Shushinkai’s Phil Powell has taken an interest in Kobudo (principally the Bo) for some years now, despite the fact that until recent times he received no formal instruction. At the formation of the Shushinkai association he was given permission to develop Kobudo as an extra curricular activity. Along with the three basic Kata and ippon kumite for the Bo which Phil had already developed, fellow branch chiefs Brian Jarvis and Steve Bolland formulated basic kata for the Tonfa and Nunchaku.
Things have a strange way of working out and due to a kind invitation by Shito-Kai Canada’s Chief instructor Sensei Sam Moledzki to train at a karate seminar in Mexico 2003, the chance to practice in a recognised system of Kobudo was about to be realised. It was mentioned that there was an interest in Kobudo and Sensei Moledzki said that he had trained for many years in Kobudo. At that time he also made an introduction to Fumio Demura Sensei. He and Demura Sensei had both been students of Ryusho Sakagami Sensei (Shito ryu Itosu-Kai founder) & a legendary weapons master. Demura Sensei said that he would be giving a seminar in the UK in 2004 and to come along.
Shushinkai Instructor Sensei Brain Jarvis contacted Julian Mallalieu of Gebu-kai UK and in September of that year Brian and Phil made the trip to Manchester. Demura Sensei taught a basic Bo Kata and also Ippon Kumite.
On a visit to the UK Sensei Sam Moledzki taught the Bo Kata Shushi-no-kon-sho and also a short kumite drill scenario with applications. At this time he mentioned that the system he had trained in was from Master Shinken Taira who is considered to be the father of modern Kobudo and also one of the teachers of Sakagami Sensei. Sensei also kindly left literature for us to use as a reference.
Whilst on a visit to Canada with the Shushinkai UK team Sensei Moledzki taught Phil the moves of the Kama kata Kongo-Ryu Nichogama. This was a new weapon for him and needless to say, resulted in some splinters. However, Sensei Moledzki patiently pointed out that although we may have a favourite weapon we must strive to be proficient in at least five of the basic weapons of Kobudo.
In june of 2007 Sensei Moledzki visited the UK to teach at our ‘Kobudo Extravaganza’. Sensei covered basics in Bo, Nunchaku & Tonfa. Since then he has made a second visit and continues to take a key role in our kobudo development. It would be fair to say that both personally and as an association, we have much to learn about Kobudo but now it seems we are at least on the correct path.