Please note that due to unavoidable circumstances and after 54 years we have had to vacate SPG centre and have now moved to a new place. Not as spacious as the old one but the surroundings offer a unique spiritual aspect and hopefully promote the essense of harmony and peace that Seishinryu encourages with a closeness to nature. I will try and keep this site updated but due to a serious illness this may be a slow process as I am still in recovery. I know that some may find the new venue a bit awkward to get too but to be honest this shouldn't effect many people as most traveled to the old dojo. Now we can start afresh while promoting it locally.
NEWS FLASH !!!
Please note that we do not have access to Bears Wood Scout Camp on 29th of July and the 12th and 26th of August 2018. This is beacuse the scouts have booked some large events on those weekends. However, I will be running sessions in Ashburton Park on those days which will probably start at 5 pm and end at 7 pm. There is a free car park and parking is also available on nearby roads. If there is a sudden change in weather and the grounds are not suitable then of course there will be no training. Please follow our FaceBook page for regular updates and other information. Please note that I am also at the park every Saturday from 4 pm to 6 pm if anyone is interested in doing some jo/bokken/tanbo/sensu training.
The new venue for Seishiryu Dojo is
Bears Wood Scout Camp, 254 Court Wood Lane, Croydon, CR0 9HJ.
Seishinryu still meet every Sunday evening from 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm and have an option to perhaps open on a Thursday once we have established steady numbers. Unfortunately, the venue may be difficult for some to find as it is actually set in Bears Wood - so follow the directions below.
(Please Note:There is a also "special" session which meets in Ashburton Park at 4.00pm to 6.00pm (Summer times) every Saturday to practice forms with Sensu, tanbo and jo as well as meditation and basic technique. This is open to all and is FREE...! We usually meet in front of the old "Library" building - you can't miss us! This session was started a few years ago to promote the park and develope community spirit which so far has been running quite successfully. This is supported by the local councilors, residents and other community services. Please ensure you are suitably dressed according to weather conditions prevailing).
Getting to Bears Wood Scout Camp
To get too the Dojo, come down Court Wood Lane (from Croydon) where there are several roads on the left called Osward.
If you get to Markfield Road then you have overshot.
The last Osward - which indicates numbers 210-220 through 289-293) is signposted to Bears Wood. Go up this road and turn right at the T-Junction. The campsite entrance will be visible. A sign about Police Dog Training confirms you are at the right place. Don't worry if all seems dark, you'll soon see the lit up building at the end. (Signs on corner are to be replaced to help but still suggest to keep a "lookout" as you approach).
There is free parking on site.
Here is the map - it is, however, deceptive, you need to go up the last Osward (210-220...289-293), NOT Markfield.
Public Transport from CroydonThere are 3 public transport possibilities.
- Take Bus 466 or Tram 3 (New Addington) to Addington Village interchange then the 353 (signed up to Forestdale) and alight at Bears Wood stop.
- Go to the Interchange per above then take the 433 (to West Croydon) and alight at Crofters Mead*.
- From Dingwall Road (by East Croydon Station) take the 433 (to Addington Village Interchange) and alight at Crofters Mead.
* Crofters Mead may appear on the web and your phone app as "Courtwood Lane/Bardolph Avenue".
|Aikido||Bears Wood Scout Camp||Every Sunday||6.00 pm to 8.00 pm||Sensei|
|Body Harmony||Ashburton Park (Free sesssion)||Every Saturday||12 noon to 2.00 pm||Sensei|
|Body Harmony||Selsdon Library (Free sesssion)||Every other Thursday||10.30 pm to 11.30 pm||020 3700 1017|
|Body Harmony||Ashburton Library (Free sesssion)||Every other Friday||11.00 pm to 12.00 noon||020 3700 1001|
NOTE: Body Harmony sessions are free but please contact libraries directly to confirm times, etc. and the park sessions is also subject to prevailing weather conditions and times vary according to the season.
Seishin Ryu Dojo IRAN:The dojo will be run by Sensei Amir Pahlavnanedjad and his assistants. It is inspiring to know that the philosophy and principles of what we stand for is spreading across the globe. Sensei Amir's character and dedication will no doubt be invaluable to those who train under him. Other nights and venues will soon to be made available in the near future! I look forward to posting future articles on this site from our friends in Iran. On behalf of Seishin Ryu may I wish Amir every success and good luck. Current address and training times are as follows:Shahid Shvary Sports Centre, Jolfa Ave., Tehran, Iran.It is in the Northern part of the town and training is on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm to 8.30pm (Local time) Click to visit >> Iranian Seishin Ryu Aikido Site (English version)
Seishinryu on FaceBook: There is now a Seishinryu Group page on Facebook which is proving very popular with members and visitors alike as it much easier to keep abreast with the latest news. Members can also meet with live online chat and develop social connections outside of the dojo. FaceBook also provides a good storage for photos and videos.
Body Harmony on FaceBook: Another group associated with Seishinryu is the Body Harmony section. Body Harmony was created to provide a low impact holistic fitness programme for the community who may for medical and heath reason may not be able to participate in a normal aikido class.
Please make sure that annual memberships are up to date >> £25 for senior and £20 for juniors annual fee -
Seishinryu is affiliated to NAKMAS
1955 - 2005 A Celebration of 50 years of British Aikido. From its inception by the legendary master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. Held at the London Crystal Palace Sports Arena..14th May 2005.
.This event and seminar was principally a celebration of 50 years of British Aikido. As Kenshiro Abbe Sensei was a man of Budo, other martial arts such as Judo ~ Karate ~ Kendo ~ Iaido ~ Kyudo will also be honoured with displays and demonstrations from various schools.
The opening ceremony was an awesome display of Keiko drumming performed by the the TAMASHII DAIKO women's drummers. It was colorful and dramatic which set the mood for the day. The event was well attended with many old and familiar faces. It was a a great time to greet old friends and also make new ones. The Seishin Ryu members who attended will agree am sure that it was a memorial day which will be etched in their memories for a long time to come.
Many guests included the Japanese Ambassador and other high ranking representatives gave an insight into the world of budo as each one took the mic. For a sample video of the event click here
Contact Seishin Ryu on (44) 020 8656 2181 or (44) 07950 465814. (cell-phone) or Email
Sensei's Blogs, Thoughts and Philosophical ramblings (Archived Blogs)
The Way of the Samurai
Unfettered and alone the samurai journey’s - seeking his destiny to serve, the samurai comes upon an isolated stream deep in an unknown forest. For here he finds the alluring sound of water cascading in a relentless flow. After bathing in its cool refreshing waters the enemy that stalks his soul manifests in the questions of the heart. It is the enemy that constantly tugs at his conscience, the enemy that lives deep within.
In mokuso he hears the forest talks through its denizens of nature. He gains strength as countless sounds of nature echo through the trees carried on the breeze of the earth’s breath. They reassure and feed the hunger that drives him on his eternal journey of life. It is a time to reflect and relive the glorious battles of life.
His battles have intertwined with many. Some have been good and others have left their scars. These are the battles that fire the heart and forge friendships and lasting memories. With every battle, even those that have been victorious they have taken another little piece of him. This is the burden that he will constantly bear on his never-ending journey on the twisting road of life.
But today he will rest, relax and finish the way of misogi. For, within the spray of the waterfall he will draw his sword to complete the trial of spiritual cleansing. He becomes one with himself and makes a cut – a cut with absolute precision that separates the air. With each cut a demon from within falls. Each demon is a manifestation of his inner self that can only be banished through regular cuts of the sword made with perfection, commitment and from the heart. The cut demons disperse in a shower of swirling light as the sword cuts the air.
Tonight he will sleep under the stars knowing he has performed the ritual of cleansing to grant him peace for another day. Tomorrow the lone samurai will continue of his journey, leaving behind the legacy of peace and harmony for others to experience. He has an even stronger understanding of his destiny to serve with honour and compassion.
Awaken the “samurai” that dwells within us as we too each have a destiny to follow. It is a destiny to serve, to protect and to achieve enlightenment. Do not be afraid of the path that has been created by those who have travelled before us. Walk with a humbleness and face the encounters with our inner enemies with a profound courage to provide an even safer path for those that follow. This is the way of the samurai…
The Heart of the Samurai
Movies and perhaps some history has created a perception of the samurai as cold, calculating mercenaries with no regard for human life who blindly follow the code of Bushido. Yes, perhaps there is an element of truth but the truth is misguided and has to be understood. The samurai did believe in a code of ethics and virtues embodied in their soul and strived to attain the highest honours of their chosen path. It is hard to imagine that when we perceive as brutal. The chivalrous knights of old and even native Indian ideology has captured the imagination with their ritualistic beliefs and in many ways shared similar warrior interpretations.
The true samurai was usually born into a family who believed in maintaining the lineage and some rose through the ranks to become an elite society in their own right. The history of the samurai is a long and sometimes complicated and I don’t wish to give a history lesson but merely an understanding into the mind and destiny of the samurai as a person.
The aim of the samurai was to serve his chosen lord, protect the domain and life of those less fortunate. Many samurai attained great respect for their commitment and adherence to a code of conduct that required immense compassion, understanding and sacrifice. The samurai wasn’t just skilled with the sword but also with the pen, brush and word and a reverence for living things and that beyond.
Does the samurai exist today? Well yes! He may not carry his katana or display the costume of his era. The samurai spirit is still alive in those who have clung to the very ethics and legacy that history has left in the various branches of budo. The beliefs have evolved without loosing neither the essence of the warrior heart or virtues of humanity.
Today’s samurai still maintain those traditions through their commitment and honest dedication to preserving life, peace and harmony in a world that in some ways has not changed much as far as human behavior is concerned. They will share their wisdom, experiences and teachings to allow others to enhance their lives. The feudal domains of past are no longer separated by boundaries but has become the Universe itself. For each samurai who has chosen the bushido path has made a lifelong commitment to seek enlightenment. The samurai may appear detached from apparent normality but they still have needs, wants, desires and dreams just as any human being. Yet his willingness to make profound sacrifices cannot be discarded as eccentric or false. He has chosen to become a servant of humanity so that humility, grace, sincerity, honour, righteousness, etiquette, courage, respect, to name but a few can be realized on the path of life’s journey. They are the virtues that mould the heart of the samurai..
The Closet Samurai
No one martial art is better than another but certain arts may suit individuals. Personalities and character plays an important part in the choice of art. More importantly is what are our perceptions, aims and goals. Nearly all arts fall into two categories – unarmed or armed but they all relate to one another. Some arts are more appropriate in enhancing another art and may even share some basic principles. Technically, aikido, judo and jujitsu are very similar yet are perceived to be very different. Judo has evolved into a sport and hence has to abide by certain rules and regulations. Aikido and jujitsu have maintained their martial application. However, aikido provides a more spiritual path and comes close to following the bushido essence - yet many techniques are very similar.
Both aikido and jujitsu can be the fundamental structure for pursuing the Way of the Samurai. The use of the sword, jo and bokken in aikido is perhaps the key to this connection. Jujitsu practitioners are more likely to use a variety of weapons as part of one’s training depending on the style, each providing a unique sense off awareness to enhance their philosophies.
Other subtle differences may be found even in ukemi (break-falling). Aikido rolls tend to be more graceful with the need to rise up to maintain continuity. Jujitsu tends to remove the opportunity to rise up as techniques tend to be applied with an impression of finality. The same could also be said for judo – as most judo techniques are usually applied to follow up with ground work.
However, understanding and accepting the infinite number of ways that apply to martial principles will help individuals to better appreciate the connection between the arts.
Iaido and Kendo can also provide an advantage to the previous arts even though they have their own followers. Kendo is basically a sport but has retained the traditional values of budo. Iaido, the art of drawing the sword can also give a better understanding to basic aikido principles. Where as kenjutsu, tends to promote the martial implications of the sword.
Karate, meaning literally “empty” hands provides one to develop the body as a tool but some schools also allow for a deeper and profound experience. Many karate schools also allow for weapons training, particularly Okinawa.
Claiming that one art is better than another is sure sign that one has not grasped the fundamentals of bushido. The true student of bushido will be accepting and not uncompromising to the various facets of budo. Study the path of your choice but don’t deny the wholesomeness of the martial ways. Each art is a jigsaw puzzle in itself but budo is the perception of an infinite number of jigsaws that make up the One.
Choose the arts that mould our spirit and soul’s to best develop us as individuals. Choose arts that hone the body and mind to merge into “One with the Universe”. Choose the method that releases the heart to harmonize with life and existence. Train and condition the self to explore all that is around so we can perceive no boundaries for the quest for knowledge and enlightenment.
For no one art can provide the complete understanding of Budo or encompass's the true virtues of Bushido. Don’t allow vague brashness and overindulgent egos to contaminate the code of bushido by irrational claims.
Most of all – be true to your-self…
What has life become?
Political correctness and Health & Safety regulations are taking away the joy of living. It is a natural process of learning and experience to acquire a few grazes and scratches on life’s path. It is the gift of humankind to experience a multitude of emotions that will eventual hone the human spirit. Yet, these days we have to obey ridiculous and quite often unrealistic legislations that compromises the joy of living. Parents and teachers have seen their rights and educational tools restricted giving young people the impression to treat all forms of authority with contempt. Respect is what bonds society to provide healthy growth and prosperity. Today, respect is virtually non existent! Unbecoming morality and thuggish antisocial behavior is tearing the heart out of every type of community.
We see the signs and sigh with complacency, yet the decline spirals even faster. The vulnerable and weak have a right to be protected but over-protectiveness can cause serious long term issues. Health and welfare are important concerns but overbearing rigid-ness in its interpretations and applications can sometimes be counter-productive. Of course it is dangerous for a “fireman” to climb a ladder or for a cop to save a drowning child - because it is not in their job description can they decline? We are dictated by our human nature to preserve life and to act accordingly. We need and have to take risks and not be penalized for being human.
Social, welfare, health and safety responsibilities must be shared by all, depending on prevailing circumstances. We cannot let bureaucracy and shallow legislation control every aspect of our lives to the point that we evolve to a race of humanoid robots in a fantasy world. This outwardly realistic perception only serves to hide or suppress individuals’ fears, frustrations and creativity thereby stifling the human spirit.
Democracy is the fundamental cliché of a modern society but it also leaves it open to abuse and justification by individuals and/or agencies who impose the rules. It is a balance that’s needs to be recognized and instigated to provide freedom of expression and development of a society, yet preserving the rights of the individual