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Chris Buxton Sensei

7th Dan Kyoshi Iai-Do

7th Dan Kyoshi Jo-Do

My secondary modern school in the London Borough of Harrow was, I believe, quite progressive. As a 6th former I took part in fencing, archery and horse riding. There was judo on offer as well, but I didn't take up training then. When I decided to go to Teacher Training College, I saw in the brochure that they had a Judo club. Thinking that I would join and not wanting to look foolish as a beginner, I went along to the local dojo before attending Trent Park College. That was 1966. The Dojo was part of the old Masutaro Otani Society of Judo. I went several times a week and saw a lot of the ceiling. This was because I tried to only go on the mat with the seniors. At last I arrived at College. No judo - the activities listed in the brochure were out of date! Never mind, a couple of us went to an informal karate club in the gym with one of the students called Peter Chancellor. He had gained a Nidan grade from someone and the style was a mixture of Shotokai and Shotokan. It was great. Blood everywhere, mainly mine and all over my gi! When Peter went to Hong Kong I took up Wado Ryu. The dojo was in Northolt under Bob Wignall. I managed to pass 2nd Kyu brown belt. In 1975 i got accepted for a teaching job in Singapore. Unluckily for me only Goju Ryu karate was available. Given the amount of stick I'd received trying to forget the Shotokai/Shotokan roots when studying Wado, I figured I'd get crucified trying another style.

The first weekend in Singapore there was a martial arts tournament which I went to watch. On one of the walls was an advert for Kendo. That was it, problem solved. I studied kendo under Mr. Lim Kwa Chwee, at the Singapore Kendo Club. More pain as I tried to block the shinai (practice bamboo sword) using a jodan uke from karate. I managed 2nd Kyu again, but got distracted by the birth of my daughter Sophy and scuba diving and rugby and beer (to name but a few things).

On returning to England and stopping rugby, I resumed Kendo, then added Iai-do and Jo-do. I stopped the kendo when it conflicted with taking my son to his advanced gym club meetings, as he had done well in competitions. I moved from Shidokwai Kendo Club in Hendon to join Jock Hopson Sensei at the newly opened Eishinkan Dojo in 1984.

The rest is history as they say. Jock is 7th Dan Kyoshi Kendo, 7th Dan Kyoshi Iai-do and 7th Dan Renshi Jo-do. His teacher is Ishido Shisufumi Sensei who is 8th Dan Hanshi Iai-do, 8th Dan Kyoshi Jo-do and 7th Dan Kyoshi Kendo. Ishido Sensei also holds Menkyo (Licence of Total Transmission ((learned everything the style can teach)), in Iai-do and Jo-do.

Now nearly 30 years later I still enjoy my Iai-do and Jo-do. I hold 6th Dan Renshi in both arts. I referee at the European Championships, assist with teaching on seminars both in the UK and abroad: I have held various British Kendo Association posts: act on grading panels and sweep the dojo every session! Hopefully I can still train for some more years and pass my 7th Dan in Iai-do and Jo-do. I have tried a few times already and trust I am getting closer. I'm only 62 years young, so there's no way out yet! I have just completed 25 years with Eishkan Dojo and am grateful for everyone persevering with my efforts.

Biography written by Chris Buxton Sensei (2009)

After almost three weeks full time training in Japan with his teacher Ishido Shisufumi sensei Chris was succesful in passing his 7th Dan in Iai-do on 25th June 2010.

In Belgium on the 2nd of September 2012 Chris was again succesful in his grading and gained his 7th Dan in Jodo.

In 2018 my friend and sensei passed away after a brief and gallant fight with cancer. 

Steve Chamberlain

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