Sekiguchi Takaaki (Komei)
21st Grandmaster - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu

Photo by Guy Junker - www.IronTsuba.comSekiguchi Sensei studied Goju ryu karate, kendo, kobudo and yawara from an early age. Since his high school years he has devoted himself to iai. Like most of us he had to share his study of iai with his personal, social and business life. By accepting the kobudo challenge of "winning over yourself," Sekiguchi Sensei's strict training brought him to the point of dedicating himself full time to training and teaching iaijutsu. Over the last 18 years he has spent all of his time working to bring Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu and his Komei School ideals to hundred of people in Japan. He has traveled to over 50 countries to carry the culture, heritage and values of iai training to the world. Sekiguchi Sensei serves as President of the International Association of Iaido and President of the Japanese Association of Classical Martial Art Iaido. In 1995 he was recognition by the Nihon Budokan, Japan's premier organization of the martial arts, located on the grounds of the former Edo Castle in Tokyo, for his distinguished service in the preservation of traditional martial arts.

Sekiguchi Sensei believes that training in his style of iai prepares the students to deal more effectively with life. The discipline and self-sacrifice to progress in iai are the same needed to succeed in personal relationships. Human relationships grow from having higher expectation of yourself than from others. When a students strives for high personal performance he becomes more helpful and useful to others. When he learns to freely give and share his abilities he begins to contribute to the welfare of others. There is no need for competitive matches in Sekiguchi Sensei's dojo because every student has a challenging opponent in himself. These are concepts passed down to each grandmaster along with the sword techniques.

Photo by Guy Junker - www.IronTsuba.com

When Sekiguchi Sensei is asked why one should study an old style martial art while
living in the modem world he points out that his iai is based on respect, beauty and personal spirit. Through strict practice you will learn respect for discipline, your sword and other people. You can see beauty in the iai forms and in the sword. Your personal spirit will grow as you find freedom and space for your own ideas within the rules that govern the use of the sword. Respect, beauty and personal spirit should be a key part of anyone's life regardless of what era he may live in.

Sekiguchi Sensei says " We should not look at how we are different from each other and we should not differentiate between nationalities". "Iai can be a common bond between all people of all ages". He also recommends "never pass up the opportunity to meet and learn from someone new".

He cautions people who may be interested in taking up the practice of iai that it
requires a definite decision and commitment to study iai. It is easy to start and easier to quit. "In our ryu it is hard to continue but you can persevere if you have the determination to improve your self as well as your skill," Sekiguchi Sensei tells  us.