CMA is now a proud member of
Instructor: Bob Davis, 6th Dan
has accepted Sensei Robert Reece as a personal student. Here we study
Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
More info on this to follow....
Sensei Robert Davis.
Previously we studied Harusuke-Ha Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai as taught by the late Haruna Matsuo, Iaido 8 Dan Kyoshi, Chief Instructor of Musashi Dojo, Ohara, Okayama-Ken, Japan.
We also practice Zen Nippon Kendo Iai (formerly Seitei Gata)
Our Chief Instructor is Ohmi Goyo Sensei, Iaido 7 Dan Renshi; formerly of the Shumphu Kai in Osaka.
The History of Yugenkan Dojo, Canada
Bill Mears Sensei, founder of Yugenkan dojo, Canada, passed away in June 2005. His students continue to train at the dojo, following his teachings of Iaido.
Situated in the Province of Ontario, on the North shore of Lake Erie; Yugenkan Dojo, Canada was formed in 1988 at the suggestion of the founder of the Yugenkan Dojo in the United Kingdom; Sensei Malcolm Copp-Taylor, who graciously allowed the use of the name Yugenkan and the Yotsume Mon as our crest.
In the early days we practiced in squash courts, school gyms and local karate dojo. These days, although we are still a small group, since 1993 The Yugenkan has had a permanent location next to Bill's house in his small family dojo.
Bill's own study of iai began after 20 years in the martial arts, when his original iai sensei suggested he open a dojo here soon after immigrating in 1988; the year that he was lucky enough to track down the man who has remained his teacher and inspiration ever since; Ohmi Goyo Sensei, Iaido Nanadan Renshi.
On a trip to England with Bill in 1990, Ohmi Sensei
met Haruna Matsuo Sensei
(1926 - 2002) and the way was paved for him to visit Canada the following year in May; something that has become an annual event at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, when many high-ranking teachers from Japan visit to teach at the Spring Seminar.
Haruna Sensei taught iaido at the Musashi Dojo in the village of Ohara birthplace of the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Haruna Sensei was a student of the late Yamashibu Yoshikazu (1922 - 1993) who studied under Yamamoto Harusuke (1894 - 1979); one of the most gifted deshi of Oe Masamichi, the 17th soke of the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu.
It was Oe Sensei who decided on the name Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu and arranged the syllabus that is still followed today. In keeping with that tradition; we practice Harusuke-ha Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai as well as the techniques of Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei Iai :- a generic form of iai that was developed this century as a way for swordsmanship to be studied and examined internationally under the auspices of the International Kendo Federation; a branch of the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei.
IAI-DO : JAPANESE SWORDSMANSHIP
What is Iai-Do? Iai-Do or Classical Japanese Swordsmanship traces its origins back to Japan's historic past in the late 1500's and is acknowledged as one of the most respectable Classical Martial Ways.
Every Ryu (school) has its own style, form and movement but the basic roots are all the same. It is a non-combative and (outside of Japan) usually a non-competitive discipline for mind, body and spirit that involves drawing, cutting and sheathing the sword silently and with an air of outward calmness.
Great emphasis is placed on total control and traditional etiquette through which it is hoped that the student will come in contact with his inner self; cutting away his own fear, greed and self-doubt as he learns to harmonize and control his mind, body and spirit.
Because it has no obvious practical application in the modern world, Iai does not experience the popularity that other martial arts do. A class of more than 4 or 5 people is unusual and progress is usually slow. The emphasis is on training by austere methods (shugyo) and the drop-off rate is extremely high. Nevertheless, in Ontario Iaido is practised by a handful of enthusiasts who are fortunate to receive training from excellent sensei from Canada, Great Britain and Japan.
What is the History of Iai-Do? There were some 240 different Ryu or schools existing at the end of the Edo period in 1876, when the wearing of swords was banned by the new Meiji government, effectively destroying the concept of the samurai as it had existed for hundreds of years. Despite this edict however, all the Ryu continued practicing within their own areas.
After the last war, when the Americans lifted their ban on martial arts, there was a considerable upsurge in interest in all of Japan's Martial Ways; especially in Kendo- Japanese Fencing. As a result, a committee of Japan's top swordsmen met and devised a style of Iai called Seitei Gata, since renamed Zen Nippon Kendo Iai. This style is taken from classical styles (Ko-Ryu) so as to introduce Iaido to a wider audience in Japan and the rest of the world.
What is the Syllabus and Grading System? There are over 50 kata in the Ko-Ryu of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu.
There is little emphasis on grade, nor is there a coloured belt system. However, nearly all Iaido-ka in Japan are now required to have reached Shodan (1st Dan) in Zen Nippon Kendo Iai before being admitted to the Ko-Ryu.
For a grading you would be required to demonstrate your proficiency in swordsmanship and answer a written examination. Grading Examinations for Ikkyu, Shodan and higher are held annually at seminars at different location in Canada under the guildance of Japanses instructors.
What equipment do I need? Loose clothing (tracksuit or Karate Gi), a bokken (wooden sword) and knee-pads are all a beginner needs. Traditionally, students wear hakama (loose pleated trousers), Iaido Gi (a special jacket), Iai-Obi (a wide belt designed to support the sword) and carry an Iai-To - a sword made specifically for the practice of Iaido. Your Instructor will be able to tell you when and where to obtain these.
Apart from equipment you will also need a real desire to study Iaido it is a lifelong endeavour with no end and no resting point. You will also need patience and self-discipline.
How much does it cost? A bokken can be bought locally for about $20. A sword will cost from $200 to over $600.Your instructor can tell you where the best value can be found.
There is an Annual Membership Fee that covers membership of the Canadian Iaido Association.