then told I have 5 minutes to pick 5 waza to demonstrate and I am testing…

Suddenly all the little details creep into my head…. And relax. I would like to say I can list off which Kata I demonstrated but I don’t have a clue. I think I did 5. I was then asked to pick a kumitachi kata and all I could think was don’t pick ukenagashi, don’t pick ukenagashi, and sure enough when I opened my mouth, I said remember saying ukenagashi.

D’oh

I squared off with Lee Sensei who was pairing with me for my test. I do remember we had to restart at one point but I think the shape of it looked reasonable in the end.

With my heart pounding in my ears we finished and then we all lined up and I was surprised to find I had been awarded shodan ho.

It was a good day. We then made the quick dash back to the hotel to change into our glad rags for the evening meal. We met up with Auger Sensei and his kenkyukai group from France.

I always enjoy my trips to Belgium, the guys always go an extra mile for you, maybe subconsciously maintaining the positive wa of the group. I was sad to leave early but hear everyone else had a great gasshuku and congrats to everyone who tested. I know how you feel.

If you get the chance to visit with us here in Europe you will be very welcome, the training, budo and camaraderie are second to none. Plus the food and drink is pretty good too.

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UK KNBK Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu Seminar

Published on May 11, 2014 by in News

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Iaido07We recently hosted the first UK KNBK Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu Seminar on the weekend of the 12th / 13th April 2014. Apart from previous visits to Belgium, this event was the first time UK members and visitors could get two solid days of training and exposure to Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai heiho.

I wanted to firstly thank Long Hanshi-Ho for putting trust in us to host and run the first event of its kind in the UK. We had not run something of this size before so finding a venue was tricky but in the end it turned out Margate was fairly easy for both UK and European members to get to. Who’d of thought Margate would be at the centre of Europe that weekend.

With most people arriving on the Thursday, we had a free day on Friday for a bit of sightseeing so we jumped in the car and drove the short drive to Rochester to visit the Castle and Cathedral, and do a bit of shopping. In Rochester castle you have the same castle build as the tower of London and I believe for a while, we had the castle to ourselves. For Bob Sensei, an added bonus of being able to visit the largest second hand bookshop in Europe. I think he could have bought more than he did.

We then retreated back to the hotel and moved in the Pub across the road from the hotel where we would pretty much live when not in the training hall for the next 4 days.
We had a good turnout from across Europe.

I also want to say a special thanks to Kako Lee Sensei, Bob Morris Sensei and Joe Wilde Sensei, who travelled from across the pond to help us with our practice. It is always great to meet family members for the first time. I am not quite sure when it happened but someone (and a welshman to boot) started to teach Joe cockney rhyming slang – to be honest I couldn’t adam and eve it myself.

Back in the dojo, we covered a lot of ground a lot of people locally had not been exposed to and everyone commented it was interesting and something they wanted more of. As always Hanshi always covers the multiple heiho of a waza, which you don’t get anywhere else. We are very lucky to have a direct access to such a great teacher.

Over the two days we covered:

  • Batto-Ho Shoden Waza
  • Batto-Ho Okuden Waza
  • Omori-Ryu seiza no Bu
  • Okuden Tachi Iai
  • Tachi Uchi no Kurai

I also want to personally thank everyone who took time out to travel across Europe to attend and I hope you found the seminar as enjoyable and inspiring as I did. I came with a huge
amount of things to work on and look forward to my next practice with Hanshi in October in Belgium (2 – 5th October in Antwerp if you are interested in coming).

We had members travel from Gibraltar, Wales, Ireland, England, Belgium as well as the 4 sensei from the US.

We had a last minute opportunity to record a radio and video piece for BBC Kent, and Sensei taught one of their Journalists how to wield a sword, it only took 30 seconds to remove the skepticism and replace it with a massive smile at making this first tachi kaze. I want to thank everyone who stayed behind on Monday to help with the BBC piece. This was your well deserved day off but you still all came in and helped make it a good experience for all. I’ll advise once it goes out.

At this point I want to say a special thank you to Jeff Bishop Sensei, who without which I would have been making 2 airports runs to collect everyone and helping me get everyone from the Hotel to the training hall each day. Cheers Goose!

We will be running the event next year, I just need a few days to get a date for next year agreed and in the diary.

Looking forward to seeing you soon. Anyone who wants to come to the UK to train and maybe share a few ales should keep an eye out for next years dates.

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Kagami by Masayuki Shimabukuro Hanshi

Published on November 26, 2013 by in News

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ShimabukuroHanshiDuring this past weekend’s 2013 KNBK Koshukai at the KNBK Hombu Dojo, we had the great pleasure of announcing the official release of the book Kagami by Masayuki Shimabukuro Hanshi. This book is a hardbound collection of all articles by Shimabukuro Hanshi that appeared in Kagami from the first issue in 2006 through the summer of 2012. Now, they are all in available in one volume. This effort was conceived of and spearheaded by Bob Morris Sensei of the JKI/KNBK Socal Dojo in San Diego, with the approval of Carl E. Long, Hanshi-Ho and Soshihan of the KNBK. On behalf of Long Hanshi-Ho and Morris Sensei, I am proud to announce that Kagami is now available for sale. The following link will allow you to preview and purchase the book.

US Orders

http://blur.by/1aTtnYm

UK Orders

http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/4636808-kagami

We hope that you all enjoy this volume and benefit greatly from the teachings contained within its covers. Please join me in thanking Morris Sensei for his dedicated effort in making this book possible and Long Hanshi-Ho for his support. And we thank all of you for your support in the ongoing project that is Kagami.

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European Koshukai and Gasshuku 2013

Published on October 14, 2013 by in News

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Gasshuku 2013I have just returned from a very eventful and fun pack week in Belgium where I attended both the KNBK Koshukai and Gasshuku.

This was my first instructors seminar and I was not too sure what that would involved. The good news was I was totally amongst friends as I have trained with all of the other European instructors over the last few years. We had instructors from the UK, Belgium, Holland, Spain, as well as the US.

The event was held at a new sports centre in Wetteren , Belgium, (Thanks for arranging that Kenneth – I would love to have this as my home dojo) they have a fantastic matted dojo which came in very useful during the Omori Ryu instruction – my knees were grateful. The group was a small group which meant we moved at a good pace and had very good feedback on our individual practice. We also managed to get through a lot of kata. We covered:

  • Batto Ho
  • Omori Ryu
  • 5 Chuden Waza
  • Okuiai Tachiwaza
  • Tachi uchi no kurai

I found the instruction from Long Hanshi invaluable as ever and have taken a lot of things away with me to work on over the coming year.

Also working tai sabaki with Lee Sensei was a great help – Domo arigato gozaimashita!

It was great to get some much work in on the Tachi uchi no kurai set as it is something a few of us had not practiced that in depth. We got to work with several different partners which meant we got to work on kiri-ma and practice with different timings. Always fun!

The 4 days seemed to literally fly by and before you knew it we were saying goodbye.

Congratulations
A note of congratulations to all those who graded or were awarded titles , with two quick mentions, to my brother from another mother, Marc Mebis who was awarded his Godan (and puts up with me crashing his events every year), and to Kako Lee who was awarded her Doushi, which is very well deserved.

A few of us took a trip on the last day of Sensei’s visit to Amsterdam, but like Las Vegas, what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam. Suffice to say it was a great day and evening!

Many thanks go to Mebis Sensei for organising another flawless event and ferrying everyone around. Not sure how you did all that driving around in the middle of the night and still managed to train. And thanks to our teachers who flew half way around the world to train us and break bread with us each night. Those “fireside” chats are just as important and rewarding as the keiko.

Really looking forward to next year’s event and have it in the diary already!

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Grading Results 19th September 2013

Published on September 20, 2013 by in News

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Well done to all that took gradings last night.

Results

Name Grade Awarded
Mark Regan 4th Kyu 2th Kyu
Charlie Graham 7th Kyu 6th Kyu
Bob Clements 8th Kyu 6th Kyu
Barney White Ungraded 8th Kyu

Well done everyone!

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Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu Southern Seminar

Published on August 27, 2013 by in News

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nitenAnyone in Kent or SouthEast who wishes to experience Musashi’s Two sword kenjutsu style will not want to miss this rare opportunity to practice with some of the most senior students in the UK who are personal students of the Soke in Japan.  On Sunday 27th October 2013 in Chatham, you could take part in teachings that are over 400 years old.  From this we aim to start a southern group who will meet up once a month to train.

For more information please email enquiries@kentiaido.co.uk

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New KBNK Newsletter Summer 2013

Published on July 23, 2013 by in News

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Here is the latest KNBK Newsletter, Kagami.

Kagami – Spring Summer 2013 Final

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Just found out about this and thought  I would share,  if anyone is in the Maidstone area. I didn’t know Maidstone had a museum (Weblink)

The museum and the exhibition will form part of the Japan/Medway student exchange. Our Japanese student guests will be with us from 24th July to 7th August.

In 1613, after a voyage lasting two years, The Clove, an English ship sent by the East India Company, reached the Japanese island of Hirado. The Clove was carrying gifts to be presented to the Japanese Shogun along with a letter of friendship from King James I. The Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was delighted with his gifts and presented the English King with suits of armour and paintings and gave permission for the English to reside and trade in Japan for ever. This exchange of gifts marked the opening of links between Japan and England.

But The Clove’s crew were not the first Englishmen to set foot in Japan. Thirteen years before, William Adams from Gillingham, had arrived with a Dutch ship. Adams became a confidant of the Shogun and received land and great wealth. The Japanese called him Anjin-sama or ‘Pilot’ and he became a Samurai, still the only European to receive this unique honour. Adams never returned to England; he died in Japan in 1620 and was buried in Hirado. James Clavell’s best-seller Shogun was based on Adams’s adventures.

This exhibition, from the Matsura Historical Museum in Hirado, features items which reflect the astonishment the Japanese felt at the outlandishness of contemporary European culture. The display is part of the Japan400 festival which marks the 400th anniversary of the opening of trade, scientific, cultural and diplomatic ties between the United Kingdom and Japan. It is the first time that Maidstone Museum has ever hosted an exhibition from outside the UK. The Matsura Historical Museum’s exhibits will complement Maidstone Museum’s own Japanese collections, rated by experts at the Victoria & Albert Museum as one of the UK’s finest.

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