When naginata helps a good cause

On a beautiful Easter Sunday, the Belgian naginata team was invited to participate to a demonstration. But it was not just a simple demonstration, this one was organized to raise funds for the research against children’s cancer for the Kickcancer association. If you want to know more about them, don’t hesitate to visit this website: https://team.kickcancer.org/en

This demonstration was even more important for me as it allowed me to work for an association which fights against a disease which took away my sister who also practiced naginata, it is always with a twinge of sorrow that I think of her.

It is the club of Karate http://www.gojuryu.be/ which practises in the same sports center as us that had the idea to organize this beautiful event. It was not without difficulty because they gathered 5 martial arts dojos to perform demonstrations in a room for what would look like a most impressive event.

The afternoon began with the sound of Taikos, Japanese drums echoed through the hall inviting all spectators to sit down.

Aikido from Sensei Belhassane’s club was the first martial art to enter the dance. This teacher is already very well known because of his experience, now 7th dan he has become a reference figure in Belgium in Europe.

Kobudo then took its place. Since ancient times, Karate and Kobudo forms have been passed on from generation to generation in the Okinawa archipelago.

The objectives are not only the development of a strong character and the learning of self-defense techniques that can be used to protect property and or people but also other very important purposes.

Indeed, in the May 1873 writings of Sensei Matsumura Sokun, we read: “Education and martial arts contribute to the prohibition of violence, to the control of soldiers, to the support of people. They render meritorious service, help people live in peace, harmonize the masses and enable the prosperity of people.”

Bunbukan is the headquarters of the Okinawa Traditional Kobudo Preservation Association.

The current president, Sensei Nakamoto Masahiro, 10th Dan (Hanshin), is related by marriage to the founder of Shorin Ryu, Sensei Matsumura Sokun .

In 2013, Sensei Nakamoto was elevated to the rank of living cultural treasure for his knowledge of traditional Okinawan martial arts.

The “Bunbukan Brussels” is the dojo that represents him in Belgium.

After Kobudo came the Hontai Yōshin Ryū is a school of traditional Jūjutsu created in Japan during the second part of the 17th century. This martial tradition, has been passed down continuously to the present day and is still taught today by Inoue Soke the 19th successor of the school…

It is a complete martial art which is based on its three historical pillars which are:

– the jūjutsu, free-hand combat or with small weapons such as the tanto (dagger),

– bōjutsu, short or long stick fighting,

– the kodachi, the small sword traditionally carried by the samurai.

In addition, the practice of the katana, the traditional Japanese sword, is also part of the school.

Hontai Yōshin Ryu is recognized in Japan by the Nippon Budōkan, a national foundation in charge of the protection of Koyū, the traditional Japanese martial arts.

The teaching of the Hontai Yōshin Ryū in Belgium is under the direction of practitioners with a very long experience in Japanese Budo, including 33 years in the practice of this Koyū.

Our Naginata club came next, I won’t go into detail about naginata explanation. We presented a beautiful Kihon, the shikake odji, a beautiful jigeiko and the zen nihon katas. I think that all in all it was a great success.

Then it was the turn of the Bujinkan, which means the house of the Divine Warrior.

The Bujinkan is composed of schools of ninjutsu, samurai and other warrior ways, which include a wide variety of techniques such as keys, throws, strikes, grabs and handling of traditional Japanese weapons as well as less conventional weapons.

Bujinkan – Ninjutsu is represented today in a non-exhaustive way, by the Iss-Hogaï dojo of Namur in Belgium with Senseï Jean-Sébastien Huet, 5th dan.

Ono Ha Ittō Ryū is a koryū, A traditional Kenjutsu school founded in 1609. It is one of the most prestigious schools teaching the art of using the Japanese sword, and this among the many martial traditions born during the Japanese feudal period.

The presentations ended with Ono ha Ittō Ryū being chosen as one of the official schools of the Tokugawa shogunate. Ono Ha Ittō Ryū was one of the schools that had the greatest influence on modern kendō.

This martial tradition, has been passed down continuously to this day and is still taught today in Tōkyō by the 18th Sōke of the school: Yabuki Yuji.

Ittō Ryū means “school of the single cut.”

The characteristic of this tradition is to defeat the opponent with a single cut.

Most forms are practiced using a bokutō, a wooden long sword. Some, however, favor the use of a short sword (kodachi) or a steel sword.

One of the outstanding features of this kenjutsu is the use of buckskin protectors on the hands and forearms, “onigote”, which allow for real strikes while protecting its user.

Ono Ha Ittō Ryū is recognized in Japan by the Nippon Budōkan, the national foundation in charge of protecting koryū, the traditional Japanese martial arts.

The day was a great success, they raised 1720€ for the association by deducting all expenses, which for a first time is a great success.

The organizers are already thinking of repeating the event next year for another association.