The second edition of the Ōtsuka Gekikenkai took place from November 30th – December 01st, 2019 in the Chiba-Dōjō which is the Hombu of the Hokushin Ittō-Ryū Hyōhō.
I would like to note especially the quite strong turnout of kenshi from other ryūha!
Twenty kenshi with experience in Hokushin Ittō-ryū Hyōhō, Mugai-ryū, Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū, Shintō Musō-ryū, Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū and other arts have participated.
I was really impressed by the sobriety, the very respectful conduct and the persistence of all the participants. This was exemplary behaviour!
They fought and practiced with each other fiercely with tachi, kodachi, yari, naginata and jō, in order to improve their technique, spirit and character.
Same as the first event last year, this one was also held in a private setting. Therefore the participants will not be named whatsoever (except of course at their own wish). This approach turned out to be very successful in order to give interested individuals the unique opportunity to attend.
Of course, we sincerely hope that this will not be necessary anymore in the foreseeable future and that schools will be proud about the participation of their students at such Gekikenkai! Let’s wait and see.
The flow was well structured:
First, Ōtsuka Ryūnosuke-Sōke gave an introduction incl. a brief historical outline about shiai-geiko and taryū-jiai in the classical arts of war. This was certainly interesting for the kenshi of other traditions. After that, some explanations were shared concerning the procedure of shiai, the role of the Kenbunyaku and in general about the behaviour rules for the whole event. Detailed instructions were also given on the topic of issuing a respectful verbal challenge to a duel and how to accept one. Dismissal of such a polite request should not even be considered. After all, people attend to train and fight together! 😉
The breaks where used for exchange between the kenshi and one could learn and experience different new aspects.
Even so Gekiken Shiai-geiko is tough, rigorous and follows strict rules you could see the joy on on all the faces!