Thursday, 24th June 2010

MSMAS welcomes Honorary Member Shihan Carl Long Kyoshi to the UK ...

On June 24 Shihan Carl Long Kyoshi will arrive in the UK to visit and train with us, but also to lead with our own Shihan-Dai Dr Shuichi Terashima Renshi, MSMAS Kendo Head, our MSMAS 'Open Iaido & Kendo Festival' being held on Saturday June 26th ...


Kyoshi Long's programme here in the UK will be:

June 24 ~ Iaido demonstration to MSMAS Members only.

June 25 ~ Day set aside for Sightseeing.

June 26 ~ MSMAS 'Open Iaido & Kendo Festival' (Open to ALL but now fully booked)

June 27 ~ MSMAS 'Closed' Iaido Clinic for MSMAS Members

June 28 ~ MSMAS 'Closed' Kendo Clinic with Shihan-Dai Dr Shuichi Terashima Renshi for MSMAS Members.

June 29 ~ Shihan Carl Long departs UK

* Iaido thoughts by Shihan Carl Long Kyoshi ....

Each of us desires to progress in and exemplify the highest ideals of budo. Within the Japanese Bugei, there has never been a more revered method of expressing the ideals of the samurai  than through the use and perfection of skills and strategy of the Japanese sword. It is regarded as the pinnacle of Japanese martial traditions. Kenjutsu, Kendo and Iaido are the legacies through which we have become the stewards of a great morality.
Iaido or iaijutsu is the art of being face to face with the present moment and ones enemy. The practice of drawing the sword and cutting in a single action defines the spirit of either 'A sword that gives life' or 'A sword that takes life.' Both are inevitable, but it is the intent of the swordsman that defines that moment and its outcome. The sword was considered the soul of the samurai because it was the implement through which he expressed his intention.
Iaido is unique in that the technique that defines it, nukitsuke, changes all things in the universe. Once the sword is drawn, the outcome can never be reversed. Your opponents life is changed forever. His family, community and those whom he may have touched will be altered forever. The iaidokas world will be similarly changed in the same way, forever.
To the Iaidoka, the sheathed katana represents wholeness and the universe as it should be in harmony. It represents the manifest and non-manifest coexisting to compliment one another in a timeless dance of creation. When the sword is separated from the saya, the manifest is separated from the non-manifest. A life-force is separated from it's host and the universe is in conflict. A soul will leave its body. Life hangs in the balance of the moment and our actions.
The cut that follows is an extension and continuation of Nukitsuke. Kirioroshi represents a strike of compassion in order to end the suffering of another not to inflict further pain. The waza are a continual process of nukitsuke. For if nukitsuke was done to preserve a life and kirioroshi was performed to end the suffering of another, then chiburi represents a sword and soul that is unstained by maliciousness and ill intent. Chiburi allows us to polish our mind and free it from evil intention in order that we may create a more harmonious and compassionate society. Therefore noto, the act of resheathing the sword, becomes an opportunity to rejoin the manifest and non-manifest so that we may learn from our experiences and strive to evolve as compassionate human beings with a sense of GI or righteousness. Bushido is not about living within and abiding by a set of rules. It is about living ones life through doing what is right for all. It is the fundamental aspect of iai training and fundamental to all traditional Japanese budo. Iaido training develops our ability to see deeper into the heart of our world and beyond it to recognize our place in it. Through this training we develop a sense of MA or space. It is the critical component in our environment that determines success or failure in all things.
* On the Festival itself.....
This festival is the remarkable outcome of many individuals overcoming preconceived notions of what can and cannot be accomplished if it is being done for the right reasons. It is the realization of many peoples desire to advance their education and hone their skills through avenues that have been presented to them. Many untold budoka have contributed to this festival becoming a reality. It is not the work of a single events planning. It is the culmination of MSMAS, it's staff and students, working diligently for many years to bring true Japanese budo to the UK. It is the result of the support of all of the attending dojo representatives that have extended their hand and spirit in a an act of friendship and common bonds. This festival is the fruit of the inspiration and wishes of our teachers and mentors that we act a stewards of a legacy and pass it on to our children unaltered and representative of the art that has been bequeathed to us. It is our duty as budoka to pass along to the next generation something that is much greater than any of us as individuals. Because these art forms have the potential to survive beyond us for countless generations. Whereas we as budoka are only this moment. This festival has come to fruition because it is the right thing to do, for the right reasons and for the right people. This event is the result of GI. My humble thanks go to Hanshi Hamada, Payne Kyoshi and the MSMAS dojo for their kindness and compassion for others. 
* On the Festival goals....
It is my sincere wish that this festival will strengthen and enlighten each of us. It is my hope that the time we share together will be priceless. Time is all we have and a price tag cannot be assigned to any minute we have invested with one another. Our time is finite and our keiko should be infinite. The results of our training together during this event should outlive us through the compassion we gain and the understanding we develop. It is my humble wish that I will be able to convey the heart of the budo that I have been gifted by my teacher Miura Takeyuki Hanshi and Shimabukuro Masayuki Hanshi. If a small part of their budo can be transmitted during this festival, it is certain that all participants will be uplifted and encouraged to overcome all obstacles in their training. This festival should leave us all with a sense of real Japanese budo and open our eyes and minds to the richness and depth of kendo and iaido. It should embolden us to seek further instruction and wet our appetites for greater understanding and knowledge. But most importantly, my wish for this time spent together is to leave us with a sense of belonging to a vast community of seekers with common goals. Perhaps having been touched by the hearts of our teachers and the founders.


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