“Ken, Zen, Shinto, Buddhism and others are all same family. They seek to reach to the high moon. But practice by Ken is the shortest way to reach because practice by Ken is serious, we meet life or death directly in a moment.”
Harry Guhl (1969), a former protégé of Masatomi Ikeda Sensei began the practice of Aikido and Jikishin-Kage-Ryu Kendo in the late 1980’s.
Today, Harry is a disciple of Sasaki Genso Roshi, the dharma successor of Omori Sogen Roshi. Omori Sogen Roshi, was a successor in the Tenryu-ji line of Rinzai Zen and scholar of the last Jikishin-Kage-Ryu Kendo headmaster Yamada Jirokichi.
Since the 15th century the essence of practice never changed and it has been passed down from master to master.
The foundations of the Jikishin-Kage School of Kendo is the “Hojo no Kata”. This form of practice was once created as a reflection of the laws of nature and swordsmanship. Divided into 4 principle parts, related to the 4 seasons, two people perform the kata (form) with wooden training swords. The practitioners mirror movements and strikes when an opportunity arises. Always focused on the present and deep breathing, they put their whole being into the practice. Through this practice, the life energy awakens and generosity will develop in you. Eventually without the sword.
Once the “Hojo no Kata” is mastered, the practice continues with the other 4 forms (kata’s): Fukuro Shinai no kata, Kodachi no kata, Habiki no kata, Marubashi no kata.