A MARTIAL arts master’s once-in-a-lifetime class certainly hit the target for visitors to a Leeds museum.
Scores of people flocked to the Royal Armouries this week to grab the chance to learn from Otsuka Yasuyuki, the head of one of only a few schools of Shuriken Jutsu left in the world.
The ancient art is the traditional Japanese technique of throwing shuriken – small, hand-held weapons used primarily by the shinobi in feudal Japan.
The visit was co-sponsored by MSR UK Keikokai and Manchester’s Circle Martial Arts Centre and was hosted by the circle’s experts in Japanese martial arts.
It featured a seminar and a talk by the Grand Master, as well as a question and answer session.
That was followed by the highlight of the evening – a Shuriken-Jutsu demonstration by Otsuka Sensei.
Visitors then got the unique opportunity to have a go themselves, using a specially-adapted training shuriken to experience the speed and power needed for the ancient martial art in a safe environment.
Museum director Peter Armstrong said: “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and learn from a grand master. We have had excellent feedback from participants, who found the session informative and a great experience.”
The origins of Shuriken Jutsu are not clear, but many different schools have developed their own versions, adapting everyday objects into throwing weapons.
There are usually two basic designs of shuriken- Bo-shuriken which are straight metal spikes and Hira-shuriken, more commonly known as throwing stars.
Only two schools specifically devoted to Shuriken Jutsu exist today, Negishi Ryu and Meifu Shinkage-ryū, which Otsuka Sensei belongs to.