Second Yodokan Budo Association seminar.
10th- 11th November 2007.
The time was rapidly approaching the November seminar, famous for the “misogi” waterfall test, accommodation was being sought and for some reason difficult to find this year, Hanshi Taylor had been up the mountain to look at the waterfall because believe it or not there had been little or no rain for a month or more in Wales, the report back from the waterfall was not good so we prayed for rain leading up to the 11th.
We set out for Wales on the 10th at 06.30 there were ten members of tsunami yodokan who were to accompany me Kyoshi Selvey to the seminar; we were to meet at membury services on the m4 half way to Wales.
After meeting and having a quick breakfast we set off for the yodokan Honbu, we were all present other than one student who was unable to attend due to personal reasons, Alex Selvey spent the remaining journey time sewing the club badges on a fellow students jacket and we arrived at the Newport Honbu at 10.45 just enough time to get changed and ready for the 11.00 start.
The opening ceremony led by Hanshi Taylor was assisted by sensei hammett opening Kamiza and sensei Coxon performing the four cuts ceremony, the arts that were taught on the day were, aikido by sensei meek (lord Byron as sensei Fyffe calls him) and sensei Fyffe, judo by sensei Isgrove, karate by Hanshi Taylor, cane by sensei Fyffe and Kyoshi Selvey, and Iaido by Kyoshi Selvey, sensei Murray and sensei Coxon.
The standard of teaching and the enthusiasm and understanding shown by all was first class, the displays which preceded the teaching was very impressive and the highlight for me was the two young budoka, Sharna penny and Owen potter demonstrating both judo and karate to a very high standard.
The dojo was filled with students and we had to be very careful when it came to the Iaido class to avoid accident.
At 17.00 the classes finished and we conducted an Iaido grading, congratulations to all who passed the grading,( names of successful students will be on Tenshin website under grading 07) the closing ceremony was held at 18.30 following a presentation ceremony which included Owen potter received junior Shodan in judo, sensei Steve Fyffe received yodokan ratification to Yondan in aikido, and Kyoshi mike Selvey received black belt cane from grandmaster mark Shuey .
That evening we all met for a social dinner at a local restaurant, during the evening after difficulties with accommodation we decided that most of tsunami yodokan would sleep in the dojo a prospect that was met with hesitation by most, well it was an interesting night with some of us able to sleep well, others moving out to a more sedate area, and yet others throwing boots and pillows around to try and stop a certain person snoring, you know who you are.
The next morning Hanshi Taylor accompanied by Sharna penny and Owen potter went to lay a wreath at the war memorial as it was the 11th November and a tradition held for many years by the dojo members.
Tsunami yodokan students travelled up the mountain to brynn mawr we went straight to the waterfall that we used last year and unfortunately the amount of water falling was not sufficient to make a good test, this was disappointing but we had a second falls not far away which last year we considered too dangerous to use as you have to climb down to it over rocks and rough terrain.
I went with Mushin yodokan student and our guide Jason to recy the falls, as we got there a huge buzzard flew over us and landed above the falls looking down at the water, we both said this must be a good omen, the falls although difficult to get too were running well and would be good for the misogi , the only sad part was that due to the difficult terrain to the falls sensei Steve Fyffe (who is blind) would not be able to take part in the test , we got him as close as we could so he would still be part of the experience and we made our way down , the first in was sensei Murray, he stood perched on the rocks under the falls almost motionless as the water cascaded on to him for the full 5 minutes, I followed, I moved a protruding rock which left a large flat rock directly under the falls i sat cross-legged under the cascade this time the water was pulsing from very hard to soft as the wind moved it off of you, i moved my Buddhist beads through my fingers and focused on the water splashing off a leaf just in front of me, the next thing i remember is being told it was eight minutes , i opened my eyes tilted my head back into the fastest part of the falls and moved out feeling elated and very happy I was able to end another year in this way.
I was followed individually by Richard Jones, then Stuart Binns and finally Andy hanlon they sat cross-legged and in mocuso for 5 mins, all were successful and all gained some benefit from the experience which I was very impressed and proud of, sensei Glenn Coxon filmed the whole thing, this film or part of it will be shown on the Tenshin Ryu website.
After drying off and exchanging thoughts on the experience we said our goodbyes and started on the 3 hour journey back to London, yet again the weekend was a great success in many ways and I look forward to 2008 and a new year off similar experiences.
Mike Selvey Rokudan Kyoshi 2007.