Soke Takaaki Sekiguchi Seminars

He is one of the top references of Iaijutsu in the world. He is the 21st Soke and inheritance of the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu style. MJER is one of the oldest school of this martial art, that exists in Japan since the 16th century. Well-respected and renowned, he dedicates his life to the diffusion of this style in the whole world. His busy agenda includes many trips to countries around the world.
Professor Takaaki Sekiguchi came back to Argentina to teach seminars from December 6, 7 and 8, and to give regular classes from December 3 to 12.

Sensei Sekiguchi characterizes for transmitting the teachings of the very classical and traditional school as “Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu” far beyond the Japanese borders. This is worth mentioning, as being the top authority of the style; it requires a strong effort to expand in the world. He is also Director of the International Iaido Association and Director of the Japanese Kobudo Association.
He visited Argentina and gave lessons in the “Instituto Potencia” during September 2008. “Instituto Potencia” represents the MJER style and Soke Sekiguchi in Argentina. During this visit, we interviewed the professor the day he arrived in Argentina. Despite the long trip, his semblance is energetic and very well disposes to talk. The humility in his manners and his physical appearance makes a strong contrast to the image one had before seeing him. But what impacts the most is his talk full of interesting metaphors and examples that illustrates what he wants to convey, enriching even more the interview.

  1. How do you cross the geographical and language barriers needed to teach Iaido across the world?

What we want to transmit, we do not transmit… As we do not achieve the transmission, we are in full activity. If we would have transmitted what we wanted to transmit, then we would have finished our efforts. We assumed that we are transmitting energetically all what we know, but it has not been transmitted. We could not make our essence to be comprehended. This is the philosophy of Bushido.
There is a wonderful story that takes place in the Iwate Prefecture. It said that a stone must be cut in two, then plod a seed and make it grow till it flowers. This is the effort that we all need to have….  We see today, in fact in many places, the flowers and also we see that they come out in between stones, but for us this is not the right way. If we really want to see our fruits, we must first break the stone, no matter how hard it is, and no matter how difficult it seems, we must then plod a seed and care so that the flowers will come out. Then, after all this efforts if done, just then we can talk about the achievement in our efforts, not before…
Because: Sometimes we believed that we achieved something good, but we were not well interpreted, or it goes into bad habits…or we believed to have done something good and we ended hurting others, making then suffer, etc, etc. Then, this road “way” to make it good, we must walk it thru the teaching of the stone.
I understand it this way, and it is not a heavy load. It is the road I choose, knowing how steep and cobbled road it would be.
When I was a boy, there was a TV program in the Japanese channel. This program was in sign language. I understood at that moment that there is no need for “WORDS” to transmit a concept or line of thinking. In the same way as these signs, one could transmit anything that is inside thru the body language and other means. In my case, this other element is the Ken. It is thru the Ken that I will make everything to transmit the knowledge that I posses on this art and to every disciple that wants to listen, even tough they would not speak Japanese. That is only a fine barrier.
I will use the Ken as a tool in common with my students. If I could not do my job, then it would have been better no doing it since the beginning.
It is like the owner of a dog that allows it to make ‘pupu’ in the street. He, as the owner, must be responsible of his actions. If he decided to buy the dog, then he must be responsible inside and outside of his house.
In my case, It could be said that I am like Momotaro, I do not posses anything, I only carry with me the art of Budo and my thinking. If there are followers, I will gladly accept them, as Momotaro did in his story, as a dog, monkey and other animals followed him. In this case, we could say that every animal represents a country, and working this way, we are present today in more than 90 countries.

  1. Your school of Iaido is present in 90 countries…?


Yes, today there are probably more. Basically, the countries that I personally had visited transmitting this art, area bit more than 90 countries….
When I was in High school, there was a wonderful woman, Hanedaka Kaoru, who commented that she had visited 90 countries. I was a fan of her, and I though that I one day, would like to visit as many countries with some activity.
Today to think that I achieved that number, makes me very happy, and thinking that all these visits do not have a commercial interest, that I do not have to pay for them, makes me even prouder.
There are countries that were enemies during the war, but people unite under one soul …all these countries united under the Budo essence.

  1. Do you believe that the interest for martial arts is increasing?


Yes, Internationally. I do not know what happens to others, I meant I know, but I would not say. What do I mean by this….
I can talk about myself and only of myself; I can not talk about something that I do not know in depth. I am neither a reporter nor a journalist, even less an academic or scientific. I am simply somebody that is captivated by the art of Budo and has it engrained in his heart. Under this concept, I travel the different places trying to transmit everything that I know, everything that I learnt, and what I consider good and right. And if I have somebody in front (of me) that listens to me, smiling, giving his time, giving me an opportunity, my objective is accomplished. These things enrich my soul, and I only need this.
I thank Prof. Carlos Loffreda, in charge of Komei Juku Argentina for allowing us this opportunity with Soke Takaaki Sekiguchi.

Fuente : Urben Nikkei
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