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Event: Bujinkan Kenjutsu Seminar

March 10, 2008
Bujinkan Kenjutsu Seminar
Dublin, Saturday April 19th, 2008

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On Saturday, April 19th 2008, there will be a seminar focusing on Japanese swordsmanship as taught within the Bujinkan Dojo, led by Alex Meehan, Alan Butler and Glen McNevin. The day’s training will be split into three parts:

  • Introduction This will look at how Japanese swords were constructed in different historical periods and why, as well as handling and ettiquette.
  • Kihon – proper grip, proper ergonomic cutting from kamae – in other words the how and why of very basic sword use. We will also show some drills to help people practice by themselves afterwards.
  • Kata – This will looking at a selection of sword techniques from Bujinkan Kenjutsu, taken from Kukishin Ryu, Togakure Ryu and if there is time some of the muto dori and daisho sabaki of Gyokko Ryu and Takagi Yoshin Ryu.
  • Tameshigiri – There will be a chance to cut prepared makiwara.

People attending this course will get a chance to examine and handle antique nihonto as well as modern replica swords, and through doing so will increase their understanding of how and why swords were made they were.

In addition, at the end of training there will be a limited chance to cut prepared tatami omote, but this will only be open to those people who have shown through the course of the day that they can do so safely in a manner that’s not dangerous to them or the people around them. An extra charge will apply to those who wish to cut makiwara.

Date: Saturday April 19th

Time: 11am to 6pm, with 1 hr for lunch

Cost: €40 for the day’s training, with an additional charge of €6 or €15 per single roll makiwara cut. Please note we are importing authentic tatami omote (not beach mats!) for use as cutting targets, at a cost of €6 each. If you help prepare these, you get them at cost price. If you don’t and you want to cut, you’ll have to pay the higher fee to reflect the work that goes into making a target – they have to be prepared, rolled, tied, soaked and drained.

NB: There will be a session after training at my dojo on Thursday April 17th to prepare the targets – those who help out with the preperation will get a substantial discount on the cost of targets on the day of the seminar.

EDIT: I got an e-mail from one of the newer members of the dojo asking if this seminar was just for senior people, so I’ll say the same thing here as I did to that person in my reply. This seminar is open to any bujinkan member and in fact, the whole point is to start at the beginning and look at the basics of swordsmanship, so it’s ideal for people starting out.

Regarding what you should bring . . . well, here’s a list.

  1. A bokken (wooden training sword) of katana length. (If you don’t have one, you can borrow one from the dojo if you ask and return it in good condition.)

That’s all you really need. On the other hand, if you have loads of gear and want to know what to bring, the following list of stuff will all be used so if you have it, bring it along. It’s not actually required though, so don’t go spending a fortune unless you want to.

  1. Daisho bokken – long and shirt wooden training swords.
  2. Fukoro shinai – padded leather training swords will do just as well. Bring both long and short if you have them.
  3. A blunt training mogito, or metal blade. Anything with a scabbard as long as it’s not sharp.
  4. A kaku obi (wide belt used for sword)
  5. Hakama

If you have a live sword, leave it at home. There will be a live blade made available for people to cut with – so don’t bring your own.

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