Re: Yoshinkan's Robert Mustard 7th dan and TSYR's Toby Threadgill Menkyo Kaiden, in Londo
Here is a review of the seminar that we held with Mustard Sensei and Threadgill Sensei last September. We look forward to seeing as many of you as we can in September 2013....
I could cover many topics from this seminar such as the teachers, the techniques that were taught, the fun that was had and so on. So where do I start when trying to review the Robert Mustard Sensei and Toby Threadgill Sensei seminar which was recently held at the Dartford Judo Centre in Kent.…
Having picked Threadgill Sensei up from the airport on the Wednesday morning having never met him before and then spending several hours in his company, I instantly understood why Mustard Sensei and him got on so well. From that moment, I knew we were onto something very special with the upcoming seminar and this was further compounded on the Friday afternoon in my living room where Threadgill Sensei answered my numerous questions in a very practical way.
Having organised this seminar, I wasn’t interested in running separate sessions where one teacher would sit off while the other taught. What a waste of these great teachers talent if they were not on the mat throughout the day sharing their knowledge. It was decided that Mustard Sensei would present the Yoshinkan principles and techniques with Threadgill Sensei showing where these principles came from through the Koryu arts and their application with the sword. Considering these two teachers had never taught at the same seminar before, it was a risk, however, a risk that paid off!
Participants had travelled from across the UK to partake in this unique seminar and we were fortunate to have people travelling from Greece, France and Portugal as well. Considering, some had only seen Mustard Sensei and others only Threadgill Sensei, they were all about to be exposed to something new. Numbers for the Saturday was better than expected, although I am always surprised how many people complain about how expensive martial arts courses are but I thought this was a bargain. How often do you get two genuine ‘masters’ of their arts on the mat at the same time, answers on a post card for this one I guess.
Both teachers amazed the students on the mat, made them laugh, had them scratching their heads, but most importantly they were explaining the same thing but differently. I think this can be very useful and highlights the point that it is important to train with high ranking teachers when the opportunity arises; as Mustard Sensei has always said to me “if you get the chance to see a high ranking teacher, GO, they might just say or do something that will make a difference”. From a personal point of view, this weekend made a difference in my training and I know they made a difference to a lot of other people as well. To see Mustard Sensei and Threadgill Sensei up close and personal is just awesome, as with the recent columns started By Ellis Amdur on the Aiki Web website, “it had to be felt”, well I can confirm that this is the case with these two teachers.
The atmosphere on the seminar throughout both days was great and everyone trained hard which is a credit to themselves and their teachers. The greatest show of respect to any teacher is to try the things they are showing even if it is something that you are not familiar with. From the comments that Mustard Sensei and Threadgill Sensei made to me, this was the case with the weekend just gone.
As the seminar came to end, I got the feeling that everyone was disappointed as they were learning so much and having a lot of fun. Therefore, considering the success of the event, we will be looking to hold this event again at some point next year. My advice to anyone who is serious about their training and wanting to figure this stuff out, is to speak to anyone who attended the seminar and ask if it was worth it? I know the answer to that question but I am biased…..