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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Laverick

30 years with an English Kenshi (part 4 - Albert Dock, Liverpool) - by Ozawa Hiroshi sensei

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

I was 46 years old. My hair is frizzy. No, I'm not naturally permed, so it's like curly. Trevor

was 37 or 38 years old. I think his sons, Roger and James, were there as well.

In June 1996, I applied to the Tokyo University of Science International Cultural

Exchange Foundation for an 11-day visit to the UK. I was invited by the BKA to

demonstrate Kendo Kata and Ko-ryu Itto-ryu Mizoguchi-ha kata at a kendo tournament

in Cheltenham, with a secondary purpose of teaching kendo at both Glasgow and

Edinburgh universities.

Since I applied for this purpose, I was able to obtain a grant to cover the air ticket and

accommodation expenses.

Since I was going to England, I invited some of my ko-ryu kata practitioners to join me.

They took a holiday to come with us despite their busy schedule. My kata partner was

Minowa sensei, and Fukui sensei and Meguro sensei were accompanying us.

This was the second time Trevor had seen the Ko-ryu Itto-ryu Mizoguchi-ha, and he

showed great interest. I think his first demonstration in England was in June 1990, when

Minowa sensei and Mandy practiced the kata in a group of professors and students from

the University of Nottingham. Minowa sensei was all red-faced from practicing the kata

with Mandy.

Trevor said, "I want to try this ko-ryu too," so I told him I would teach him when I had

the chance. This kata is quite difficult to learn, so much so that there are not many

people learning it even in Japan. But Trevor probably had a strong feeling that one day he would definitely learn the Mizoguchi-ha.

This was my third visit to England. I went to the museum called Beatles Story for the

first time. I went back there nine times after that. It's an interesting place with new

discoveries every time I go there.

This is the fourth in a series of eight articles written by Ozawa Hiroshi sensei (Kyoshi 8 Dan). Kindly translated by Matsuda Kazuyo sensei (Renshi 7 Dan).

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