Shinto Muso-ryu jodo seminar

January, 27th to 29th 2017

In January 2017, the biennial Helsinki Koryu Embu Taikai - demonstration of classical Japanese martial arts in Finland - was held for the fifth time. This year we again invited Fred Quant and Michael Söderkvist to teach us for a weekend and perform Shinto Muso-ryu at the Koryu 2017 event. This was Fred's second visit in Finland and Michael's fourth. Not only was the number of participants for this gasshuku bigger than we have ever had so far, this seminar was also more international than ever before. Our most seasoned jodoka came from Czech Republic: Patrik, Renata and Zdenek. Due to Patrik's visit we actually had one more official teacher as a bonus. As in previous years, Andrey and Dmitri from St. Petersburg joined our training. In addition to Michael, as many as five people came from Sweden: Anna, Tim, Anders, Lillemor and Alexandra.

The major difference between this seminar and the previous ones held in Finland was that participants were this time in general more advanced. That meant that on the last day we were able to proceed to sets beyond Ranai, and there were quite a few people training Kage. The last day was also an open day for visitors. That is when two avid practitioners from the Finnish setei community paid a visit. I believe this was an interesting exchange between two styles of jô for all of us, especially since we were able to try out some of the more advanced forms together. On the last day we also had a promotion exam, and I congratulate everybody who passed their test (- everyone did).

The Koryu 2017 -event took place on Saturday, in the middle of the seminar. Present were the following schools of traditional martial arts: Daitoryu aikijujutsu Takumakai, Heki Ryu Insai-Ha kyudo, Hontai Yoshinryu jujutsu, Hyoho Niten Ichi ryu kenjutsu, Kashima-Shinryu, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Shinto Muso Ryu, Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo and Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu. The Japanese guests of honor were the 19. soke of Hontai Yoshin ryu jujutsu, who has attended every Koryu Embu in Finland so far, and Kawabe Takeshi and Hideo Annoki from Daitoryu aikijujutsu Takumakai, the former being the head teacher of the Takumakai family.

In 2017, Finland celebrates its 100 years of independence. Fred and Michael were given bottles of special "Finland 100"-themed sparkling wines as tokens of our gratitude. The seminar was once again very successful. I'm very glad that our seminar keeps getting grander and more colorful. My sincere thanks to everybody who attended this event, and I invite everyone back for the next Koryu Embu and the coinciding seminar in 2019!

Nino Lindstroöm, Helsinki Jodokai.