News

Peterís Japanese passion pays off

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Peterís Japanese passion pays off thumbnailPeter Mitchell in action with his sword.

AS well as some areas of outstanding natural beauty the beautiful North Coast is now home to the only two highest qualified practitioners in Ireland of the oldest documented martial art in the world. Limavady man Peter Mitchell has just returned from two weeks in Japan having attended training at the most elite martial arts school in the country that teaches the art of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, a designated intangible cultural asset of the Japanese nation and the only art to hold that status.
Peter's teacher Jeffrey Balmer from Coleraine, originally from Ballymoney, is a 7th Dan and holds the highest qualification in Ireland of the specialised Japanese art.
Jeffrey taught Bujutsu two nights per week in Ballymoney, which is where Peter got hooked and fell in love with the 600 year old martial art.
The art itself is the oldest documented martial art in Japan spanning over six hundred years from the time of the founder Iizasa Choisai Ienao Sensei, who died in 1488 at the age of 102years, through an unbroken lineage to his 20th generation grandson, Iizasa Yasusada who is the current Soke of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu and directly responsible to Emperor Akihito.
The master teacher of the art is Otake Risuke Sensei and his dojo known as the Shinbukan that is just out in the countryside of Narita. The main purpose of the school is to create a warrior with the highest degree of skill with the Japanese sword known as katana.

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