Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Invitation to Train with Robert Mustard Sensei

As many of you know, I like to learn what I can from a variety of martial arts, not just my primary style. When I can, I like to expose my students to instructors of other styles of Jiu-jitsu or other martial arts altogether. Since I had a little extra time on my hands, having been recently laid off, I decided to look into bringing in one such instructor. And that man is Robert Mustard Sensei, 7th Dan in Aikido.

I first heard about Robert Mustard Sensei from reading the book, Angry White Pyjamas. This narrative non-fiction tells one man's story of how he trained with the Tokyo riot police in an intensive Aikido training course that ran 5 days a week, 5 hours a day, for 11 months. Robert Mustard Sensei was one of the instructors. I won't go into too much detail about what the book said about him. I highly recommend it by the way, so if you can get a copy, give it a read. It reads more like a novel than a biography and it's highly entertaining. What I will say, is that Robert Mustard Sensei comes across as a tough nut, one who earned the respect of high ranking Aikido instructors the hard way, through innumerable tosses, cranks and slams. Check out this YouTube video of him doing a demo:

Ever since I moved to the Vancouver area, I wanted to go visit his dojo and meet the man, but I didn't feel comfortable just calling and asking if I could drop in, especially since I could never be a regular student. His dojo was on the other side of town from me and for a long time, I didn't even have a vehicle. But I recently discovered that he is willing to teach seminars at other martial arts dojos, and of course, I now have a dojo.

When I talked to him on the phone, he was very friendly and affable, and much like I imagined despite the tough picture that was painted of him in Angry White Pyjamas. He was very receptive to the idea of teaching at my dojo and welcomed me and my other instructor to come out to his dojo to take part in a class and meet him so we would know what to expect from him and his teachings. I set a date and am now looking forward to what I expect will be an interesting and enjoyable training experience. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

Nathan at TDA Training said...

Sounds great. Can't wait to hear about it. Thanks for the book recommendation, too. I will add to my list.