Thursday, 22nd January 2009

MSMAS host Mark Chisenhall 5th Dan Karate Instructor from Chito Ryu in USA....

The 2nd Official Visitor to the Mid Sussex Martial Arts School this year was Mark Chisenhall, a 5th Dan Karate Instructor from the Chito Ryu in the USA, who spent 4 days at The Mid Sussex Martial Arts School.


Mark took a grueling introduction to Kendo, under the tutelage of Shuichi Terashima Sensei, Teacher at MSMAS.

Mark joined our fully competitive adult Judo Group to experience full contact BJA  Judo, finishing with a ‘good effort’ to show us all his attempt at a throwing technique, under the tutelage of the School’s many black belts. Later, Mark joined our adult Iaido Group to learn some basic forms of swordsmanship.

Time to rest and watch our ‘competitive’ Junior Judo Players at work, under the guidance of yet another one of our many Judo Instructors.

Mark was permitted to assist at our regular ‘Free’ Junior Novice Judo Mat in company with Cris Leahy, the current GB Masters heavyweight Judo Champion, who also joined the Mat to assist. Later that same evening, Mark spent over 3 hours at a ‘one to one’ Aikido Session with Roger Payne, our Dojo Head and Deputy Dojo Head, James Bibby, whilst our many Aikido Students also practiced.

Roger at MSMAS commented:

“It was a delight to have Mark with us to train at MSMAS. Mark began his own training in Karate in 1985, under Dometrich Hanshi, who to date has been his one and only Sensei. Dometrich Hanshi is well known for his very open and welcoming attitude towards Instructors from other styles and disciplines, including myself, so it was good to reciprocate our visit to them which took place last year. Finally, my grateful thanks to Hanshi Dometrich for permission for Mark to visit us.”

Mark says:

"I entered the Dojo at a time when Hanshi was still in his strict military style of training and so training was rigorous. I loved the challenge and I feel that I am a much better Karate-ka for it. He was also very open and welcoming to various instructors from other styles and disciplines to ensure that mine, as well as everyone's training was enhanced. Because of this, I believe that I was able to not only learn so much more about Karate in general, but also respect Hanshi as a Teacher and a person because of it. We attended seminars with many popular Japanese Instructors who are all tremendous talents Demura, Ozawa, Nishiyama, Mikami, Tsuroka, Mabuni and various others. It is through these, what seemed like "celebrity" events, that I was able to make connections in my training that may have taken me longer to make. It also gave me insight into who some of these people are, and that is everyday people typically having a relaxed attitude about life. Thus, my emphasis in Karate training has become; Making connections (body)  and relaxation in the body in order to perform techniques. These are principles that are not foreign to any of the disciplines, but it is often easier said than done. These were also topics heavily stressed by Chitose Sensei, my Teacher's Teacher. As so our style, Chito- Ryu, is somewhat different than many other Karate styles that appear to be hard and rigid. We are working toward effortless motion as the Rank increases. Chito-Ryu is also a style that is connected to its' past. In the kanji for our style there are 2 major components that signify this connection, CHI= 1,000 and TO= Tang (referring to the Tang Dynasty). Thus, Chitose referred to our style as the 1,000 year old roots to the Tang Dynasty style. The importance of this is the utilization of other budo into the style so that grappling and breakfalls are an everyday part of life in Chito-Ryu or least every other day. "


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