A Truly Unique Budo Experience

I've been looking forward to this weekend for some time and the chance to train with two big names in the world of Budo; Robert Mustard Sensei and Toby Threadgill Sensei.

I've had the pleasure of training with Mustard Sensei a few times before, so I had some sense of what his class might be like, but I have only read about Threadgill Sensei.

The schedule today was 10:00 start; 4:30 finish with 45 minutes somewhere in between for lunch. On the way up to Dartford this morning, I wondered what the class structure would be; whether both teachers would teach on both days; one take a morning and one an afternoon and so on. I never would have imagined what actually took place.

Mustard Sensei and Threadgill Sensei taught the entire class together. Each of these instructors is at the top of their respective art and each is highly respected in the world of budo. And here they were, sharing a mat and taking it in turns to follow on from the previous point and move the class forwards in a unique exploration of budo.

While one instructor taught, the other sat with the rest of the class, listening and occassionally contributing (usually humour!) The atmosphere was joyous and collaborative; without ego or competition. These men clearly have a great deal of respect for one another. And for those of us lucky enough to be there with them? Well, it was fascinating.

Mustard Sensei began by teaching the basics of the Yoshinkan posture and movement. Threadgill sensei responded by showing how this related to Internal Strength. Mustard Sensei moved onto demonstrate Ikkajo (Ikkyo). Threadgill Sensei then explained the origins of Ikkyo in Koryu and how Ikkyo related to the sword. And so it went on for the rest of the day.

I've never seen a seminar run this way before and I don't know if it will happen again; but it was totally unique and we get to do it all over again tomorrow!