Report - Genbukan Spain Taikai 2018

Mangetsu Dojo with its branches from Norway, Sweden and Denmark participated in the Genbukan International Taikai, which took place in Spain from 18th to 21st of October in Barcelona. Organisation was by Spain Shibu-Cho Jose Luis-Bravo Renshi at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Taikai led Tanemura Soke that came from Japan with his son Kotaro Shihan. The themes of the seminar were two styles (Ryu-Ha). The quick draw Katana style of Mugen Shinto Ryu Iaijutsu, and the famous style of Takamatsu Sensei - Shinden Fudo Ryu Jutaijutsu. Over 250 practitioners from all over the world participated at the Taikai.

The first challenge at the seminar was Iaijutsu techniques from the Mugen Shinto style. We had the opportunity to practice demanding sword movements that include many details. Soke demonstrated the forms for deeper understanding, along with the history of the Aizu Clan. The great significance and particularity of this Iaijutsu style, which uses the Aiki principles from Daito Ryu Jujutsu, is of great significance. Later we had weapons gradings from the Genbukan system where the attendants showed high levels of skill. In the evening we had a Dojo Cho dinner at a beautiful restaurant in Barcelona. Dinner was relaxed and fun with wonderful Catalonia ambience. Homemade cuisine proved to be a top culinary experience.

Other days we started practicing under the guidance of Soke and Kotaro Shihan the style of Shinden Fudo Ryu Jutaijutsu. The practice of these techniques was very demanding and dangerous and in the end with experience and organization everything went through without injury but with energetic training. Details and direct Soke's performance showed how much Tai Sabaki and every correct movement is essential for proper performance of technique. Soke stressed how much time it takes to master these precious techniques and how these details were preserved for the next generation through Masters, who trained the most with Takamatsu Sensei and who transferred it to Tanemura Soke. Tanemura Soke dazzled with his experience and unparalleled skill in performing the techniques that live in him in every movement. Soke remarked that Shinden Fudo Ryu Ju-Taijutsu was Takamatsu Senseis "backbone" martial art, as well as Takagi Yoshin Ryu. Learning these things is prerequisite before Togakure Ryu, Gyokko Ryu etc. This is Ninja Taijutsu / Jujutsu because Takamatsu Senseis teacher was Iga Ryu Ninja. This is different than Karate Koppo or Koshijutsu which could be considered as Ninja "Karate". With these martial arts Takamatsu Sensei had many experiences as true case and with other martial arts and Dojo challengers etc. He did learn from a young age these Ryu Ha. Soke also learned and mastered these things at 21 years old. 

In the Amatsu Tatara speach, Soke spoke of the ancient history of mankind and how to lead a successful and happy life, revealing the purpose and mission of one's own life and creating a utopia for all generations to come. We had the opportunity to learn the true art of martial arts and cultural renewal from the ancient times bearing the universal and eternal truth for all human existence. The last day of the Taikai was repeating of all techniques showed in intense training. Also every day we had an opportunity to do warm ups and stretching with each Kyoshi instructor that was very educational and useful.

At the end of the event we had a wonderful Banquet with special guest entertainers. We enjoyed watching Flamenco and the wonderful sounds of Spanish guitar. The Taikai was exceptionally successful and all praises go to the organisers from Genbukan Barcelona and all of their staff for an excellent organisation and effort. Great thanks also go to all the members from all over the world who have supported and made this event possible with their presence and training.

This Taikai will be an unforgettable experience with those who attended from around the world in Barcelona, one of the most beautiful and stunning cities in the world. Soke was extremely pleased with the level of all the practitioners and the importance for the growth of the traditional martial arts skills of Japan and culture all over the world. The whole event had a great spiritual symbolism and inspiration for the future.

Neven Kopčalić, Renshi


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