At the end of August I traveled to Princeton, NJ to attend a seminar on Taiji Push Hands and the Bagua 18 Interceptions Dao form of Ma Gui -- this is a form using the "Goose Feather" saber, which is a long one-handed saber that has a constant width, unlike the Ox Tail saber more commonly seen. While in Princeton, I became an indoor student of Zhang Yun in Yin Cheng Gong Fa. I have been studying in YCGF since late 2005 and it was an honor to be able to take that important step in my practice.

In Portland, I visited Laurelhurst Park, where I found enough shade to practice Taiji and Bagua. I also visited my friends Mike Heiler and Troy Gehrett. Mike and Troy are now students of Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu -- I was fortunate to be able to visit and watch a session at the private Murakumo Dojo of Doug Walker. I enjoyed seeing a traditional jujutsu style that preserved an associated kenjutsu practice. Very often in Japanese martial arts weapons and grappling have diverged so that one has to learn a separate style of grappling from field weapons -- however, Shindo Yoshin-ryu is a wonderful late-Edo period exception. Its weapons practice is influenced by Matsuzaki Shinkage Ryu, which is a branch of Shinkage-ryu in the lineage of Ogasawara Genshin Nagaharu (Shin Shinkage Ryu) and Okuyama Kyugasai Kimishige (Okuyama Ryu). For me, it was nice to see a Japanese martial art that used the same body mechanics for both jujutsu and kenjutsu.

[Much thanks to Michael Heiler for this clarification. The lineage chart on page 202 of David Hall's Encyclopedia of Japanese Martial Arts is useful reference material.]

The next day, Troy and Mike and I practiced sword arts taught in the Hobyokai. My focus at the Hobyokan has been Jiki Shinkage Ryu, while Mike has practiced Yagyu Shinkage Ryu for a number of years and is now learning Jiki as well. Mike has been teaching Troy Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, and I was able to join in their practice of the honden kata. I was also able provide Mike some practice and pointers on Jiki's Hojo and To No Kata.