Ryukyu Kobudo Kongo-ryu training is something relatively new to the members of Itosu-kai Sweden. We have only been practicing it for 1.5 years and on a small scale. The first time that I, together with Sempai Per Gästgivar, came in contact with Kongo-ryu was when Soke together with Sensei Ayumu Oda and Sensei Shoichi Yokoyama visited Sensei Charles Hunter in Scotland in the fall of 2016. The joy of practicing Bo made it clear to us that we had to go to Japan and continue our training October 2017 (see previous article). For Itosu-kai Sweden, Kongo-ryu is an exciting and developing complement to karate training. Therefore, in connection with the karate camp in May, a two-day Kobudo seminar was arranged under Sensei Ayumu Oda's leadership.
The first two-hour pass, the karate students were given the chance to try to train with nunchakus. In total, we were about 70 participants, of whom 55 had never been holding a martial Arts weapon earlier. I believe everybody really enjoyed the challenge and after about one and a half hours of training, most of the students had a pretty good grasp of the basics and in the end of the class all the students were able to do basic kata number one.
The remaining three classes were devoted to the students who have been participating in Kobudo classes the past 12 months. Under Sensei Ayumu Oda's leadership, students got the chance to refine the knowledge of Bo. This meant drilling in basic techniques and deep diving into details and history. In comparison to Nunchakus, Bo is a lot bigger challenge but also very fun and rewarding. On the final class, training was focused on Sai and Tonfa. The students got an introduction in the basics of each weapon. When the seminar was over, the students wanted to practice a little more, which led to the class continuing for another half an hour outdoor. The four day Martial Arts Seminar ended with Sensei Ayumu Oda showing the Tonfa kata, "Hamahiga no Tonfa" with which he competed and won in the US Open 2016.
Unfortunately, everything ends, and so did our training camp. In Sweden, we are proud and happy to develop our skills and to continue this tradition of Ryukyu Kobudo Kongo-ryu. My hope is that these days showed the joy of practicing so that in the coming years we will see a growing number of participants on our kobudo passes, on Wednesdays. A big thank to Sensei Ayumu Oda for his great patience and his ability and willingness to communicate the knowledge to us in Sweden. I would also like to express a big thank you to Soke and Sensei Ayumu Oda for the decision to start producing Kongo-ryu DVDs as it makes it easier for countries outside Japan to maintain the knowledge and hold on to the distinctions that separates Kongo-ryu from other styles.
Ryukyu Kobudo Kongo-ryu Sweden