A seminar teaching the Hojo kata, led by So'zan Roshi, will be offered this weekend at Daiyuzenji in Chicago. More information here.
From the RZC website:
Hojo Kata are four sword forms created in the middle
of the Muromachi period (1333 - 1573) as part of the Jikishinkage school
of Japanese swordmanship. However, these forms - carrying the energies of
Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter - are not practiced by us for the sake of
learning swordsmanship, but rather as a powerful method for imparting
principles of posture, energy and center. As stated within the
Jikishinkage school, the purpose of the Hojo is to remove all bad habits and addictions acquired since birth and to restore the original pure and bright permanent body. A Buddhist way of saying this would be that such practices cut through the student's jikke ("habit energy"), or karmic obstructions.
It was Omori Sogen Roshi who integrated these forms into our
training. They are practiced with great intensity using the dynamic A-Un method of breathing.