Category Archives: Katori Shinto Ryu
Photos by Dominika Mlynarska.
Last weekend I had the pleasure to host a Katori Shinto Ryu seminar given by my Sensei, Luigi Carniel. Students traveled from Switzerland, England and Italy to attend and to take in the beautiful countryside of Inistioge. This was not only a weekend of insightful training but only a wonderfully social occasion. Everyone stayed at the local BnB, The Woodstock Arms where they were very well looked after by Richard and Annette O’ Keefe, we had a Party there Saturday night with Irish Stew and Trad Music. Criac was had by all.
During the classes Luigi Sensei made many important points. Most relevant to the training of Budo in a general sense. To focus on basics and to consider the meaning of what we do. For Sensei it is very important that the basics are keep to a high standard and that a student never gets complacent, believing they understand something far more than they actually do. He often stresses the importance of always improving our training through consistent diligent practice.
And the more Social side! Photos by Remy and Vinz.
Thanks very much to Luigi Carniel Sensei for a wonderfully insightful Seminar. It was an absolute delight to host such a lovely bunch of people. Thanks to all who attended and helped make this happen. Especially to my wonderful wife Susie for making two delicious meals. To Richard and Annette of the Woodstock Arms BnB who made a great Breakfast! And the musicians who played on Saturday night, Thanks Stefanie and co.
The Woodstock Arms BnB in Inistioge – woodstockarms.ie
Luigi Carniel Sensei. Dojo Neuchatel Switzerland – anamj.ch
An edited version of this article appears in the March Issue of ‘Irish Fighter’. It was written last October
Living in The Rower, Co. Kilkenny although originally from Belfast I have been training in Budo for 11 years. I hold a 3rd Dan in Aikido and just recently I graded to 1st Dan in Katori Shinto Ryu. I also train in Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu with Oisin Bourke in Kilkenny. My study is broad although I am particularly interested in the psychological aspects of training and how it can influence our reactions to others.
Firstly I will try to explain what Katori Shinto Ryu is. A weapons school focused on the sword. A school of Koryu Bujutsu. Old school martial Arts. Koryu have different methodology of study compared to most modern systems. The principles are contained within Kata and can only be understood through tireless and conscious practice. Each Kata, each principle, each cut builds on the next from simple movements to far more dynamic ones. For the study to be truly absorbed Internal Dialogue must be switched off and in this way the training is of great value to the mind of the practitioner. Katori Shinto Ryu is a 600 year old school of combat and as such is an important part of Japanese heritage and is to be respected as such.
My instructor Sensei Luigi Carniel takes this respect for tradition with the seriousness it deserves. He studied under Yoshio Sugino, one of the greatest Martial Artists of the last century. Yoshio Sugino was however best known as the film choreographer of Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’. Luigi is passing on what he learnt as he was taught it with respect and accuracy and I keep this in mind in my own practice. His classes are often very basic. If he isnt content with the way we cut, we’ll cut some more. Constant repetition of Kihon exercises are a must in his Dojo, only after this may Kata training begin.
I started training with Sensei Carniel in 2011 at a seminar in Winchester, England. I had already been training for some years but had been without an instructor for about a year. I chose during this seminar to train under Luigi. His method of practice allows for a principle to sink in slowly before moving on to the next. As such a very positive atmosphere for learning. Everyone helping each other improve themselves. From then I started travelling to train with Sensei Carniel in Neuchatel, Switzerland. As a bonus these journeys also give me a welcome break from my in-laws in the East of the country. Most of my training with him has been on seminars, but I have also attended many of his regular Dojo classes and had several private sessions. the one on one training was especially intense with constant repetition and focus on just a few things at a time. I try to carry these methods into my own Dojo.
In 2012 he gave permission to me to start my study group in Kilkenny. I have kept the training small till now in the interests of improving my own level. However now that I have been graded to Shodan I am open to accept a few more students. We are fortunate to have a very beautiful Dojo. I work with the Camphill Community in Jerpoint, Thomastown as a Special Needs Assistant and they are nice enough to give me the use of their hall. In October of this year 3 students accompanied me to Neuchatel, Switzerland to train Katori Shinto Ryu with Sensei Carniel. For the duration of the course we sleep in his Dojo, a beautiful room at the top of the city overlooking the lake. We share this space with groups from Italy and England. At this stage we know each other quite well and so its all quite pleasant. The seminar consists of two 3 hour classes on the Saturday and one 3 hour class followed by a grading session on the Sunday. It is intense but more mentally than physically. It takes so much concentration to do even the most basic movements correctly.
The grading I had been working towards since the previous year when I was told I would be up for it. For grading the Kata should be done in a controlled basic manner to show that it has been understood. However with the stress it is easy to forget oneself and speed up, covering up mistakes. I just tried to bare this in mind, also for my training partner Rémy who also graded. Focusing on staying calm and intune with my breath I forgot the situation and just carried on. The grade is as much about focus and intent as it is about form. All in all it went well and I passed.
Katori Shinto Ryu attracts a wide range of people who often have little in common besides from this common interest. This is true of most traditional Budo. People may be drawn to the study through an interest in history, Japanese culture or simply combat. For me I am drawn to the study for all those reasons. At first it was the movements that took my attention, then the mental and philosophical aspects. I intend to continue my study of Katori Shinto Ryu and Budo in general for many years to come. There is always more to learn. It is after all a lifetime’s pursuit.
Thanks to Sensei Luigi Carniel for his patience and teaching. Also thanks to Sensei Simone Chierchini for introducing me to Katori and for my first years of training.
Dojo of Sensei Luigi Carniel in Neuchatel, Switzerland. http://www.anamj.ch
Currently I have two classes a week for Katori Shinto Ryu. I ask that beginning students arrange a private session before attending group training or start as part of a beginners course held every 3 months. More info – http://www.aikijoseph.wix.com/kenjutsu-ireland
Photography by Vinz Morales
Last Sunday I was graded to Shodan in Katori Shinto Ryu by Sensei Luigi Carniel. Thanks to Sensei Luigi and all my training partners for helping me get this far. Also to Sensei Simone Chierchini who first introduced me to KSR. Fellow students and instructors under Luigi also taught me much. Jason, Roberto and Laurent. Thanks very much for patiently going over forms with me, often late at night and outside of regular practice and for not cutting me down in the process. Always my preference. Also thanks to my training group for sticking with it. Kieran, Aidan, Gill and Mat Campden. Especially to Kass, one of the first to start with me.
The Seminar. This was my 4th time attending this seminar which takes place in Neuchatel, Switzerland every October. From Ireland we were 4. The atmosphere at these courses in a wonderful balance of intensity and friendship. Sensei Luigi’s approach to teaching is inspiring. He trains with everyone and seems to leave a lasting impression with each of us.
I am always touched by the attitude of our group. There is a understanding that we are learning together through mutual respect. We can learn something from each person we train with, whether they have more experience or less. The training is valuable in and of itself.
Some more Seminar pictures. By Remy!
Katori Shinto Ryu in Ireland. Sensei Luigi Carniel
March 18-20. This will be the first Koryu Budo Seifukai International Seminar of the Irish Branch.
Besides from a lot of quality Keiko, fun will be had by all. There will be at least one big social event with Food, Music and Beer from the Area.
There is plenty of accommodation in the village and the nearest town Thomastown. For people wishing to save on money there is space in the homes of our students.
Please email Joseph for all enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org or call 00353 /857245321
Friday evening will be in our Jerpoint Dojo starting at 7. Short Keiko followed by Food and Music.
Saturday and Sunday in Inistioge.
Saturday 1pm till 3. 5 till 7. Sunday 10am till 1. 3 till 6. Cost of the Full Seminar 60euro.
Facebook Event Page – facebook.com/events/693337864135648/
Footage thanks to Irish TV.
Music by Oisin Bourke
First session of Katori Shinto Ryu at my new place in South Kilkenny.
I will begin work on a home Dojo in the next couple of months. I’ll be renovating a shed with wood flooring, walls and a large window. Its a small space, big enough for 4 people to train Iaijutsu, Jujutsu or Aikido. About 10 Tatami. Besides from my own classes, the Dojo will also host weekend courses with Guest Instructors. Hope to be opening for the New Year. First I will fundraise a couple of grand to cover the expenses. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Ballynunnery is a townland near The Rower Inistioge. Just 5 minutes drive from New Ross, Wexford. 40 from Waterford and Kilkenny.
Weekly training in The Rower. Mondays and Fridays 10am till 12. aikijoseph.wix.com/kenjutsu-ireland
Demo by Kenjutsu Ireland.
Joseph, Keiran and Aidan. Trinity College Dublin.
Footage provided by Rene Papp.
Music from the Free Music Archive. Blue Dot Sessions. Castro. Ferry Landing. freemusicarchive.org/music/Blue_Dot_Sessions/Castro/
Used with Thanks.
My training thus far in Katori Shinto Ryu – wp.me/s3XLL7-koryu
We train at least twice a week. Once in Jerpoint, Thomastown and two morning sessions at various locations.
Kenjutsu Ireland – aikijoseph.wix.com/kenjutsu-ireland
Photo taken at recent seminar held by Kenseikai Ireland Iaido Dojo. We trained Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido and gave a short session of Katori Shinto Ryu Iaijutsu.
Next two pictures taken during one of our 3 hour sessions in Jerpoint. We hold these longer sessions at least once a month to cater for students who must travel far to train with us and therefore less frequently.