View Full Version : Yonezawa Katsumi (DR Bokuyokan)/ Tim Tung

23rd October 2002, 21:07

I wanted to find out how well versed Yonezawa sensei was in aiki no jutsu. He founded the Bokuyokan before his passing. He was a student of Horikawa Kodo , so he must have had much training in this area. I have heard great things about his jujutsu but never heard anything about his skill in aiki no jutsu. Evidently, his son is the head of this Daito ryu branch. Thanks.

Erin O'Neill

Nathan Scott
31st October 2002, 18:52

I've heard mixed things about Yonezawa Sensei in regards to his skill at aiki, but have not seen any footage of him myself.

I believe Miguel Ibarra and a few other people in the NE United States are members of his group. I'd be curious to see some of it myself. A net search will also bring up the name Tim Tung as one of their main representatives.

Anyone have direct experience or seen Yonezawa Sensei in action?


31st October 2002, 20:12
I'd imagine that he'd know his stuff as he studied with Horikawa Kodo for so long. He was a top instructor of daito ryu kodokai before he founded his own group. I'd imagine that he was quite good. He did a few seminars in N.J/N.Y area shortly before his death. I heard that his son is running the show now for the Bokuyokan. See ya!

Erin O'Neill

tora dojo
15th November 2002, 14:46
Scott Sensei,
Just a note of clarification, Ibarra Sensei is no longer a member of the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan. For a list of current kancho under the direction of Tim Tung Shihan, the only official representative of the Bokuyokan in the U.S., please refer to http://bokuyokan.netfirms.com

Ismael Franco, Kancho
Tora Dojo
Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan
Kearny, NJ Shibu

Nathan Scott
15th November 2002, 19:57
Hello Mr. Franco,

Thanks for the update. Do you happen to know who Miguel Ibarra is affiliated with now? Just curious. Hard to keep everything straight these days.

Good luck with your training,

tora dojo
15th November 2002, 20:31
The following is directly from Ibarra Sensei's web site

Friday, November 15, 2002

Miguel Ibarra, Kaiden Shihan of the Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu Yamabushi Kai, received his training under Prof. A. Pereira and Katsumi Yonezawa, Soshi Shihan of Daito Ryu Bokuyokan. He has furthered his studies of Daito Ryu by training under R. Okabayashi and T. Kawabe, both of whom hold the Kyoju Dairi in Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. He has also studied Takeda Ryu under H. Nakamura 10th dan Takeda Ryu and R. Maroteaux 7th dan Takeda Ryu.

Nathan Scott
15th November 2002, 22:15
This is an interesting web page:

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Yamabushi Kai ia an independent Daito-ryu study group, offering training and rank in a traditional system without the hinderances of politics or excessive fees.

Looking through Mr. Ibarra's training credentials on the web page, it seems that the highest rank in Daito ryu he received was a sandan and some kind of teaching permission in the Bokuyokan.

Now he is claiming to be the head of his own branch of Daito ryu? A "study group" does not issue their own ranks in the art they study, they have a teacher that permits them to train together.

I can appreciate Mr. Ibarra's wish to stay out of politics, but issuing his own ranks in Daito ryu as the "Kaiden Shihan" is not going to go very far towards keeping him out of Daito ryu politics.

Anyone else find this objectionable?

15th November 2002, 23:46
Sing along with the Fleetwood Mac (follow the bouncing smiley):

You can go your own way.

Go your own way.

16th November 2002, 10:59
As long as 'zilla has opened the door to irrelevant posts:

Try it to Julian Lennon:

And I don't want to know where you've been,
And I don't want to know whose bed your in,

OK, Irreverant, too.


Aiki Home
17th November 2002, 00:44
Dear Fellow Martial Artists:

Please accept this correspondence in response to the most recent questions asked regarding the Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan.

Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu was brought to the United States by Soshi Shihan Yonezawa in the early 1960's, with the permission of Menjin Kodo Horikawa. Soshi Shihan Yonezawa was one of Menjin Horikawa's uchi deshi. In addition, Soshi Shihan Yonezawa was the Chief Instructor responsible for spreading Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu overseas in Europe, specifically Germany, England, Hungary and France.

Soshi Shihan Yonezawa learned all there was to learn in Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu from Menjin Horikawa. That is why Soshi Shihan was granted permission to spread the art in the United States and in Europe.

For those who did not see Soshi Shihan Yonezawa in person, let me inform you that he was an artist that one should emulate and strive to become. He moved effortlessly and gracefully through the techniques. He was also an excellent mentor and conveyed his knowledge of the art perfectly. More importantly, he did not withhold any information. It was an honor and privilege to have studied and trained with Soshi Shihan Yonezawa. Please be aware that many supposed "students" really only received information or training at sporadic seminars only, but were not full-fledged students of Soshi Shihan Yonezawa that were taught on a regular basis.

The students here in the United States are truly blessed to be currently studying under the uchi deshi of Soshi Shihan Yonezawa, and his name is Shihan Tim Tung of New Jersey. Shihan Tung is the only official representative in the United States for Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan recognized by Bokuyokan Honbu in Japan.

One of the questions that was posted was how well versed was Soshi Shihan Yonezawa in "aiki no jutsu". First of all, the word "aiki no jutsu" is a method that means to unbalance, eliminate and/or reduce your opponent's power. And that is just a small part of the technique. After applying aiki no jutsu to daito-ryu jujutsu, it becomes aikijujutsu. Without aiki no jutsu, it is only jujutsu; and without jujutsu, aiki no jutsu is only off balancing and no aikijujutsu is created or applied. There are three (3) main categories in "aiki no jutsu", which are (1) Aiki Age; (2) Aiki Sage; and (3) Aiki Yoko. The directions include front, back, top, bottom, right side and left side. Of course, Soshi Shihan Yonezawa had mastered all “aiki no jutsu” there was to learn in Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu from Menjin Horikawa.

Regarding the issue raised concerning the son of Soshi Shihan Yonezawa, he is the rightful successor by Japanese tradition.

Should you have any further questions or comments regarding Soshi Shihan Yonezawa and/or the Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan, please feel free to visit our website at www.bokuyokan.netfirms.com, or www.aikihome.com, or contact us via email at aikihome@comcast.net.

Keep training hard in your respective martial arts, because our main goal at the Bokuyokan is not driven by politics or ego, but only shugyo (i.e., "hard training").

Respectfully yours,

Senior Shihan Tim Tung
U.S. Representative, Bokuyokan

- and -

Jun Dairi Kyoju, Ramon Gonzalez
Yonezawa Dojo, U.S. Hombu

Nathan Scott
17th November 2002, 07:20
Hello Mr. Tung and Mr. Gonzalez,

Thanks for coming on to e-budo to explain more about the Bokuyokan, and for giving away more aiki secrets over the internet. The frauds of the aiki world out there need all the help they can get!:eek:

I was not aware that Horikawa Sensei had uchi-deshi students. That is interesting. I wonder who else was uchi-deshi?

Anyway, hopefully some of our readers and contributors will have some more questions for you.
BTW, I believe you meant to write "Meijin", not "Menjin". Never heard of Menjin.


tora dojo
18th November 2002, 15:43
Above is the correct link to the Bokuyokan web site.

Nathan Scott
19th November 2002, 00:17
The web site is interesting. It does not state that Yonezawa Sensei was an uchi-deshi under Horikawa Sensei, though it does state that Yonezawa S. was awarded "8th dan Menkyo Kaiden Shihan from Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Kodokai in 1994".

He was awarded Menkyo Kaiden in the Kodokai? It is my understanding that there can be only one Menkyo Kaiden in the Kodokai.

tora dojo
17th October 2003, 01:47
Originally posted by

If Shogen Okabayashi's claim of a kyoju dairi is authentic I would definitely include his group.

The Sagawa group as well but due to Sagawa's passing and their continued low profile I didn't list them.

Although I am familiar with Ibarra Sensei and hold him & his skills in very high regard I believe it might be ... unwise to call the the Bukoyokai a style of Daito ryu. I understand it was founded by the late Katsumi Yonezawa after he was expelled from the Kodokai. (If I am wrong in this please correct me). Aikijujutsu.....maybe. Daito ryu? Ummmm... not if he was expelled from the Kodokai.

(Okay.. I can just hear the tantrum starting over this. So what.. he still learned and was licensed in Daito ryu?) Understand that in my position if an instructor of TSYR broke his keppan and was hamoned, he would be forbidden to use the Shindo Yoshin ryu name. In the TSYR instructors keppan he agrees to this condition and seals it with his blood. He can go teach whatever he likes outside the ryu but it cannot be called Shindo Yoshin ryu. I personally hold Katsumi Yonezawa to this criteria.


It is the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan. As for the rest, Tim Tung, Sensei of the North American Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan can best respond to any questions about the Bokuyokan and Yonezawa Sensei. Yonezawa Sensei was promoted to Menkyo Kaiden Shihan by Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Kodokai in 1994, to lead the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan.

tora dojo
26th October 2003, 02:29
Toby Threadgill, Sensei of the Takamura Ha Shindo Yoshin Kai Jujutsu

This post is in response to your post concerning the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan and Yonezawa Katsumi, Shihan. Please be aware that the North American Bokuyokan has taken offense to the inaccuracy of your statements and that our headquarters in Hokkaido, Japan, as well as the headquarters of the Shindo Yoshinryu will be informed of your statement and our response. Since your comments were made in such a public forum the Bokuyokan feels compelled to respond to defend itself and its legitimacy as a Daitoryu Aikijujutsu organization. We expect a reply from you in order to resolve this matter.

First of all on Feb. 10, 1995 Yonezawa, Shihan was promoted by the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Kodokai to Menkyo Kaiden Shihan in order to lead the Bokuyokan as an independent Daitoryu Aikijujutsu organization.
According to the Kodokai, once you reach the level of Shihan, you may branch off and start your own organization. Some examples of this are the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai, led by Okamoto Seigo, Shihan and the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Muden Juku, led by Iida Hiroo, Shihan.
Yet another example is Kondo Katsuyuki, Shihan who started his own organization and yet retains the Daitoryu name.
The Kodokai recognizes the Bokuyokan as an independent Daitoryu organization.

Next, we understand that in the Shindo Yoshinryu tradition you use keppan (blood oath) but no such tradition is used by the Kodokai. Your reference point was that of your ryu and your tradition.
It was incorrect to apply them to Yonezawa, Shihan, since he made no such keppan. We are surprised that you would make such comments without having an experience with Yonezawa, Shihan, the Bokuyokan or Daitoryu Aikijujutsu.

It was Yonezawa, Shihan that brought Daitoryu Aikijujutsu to the USA in the 1970s. This cannot be changed or disputed. It was chiefly through Yonezawa, Shihan and his instruction that Daitoryu Aikijujutsu was spread in North America and Germany.

As for Ibarra, Sensei he is no longer a member of the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan.

Tim Tung, Shuseki Shihan
Daitoryu Bokuyokan

Ismael Franco, Kancho Sensei
Daitoryu Bokuyokan

Mike B. Johnson
27th October 2003, 03:25
Mr Tim Tung & Mr Ismael Franco

Are you aware that the post by Mr Threadgill you have quoted is well over 1 year old and that Mr Threadgill is no longer a member of E-Budo. Add to that the fact that Mr Threadgill’s post’s concerning Katsumi Yonezawa were pretty tame compared to postings by many others appearing here including the moderator, Nathan Scott and I fail to see the point of this mess you've engaged in.

Below are several posts I found on just one thread concerning the Kodokai/ Bukuyokan and its illustrious membership.

Posted by Roger Lake:

“Yes he did train with Yonezawa when Yonezawa was still with the Kodokai, from what I had gathered, he had gotten a hiden mokuroku from Yonezawa(Yonezawa,by the way, gave out so much rank in the 70's and 80's that I would only view such ranks with a humongous grain of salt”

Posted by Nathan Scott:

“BTW, it's probably worth reiterating that the Hiden Mokuroku that was issued by Yonezawa Sensei while he was still in the Kodokai were apparently (at least largely) issued independently; ie: the Kodokai Honbu did not issue them. I suspect this may have been an issue with the Kodokai Honbu and Yonezawa Sensei.”

Posted by Roger Lake:

“I agree with Mr. Scott on the validity of the issuances of those rank by Yonezawa. I believe that this also led to Yonezawa forming his own faction”

Posted by A J Bryant:

“Errrr... Huh? Shall we discuss Yonezawa's well known "money for mokuroku" policy in public Mr. Denora?”

So, Mr Tung and Mr Franco, have you sent a similar letter to Mr Scott and his teacher Toshishiro Obata?

And, how about a simple yes or no answer to 1 question?

Was Yonezawa asked, pressured or required to leave the Kodokai do to an infraction of some sort, or not?

Frankly I think the above post by you guys does not reflect well on you or the Bukuyokan. I mean, whether you like it or not, the skinny is that Katsumi Yonezawa is infamous for selling ranks to the likes of John Denora and Fred Lovret .

Your post of, “It was Yonezawa, Shihan that brought Daitoryu Aikijujutsu to the USA in the 1970s. This cannot be changed or disputed.” is certainly not disputed. Its legendary guys!

I guess that puts you are in a very elite circle doesn’t it?

If attacking the likes of Sensei Threadgill in a public forum where he is no longer an active member while quoting a post over a year old, is your idea of damage control, then Yonezawa’s reputation is still living up to the one started here in the US when he recognixed hucksters like Lovret and Denora back in the 1970’s.

By the way, you guys obviously don’t do your homework either. Threatening Sensei Threadgill with notifying the Shindo Yoshin ryu headquarters is kinda funny actually. Since he was awarded a menkyo kaiden by Takamura Yukiyoshi a few years ago and now heads that organization, I guess you would be notifying Sensei Threadgill about Sensei Threadgill.

Just FYI, the last I heard obtaining a teaching certificate from the Shindo Yoshin Kai requires a heck of a lot more work than handing over a check. I believe that in something like 25 years only about 10 licenses of any level were issued by Takamura Sensei.Iinterestingly, those receiving these licenses were also charged nothing.

Nice job of letting us all in on the impressive status of Yonezawa’s Bukuyokan legacy. You should be proud.


BTW. I have forwarded this response and your post to Sensei Tthreadgill. I am sure he just waiting to be "notified" by you guys.

tora dojo
27th October 2003, 04:26
Our comments were sent to Toby Threadgill, Sensei directly as well as here on e-budo.com. We were not aware of the age of the post, but we stlll feel it was something to be addressed. The post appeared on this thread, so it was here that we replied.

As for everything else, Tim Tung, Shihan of the North American Bokuyokan can be contacted to comment on the affairs of the Daitoryu Bokuyokan.


Nathan Scott
27th October 2003, 18:54
Mr. Franco,

Thanks for posting Mr. Tung's response to our board. I've actually had a number of questions that I've been meaning to ask him anyway regarding the bokuyokan, and his letter here serves as a convenient means of setting the record straight.

1) On the lineage page, it says that Yonezawa Katsumi was "promoted to Menkyo Kaiden Shihan by Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Kodokai in 1994, to lead the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan". If I understand correctly, this is the year that Mr. Yonezawa received a Shihan license from the Kodokai. Previously this web page claimed that Mr. Yonezawa had been issued an 8th dan as well - was this the same year?

I've heard from a number of sources though, all of which are pretty knowledgable, that the Kodokai structure allows for only one Menkyo Kaiden every generation, and that it is he that heads the Kodokai (such as Inoue Yusuke Menkyo Kaiden currently).

Is this untrue, or is this "Menkyo Kaiden" that Mr. Yonezawa was issued something different? Would it be possible to provide some kind of evidence of this Kodokai issued Menkyo Kaiden (privately or publicly)? Since the entire legitimacy of the Bokuyokan seems to lie in this claim, I think it is very important that this issue be addressed (with supporting evidence).

2) For the sake of clarity, was Yonezawa Katsumi fired (hamon), "encouraged to leave", or did he voluntarily resign from the Kodokai? In any event, what year did he leave?

3) Also on the lineage page, it says that Yonezawa Katsumi "founded the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan in Muroran, Hakkaido [sic], Japan in the year 1975". How can this be the case if he was still representing the Kodokai until at least 1994? Was Mr. Yonezawa developing his own branch of Daito ryu for 20 years (while still learning the art) prior to leaving the Kodokai???

I'd appreciate it if Mr. Tung could provide the answers to these questions for us here publicly, since these claims have all been made publicly. If he would prefer to write to me directly, and have me post his reply and any evidence to the board on his behalf, that would be fine too.

While I can asssure you that my own instructor would not be affected by any complaints about me (I'm pretty high up the food chain), and Toby would probably just scold himself for being so bad if complaints were sent to his group, I'd appreciate it if we could keep this discussion professional and polite all around anyway (by all parties concerned). Disclosure of information will provide understanding, and personally, that is all I am looking for. I don't mind being wrong if I can learn something from it.

I have, by the way, come to see Mr. Yonezawa demonstrate techniques. Opinions about skill level are subjective and relative to the experience level of the person evaluating someone, so I'd rather not post my opinion publicly.


For the sake of those following the discussion, I'd like to offer the following.

From the Bokuyokan main webpage:


There is a photo of Mr. Yonezawa under a flag that says "Daito ryu Aikijujutsu", followed by three types of training philosophies, and "Bokuyokan" ("Sheep breeding group", which I believe is intended to refer to sheep who are allowed to run free), and a spin off of the Kodokai crest:

Crest & kanji:

One of their branch pages:

For those who can figure out how to view these movie files, sample of Mr. Tung demonstrating "aiki kihon" can be found here:


The most interesting information is found here, however:


This lineage page has changed a little since the last time I visited, as evidenced in the previous e-budo thread:

[Merged into this thread 10/27/03. NS]


Also, as a warning, I'm going to trim off the relevant parts of this discussion from this thread and paste them into the existing Bokuyokan thread (linked above) sometime soon.


Ron Tisdale
27th October 2003, 19:21
Hi Nathan,

These seem to be .mov files for quicktime...if you download the latest quicktime version for pc they should play ok.


This one is hard to see...they start it with a fade in so that you don't see the setup or attack. It appears to be very circular, but not unusual in anyway what-so-ever. I've seen much the same in various styles of aikido. Basically appears to be a hijiate off of two pivots.


This one get a file not found error.


This appears to be a pretty standard ayate mochi kotegaeshi waza, except the shite completely turns his back to uke during a pivot, and uke looks to be balanced the entire time. Even ends with a standard kotegaeshi standing pin. My judo trained partners would choke me out if I tried this.


A rather interesting shihonage...especially the 'hand wave' at the end... :) Shouldn't that be 'shi', not 'chi'?


A back to back standing control into a throw...I don't believe I've seen that one before. Again, the fade in obscures the setup and attack, so...

All in all, not very informative. No disrespect...perhaps the video just doesn't do the techniques justice.


Chris Li
27th October 2003, 19:52
Originally posted by Nathan Scott
There is a photo of Mr. Yonezawa under a flag that says "Daito ryu Aikijujutsu", followed by three types of training philosophies, and "Bokuyokan" ("Sheep breeding group", which I believe is intended to refer to sheep who are allowed to run free)

I'd probably just translate it as "sheep-herding" in most cases. An interesting name, I wonder what the reasoning was?



Nathan Scott
27th October 2003, 20:29
Thanks Ron, I'll play around with the movies and see if I can get them to play. The set-up's are probably obscured intentionally. I caught the "chi" thing too!


Yeah, that is what the dictionary says (boku=pasture; yo=sheep). But I believe that in common use bokuyo carries the implication of sheep that are "free-range", or, "free to roam".

From a western standpoint, the analogy to sheep is probably not the best of choices (we'll skip the sheep jokes, o.k?), but by looking at their crest a little closer...

(found on the German Bokuyokan page at: http://yonezawa-dojo.netfirms.com )

Here we see a sheep hiding behind a tree stump (the homophone "boku" can also mean wood when written with different kanji) . The tree has been cut off, but there is a small branch growing out just below the cut. The sheep is facing the same direction as the new branch. I would guess that the Bokuyokan is the "new branch", and that they are implying that the Kodokai was strong once, but is dead now (it show a core and one growth ring too, interestingly). Since Yonezawa (the sheep) has "menkyo kaiden", he is free to preserve the teachings on his own through his new organization. It is possible that the large and small leaf hold significance too within the Bokuyokan structure, but that would be harder to guess with any accuracy (Yonezawa and his son?).

Anyway, the symbolism is pretty strong if I'm correct, and I think my assumption is pretty reasonable.

The basic Bokuyokan crest layout is heavily influenced by the Kodokai crest. The main feature is the outside border, which is identical, and represents "yuki" (snow) in crest designs. Both the Kodokai and Bokuyokan are HQ'd in Hokkaido, which is said to be cold as hell and snowy in the winter time. Probably why this element of the Kodokai crest was kept and emphasized (I guess).

PS. I really don't mean to be disrespectful, but I have to say that the sheep rendering reminds me a lot of the WB coyote and sheep cartoons. You know, the ones where Wile E. Coyote is trying to steel sheep, and the sheep dog is always catching him. Maybe I just watched too many cartoons as a kid...


For those just joining us, I've merged two threads together here to keep the discussion on topic. Some of the recent contributions were sparked in part by posts in this thread:

The various DR branches (http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8943)


Nathan Scott
27th October 2003, 20:59
Hmmm, here is another Bokuyokan site in Germany, hosted by (Michael) Daishiro Nakajima:


I don't read German, but I can read this:


For some reason they list Saigo Tanomo as the founder (or main guy), then the Takeda/Aizu clan, and then Takeda Sokaku, the Saigo-ha Soke (Sogawa Kazuo), etc. There are a number of mistranslations and a few mistakes too, but I wonder if this is the Bokuyokan's version of DR lineage?


27th October 2003, 22:15
Hi Nathan,

"Anyway, the symbolism is pretty strong if I'm correct, and I think my assumption is pretty reasonable."

You maybe reading far to much into it, the symbolism (sheep) is actually Christian in nature.

Antonio Cobb

Nathan Scott
28th October 2003, 00:40
You maybe reading far to much into it, the symbolism (sheep) is actually Christian in nature.

News to me. Would you care to elaborate?


I just came across a letter written by Miguel Ibarra to Aikido Journal (#110; 1997) in which it states:

"Katsumi Yonezawa, the Soshi Shihan of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan, returned to the New York/New Jersey area to hold a seminar on 27, 28 July 1996 attended by 150 participants...


The seminars also served as the public announcement of Yonezawa Soshi Shihan's own organization: Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Bokuyokan, based in Hokkaido, Japan and his approved US branches. Contact Miguel Ibarra, Bronx, New York 718-882-8985."

Based on this letter it would seem that the Bokuyokan was founded in 1996.

Hopefully Mr. Tung will clarify the founding date for us.

Chris Li
28th October 2003, 02:35

Yeah, that is what the dictionary says (boku=pasture; yo=sheep). But I believe that in common use bokuyo carries the implication of sheep that are "free-range", or, "free to roam". [/B]

That's an alternative meaning. All of the words that in English have the root of "sheepherding" ("sheepherder", "sheepherding dog", etc.) use "bokuyo" as the root, which is why I would usually use "sheepherding", unless the person meant to use the other implication. Anyway, neither reading seems all that relevent to me unless the sheep are supposed to be "wandering free" from the previous tradition - but why sheep?



29th October 2003, 17:59
A Bokuyokan member could elaborate, placing the information in the public doman. However, many organiznations large or small just may not be interested in a discourse of "inside info". Yes, it would be nice to know for sure -- anyone?

Your post was very enjoyable because it was so creative, but full of to many assumptions. As you know when we start to assume things...

FYI: As you know "less" than 1 percent of Japanese are Christians. They are a very small minority, much less up in a "out of the way" place like Hokkadio -- Sheeps are not native to Japan, and surely you know the history of Christianity. The sheep facing to the left is a modern symbol use by Christians in Japan -- ( I think used as a non-verbal symbol between people of faith.) A Japanese friend first alerted me to the symbolism of the sheep in the Bokuyokan crest.

It is kind of amazing how Mr. Yonazawa has been potrayed, because my sensibility about him was that he was a amazingly selfless person. He was like a "point man" for Daito Ryu as it concers the USA, and Europe -- he was bound to take some hits, and maybe some were deserved. Twenty five years ago (or so), when this art was all but unknown he was a pioneer. Yes, there were some bad apples that clamed to learn from him. However, there is Kodokai & Boyuyokan Daito Ryu in the United States today because of Mr. Yonezawa. (Kodokai-Goldburg/Bokuyokan-Tung who both learned from him). Mr. Dan Harden said it very well on a previous post "The sad truth is that there were men who REALLY trained under him and recieved earned rank. We have to ackowledge THEM and separate them out from amongst the men who "bought" it and/or got it with little training time."

Antonio Cobb

Mike B. Johnson
29th October 2003, 19:33

Posted by:

<< "Mr. Dan Harden said it very well on a previous post "The sad truth is that there were men who REALLY trained under him and recieved earned rank. We have to ackowledge THEM and separate them out from amongst the men who "bought" it and/or got it with little training time." >>

I guess I appreciate where your trying to go with this but I beg to disagree. An organization exists in great part to maintain standards. Any organization is judged not just by its best but also by its lowest denominator. I would argue that it should not be us who has to separate the bad apples from the good. That is the job and responsibility of the organization. In this case the Daito ryu Kodokai.

The reason I responded to the above letter concerning Sensei Threadgill is that I recently did some research into the Shindo Yoshin Kai and its founder Yukiyoshi Takamura. Because I live in Hayward , Ca. I was astonished to learn of his teaching in this area without my ever hearing of him. I desparately hunted for a classical jujutsu instructor foy years in this area but never came across one. Because of this I fully expecting to find some "funny business" surrounding him as his story was kinda hard to accept. After significant poking around what I found out instead was that a rather reclusive and highly skilled traditional martial artist had been teaching a small and very strictly selected group of students with absolutely no fanfare, right under my bloody nose. In fact most of the local personalities that I have located who did have contact with "Sensei Tak" as he was evidently known around here never realized he was, who he was, a menkyo kaiden in Shindo Yoshin ryu. He never publicised his position outside his students and a few high ranking Wado ryu shihan in Europe.

It was Stan Pranin's interview in Aikido Journal that brought his name into the public eye.

Where I'm headed with all this is that back in the mid 80's a Shindo Yoshin Kai instructor holding a Chuden Mokuroku evidently committed a breach of conduct similar to that associated with Yonezawa. He promoted several people that were not performing up to the standards required by Takamura Sensei and the TSYR. Associated with this awarding of certificates was financial compensation without the knowledge of Takamura Sensei.

Does this sound vaguely similar to the situation with the Kodokai and Yonezawa?

Well here is where the stories differ. All the people involved in this incident were immediately expelled from the Shindo Yoshin Kai by Takamura Sensei. All the remaining students were required to either leave the kai or re-apply for membership under another licensed instructor. Essentially the whole dojo was expunged. Kind of harsh if you ask me but at the same time a strong example of his dedication to maintaining standards and making a statement about violating the associations rules.

So we don't need to separate out the bad apples in the Shindo Yoshin Kai. Talkamura Sensei demonstrated that he understood it was his job to clean up a mess that could have damaged the reputation of his organization. Lets just hope Sensei Threadgill follows ably in his footsteps. Form my personal dealings with Sensei Threadgill, It appears he understand's his responsibilities and intends to live up to them.

As for the Bukuyokan. Lets see if Mr Tung or Franco respond to Nathan Scotts inquiring post.


Nathan Scott
30th October 2003, 18:48

I dunno. I looked up Bokuyo in a good jiten, and got the same information you did. Then I showed the Bokuyo kanji to my wife, who is Japanese, and she immediately said "oh, that means a sheep who can run free". If you haven't yet, you might check with a native speaker about what the kanji implies.


Your post was very enjoyable because it was so creative, but full of to many assumptions. As you know when we start to assume things...

I'm not assuming anything, merely offering some speculations in the absense of facts. Offering them publicly allows for those with different experience bases to offer their perspective as well, and hopefully, will eventually draw out an authoratative answer from those within the organization.

Thanks for the info though. I actually know very little about Christianity in general, outside of some of the Gnostic writings from the Book of Thomas and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Aside from the Shimabara revolt, and hiden Christian symbolism in sword fittings, etc., I know even less about Christianity in Japan.

In any event, hopefully Mr. Tung will be able to answer our questions so that we won't have to speculate. I just emailed him directly to invite his comments here.

BTW, I've been receiving a number of private emails from people knowledgable about this subject. I'll be interested to see how this turns out.

tora dojo
6th November 2003, 00:57
Mr. Scott,

The following post is in response your questions…

The lineage page on the Bokuyokan site will be revised to match this post in order to make it clear.

To clarify,
• 1988 promoted to 7th dan

• 10/02/94 (Heisei 6th.year) promoted Shihan (equivalent to 8th dan).

• 08/15/95 permitted by the Daitoryu Kodokai to become Menkyo Kaiden Shihan of the Daitoryu Bokuyokan to lead the Bokuyokan as an independent Daitoryu organization.

This was not so much a promotion as it was permission to form the Bokuyokan, Tim Tung wishes this to be clear. The Menkyo Kaiden Shihan title was of the Bokuyokan from the Kodokai. This was granted to Yonezawa Katsumi by the Kodokai happily.

Please note: You may verify the above with the Daitoryu Kodokai. For security reasons the rank certificate will not be provided online in order to prevent from imitation, please understand our position on this matter.

Next, Yonezawa Katsumi was not “hamon” by Kodokai. Instead he choose to become independent from Kodokai. The Kodokai happily permitted the establishment of the Daitoryu Bokuyokan.

Please be aware that the word “hamon” should be applied to a notorious person, not for the person like Yonezawa Katsumi, who did his best to spread Daitoryu Aikijujutsu to North America and Europe for many years. The Kodokai appreciated his dedication for spreading Daitoryu.

Last Yonezawa Katsumi established his own dojo named “ bokuyokan” in Muroran City, Hokkaido, Japan in 1975. Which was as a branch of the Kodokai from Jun. 1975 until Aug. 1995. Later, in Sept. 1995, he named his Daitoryu organization the Bokuyokan and the Bokuyokan dojo became its headquarters.

Further, we must emphasize the Bokuyokan is a damatte keiko suru group. We do not wish to be involved in political debates.

I hope my answers will satisfy your questions. We always are your friend, not an enemy!

Tim Tung
Shuseki Shihan
Daitoryu Bokuyokan

Ismael Franco
Kancho Sensei
Daitoryu Bokuyokan

[Edited for corrections by request of the author. NS]

Nathan Scott
7th November 2003, 07:47
Hello Mr. Franco,

Thanks to you and Mr. Tung for clearing up the misunderstandings.

The lineage page on the Bokuyokan site will be revised to match this post in order to make it clear.

That would be great, as the way it reads currently is more than a little misleading to outsiders.

in fact, for those that may still be confused a bit, I'll try to summarize the issues:

1) Yonezawa Sensei first came to America and began teaching Daito ryu in 1973 - not in the early 60's. The document that was forwarded to me indicates that Kiyama Hayawo Sensei took over as the Chief Instructor for the Kodokai in North America from about 1988.

2) Yonezawa's last ranks in the Kodokai were technically 7th dan (1988) and Shihan (1994), not 8th dan Menkyo Kaiden.

3) The Bokuyokan was originally a Kodokai branch dojo, perhaps founded in 1975, but Daito ryu Bokuyokan as a separate line of Daito ryu was not founded until 1995, and wasn't announced formally until 1996.

4) He was then "invited" (maybe this is the most accurate word?) to found his own independent line of Daito ryu by the Kodokai in 1995. Upon the founding of his own line of Daito ryu, Yonezawa Sensei then assumed the title of "Menkyo Kaiden Shihan".

Please note: You may verify the above with the Daitoryu Kodokai. For security reasons the rank certificate will not be provided online in order to prevent from imitation, please understand our position on this matter.

The above sounds right to me. I understand your reluctance to post copies of menjo - I think we're o.k.

Further, we must emphasize the Bokuyokan is a damatte keiko suru group. We do not wish to be involved in political debates.

Fair enough. I would point out, however, that these claims were posted on a public website for all to see, and members of the Bokuyokan volunteered statements on this forum unsolicited (originally).

I'm all in favor of serious, "quiet" training though. :)