Learn a Unique Japanese Martial Art in Canada

Address:

PO Box 116 La Ronge SK S0J 1L0

End of 2016, Hello 2017!

The year 2016 was fantastic for Taka Budo Dokokai Martial Arts, Inc., and in particular for the Meifu Shinkage Ryu department. We were privileged to train with Otsuka-Sensei in Japan at the Tabata dojo, and again during the seminar in La Ronge in October. New members passed their first examination, whereas other members passed their Kyu and Dan ranks.

The year 2017 will be another fantastic year. First of all, the Meifu Shinkage Ryu Canada – Toronto Keikokai will start under leadership from Nigel. The startup will be slow to establish a solid foundation. There is quite some potential to grow Meifu Shinkage Ryu in Toronto and in the greater Ontario; a great opportunity.

Following is a list of exciting opportunities in 2017:

  1. February 2017: Japan trip for Chris, training Meifu Shinkage Ryu with Otsuka-Sensei, and other schools with some of chris’ other senseis.
  2. April 2017: Planning a 4-day intensive seminar with Filip Bartos, for Mugai-ryu, Meifu Shinkage Ryu, and taijutsu and jujutsu.
  3. Summer 2017: Possible Yagyu Shinkage-ryu and Yagyu Shingan-ryu seminar in La Ronge.
  4. October 2017: Planning a 3-day Meifu Shinkage Ryu seminar with Otsuka-sensei.

Please note that opportunities 3 and 4 are semi-private, with early bird registration fee of $300 for each seminar, and $600 for the April 2017 seminar. If you are interested in reserving at the early bird fee, please contact Chris de Feijter. MSR Canada Branch members will receive the usual 50% discount on seminar fees for MSR related seminars.

November Sessions

Meifu Shinkage Ryu training in November followed many training activities as practiced during the October 2016 Saskatchewan Seminar. Compared to previous training sessions, we decided to focus our training using one tool in particular, supplemented by the other. For example, the majority of training focused on Bo-Shuriken, and additionally, some of the Fundo-kusarijutsu kata were reviewed as well.

One of our newest member is starting to transition to the hard fundo-kusari. The soft fundo kusari is a great training tool, however, any member must transition to using the hard version sometime during the training progression. Therefore, we think it is important to do so as soon as possible, not much later than after graduating the 5th kyu level. Taking safety and confidence into consideration, it is however imperative that new members use hard fundo-kusari only with very limited power with the focus being on flow. This resulted in a review of Ippon-me to sanbon-me-ni.

In addition, some members have started working on the Nidan and Sandan kata, as detailed in the Mokuroku for Fundo-kusarijutsu. This is a new step towards further and deeper understanding of all the skills and techniques in the Meifu Shinkage Ryu curriculum.

Product Review: Ninja Gear Canada Bo-Shuriken Update

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Bo-shuriken Made in Canada
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Ninja Gear Canada’s revised product is a great Canadian Bo-shuriken with a fantastic finish. They are now very close to the officially authorized  MSR Bo-shuriken from Japan. The higher weight (5 grams heavier) is due to limitations for getting lighter metal stock at a similar quality. These Bo-shuriken are a great option for anyone who is looking for a Canadian-made Bo-Shuriken.
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Bo-shuriken Made in Canada
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Meifu Shinkage Ryu Saskatchewan Keikokai received another complimentary set of Canadian made Bo-Shuriken, manufactured by Ninja Gear Canada. Chris de Feijter, Leader of the Keikokai agreed to doing a full review about the first product. After receiving a revised set, he shares his thoughts after throwing 100 shomenuchi.
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Design revision: The major change from the first set was revising the taper as well as the tip. As you can see in the right image, the shuriken with the shorter end taper is the new product, which is very similar to the Japanese cut-steel version. The weight however is still about 5 grams heavier than the Japanese version. After speaking with the owner of Ninja Gear Canada, I realized that this has to do with the available sizes and weight of stock material in Canada as compared to Japan.
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The revised product flies better than the initial product. Viewing slow motion footage shows a much more balanced flight path. Each of the bo-shuriken handles exactly the same, and this is how it should be.

This time, I did not throw one shuriken on top of the other one, because I am already aware of the somewhat softness of the steel. Ninja Gear Canada explained that creating the shuriken of harder steel might result in the tip shattering on contact, something that is not desired. After considering this, I am now okay with the softer steel.

After 100 throws (20 each) I do not see any damage to the Bo-shuriken. The nitride finish is doing an extraordinary job in protecting the bo-shuriken from getting damaged. Again, they look better than the official MSR Bo-shuriken from cut-steel.
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Ninja Gear Canada’s Revised Bo-Shuriken are a very good product, and better than any other Bo-shuriken (from outside of Japan) that I have tried. When you are looking to purchase Canadian-made Bo-shuriken, or possible even North-American made shuriken, these are the only product I would recommend. Yes, they are a bit heavier, but that should not stop anyone from using these. Fantastic Shuriken for everyday throwing, just make sure you use official MSR-Bo-shuriken for examinations and official instruction.

(Read the first review)
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Dr. Chris de Feijter
Meifu Shinkage Ryu Saskatchewan Keikokai Leader
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Product Review: Ninja Gear Canada Bo-Shuriken

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Bo-shuriken Made in Canada
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Ninja Gear Canada’s product is a great Canadian Bo-shuriken with a fantastic finish. They are very close to the officially authorized  MSR Bo-shuriken from Japan. Despite the higher weight (5 grams heavier) and the softer metal, these Bo-shuriken are a great option for anyone who is looking for a domestic product.
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Bo-shuriken Made in Canada
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Meifu Shinkage Ryu Saskatchewan Keikokai received a complimentary set of Canadian made MSR Style Bo-Shuriken, manufactured by Ninja Gear Canada. Chris de Feijter, Leader of the Keikokai agreed to doing a full review about this new product. For this review, Chris threw 500 Shomenuchi into a target made of two layers of Puzzle Mats.
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Design and Finish: These Bo-shuriken are designed very nicely, the product finish is extraordinary. Each Bo-shuriken is identical in weight, size, and shape, something that demands a detailed eye from a craftsman. The finish is quite different from many Japanese MSR Bo-shuriken. Ninja Dear Canada uses Nitride to coat each Bo-shuriken. This finish is probably the best one I have come across in any of the Bo-shuriken I have used. Even the forged Bo-shuriken from Japan, which have a smoked finish, do not look as good as the Ninja Gear Bo-shuriken. A major plus is awarded here.
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Before I describe the details of this product, please take a look at the video, demonstrating throwing three kinds of Bo-shuriken: #1 is the Ninja Gear Canada Bo-shuriken, #2 is an Official MSR Bo-shuriken (cut steel), and #3 is also an official MSR Bo-shuriken (forged steel).
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The weight is 5 grams heavier Bo-shuriken (42 grams vs 36 to 38 grams). They are significantly heavier (about 15% more) than the regular MSR shuriken from Japan. This is a big difference. One of our students also noticed this right away. After analyzing slow-motion iPad videos, I noticed that this extra weight alters the flight path considerably. In addition, this extra weight requires an adjustment of Tenouchi (hand grip) from a regular grip to a deep grip to accommodate and to adjust the flight path. I do recommend that the extra weight is adjusted, and brought back to at least 38 grams.

During the initial throws, I made one Bo-shuriken land on the bottom-end of another Bo-shuriken. I wanted to inspect the damage to each. The Bo-shuriken that flew into the other one, had considerable damage to the tip, with multiple bends and scrapes. The Bo-shuriken that was the target only had a little mark. Nevertheless, I had to repair the tip with sandpaper and a needle-nose file, something I have never had to do with the Japanese MSR Bo-shuriken (cut steel). Repairing the shuriken altered the weight with .25 grams, and more significantly, altered the flight path slightly. It seems that the steel used is a bit soft, however, this is much better than a Bo-shuriken tip shattering into pieces when it is too hard.

The softness of the steel is something I worry about. Yes, for a beginner who throws the Bo-shuriken in random places, the chances of a Bo-shuriken landing into another is slim, however, a more advanced practitioner, who is working on grouping the Bo-shuriken nicely together, may have a tougher time keeping the Bo-shuriken from getting damaged. One recommendation may be to further harden the tip, or use a slightly harder steel, as I can see a novice MSR Budoka being challenged by having to adjust the tip after a collision with another Bo-shuriken.

Overall, after 500 throws (100 each) I do not see major damage to the Bo-shuriken (except for the one that was damaged after the collision). I made sure to leave enough room between the Bo-shuriken when thrown to make sure the tips would survive this review. The nitride finish is almost identical to what is was when I received them, making them look better than the official MSR Bo-shuriken from cut-steel. Cut-steel Bo-shuriken are all products that are easily replaced, and because they are an economical option compared to forged Bo-shuriken, it is almost too much to really worry about the softer steel.
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Ninja Gear Canada’s product is a great Canadian Bo-shuriken with a fantastic finish. They are very close to the officially authorized  MSR Bo-shuriken from Japan. Despite the higher weight (5 grams heavier) and the softer metal, these Bo-shuriken are a great option for anyone who is looking for a domestic product for everyday training. However, for official MSR training as well as examination, it is recommended that Ninja Gear Canada creates a Bo-shuriken that is closer to the weight of official MSR Bo-shuriken (between 36 and 38 grams).
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Dr. Chris de Feijter
Meifu Shinkage Ryu Saskatchewan Keikokai Leader
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Sessions Week of January 24

 

We had three sessions this week, each focusing on a different aspect of Meifu Shinkage Ryu. The main theme was “flow”.

Monday January 25 (1 hour session)

We studied fundo kusarijutsu, going through several of the shodan kata. Particular attention was paid to the fluency of the techniques, not too fast or too slow, thus making sure that each technique transitioned correctly into the next.

Tuesday January 26 (2 hour session)

Shuriken-jutsu, with focus on handgrip, and shomenuchi using a shorter technique with lots of snap and brush. Some of the shuriken almost penetrated the double layer of puzzle mat.

Saturday January 30 (2 hour session)

All shodan waza for kusarijutsu and shurikenjutsu. Flow, footwork, as well as hip movement were studied.

 

  • If you are interested in participating in our MSR workshop on March 5, 2016 in Prince Albert, please check the details here.
  • On May 28 & 29, 2016, Filip Bartos from Czech Republic will organize a seminar in which we may add a little bit of MSR training as well.

Session January 19, 2016

During this session, the focus was shomenuchi again. We analyzed our hand grips, made small adjustments until the throw did no longer work. We identified many small mistakes often made, and looked at ways to remediate those for each of us.

We also looked at options to open a second dojo for MSR in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. More about this will follow shortly.

  • If you are interested in participating in our MSR workshop on March 5, 2016 in Prince Albert, please check the details here.
  • On May 28 & 29, 2016, Filip Bartos from Czech Republic will organize a seminar in which we may add a little bit of MSR training as well.

Session January 12, 2016

During this session, the focus was shomenuchi (although we did a few za-uchi as well) from different distances. The focus was on snap, brush, and on aligning the hand and arm with the target properly without overreaching and twisting the flight path of the bo-shuriken.

Working on the most important technique from Meifu Shinkage Ryu always has our priority. We noticed a difference when hikite was executed properly. The last part of the lesson focused on Shomenuchi using different bo-shuriken, including Shingetsu-ryu shuriken, Negishi-ryu shuriken, tanto, MSR hanten daho shuriken, and Katori shinto-ryu shuriken. We did not work with Fundo Kusari during this session.

The 2-ken distance is now progressing well for both Darren and Chris. For next training, the focus will be on grouping.

  • If you are interested in participating in our MSR workshop on March 5, 2016 in Prince Albert, please check the details here.
  • On May 28 & 29, 2016, Filip Bartos from Czech Republic will organize a seminar in which we may add a little bit of MSR training as well.
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