Monthly Archives: August 2014

Starting Katori Shinto Ryu

Introductory Course to Katori Shinto Ryu. A traditional Japanese Martial Art.

Training will include Kenjutsu – Sword technique taught though paired Kata, and solo stance exercises.  Iaijutsu – Drawing the sword from the scabbard and cutting in a signal motion. At a later stage we train in Bo staff and Naginata.

Thursday evenings in Jerpoint, Thomastown from 7 till 9.30

Every few months I open up the Dojo and invite new students in. I prefer to have a few in the class at once, as opposed to a constant trickle of beginners. It benefits the more experienced students greatly. To revert to basics for a few weeks, can really improve the overall standard in the Dojo.

Currently the KSR class is small. Over the Summer frequently just one or two people showing up for training. Come September it’d be 4 maybe. So we have some space. Although not much. Only looking a couple more. I prefer to keep the class small. So I can train with each person and give some correction and advice to each student. Obviously I am also learning, and so keeping the class small is to my benefit also. I started this class two years ago with the guidance of Sensei Luigi Carniel, a 5th Dan in KSR under Yoshio Sugino. Sensei Luigi is living in Neuchatel, Switzerland. I will be going to train in his Dojo this October, anyone training in my Dojo is welcome to come along.

The first couple of classes will have a lot of repetition. Suburi, stances and Kihon exercises. Cutting with the sword, how to stand and a few simple paired forms. After about 6 sessions a student can expect to have learnt the first Kata of Kenjutsu and a couple of Iaijutsu forms. At this point training can become more enjoyable. Fun as it is, training requires focus and a relaxed kind of attentiveness. A beginning student is likely to be frustrated at some point. Just go with the flow, everyone learns at their own pace. Although we take our training seriously, there is no pressure to learn quickly or to keep up with others progress. Better to learn anything at your own pace, slowly allowing things to sink into your mind over months as opposed to days.

Phots taken by Jonny Whitwell of the Winchester KSR Dojo

Photo taken by Jonny Whitwell of the Winchester KSR Dojo

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Filed under Courses, Katori Shinto Ryu

Brian Boru’s Fort

Training at Bael Boru – Brian Boru’s Fort in Killaloe, Co. Clare.

Aikido – Jo. March 2010


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Katori Shinto Ryu – Seminar with Sensei Simone Chierchini – June 2010

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by | August 10, 2014 · 12:24


Literally translated as ‘old school’ or ‘old flow’ generally understood as a term to describe Japanese Martial Arts predating the Meiji Restoration (1868)

My first experience of Koryu Bujutsu was Katori Shinto Ryu which I have continued to study. I was immediately attracted to the movements, the consistent patterns of Kata and structure of the class. Unlike more modern arts like Aikido, there is little to no debate about how things should be done, at least within specific Ryu ha. Koryu Arts are to be preserved with the upmost care and dedication. It is this consistency that I found most appealing .

A student must absorb the underlining principle of technique by constant repetition. Internal dialogue must be switched off to be able to at least try to replicate the movement of the instructor. It is not just a system of combat but also an important heritage of Japanese culture.

My instructor for Katori Shinto Ryu, Sensei Luigi Carniel sees it as his responsibility to transmit the system with respect and accuracy. The atmosphere in his Dojo is both friendly and serious. Sensei Luigi is relaxed in person but will never give a student more than they can handle at any one time. Basics are emphasized.

Traditional training requires both persistence in both body and mind. It has often been said that to master a technique you must do it 10,000 times. This is not entirely true, it is pointless to repeat the same movement so many times if it is wrong. All you’d be doing is ingraining mistakes. For this reason finding a teacher who faithfully transmits the Art and tradition is vital. Without precision, how can there be meaning? It is to be understood that what we study is important and that we must strive to get it right. With this in mind training becomes far bigger than the individual.

Sensei Yoshio Sugino training my instructor Sensei Luigi Carniel in the Kawasaki Dojo.

Luigi also studies and teaches Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu and Wado-Ryu Karate. His Dojo is in Neuchatel, Switzerland. I visit there about twice a year { more when possible } and attend annual courses in Italy and England. I have studied Katori Shinto Ryu for 8 years, the last 3 with Sensei Luigi. My first introduction to Katori was under Sensei Simone Chierchini, a 1 st Dan who I continue to study Takemusu Aikido with. He lived in Ireland until 2010, I am very grateful for being able to start my training with him.  Between then and meeting Sensei Luigi, I visited the Dojo of Sensei Frank Brownsword in Stoke- on- Trent , England. He studies the Hatakeyama Line of Katori. An excellent instructor and Dojo, however it is fairly pointless to study 2 lines of the same school so I started to focus on the Sugino Line and training with Sensei Luigi.

Through Katori Shinto Ryu I have found a Art steeped in history and tradition. The wide range of students from many backgrounds of life, reflects the many reasons a person would be drawn to this Art. For some it is an interest in history and Japanese Culture, for others it is often more of an interested in the technique. For me it was the movements that first took my attention. Now the more mental aspects are of interest to me, along with everything else.

Currently I have two classes a week for Katori Shinto Ryu. I ask that beginning students arrange a private session before attending group training. More info  –

Dojo of Sensei Luigi Carniel in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

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Filed under Budo Concepts, Katori Shinto Ryu



A second doesn’t exist, because by the time you say it, it’s gone.

Heard a 5 year old girl come out with this. Stuck with me.

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by | August 1, 2014 · 11:11