Born and raised in Akita prefecture, Seiko Mabuchi began training kyudo (Japanese archery) at age twenty-one. Soon after graduating from secondary school, she took up Tendo Ryu naginatajutsu under Hanae Sawada-sensei, one of the most proficient and knowledgeable exponents of Tendo Ryu of her era. Training for ten to twelve hours a week for thirty years under the watchful eye of Sawada-sensei, she developed the body mechanics crucial to effectively utilize the techniques of the ryu.
During her time training in Tendo Ryu, she also trained in Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu (staff techniques) under Takaji Shimizu-sensei where she was kohai to Donn Draeger, a relationship that was replicated when she joined the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu (perhaps the most famous school of traditional martial skills in Japan) under Risuke Otake-sensei in 1981.
As she is bilingual in Japanese and English, she performed the interpreting and translation for the segment of the BBC series ‘The Way of the Warrior’ which dealt with Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu.
Mabuchi-sensei currently resides in Yokohama where she continues to practice and teach Tendo Ryu to a small but dedicated group at the Tsurumi Secondary School Kendojo every Sunday afternoon and at Nitta Junior High School on Wednesday evenings. She encourages anyone who wishes to study a true koryu to come and learn from her.
Mabuchi-sensei's blog (in Japanese): http://naginata.at.webry.info/
Mabuchi-sensei's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/senbemabu