The Eba dojo does not have air conditioning, and this was in the middle of the summer heat, which meant humidity, sweat and...suffering. Everyone pushed on and learned well despite of being uncomfortable and the event was a success. It was a very trying and exhausting experience, but my hope is that people came away with something more important and memorable than just being uncomfortable. Needless to say, this seminar was very personal and family like, the atmosphere was geared towards learning and betting better, which is exactly the type of feeling that should be at a dojo.
Despite the trying conditions of the Dojo, Otsuka sensei was easy to approach, always eager to answer questions, gave valuable tips on how to get better, explained the mechanics of Meifu Shinkage Ryu and guided us all. He is an excellent teacher that lets the student grow and explore. His attitude is excellent, he is patience and gentle in his teaching.
In addition to the event and as a special treat, local DJ, Celebrity, Historian, and my fellow Budoka Chris Glenn showed up and interviewed Otsuka sensei at around 2pm. He asked very pertinent questions and explored the school in depth. It was a very educational experience for me, I am hoping to release a Podcast of this conversation as well as some video (unfotunately my good video camera was having problems). Chris' work will soon be up at http://japanworld.info/
I met Otsuka sensei several years ago in 2006 when I was giving as "budo tour" of Japan to an American who had come back to meet his father's teacher, Nawa Yumio. Back then he was the head students of the school. We visited him and did some training with him up North, my wife and my friends, and we had the best time learning and throwing the spikes and his various shuriken in his collection. I have watched him rise and inherit the title of "soke". I've maintained contact with Otsuka sensei since that time (with Facebook that contact became far greater) and finally decided that I should be involved with his training. This was an excellent decision as his spirit carried on to my dojo, which we are trying to maintain as faithfully as possible.
We are hoping to have four major event at the Eba dojo for Meifu Shinkage ryu every year, all related to the annual seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall). It's my hope to help spread budo knowledge and study in Kuwana and the surrounding cities of Mie prefecture. There is a wealth of knowledge in Japan, and it is my hope that the Eba Dojo, with the help of teachers like Otsuka sensei, can be a part of that journey we all take in budo.
去る8月16日、明府真影流手裏剣術稽古会が催されました。宗家及び2名の御弟子さん直々に、手裏剣や秘武器の手ほどきをして頂けました。 一般の方は、古武術経験者・未経験者合わせて5名が参加され、始めは難しかったようでしたが、終わる頃には皆が標的の中央を狙えるほどまでに熟達されました。 また、ZIP-FMでお馴染みの古武術愛好家クリス・グレンさんもいらっしゃり、宗家との手裏剣にまつわる興味深い対談をして頂けました。 有難いことに、今後も稽古会を定期的に開催して頂けることになりました。次回は12月を予定していますので、手裏剣・秘武器にご興味のある方は奮ってご参加下さい！