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Thread: Komei Sekiguchi

  1. #1
    hkdtodd Guest

    Question

    Is anyone familier with Komei Sekiguchi? I do know he is based out of the Tokyo area and he was and maybe still is the president of the Japanese Iaido association & The Ancient Japanese Martial Arts Affiliation.

    Thanks for any info.

    Todd

  2. #2
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    Default MJER Komei Juku

    Hi Todd,

    Sekiguchi Komei-Sensei is the 21st headmaster (in his lineage) of Musu Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu. His dojo is called the Komei Juku. He recieved his MJER headmastership from one Onoe Masayoshi.

    The Komei Juku branch of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu as taught by Sekiguchi-Sensei is a very vigorous and dynamic style of swordsmanship, and contrasts greatly with that of the sleepy & boring 'becoming one with the universe,' type of iaido one often comes across. Sekiguchi-Sensei is a hard task master when he instructs but doesn't expect anyone to do anything that he cannot do himself...to date I've yet to see anyone out perform him during training drills and kata etc.

    Sekiguchi-Sensei is probably well known for his fondness for oversize, long and heavy swords, which are utilised during training and suburi practice. This is reflected somewhat in the various international branches of the Komei Juku, and the various Shibucho and deshi etc who've also taken up a similar practice of using larger & heavier swords. These practitioners show a remarkable degree of fitness and strength due to such a demanding training regime.

    The Komei Juku also incorporates tameshi-giri training along with the usual MJER syllabus of Shoden (Seiza waza), Chuden Waza (Tate hiza waza), Joden (Tate hiza & Tachi waza), Hayanuki and the Tachi-uchi no Kurai or Katachi.

    I believe Sekiguchi-Sensei is the president of the Nippon Budokan (or the Nihon Kobudokai div'n), please correct me if I'm wrong. And I've heard that either he or some of his students are involved with the Nihon Iaido Renmei...but I'm not sure. I know for a fact that he's the president of the Zen Nihon Koden Bujutsu Iaido Renmei.

    If you are interested in learning iaijutsu, I highly recommend the Komei Juku and I urge you to track down any available US branches and request permission to apply for membership, you won't regret it.

    Regards,


    Paul Steadman
    Shidokai Koden Bujutsu Dojo

  3. #3
    hkdtodd Guest

    Default Sekiguchi Komei-Sensei

    Thanks Paul,

    My teacher in Korea GM Lim, Hyun Soo was promoted to 8th dan orheadmaster of Korean Guhapdo(Iaido) and even though GM Lims style is his own it shares the same characterristics as his teachers. In Chung Suk Guhapdo (Blue stone Guhapdo) we also use very heavy wooden practice swords and our steel blades are also much larger than many other styles of Iai. I have been invited by GM Lim to accompany the Jungki Kwan (School of just power) to attend a training session / tournement in Japan later this year and wanted to find out more about Sekiguchi Komei-Sensei.

    Thanks for your help
    Todd

  4. #4
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    Default Komei Juku

    Your Welcome Todd,

    I understand that the Komei Juku has a large following in Korea. I've been told that the Korean branches of the Komei Juku are very colourful, highly dynamic and very impressive.

    All the best,

    Paul Steadman
    Shidokai Koden Bujutsu

  5. #5
    hg Guest

    Default

    Dear Todd,
    I am training with Sekiguchi sensei.
    The style is Musou Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu
    (quite a mouthful, translates to Un-paralleled, directly
    transmitted style of Eishin), and Iaijutsu, because, as
    Paul Steadman pointed out, Sekiguchi sensei does not like
    slow-motion Iaido.

    About the over-long swords: Musou Jikiden Eishin Ryu
    traces its roots back to Hayashisaki Jinsuke Shigenobu,
    who used a sword of 3 shaku 2 or 3 sun (about 1 m),
    so Sekiguchi Senseis sword with 3 shaku is quite moderate
    if viewed from the perspective of the last 4 centuries :-).

    His reasoning behind using long swords is: If you have too
    light a sword, it is hard to develope good technique,
    because you can "cheat" using force. If you try to cheat
    (bad grip on the sword etc) with a heavy and long blade,
    you will get a tennis arm within days (Belive me, he is
    right ....).


    I am not shure wether
    he is was the president of the Japanes Iaido Assiciation.
    The Dojo (Komei-juku) is affiliated to the Zen Nihon Iaido
    Renmei (ZNIR), and Dan-Degrees are confirmed by the Zen Nihon
    Iaido Renmei, and, as far as I understood, signed by
    a Ogasawara Sensei, so I assume that Ogasawara Sensei
    is the current head of the ZNIR.

    Any other questions?

    Best wishes
    Hans-Georg

  6. #6
    hg Guest

    Default

    OK, I looked up Sekiguchi-senseis Meishi.
    It reads:
    President of the International Assiciation of Iai-do
    (Kokusai Iaido renmei kaichou)

    President of the Japanese Assiciation of Classical
    marital Art Iai-do
    (Nihon kodenbujutsu iaido renmei kaichou)

    21st Grandmaster of MJER Iai-Jutsu

    (Dont confuse the above Renmeis with the Zen Nihon Iaido
    Renmei).

    The training session in Japan which is mentioned
    above is scheduled about the 17th-18th of November this
    year.

    Hans-Georg

  7. #7
    hkdtodd Guest

    Default

    Is there any info on Sekiguchi Komei - Senseis line or heritage and history of MJER? I have been trying to find more info on the geneology of Komei-Sensei to no avail. I do have the books Japanese Swordsmanship, Flashing steel, The Art of Japanese Swordsmanship, Iai but I see Fukui Torao as the 21st generation Headmaster.

    Another question how many styles of MJER are there?

    Thanks for your help and patience.

    Todd

  8. #8
    hg Guest

    Default Sekiguchis Lineag

    Welcome to the club, I also had problems in finding it
    in a book, so I took if from his Meishi. (Probably some
    names wrongly transscribed, I will have to ask in the
    Dojou for the correct transsciptions)

    17daime : Oe Masamichi
    18daime : Yamauchi Toyoken (Maybe wrong transscription,
    I have to ask in the Dojo)
    19daime : Kono Hyakuren ???
    20daime : Onoue Masami

    Compare that with the lineage on page 83 of Draegers
    Japanese Swordsmanship, and you see that we can add to
    the confusion.Tanimura (father and
    son) in their book on MJER actually after Oe-sensei
    give 9 names without assigning any soke-status to anybody
    in the genealogy.

    Moreover, in the Saturday-dojo where we put up the Hinomaru
    and the Flag of the Komeijuku, also Kono's picture
    is put up- but not Onoue's. I never dared to ask why:-)

    I saw a lot of discussions on sokeship on the net, with very
    strict opinions about lineage, legitimicy and so on. Fine,
    but how do you apply that in a situation of MJER, where after each Death of a soke the line merrily splits up like
    an amoeba? Japanese are much more quarrelsome than is usually assumed. :-)
    Ah, don't say that the legitimacy depends on the recognition by the relevant organizations.If you find no organization to
    recognize you, you found you own. What with Zen Nihon Iaido
    Renmei, Dai Nohon Iaido Renmei and Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei,
    they all probably reconizes their "own" soke of MJER.
    If you ask which organization recognizes Sekiguchi sensei:
    Nihon Kobudo Kyoukai, affiliated to the Budokan. When
    you read their Books, which the addresses of the Honbu
    Dojou given, Sekiguchi Komei is listed as Soke of MJER.
    The Komeijuku usually performs in the spring-mammoth-Kobudotaikei, just not this year, because
    Sekiguchi-sensei was abroad (US or Korea or god knews where, I usually loose track).

    Actually, he does not discuss these matters. I think he assumes that when you chose his dojou, you knew why. I have
    not yet heard anybody complain about his claim to sokeship.
    Maybe it is his way to slice through 6 wara in a single blow
    with a 3-kg 90-cm blade that discourages questioning :-)

    Hans-Georg

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Komei-juku Lineage

    Hi All,

    I believe that Sekiguchi-Sensei's lineage from Oe Masamichi is as follows:

    * 17'h Headmaster: Oe Masamichi
    * 18'h Headmaster: Yamanouchi Toyotaka
    * 19'h Headmaster: Kono Kanemitsu
    * 20'h Headmaster: Onoe Masayoshi
    * 21't Headmaster: Sekiguchi Komei

    Toyotaka-Sensei was a descendant of a Tosa domain lord. He wrote a book entitled 'Detailed Theory of Iai.' Kanemitsu-Sensei founded the Meibukan dojo in Toshima-ku, Tokyo!

    I believe that there are many Grandmasters/Headmasters of MJER and Muso Shinden Ryu who all have a legit claim to being the head of their system. If no-one successor was ever appointed by any one Soke/Grandmaster, then all the most senior master instructors of a given ryu would IMHO be able to open a dojo under their own banner.

    Just because D. Draeger listed a certain lineage for MJER/MSR in his book, it doesn't mean that his list is the only correct list, or the most authoritive list. D. Draeger was an excellent historian, author and martial arts practitioner, but his works are not to be taken as writ (ie: law).

    Regards,

    Paul Steadman

  10. #10
    hkdtodd Guest

    Default

    Thanks guys,

    I have herd many great stories about Komei-sensei from GM Lim, Hyun Soo. I was not really questioning his legitamacy as from what I have herd his skills speak for themselves. Is there any book or written work on the Komei - Juku? If so how would one go about getting it?

    Thank you both for all the great info you have shared.

    Todd

  11. #11
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    Post

    Todd,



    Issue #5 of Wayne Muromoto's Furyu magazine had an article about Sekiguchi sensei. I don't know how current the info is, but at http://www.furyu.com/Order1.html back issues are available for $14.

    I was privledged to briefly meet him in 1991 at Nakamura Taizaburo sensei's (my teacher) 80th birthday. Sekiguchi sensei was attended by Mr. Robert Montgomery (below) --


    (lifted from http://www.usadojo.com/biomontgomery.htm)

    Regards,
    Guy
    Guy H. Power
    Kenshinkan Dojo

  12. #12
    hkdtodd Guest

    Default

    Thank you Sensei Powers,

    I just ordered Furyu #5 as well as a 1 year subscription. I appreciate all the help in getting info on Sekiguchi Komei-Sensei. I am hopeing to meet him later this year.

    Take care and train hard.

    Todd Miller
    Korea Jungki Hapkido & Guhapdo (Iaido) Association, USA branch

  13. #13
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    Default Sekiguchi Komei Sensei additions

    Aloha Todd,

    I have been a student of Sekiguchi Sensei for over 13 years. Seven of the 13 years were training with him almost daily in Tokyo. The past 6 years I have lived and continued my training under him on Maui. He comes to Maui at least once per year . ( on occasion he has come more then one time in a year). I represent him (as best I can) and his Komei Juku in the US, communicating and following up with his English speaking contacts and students world wide. In addition I have over 35 years experience in Japanese martial arts (Jujutsu and Judo) and have collected and studied the Japanese sword as an art object for over 25 years.

    I am pleased that you have received some very good information from Paul Steadman, Hans-Georg Matuttis and Guy H. Power. I would like to contribute a little additional information as well as some clarity to what has been provided.

    Information from Paul Steadman:
    Onoue Sensei passed away in 1996. I had the good fortune to visit him many times with Sekiguchi Sensei while I was training in Japan. He was a very impressive figure despite his health and age. He spoke continuously about the importance of a bushi attitude, spirit and iai training. Two of the Maui students and I visited his wife in 1997 while we were there training with Sekiguchi sensei. It was an honor for us to make an incense offering at his home shrine. His reading of the kanji for his given name is Masamitsu. As you may know the kanji for names my be read several different ways. An example of this is Sekiguchi Sensei’s given name, Takaaki. The same kanji can be read Komei which he uses since he was made the 21st Grandmaster. Historically it is not an uncommon practice for a person to change his name after a major event in his life.

    Sekiguchi Sensei encourages his student to use shinken 2 shaku 8 sun (85 cm) in length. These usually weigh about 1.7 to 2 kilo depending on their width and thickness. Most of these sword are newly made to the specifications of Sekiguchi Sensei and the student. The sword Sekiguchi Sensei is currently using is 90.8 cm with a 2 mm sori (curve). I do not know how much this sword weighs but I would guess about 2.2 or 2.3 kilo. I use two different swords in my daily training. One is 3 shaku (91 cm) and is traditional width (41 mm tapering to 33 mm) to length ration, weighing 2.5 kilo. The second is 2 shaku 8 sun, wide, (44 mm tapering to 40 mm) weighing 2 kilo. Both swords were specified for me by Sekiguchi Sensei with the purpose of giving me a life time challenge. Because the Komei Juku people use larger swords should not take away from people who use a smaller and lighter sword. I have witnessed some very impressive sword work done with the lighter swords. Even though physics does enter in to it, I admire their speed and skill.
    A good swordsman is a good swordsman regardless of size, weight or type of sword (including shinai or boken)

    Paul identified the third set of the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu as “Joden”. The makimono given to Sekiguchi Sensei by Kono Kanemitsu Sensei calls it “Okuden”. We also practice in addition to “Hayanuki”, “Toho”, “Bangai and Toru Bangai” wazas. The katas we practice are “Tsumiai” and “Tachiai” which may be just different names for the same katas Paul mentioned.

    The current head of the Nihon Kobudokai (a division of the Nippon Budokan) is Hanawa Rokutaro. While he is advanced in years he is still very active. Sekiguchi Sensei was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Nippon Budokan last year. The previous year he was given special recognition for his work to preserve Kobudo martial arts by the Budokan.

    While I was training in Japan I traveled to Korea several times with Sekiguchi Sensei. Because we were restricted from bringing our swords into Korea we used the swords provided by our host. As I remember these swords were up to about 2 shaku 8 sun. I do not remember any larger ones used by our host or guests or students. Also while I was in Japan the same Korean group visited us for training with Sekiguchi Sensei. I was using my 3 shaku sword at the time and the Korean students were eager to take a turn with this sword. I know Sekiguchi Sensei still travels to Korea for training at least once per year. He sends me newspaper and magazine articles about these visits. I have difficulties with the Korean names as translated from the Japanese kanji they use but there were two senseis with their groups that I was most impressed with, I believe the younger sensei’s name is Lee, Young Gu. I am still looking for the older sensei name in my files. Sekiguchi Sensei thinks highly of the Korean Bujin and is impressed with their dedication and strength of character. I am therefor embarrassed that I can not be more specific about the names of those I have met and trained with. I feel I should know Lee,Hyun Soo and regret I can find his name in my files. I envy your opportunity to train with the Japanese and Koreans. I am sure you will enjoy meeting and working with Sekiguchi Sensei. He is truly a great teacher.

    Information from Hans-Georg:

    Early this year Sekiguchi Sensei sent me a picture of the Shinagawa dojo group that included Hans-Geog. Looking good Hans san!

    Over the years I have developed some specific ideas about how to use these large swords effectively while remaining healthy ( forearm, shoulder and wrist). Danny Mayman Sensei, Ki Do Kai, South Australia ( a student of Sekiguchi Sensei) started using a 90 cm, 2 kilo sword a little over a year ago. This sword was made for him in Australia. I offered to share some of these ideas with him but I was not satisfied with the presentation I prepared. Danny sensei is still waiting. He is probably “finding his own way” by now. A short summary of my experience is that you must strongly utilize your hips and legs with out bending at the waist (fudemental form for all good sword work). More significant is that you must minimize the use of the shoulders, keeping them down, relaxed and do not let them roll forward. Even more so you must engage the energy and muscles over and under the scapulas. The back muscle groups can also then be engage which gives you more energy and power with less strain on the shoulders and forearms. This is because you are utilizing a combined larger group of muscles (as the combination of your legs and hips). If you follow the energy flow from your hara out to your kisaki you will see that it passes through the back and scapula muscle groups and therefor they need to (must) contribute to the flow of energy to move and stop the sword. Typically we do not develop these scapula muscles in our daily routines. Focusing on the scapula muscles is probably just as important regardless of sword weight or size but neglecting them has a far greater consequence when using the big swords.

    I am not aware of any Komei Juku “Dan-Degrees” signed by Ogasawara Sensei and I am also unaware of any relationship between ZNIR and the Komei Juku. I think this is confirmed by later information from Hans-Georg.

    There are many people who are better students of iai linage then me but for what is worth I have a couple of Japanese language documents that place Sekiguchi Sensei in the MJER linage. His linage is of the Yamanouchi ha identified by Oe Masamichi Sensei’s student Yamanouchi Toyotake (not read Toyoken) . While the MJER linage did split twice in history prior to WWII the picking up of the linage after that war is difficult. This is due to war casualties, the restrictions of the occupational forces and the ambitious but controversial efforts to reestablish Koryu Budo. As I have previously stated kanji characters, particularly names, can be read more then one way. I read Kono Sense’s given name as Kanemitsu. (I believe that Kono Hyakuren is a deferent person in the Hogiyama ha after Oe Sensei.) Onoue Sensei’s given name is read Masamitsu.

    Yamanouchi Toyotake Sensei was the son of Yamanouchi Yodo, the Edo jidai lord of Toso on the island of Shikoku. Yamanouchi Yodo is a prominent figure in Romulus Hillsborough’s historical novel “Ryoma - Life of a Renaissance Samurai”. Toyotake Sensei’s son (Toyomi) lives in Tokyo and his grandson (Taki) lives in Australia. Neither practice iai. Mayman Sensei and I have tried to piece together some information about the Yamanouchi ha and he has met with Taki san. Sekiguchi Sensei has met with Toyomi san as recently as this year. A Yamanouchi group of iai Bujin from Tosa meet every four years in Kyoto for a taikai.

    While I trained in Japan Kono Sense’s picture was hanging on the Honbu Shinagawa dojo wall. Onoue Sensei was still living at the time. I know it is difficult to ask questions while in the dojo so I would like to suggest to Hans-Georg that he invite Sekiguchi Sensei for a cup of coffee at the Ozaki station before keiko. In this environment it will be much easier to ask these kinds of questions. I think Sekiguchi Sensei will be please that Hans-Georg is interested. In the mean time I will try to find more about the thinking behind still having Kono Sensei’s picture displayed. It may be simply that Sekiguchi Sensei’s makimono are signed by Kono Sensei. ( by the way, Sekiguchi Sensei studied iaijutsu at Kono Sensei’s Meibukan dojo. I will have to go back to the files to see were this was documented.)

    Because of the large number of member and the limited time to perform the groups of the Budokan rotate giving performances at the February Kobudotaikei. On “off years” many group perform the necessary background support needed to put on a performance of this size. I have participated in both roles with Sekiguchi and I know he would not pass up any opportunity to perform either role just to travel.

    I believe that Sekiguchi Sensei does not discuss the ins and outs of the legitimacy of linage, soke and groups because he feels it is not the way real Bujin should conduct them self. He often reminded us to “never pass up the opportunity to me some new and to make an honest effort to understand that person”. He also admonished us, each time we saw demonstrations of other styles and techniques, “ not criticize what we saw but to try to understand what was being done or communicated”. His recognition and role in the Budokan, his demonstrated efforts to spread the value of iaijutsu training world wide and his demonstrated skill as a leader and teacher is good enough for me. I am honored, pleased and proud to be one of his students. My interest in linage is only to support my study of Japanese history and culture.

    Information from Guy H. Power:

    On one of Sekiguchi Sensei’s trips to Hawaii in 1995 I made arrangements for Wayne Muromoto to interview him. This resulted in the article in the #5 edition of “Furyu - Budo Journal”. Sekiguchi sensei invited me to participate in the demonstration covered by the pictures in that article. While I had practiced extensively in Japan only six months perviously with all the member of this visiting group I declined. I felt the people of Hawaii would want to see a Japanese troupe perform without the distraction of a gaijin. In retrospect I wish I had not declined because Sekiguchi Sensei’s message to the world about the value of iai training for all would have been better served. I hope I have since made up for this poor judgment.

    I have a high regard for Wayne and his effort to provide a quality budo magazine. He publishes this magazine all by himself so some times you must wait for the new issues. The quality of the publication is worth the wait when this happens so be patient.

    Guy Power did a better job of remembering me from Nakamura’ Sensei’s birthday party then I did of him. This is a credit to Guy san’s budo training for observation and awareness It is also a discredit to my keeping my wits about me when in the environment of so many iai/batto celebrities. I have since looked at Guy’s web site and his training under a great Bushi is very apparent. I hope to renew a relationship with him.

    I and a member of Maui Komei Juku are in the process of putting a web site together for the benefit of readers of the English language who are interested in Sekiguchi Komei Sensei, his travels and his idea. There should be a lot of picture and I hope Sekiguchi Sensei’s students and friends from around the world will contribute to it’s content. Give us another month or two. Sekiguchi sensei has two video available from Japan. One covers Shoden the Chuden. The Shoden video can be ordered from BAB, publishers of Hiden Budo Magazine. I believe the Chuden video can be purchased directly from Sekiguchi Sensei.

    Todd san, have a great trip to Japan and a rewarding training experience with Sekiguchi Sensei. Time is precious, use it well

    Your in Budo

    Robert W. Montgomery
    Komei Juku Beikoku Honbu
    Makawao, county of Maui, state of Hawaii

  14. #14
    hkdtodd Guest

    Default

    Sensei Montgomery,

    Thank you so much for all the info. I would love to get the videos by Sekiguchi Sensei, If possible. I will look forward to your web page with great anticipation. I have some good B&W pictures of GM Lim, Hyun Soo and Sekiguchi Sensei from the freindship tournement in Korea (1998). If you would like I could send it to you for your web page. Are there any other branches of the Komei juku here on the mainland? GM Lim has a web page if you would like to take a peak and I believe there are a few pics of Sekiguchi Sensei there.

    www.myhome.hananet.net/~jungkikwan

    I would love to hear more when you have the time.

    Thank you again.

    Todd Miller

  15. #15
    hkdtodd Guest

    Default

    Another Question? Does Sekiguchi Sensei practice Aiki-Jujutsu or any similar art? GM Lim has taught many tech. dealing with an opponent reaching for your sword and then applying o locking or throwing tech. (Hapki).

    Take care
    Todd

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