Since March 2020, the training sessions provided by Meifu Shinkage Ryu Canada Branch have only been online. We have invested in two high-quality cameras to continue to provide expert instruction to our members. Please take a look at our dedicated online learning page to find out more about how to start training online.
Summer has started and the summer break is just around the corner. With that, our keiko schedule changes significantly for this summer.
- Last keiko: June 27, 7pm, Home-dojo in La Ronge;
- July 2018: no keiko due to our own training in Japan;
- August 5-8: Private keiko and examinations in La Ronge, seminars already booked for MSR Canada members;
- First day of regular training: September 5, 2018;
- Private training sessions are available during weekend at the end of August.
If you are looking to purchase MSR Bo-Shuriken, please let me know as soon as possible. I can then place your order and pay Otsuka-sensei in Japan in 2 weeks.
Please note that we are moving away from Facebook, making future announcements on our general website and for our MSR Canada members on our Members Only website. All members have received information about this already. If you want to continue to follow our activities in Canada, post announcements will be made in Facebook automatically, just like this one.
Excitingly we are announcing a series of new workshops, to be offered in Saskatchewan and Toronto. Four workshops about Bo-Shurikenjutsu as well as four workshops about Fundo Kusarijutsu are currently being designed. Please take a look at the special announcement page, https://meifushinkageryu.ca/workshop-small-weapons/
In addition, we are setting up regular Keiko Cafe sessions. Please see the Facebook group for announcements.
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:
- February 2017: Japan trip for Chris, training Meifu Shinkage Ryu with Otsuka-Sensei, and other schools with some of chris’ other senseis.
- April 2017: Planning a 4-day intensive seminar with Filip Bartos, for Mugai-ryu, Meifu Shinkage Ryu, and taijutsu and jujutsu.
- Summer 2017: Possible Yagyu Shinkage-ryu and Yagyu Shingan-ryu seminar in La Ronge.
- 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.
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.
Todays training was about all Bo-Shuriken waza, all stances and distances from 1 to 2 ken. Gyaku uchi is difficult from 2 ken. After that, I started to train Shomenuchi with the left hand from 1 ken. This was very interesting and forced me to really focus on the hand grip as left is my non-dominant hand. Then I followed up with Shomenuchi with two shuriken, one from the left hand and one from the right hand, thrown at the same time from Heiko-dachi and Fuko-dachi. I ended the training with throwing two shuriken at the same time from the right hand, trying to keep them within a 15cm grouping.
I also experimented with the new style bo-shuriken that arrived yesterday. The Shingetsu-ryu bo-shuriken are so strong that they almost penetrate two puzzle mats. I could not practice with the MSR Hanten-daho shuriken as I did not have enough room to move beyond 3 ken.
Training this week was all solo. With travel schedules, we have not had an opportunity to come together. Nevertheless, each us of continues to practice. Chris focused on shomenuchi from 2 ken, as well as gyaku-uchi, dosoku-uchi, and za-uchi from 1.5 ken. Lance shared a video with a few questions about his gyuaku-uchi, and he came up with a very interesting combination of what looks like dosoku-uchi and gyaku-uchi in one technique. Darren continues to be working on kusari fundo kata for shodan.
We have some exciting training scheduled, some of it will be shared as they occur.
2 hour session.
Bo-shuriken focused on shomenuchi, za-uchi, and gyaku-uchi only. Our goal was to throw without force; with proper hand positioning and brushing, the shuriken should fly naturally.
Continuing from a previous session, we tried throwing small nails with a length of 2.5 inch as well as the fork. Besides having quite some fun with this, it allowed us to further explore hand position, balance, grip, and brushing.
2 hour session.
We have been starting our sessions with either short taijutsu or jutaijutsu workouts as warmups. During this training, we did some omote gyaku and oni kudaki, as well as mune dori from Shinken Fudo ryu to warm up all the joints and movable parts.
Bo-shuriken focused on shomenuchi and za-uchi only. Our goal was to throw without thought, but yet emphasize accurate brushing. We noticed an incredible difference in shomenuchi with brushing and without brushing (or less brushing). We also noted how angled brushing alters the direction of the bo-shuriken.
Za-uchi practice was done from 2 ken, to better train the short but strong hip movement.
Fundo Kusari exploration
Training today: – Chris
Another solo session during the weekend, which lasted about 2 hours. The last package we received from Otsuka-Sensei included two plastic training Fundo Kusari, as well as six soft Bou-Shuriken. In addition, the Fundo kusari jutsu Shodan waza dvd was included. Here is a link on Youtube showing some of the content of the ni-dan dvd. I decided to explore the practice tools for about one hour, in addition to throwing “the daily 10 sets of 5”.
With the soft shuriken, I wanted to understand the flight pattern. I recorded several throws using my iPad to determine the angles of the soft Bou-shuriken while it was in the air. I cannot wait to try the soft shuriken with some of the Keikokai members.
From the Fundo Kusari dvd, I decided to practice the first kata, called Ippon-me. I noticed the importance of the left hand to be in the correct position so that it will not be hit by the weight. It seems and looks easy, but after a few tries, I realized it is more difficult than it looks. Although swinging the fundo kusari without power is not that difficult, returning it to the hand is an interesting challenge. With about one month left before the seminar, I decided to keep further training simple, as I want to let Otsuka-Sensei do most of the correction before it becomes too difficult to unlearn mistakes.
Today I also trained using full MSR dogi: the blue Keikogi I had ordered through Yamato budogu and my Hakama. My old regular hakama from Aikijutsu was too small, but my other more formal Hakama fits really well. I think I will be wearing both from now on for each MSR training session.
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