Lessons from Goro Saimura Sensei Morihiro Okada

from “Modern Kendo Hundred Proverbs”

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Commentary Morimasa Okada, the modelator of Kendo Innovation Laboratory.

My grandfather, Morihiro Okada, wrote about the lessons he was taught by his teacher, Goro Saimura, a 10th dan hanshi. In his article "Modern Kendo Hyakkaisei" he wrote There are very few books on Saimura Sensei that specifically teach the movements of kendo, so I feel that this article written by my grandfather is a very valuable technical theory that he has entrusted to the present day kendo.

When my grandfather was hospitalized shortly before he passed away, he told the story that every night when his disciples, who were doctors, visited him, Saimura Sensei would appear in his dreams and wake him up, and he would always talk about how wonderful his training was. It is simmiler fable that Nakayama Hakudo Sensei eventually made his own iai style into Mu-so(dream) Shinden-ryu, and that his disciples popularized this style after his death.

The Men-uchi movement of stepping in from a distance and striking through, which is required in modern kendo, is a movement that was thoroughly taught at the "Busen"(Martial Arts College in kyoto) by the chief professor, Naito Takaharu, and Saimura Sensei was one of the first students to learn this method. There is no need to explain that only from the graduates of the first Butsen class who learned this teaching method, five 10-dan students were born.

By adding Nakayama Hakudo Sensei's Iai to this teaching method, Saimura Sensei further refined his core and shinai manipulation, and sublimated it into the "Ultimate Men-uchi". My grandfather fell in love with this technique and made it his lifelong goal, always telling us how wonderful it was. Unfortunately, however, the quality of Uchikomi movements, including the goal itself, has changed drastically in recent years. It is not an easy task to implement and express the teachings, but I believe that we should take the precious teachings that my grandfather received from Saimura Sensei as an "oral tradition" and seek for more depth. We believe that we must continue to hand down the teachings to the next generation.

Source: "Kendo Jidai", March 2021 issue

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Saimura Goro Sensei

Saimura Goro Sensei

He was born in 1887 in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, and entered the Dainippon Butokukai Martial Arts Teacher Training Institute (later known as the "Bu-sen"=Budo Senmon Gakko, Martial Arts College in kyoto) in 1906 as one of the first students, where he studied under Naito Takaharu and Kusunoki Masachika. He trained hard with fellow students Ichikawa Umon, Oshima Jikita, and Mochida Seiji.
After graduation, he became an assistant professor of kendo at the Bu-sen.
In 1916, at the age of 29, he quit Bu-sen and moved to Tokyo, where he struggled through hardships and poverty to become a teacher at Waseda Jitsugyo Gakko (Waseda Industrial School), in 1917, and at the Metropolitan Police Department in 1918. He later became a teacher at the Imperial Police Department, the Army's Toyama School, Waseda High School, Waseda University, and Nihon University, as well as a professor at Kokushikan Senmon Gakko.
In particular, he brought to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and Kokushikan the "Bu-sen" style of training that focuses on Kirikaeshi and striking from a distance, laying the foundation for modern kendo.

After the end of World War II, he worked hard to revive kendo, which had been banned by GHQ, mainly through the activities of the Doshikai, which was also held at Shodokan.
In 1957, he was awarded the 10th dan in kendo by the All Japan Kendo Federation. He was also awarded the title of Honorary Master of Kendo by the Metropolitan Police Department and Honorary Professor by Kokushikan University.

1964, at the age of 77, Demonstrated Japanese Kendo Kata with Mochida Seiji Hanshi at the Tokyo Olympic Demonstration.
Died at the age of 82 in 1969.

Saimura Goro Sensei

Saimura Goro Sensei
He was born in 1887 in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, and entered the Dainippon Butokukai Martial Arts Teacher Training Institute (later known as the "Bu-sen"=Budo Senmon Gakko, Martial Arts College in kyoto) in 1906 as one of the first students, where he studied under Naito Takaharu and Kusunoki Masachika. He trained hard with fellow students Ichikawa Umon, Oshima Jikita, and Mochida Seiji.
After graduation, he became an assistant professor of kendo at the Bu-sen.
In 1916, at the age of 29, he quit Bu-sen and moved to Tokyo, where he struggled through hardships and poverty to become a teacher at Waseda Jitsugyo Gakko (Waseda Industrial School), in 1917, and at the Metropolitan Police Department in 1918. He later became a teacher at the Imperial Police Department, the Army's Toyama School, Waseda High School, Waseda University, and Nihon University, as well as a professor at Kokushikan Senmon Gakko.
In particular, he brought to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and Kokushikan the "Bu-sen" style of training that focuses on Kirikaeshi and striking from a distance, laying the foundation for modern kendo.

After the end of World War II, he worked hard to revive kendo, which had been banned by GHQ, mainly through the activities of the Doshikai, which was also held at Shodokan.
In 1957, he was awarded the 10th dan in kendo by the All Japan Kendo Federation. He was also awarded the title of Honorary Master of Kendo by the Metropolitan Police Department and Honorary Professor by Kokushikan University.

1964, at the age of 77, Demonstrated Japanese Kendo Kata with Mochida Seiji Hanshi at the Tokyo Olympic Demonstration.
Died at the age of 82 in 1969.
What is

What is "Modern Kendo: Hundred Proverbs"?

The book was published in 1972 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the All Japan Kendo Federation, and was written by teachers active in the world of kendo at the time who contributed their experiences in training, beliefs, and sayings that should serve as guidelines for future generations.

What is "Modern Kendo: Hundred Proverbs"?

What is

The book was published in 1972 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the All Japan Kendo Federation, and was written by teachers active in the world of kendo at the time who contributed their experiences in training, beliefs, and sayings that should serve as guidelines for future generations.