View Full Version : Shindo Yoshin ryu / Shinto Yoshin ryu jujutsu

20th June 2000, 17:26
I am wondering if your perspective could help with all of this koryu stuff. I have been wondering about the changes made in the Shindo Yoshin Ryu mentioned by yourself and in the AJ interview. Can you give us some more specific examples of the changes that have brought a family art into line with modern concerns while keeping true to the underlying principals of the art? I think the recent history of the SYR is a great example of what may have been an ongoing process throughout the history of MA in Japan and the koryu specifically (perhaps only in times of change, warfare or under the influence of a particularly talented head).
Thanks in advance.

21st June 2000, 15:31

Thanks for the question. Please excuse me for not answering it quickly but I am quite busy right now. My response will take some careful thought. I will run it by David Maynard as well and then post it here for you.


Toby Threadgill

21st June 2000, 18:50
Thanks Toby. I look forward to your usual thorough and insightful comments.

Mike Beall
6th September 2000, 18:32

I recently came across a karate & jujutsu school down here in Florida that claims to be teaching traditional Shindo Yoshin ryu jujutsu. The problem is that it doesn't really look like what I imagined traditional jujutsu to be.

The people down here seem really nice and sincere but I was wondering if anyone here knew what I should be looking for to recognize traditional jujustu? Is there anything that would distinguish Shindo Yoshin ryu from say just judo with karate punches added?

The instructor down here is a 7th dan so I assumed he was proficient but it really just looks like karate & judo to me. I was expecting something with more "Japanese-ness".

I have also heard that there is no "real" jujutsu in the America. That everything here called jujutsu is just modern Gracie-like or modified judo matwork.

Am I expecting too much?

I was hoping to find something more traditionally rooted.

[Edited by Mike Beall on 09-06-2000 at 01:41 PM]

Nathan Scott
6th September 2000, 19:08
Hello Mr. Beall,

I don't know about this school or it's affiliation/authenticity, but someone who probably would is Toby Threadgill.

If you go to the Aikijujutsu forum, and look at the links provided at the top of it's index page you'll see a link to a style of Shindo Yoshin ryu.

If your interested in the style, I'd recommend watching at least one class and ask lots of questions to both the instructor and one of his students as well.


Jeff Cook
6th September 2000, 20:19

Are you in Sarasota, by chance? I may be able to answer all of your questions, but it might be better to do it off-line. There is a "shindo yoshin" 7th dan here that claims to teach "traditional" shindo yoshin. I have studied traditional shindo yoshin, and I have studied a little with this other gentleman and some of his yudansha. What they do is very good, but it is not traditional shindo yoshin, unless the traditions have changed.

BTW, shindo yoshin has little to no matwork. The combative idea in this style is to stay off of the ground at all costs. Traditionally, it is very heavy with atemi-waza and fantastic taisabaki.

Jeff Cook

[Edited by Jeff Cook on 09-06-2000 at 03:22 PM]

Mark Jakabcsin
6th September 2000, 21:21
This style was covered in the past, possibly pre-crash but I can't remember exactly when that is. If it is not listed in the archives I might have a hard copy of the detailed response/research given to this topic at home. I am on the road right now so I am not sure if I still have it or not. If you are interested please e-mail me a fax number and I will fax it to you if I have the posts in my files. pslionz@aol.com


7th September 2000, 20:39
Mr Beall,

The school you visited is probably part of the IJJKA/Shintoyoshin ryu. They are a ryuha evidently created as an offshoot of Wado ryu Karate. This would to some degree explain why the traditional element you are searching for seems absent from their training. I have been in friendly correspondence with the head of this organization, a Mr Douglas Grose. He seems indeed a fine gentleman. He has confirmed to me that the current curriculum taught in the IJJKA as Shintoyoshin ryu has changed markedly from the one he learned. He feels that this is not necessarily a bad thing. I agree with him as long as the association is up front about the fact that the present curricculum is not now an accurate reflection of it's root art. It should probably be referred to as the Grose ha Shintoyoshin ryu to avoid any confusion with the more traditional arts of the same name still surviving.

Historically it is difficult to figure out what curriculum Mr Grose was exposed to. He told me by letter that he learned two kata, Tora-sho and Tora-dai. These kata he learned from a student of Hidenori Ohtsuka named Uke Takeski. Since these kata are not listed on the original SYR mokuroku I must assume these kata were probably assembled by Hidenori Ohtsuka around the time of his founding Wado ryu. There are no records to indicate that Ohtsuka ever issued any certificates in Shindo Yoshin ryu to anyone before he founded Wado ryu. It is stated by the IJJKA that Mr Takeski intended to revive the Shindo Yoshin ryu that Ohtsuka learned instead of continuing with the development of Wado ryu. If accurate, Mr Taleski was evidently unaware that the mainline SYR tradition (Matsuoka ha) and our ryuha the (Ohbata/Takamura ha) were still in existence in Japan, so the art was not in need of "reviving". Mr Takeski was probably also unaware that what he learned under the guise of Shintoyoshin ryu had already been modified by Ohtsuka. ( There is nothing wrong with this as Ohtsuka chose to differentiate these changes by founding a new style and was legitamently in possession of a SYR Menkyo Kaiden.) This does present a problem for Mr Takeski however. This question must be pondered. What authority did Mr Takeski have to start his own ryuha of SYR? No records can be located to indicate what rank or licence Mr Takeski received from Hidenori Ohtsuka but it is virtually certain that he did not receive a license in Shindo Yoshin ryu. Perhaps he was a student of Shindo Yoshin ryu with Ohtsuka under Tatsusaburo Nakayama but this is complete spculation and seems contradicted by other information. The very name Takeski causes difficult problems in any research of this individual because "Takeski" is not a proper Japanese family name. It must be some english form of a Japanese name that is phonetically incorrect. This leaves us with very little accurate information to use in our research concerning what Mr Takeski learned or was taught and exactly by whom.

Please do not misunderstand my position here. I am in no way criticizing or condemning the IJJKA or Mr Douglas Grose. Everything I have heard about this organization and it's instruction is way above par. It teaches a comprehensive Gendai Budo tradition with inflences from many different sources... Karate, Judo, Aikido... In it's historical past it was linked in some obscure fashion with a traditional Nihon Jujutsu ryu founded in the 1800's by Katsunosuke Matsuoka called Shindo Yoshin ryu. Mr Troy Price in Columbia S.C. and Mr Doug Grose of Proria, Illinois, have been very kind and forthright in correspondence with me concerning the IJJKA and it's current curriculum. Simply put, everyone I have spoken to about these guys say their system is good, their teaching is good and they are all around good guys. In this day and age of McDojo's on every corner, it doesn't get much better than that.

If you are bound and determined to find a traditional Nihon Jujutsu school I must admit that they are very few and far between in the US but they do exist. Given the constraints of your location the IJJKA might not be a bad choice although it may at first glance not appear what you are looking for. And no, not all jujutsu in the US is "Gracie Style" matwork. People like Karl Friday and Steven Fabian come to mind pretty quickly as well respected traditional Jujutsu instructors teaching here in the US. There are also several Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu instructors here in the U.S. Karl Garrison and Stef Finley both operate under my authority here and would be excellent choices if you were close to them.

For more information on our ryu and what constitutes traditional Nihon Jujutsu please visit our website at http://www.shinyokai.com. You might also check out the website for Koryu Books at http://www.koryu.com. I believe there is a excellent article posted there on Hontai Yoshin ryu by Stephen Fabian.

Don't hesitate to contact me further if I can be of any service.

Nathan Scott
7th September 2000, 21:30

Slightly off topic...

I just noticed the name "Hironori Ohtsuka" (Toby-san, I think you may have flubbed the spelling of Ohtsuka's name) of Wado ryu karate in Toby's excellent post above.

As a coincidence, It would seem that Ohtsuka Sensei visited Horikawa Kodo Sensei (Daito ryu Kodokai), and they apparently hit it off quite well.

Ohtsuka Sensei was mentioned as having started in Jujutsu originally, and apparently he and Horikawa Sensei agreed on the uselessness of writing technical books to transmit Budo.

There was no mention that they had trained together or exchanged techniques (aside from a blurb that said that Ohtsuka had demonstrated a few of his techniques).

However, I suspect there is a reason why Ohtsuka Sensei decided to visit Horikawa Sensei's dojo!

The name just sparked my memory...


[Edited by Nathan Scott on 09-07-2000 at 04:41 PM]

8th September 2000, 16:03

I have heard the story about Horikawa and Ohtsuka meeting as well. Evidently both were impressed with one another. Wouldn't you like to have been a fly on the wall during that meeting.

BTW, In my collection of Wado ryu literature, Ohtsuka's given name is spelled 3 different ways. Hidenori, Hironori and Hiranori. His family name is also alternately spelled Ohtsuka or Otsuka.

Now let me see. How do I spell my name?

Neil Yamamoto
8th September 2000, 16:19
Toby wrote: Now let me see. How do I spell my name?

Toby, Since I rate you high on my list of people, the list of good people, I'm gonna let this one slide.

BTW, I also give you two weeks possession free.

Nathan Scott
8th September 2000, 16:30
Hey Toby-san,

Thanks for the info. I know next to nothing about Wado ryu and Ohtsuka Sensei. Just happened to read this bit recently and it struck a bell.

I did check the spelling of Ohtsuka's name at the Wado ryu main web page, but it didn't mention anything about alternate spellings.

I like this whole changing your name 2 or 3 times over your life. Keeps everyone guessing.

I'm thinking about changing my name to "Neisan Sucoto". I think this could be a real win-win. :)

Thank god we have katakana and furigana!


Mike Beall
8th September 2000, 20:28
Mr Threadgill,

Thanks for the in depth explaination. It really cleared up some things for me. I am a fifteen year student of Goju ryu and am now interested in traditional Japanese jujutsu. It's nice to hear that there are a few traditional dojo's out there after all. I was afraid that there were none to be found east of Hawaii.

The website (recommended by Mr Scott) for your school is one of the nicest and most informative I have seen on jujutsu. I really enjoyed the interview with your teacher, Sensei Takamura. He makes some valid points that I've never considered before. The FAQ section is great as well. It answered most of the questions I would have posed to you here on e-budo. I will be traveling to Dallas this next month on business. Would it be possible to visit your dojo and observe a class?

BTW, are you the same guy mentioned in a recent article in Aikido Journal article about warrior ethics by Mr James Williams? In the photo's you look like the same guy. This guy was apparently attacked in his home and almost murdered by the intruders who followed his wife home one night. The article says that he fought them off even though they were armed with knives and guns? Boy! If this is you I want to know more about this story! How accurate is the description of events in the article?

Mike Beall

11th September 2000, 17:55
Mr Beall,

You asked:

"I will be traveling to Dallas this next month on business. Would it be possible to visit your dojo and observe a class? "

Yes, I do allow visitors as long as I know you are coming. Please drop me an e-mail to let me know the specific day you would like to come by.


"BTW, are you the same guy mentioned in a recent article in Aikido Journal article about warrior ethics by Mr James Williams? "

Ooooohhhh well! Yes, I am the same guy but lets not get carried away with that story please. That was a long time ago and I was possessed by... yeah, thats it.... Neil Yamamoto! He did it!

Seriously, 99% percent of my survival that night was due to luck! I was just a Brown Belt in Wado ryu back then. I did what I had to do at the moment. If things had happened just slightly different I wouldn't be writing an E-mail right now, I'd be pushing up daisies! I really don't like discussing this much because people either think you are full of @#@# and it's all BS or they they try to make you out to be some sort of hero. It really happened & I'm, no hero. I was scared out of my wits. No machismo, no miraclulous techniques, no Hollywood script. Just a threat and a response... thats it.

Like I said, I'm very lucky to be alive.

Toby Threadgill

Mark Jakabcsin
11th September 2000, 18:59
"If things had happened just slightly different I wouldn't be writing an E-mail right now, I'd be pushing up daisies! "

Would this pushing of daisies have involved KI or AIKI? Would this technique be done with circular motion or linear? I would suppose controlled breathing would have been out of the question.......Sorry for poor sense of humor.


Mike Beall
11th September 2000, 19:33
Mr Threadgill,

I will contact you soon to let you know when I can visit your dojo. Thanks

Back to the incident mentioned in the article. I appreciate your evasiveness and not wishing to be characterized as a superhero or anything but I think your experience gives you a perspective on martial training that many of us would find enlightening. There's lots of talk of "realistic" martial arts floating around but most of the people spouting this stuff have never actually been mugged or attacked. Sometimes they may have been bouncers but that perspective is drastically different from a mugging or suprise attack in your home. The addition of knives and guns up the ante even more. Couldn't you elaborate on this more. I feel this subject is really important and your position as a traditional jujutsu instructor gives you insight most victims of such an attack might not recall or appreciate.

How about some of the other readers here?

Mike Beall

Richard Elias
11th September 2000, 19:39
"Seriously, 99% percent of my survival that night was due to luck!"

Luck works!

In fact, It's one of my favorite techniques. :)

Paul Steadman
11th September 2000, 22:31
Hi All,

I've been requested to withdraw my original and edited comments, due to mistakes and wrong data. Please e-mail privately for further clarification.


Paul Steadman

[Edited by Paul Steadman on 09-22-2000 at 05:47 AM]

Paul Steadman
17th September 2000, 04:27
Hi Again,

I've been politely requested to withdraw this correction due to mistakes and wrong data. Please e-mail me privately for further details.


Paul Steadman
e-budo.com's Clown Prince of Idiots!

[Edited by Paul Steadman on 09-22-2000 at 05:56 AM]

Paul Steadman
18th September 2000, 10:25
You can tell that I'm new to this sort of thing!


Paul Steadman

[Edited by Paul Steadman on 09-18-2000 at 05:35 AM]

Paul Steadman
18th September 2000, 10:30
I seem to be repeating myself here. Please see above!


Paul Steadman

[Edited by Paul Steadman on 09-18-2000 at 05:33 AM]

19th September 2000, 14:48
Hello Paul,

:) I was wondering how long it would be before somebody caught your confusing Konishi for Ohtsuka. It's tough keeping all this stuff straight sometimes. Takamura Yukiyoshi's grandfather changed his name three times in his life... that we know of! That makes for some real confusion.

Toby Threadgill

Brently Keen
22nd September 2000, 01:06
I'm with Neil on this. I really don't know very much, nor am I very skilled. I have been fairly lucky though. I even won a raffle recently! :) A priveledged parking space at work for a year! :D

In my mind though, luck isn't caused by chance, but rather by divine providence. We can all thank God that Toby-san is not pushing daisies, and was able to defend his home and family to the extent that he did, and is still able to join us here on e-budo and contribute significantly to our discussions.

Brently Keen

John Lindsey
15th April 2001, 18:59
James Williams just gave me permission to post this from his bulletin board at bugei.com:


Congratulations to Toby Threadgill sensei on his receiving a Menkyo Kaiden from the late Takamrua Yokiyoshi senseii. This Menkyo Kaiden was presented to Threadgill sensei by Don Angier sensei, the Soke of Yanagi ryu Aiki Bugei. Angier sensei fulfilled his obligation to Takamura sensei to present this Menkyo Kaiden to Threadgill sensei subsequent to Threadgill senseiís 42 birthday. Stanley Pranin sensei, the editor of Aikido Journal, also fulfilled his obligation to Takamura sensei by assisting Angier sensei in the presentation.. All of those in attendance were honored to witness this rare and special event. Toby Threadgill sensei is a close friend and an exceptional teacher and practioner. Takemura senseiís faith and trust has been well placed, may his spirit rest in peace.
James Williams


On behalf of e-budo, congrats Tobi on the Menkyo Kaiden.

George Kohler
16th April 2001, 08:01
Congrats Mr. Threadgill

16th April 2001, 12:47
Congratulations, Toby Sama, for a life well lived and for an achievement award of great value.
Many years of life and success

16th April 2001, 18:36

Toby, I heartily congratulate you on your achievement.

Guy Power

16th April 2001, 20:49
I just saw Toby this weekend and I am sorry to report he is the same great guy as always ;)
For those lucky enough to be around after the Bluming worksop he did a short informal demo of SYR.

Mark Jakabcsin
17th April 2001, 00:10
Damn Toby your ONLY 42? I would have thought.......well.........hey someone had to say it.


Kit LeBlanc
17th April 2001, 00:41

Let me just say I had the privilege to meet Toby in person this past weekend at the Jon Bluming seminar. Let me just say a nicer guy you can never meet.

You would think a menkyo kaiden holder would be an arrogant prig, especially one that was JUST AWARDED. Not Toby. He sat right in there with the rest of the average joe students and practiced the techniques as taught. He admitted when there were things he was not experienced at, and he willingly placed himself on the same level as those of us with half or fewer than his years in martial arts training. Nothing he said or did would lead you to believe he was other than a kyu-grade student at a seminar (well, his karate is really good)....

...until he demonstrated Shindo Yoshin-ryu for us after the seminar was over. Toby moves with an authority and lack of force that is truly impressive. Yes I said lack of force. He literally drops you right where you stand and you barely feel it, 'til he starts head butting you or dropping the point of his elbow in the side of your head!

And his knife stuff is beyond scary.

Shindo Yoshin-ryu will no doubt benefit immeasurably by having such a man as its leader in the U.S.

....now if we could just get him out of those dresses..... (heh heh)

Kit LeBlanc

17th April 2001, 10:37
I don't know if Toby will approve of this or not, but Doug Walker was his uke for most of the performance he put on at the seminar and I thought a damn good one considering I smashed my leg just walking into a dojo. (yes all sorts were there), but he just today, on telling him my slightly askew view of his magnificent performance, and the pleasure of meeting him, etc, etc, he emailed me this when I arrived home.

Thanks for the compliment but I don't deserve it. There is lots of work to do before I will feel worthy of the knowledge entrusted tome. It's a very daunting task. With good people like you around to keep me in line I"ll never slack off.

You take care and if I can ever be of any service to you please let me know.


Toby Threadgill

I suppose Toby could have said anything to me or nothing at all, but he is just plainly a nice guy, Menkyo or no.

Just before I left I had to be instructed in how to hold a bokken, never mind what he does with one.


Mark F. Feigenbaum
"How long you do judo? That long? Well, that's a shame!" Jon Bluming

17th April 2001, 13:58
Mark F ... and all you guys are too nice,

And was Bluming a character or what. You talk about scraping all the BS and mythology off the raw truth. Boy oh boy... I've never seen anyone quite like him. The candy coating was removed from some longstanding martial myths. I'll never be able to look at one particularly famous karate photo again without laughing.

And Kit said: "....now if we could just get him out of those dresses....."

Heck the last time my (supposed) picture appeared on e-budo I was just wearing a jock strap. LOL

If Bluming wants to call a hakama a Laura Ashley dress..... I'm not going to argue with the man!

Toby Threadgill

Nathan Scott
18th April 2001, 23:43
Damn, I've been meaning to announce this here, but was waiting to upload a couple of photos of the event first. Too late, desho.

Well, I'll upload the photos soon and re-post them here when there are up.

APRIL 6-8, Dallas Texas:

Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin ryu jujutsu; Menkyo Kaiden (full transmission) -

Toby Threadgill and the Bugei/Yanagi ryu guys were nice enough to invite me to the award ceremony, so I took them up on it and flew in for the traditional "ridiculing of the new menkyo". Good fun, by the way, and I think Toby would have exploded from stress and anxiety if we had taken it any further!

I didn't get to the house Friday night until 2:30am, and they were all pretty drunk by then and sprawled out in the dojo. Toby was talked into showing us some of the upper-level drunken style methods of SYR before we all passed out sometime after 4am (what time was it?).

The next day, Angier sensei taught a class for the local students, and some of his senior students performed a demonstration of Yanagi ryu, which included aikijujutsu, jutte, tessen, kenjutsu and jojutsu (I may have forgoten something - sorry).

That afternoon Mr. Pranin flew in, and that night the menkyo was awarded in Toby's dojo. Most attendee's were in kimono & hakama, and Angier Sensei and Mr. Pranin presided in front of the dojo's shinzen. First, Angier sensei read a letter from the late Takamura sensei (Toby's teacher) in which the details of the award request were laid out. Angier sensei and Takamura sensei had a friendly relationship, and Takamura sensei had written that he trusted Angier sensei's judgement in regards to when the right time should be to awared the menkyo.

Next, the scrolls were awarded to Toby (two makimono sealed in a kiri box), followed by Takamura sensei's sword, mounted in shirazaya.

A sake toast was offered in honor of Takamura sensei, and a Japanese name was announced which Takamura sensei had selected for Toby (yes, I forgot what is was now - doh).

The whole ceremony was concluded within roughly a half an hour, and the group quickly picked up a glass and began socializing.

Photos were taken, and then Toby was awarded the coveted "instructor's gi" (joke), consisting of a black gi covered in every cheesey martial arts patch you've ever seen! Quite a site, and a nice fit too, I might add. :)

Others in attendance for the ceremony included: Richard Elias, John Lovatto, Joe Neal, Bill Swann, John Lewis, Victor Block, Tony Alvarez, James Williams, Ken Good, Bryan Robbins, Tom Barry, J Gerry Chau and Makio Nishida (sorry if I missed your name here).


While the ceremony and socializing was great, I have to say that the video screening late Saturday night has to have been the most I've laughed in a long time. We watched a tape of some folks demonstrating various interpretations of American kenjutsu, and a tape by some housewife twirling a naginata as if she were still a cheerleader.

But that was nothing compared to the great Ron Duncan!! I may be the last person in the arts to have seen this stuff, but it does not get any better than that! How do you say:

"I did not know such technique was possible"

If you haven't seen Mr. Duncan's ninja tapes, do yourself a favor and obtain a copy ASAP. It is hard to place a monetary value on work such as this. :)

In any event, the weekend was good fun. Big congratulations to Toby-san. It's not every day that someone outside of Japan gets awarded a menkyo kaiden - especially in Texas!!

Toby - I'm really happy for you.


Nathan Scott
19th April 2001, 23:45
I'm afraid my pictures (from a throw away camera) did not come out very well, but here's what I have:


This one is Don Angier Sensei presenting Toby-san with Takamura Sensei's sword. Stanley Pranin is sitting to Angier Sensei's right.


Toby-san is striking a pose for a photograph, holding the sword in his left hand while one of his students displays the kiri box containing the makimono.

Sorry for the poor quality photos, but maybe it helps give a sense of the atmosphere a bit.


Kit LeBlanc
20th April 2001, 15:26

Got any pictures of the gi with patches? That is PRICELESS!!


Nathan Scott
20th April 2001, 16:27
Hi Kit-san,

Yeah, I did have one but I jsut mailed it out to Toby. I'm sure he's got lots of good photos from the event. His photography assistant (hubba hubba) was using a nice camera to cover the event. Maybe we can talk Menkyo Kaiden into posting a few sometime!


Sorry to have missed you guys in Seattle. I've been gone practically every weekend this year, and I was really fryed (ask the lads who were in Texas). I'll really try to come if you bring him here again.


24th April 2001, 15:12
Okay guys,

I'll post the picture of the famous "instructors" Keikogi . There's so many bad patches on this thing that it defies description so here it is. Stan Pranin was especially amused by my uuuuh...roasting. J. Gerry Chau (Wado ryu) and Makio Nishida (Kyokushinkai) really laid the comedy on thick. As Nathan said, I was so nervous I almost blew a gasket.

(Nathan, did you notice the New York Koga ryu patch. I don't know how my students found all these patches. I know one was actually custom made-all in the name of comedy & humiliation. LOL)



Nathan Scott
24th April 2001, 18:31
Oh, I missed the Koga ryu one. I guess that means you can use some o' them "proprietary techniques" now!


BTW, I put up that nice painting that was passed on to you (after the ceremony) up on the wall of your dojo before I left. Artwork as unique as that needs to be seen - hope you don't mind!

(make that another snarfl.)

That was good times. Be sure to let us know next time you get promoted. I've got some artwork of some dogs playing cards that just has to be seen to be believed. It would look great in your dojo.


25th April 2001, 11:16
Yep! That's the Laura Ashley dress all right.

I saw a Duncan video a couple years ago, and never could remember his name, but his tabi are priceless. The song "Magic Carpet Ride" must have been written for him.

Maybe we can talk Menkyo Kaiden into posting a few sometime!

We are still roasting Toby, right? I didn't know MK was a personal noun, of course unless that IS his name now.

What a guy!;)


25th April 2001, 16:01
I would like to add my (belated) congratulations to Toby Threadgill Sensei. It's not too often that one gets to congratulate a new Menkyo Kaiden! (Especially one whose name doesn't end in ka, to, ta or yama ^_^)

I was also curious where one might be able to obtain one of the very informative videos mentioned in earlier posts (Ron Duncan). It sounds like it would make a worthwhile addition to my martial art video collection, however my meager searching skills were unable to locate a purchasable copy.

Thank you and congratulations again!

Nathan Scott
25th April 2001, 18:33

Mark-san, we're making an exception to the title-rule in Toby-san's case! :D

"MD" has a whole new meaning now: "Toby Threadgill, MD"

I haven't had any luck locating the Ron Duncan chronicles, but I'll post info here if I come across something. Maybe I'll ask our resident ninja community.

26th April 2001, 11:04
Toby IS special. In fact, a friend of mine's father was nicknamed "special" but not for the same reason.:D

As to Ronald Duncan tapes, you must remember that he is referred to as o-sensei these days so don't get them confused (OK, OK, that would be impossible).

Also, if you can find a friend or a friend of a friend who has one of Duncan's videos, it won't be putting money in the O-Kitty of O-Duncan. But if you do, be sure said friend of a friend is not on Duncan's team, as it is mighty hard to hold back the snorts and then develop hot-coffee through the nose syndrome.

That said, I'd get one if I hadn't seen one all ready, so this is evidence of not caring if I do put a few chicken bones in O-Kitty's kitty. Amusing is a very conservative word in this case.


26th April 2001, 11:07
Ask the ninjas?? Be afraid, be very afraid. :nin:

27th April 2001, 13:38
Ok guys. You asked...

Try www.espytv.com

They have many other "interesting" videos as well.

Nathan Scott
27th April 2001, 17:24
Will-san, you is the man.

The actual link to Duncan-land is:


The two videos I can vouch for as being particually hysterical are:


0601-0 Koga-Ryu Ninjitsu

Now, some people will say "if you buy the tapes then you will be supporting his 'empire'". This is true, but you will have a clean copy, and to be honest, I think he's got it coming to him. You can't pay actors to be this funny (it's up there with "Caddyshack" in my book). The only part I'd feel bad about is if anyone took him seriously, or got injured trying to do any of this stuff - like the looney toons gun take aways on the ninja tape.

But come on. Nobody could possibly take this guy seriously.

People - you owe it to yourself (write back here if you get one!).

"Way of the Winds system"


27th April 2001, 18:24
Okay, in case anyone hasn't figured this out either...



27th April 2001, 18:49
It just occurred to me how "appropriate" it is that the thread started with Toby-sama's menkyo kaiden and then moved rather quickly to Prof. Duncan.

Quite the martial legacy you're leaving there, eh Tobs?

Nathan Scott
27th April 2001, 19:09
Oh yeah. Sorry Toby-san!

27th April 2001, 20:26
Not to continue the degeneration of this thread away from Threadgill Sensei, but I used to go to the Aaron Banks Martial Arts shows at Madison Square Garden when I was a teenager. Ronald Duncan was a real show stopper with his catching arrows act. He would literally deflect flaming arrows into the audience while Banks ran around the stage screaming about his liability insurance rates.

This is definately the second or third funniest thread this week!

27th April 2001, 20:41

There's nothing like this @%$#* to keep a guy humble, ..... and these are my friends!

But Will......

I do love the photo of O'Sensei Duncan by the way. I almost spit coke all over my laptop. Interesting interpretation of wearing a wakazashi hummm..... This belongs on Budo Fun in the e-budo lounge. My oh my......the captions that could go with that photo......



Neil Yamamoto
27th April 2001, 20:56
To go with the picture posted by Will

And if you order your instant Soke kit now, that's not all you will recieve. We will send you this full set of Ninja cooking utensils...

It was kind of cruel to segway from Toby to Ron Duncan but it is an excellant example of aiki showing a real life example of yin- yang. You can figure out which is which.

27th April 2001, 21:45
Well, if you really want a picture for Budo Fun...


I guess this guy would have been better off if someone had taught him the (in)famous X-block. :eek:


Rather than yin-yang, I like to think of it as the great circle of life and an expression of true Ai-ii-ki.

George Kohler
27th April 2001, 21:59
Ah, the famous X block picture. BTW, what happened to that picture/thread?

Neil Yamamoto
27th April 2001, 22:06
Put a gold chain on old Ron and you got Mr T conducts peoples court.

27th April 2001, 22:06

That does it!

I did spit coke all over my laptop :)

Looks like that guy is ready for the famous "Genbukan Irimi" huh Lindsey.

And Will. Don't you know nuthin'. Ai-icky is spelled Ai-icky! Remember, it's impassive kinda like tanto's are deceitful.

Ohh...... I'm hurtin'here from all the laughin!

This and American Kenjutsu all on topic at the same time!


Aaron L. Seay
10th May 2001, 19:44
Wow, I am so out of the loop! Congratulations, Sensei! No one could deserve it more! You should have a big, meta- "Domo Arigato Gozaimashita" for being by far the most talented and patient teacher anyone could wish for. Well done!

11th May 2001, 09:26
Ahhh, it's Kenjitsu isn't it, Menk?

[A guy has got to have a nick-name].


Aaron L. Seay
11th May 2001, 21:31
Speaking of nick-names, didn't you get a Japanese name to go with that? Is it a secret, because Enquiring minds want to know!

47th ronin
19th February 2002, 13:37
I was checking on the jiu-jitsu background of Sensei Otsuka, the founder of Wado-ryu. I find three different arts or spellings, Shinto Yoshin Ryu, Shindo Yoshin Ryu and Shinshindo Ryu. Are these all the same art? Is it just a question of how the word has been converted to English?

19th February 2002, 17:53
As far as I know it is mostly romanization (shinto/shindo), but the school also changes kanji from time to time esp. shin = new and shin = divine. Iím sure Toby could go on and on about the name if he sees this.

26th February 2002, 14:37

I guess I could go on and on...but I'll keep it short.

Doug is right. All the different names/spellings are the same art. Descended from Yoshin ryu, Yoshin Koryu and Tenjin Shinyo ryu. Shindo Yoshin ryu (as we spell it) is the same art Otsuka Hironori combined with Okinawan Karate to create Wado ryu. It is commonly believed that Otsuka Hironori was "the" headmaster of SYR. This is not true. Three different lineages exist. The mainline was headed by Matsuoka Tatsuo, not Ohtsuka. Otsuka inherited the Nakayama line which today survives as Wado ryu Jujutsu Kempo, a companion art to Wado ryu Karate

I hope that helps,

Toby Threadgill, Soryushin Dojo
Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu

11th March 2002, 06:47
I sought the same information as you.

Here is a great link that should answer many questions you have. It has a very interesting history section.


Good luck:toast:

25th April 2002, 18:55

Great interview of Takamura Yukiyoshi about growing up with Budo in the family.

Mike B. Johnson
8th August 2003, 05:20
Hi ,

Is anyone here familiar with a group in Columbia, SC. claiming to teach "shintoyoshin ryu" jujutsu? It all seems very odd to me as it just appears to be a typical bunch of karate guys in all the photos.

Is this supposed to be the same art as Shindo Yoshin ryu? The reason I ask is that it is my understanding that there are no dan ranks recognized in Shindo Yoshin ryu. These guys are claiming 7th - 8th and 5th Dans and stuff. If these guys seriously expect us to think they are legit I gotta ask, who awarded these dan ranks.

Oh, There's also a pretty funny picture of a guy named Troy Price identified as a 5th dan instructor in shintoyoshin ryu standing next to a framed makimono. I guess it's supposed to say Shintoyoshin ryu jujutsu. The kanji is wrong as far as I can tell. He's using the wrong kanji for willow. The way he has it written it says Shintoyanagishin ryu. The character for Yo and Yanagi both mean willow but are written and pronounced differently. I could be wrong about this but I don't think so.

I have forwarded an e-mail to Sensei Threadgill of the Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu to see what he knows about this group? He hasn't responded yet.


Budoka 34
8th August 2003, 18:53
I know this group well. They are not your, "typical bunch of karate guys".
The style is Shintoyoshin ryu. Sensei Price is an excellent instructor who has traveled and trained around the world. He holds Dan grades in several arts and styles. You may want to check out his books!

I do not remember the entire lineage, but I think this is part.Uki Takeshi Sensei passed on the art to Douglas Grose(Menkyu Kaiden), who taught Steven Roensch, etc.

As to the Kanji, Mr. Price's wife is of Chinese ancestry and I know that his makimono are hand brushed in China and/or Japan.

The Columbia School is one of the best I have trained with. If you have doubts e-mail Sensei Price I'm sure he can answer better than I, or better yet come check out the International Martial Arts Symposium in Columbia, S.C. October 15th, 16th, and 17th and ask Sensei Roensch directly.

Hope this helps.


8th August 2003, 19:36
Search this forum and all will become clear.

Mike B. Johnson
9th August 2003, 05:28

I got this from the FAQ section at the Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Kai website. It is appropriately PC but begs several serious questions.

"The American Jujutsu & Karate Association, Shintoyoshin ryu is currently headed by Sensei Douglas Grose. Details about this ryuha are somewhat sketchy but it appears to be an offshoot of the Wado ryu founded by an ex-student of Hidenori Ohtsuka named Uke Takeski. As Takeski is not a properly spelled Japanese name, his actual name is not known. It is stated that Mr Takeski taught Shnitoyoshin Jujutsu in the Las Vegas area around 1942 to Mr. Grose while he was then in the airforce. Mr. Grose was eventually awarded a shodan by Mr. Takeski. This ryuha demonstrates significant influence from modern karate, judo and aikido. Apparently, due to this influence, much of the original Shindo Yoshin ryu waza and okuden has been abandoned. The association, however, is strong and and its instructors are reportedly quite competent within their own curriculum."


This Takeski guy trained in Wado ryu not Shindo Yoshin ryu. He was teaching Japanese martial arts to an American service guy named Gross in 1942? Mr Gross didnít receive a Menkyo Kaiden in Shindo Yoshin ryu. Thatís clearly impossible since he was actually a student of Wado ryu. And he supposably received a Shodan in Shindo Yoshin ryu even though there are no dan ranks awarded in this art. So how is Mr Gross promoting guys to 8th dan? On top of all this it appears that what is being taught by these guys is no longer actual Japanese Jujutsu but they are good at whatever it is they are teaching?

What is going on with this? I'd really like to hear from the AJKA guys about this. I havenít yet heard from Sensei Threadgill ( who really does have a Menkyo Kaiden from Yukiyoshi Takamura ). I am patiently waiting for his reply.

BTW. I had a Japanese friend of mine check out the kanji on the makimono in the picture with Mr Price . It is indeed incorrect. The kanji as written is pronounced Shindoyanagishin ryu, or shindodewshin ryu, not Shindoyoshin ryu. It is definitely misspelled. I actually found a Japanese website that shows the correct kanji.The kanji character for willow is definitely different..

9th August 2003, 09:01
FYI: Here is the link to Toby's explanation of the similarities and differences between Shinto Yoshin Ryu, Shindo Yoshin Ryu, and the connection to Wado ryu karate and Wado Jujutsu.



PS: Toby is the one with the username "Guest."

Budoka 34
10th August 2003, 22:14

The story I was told was that this is a broken lineage because of the reasons you listed (Uke Takeshi being one of Otsukas Wado Kai students).
I have never heard anyone claim it as a traditional ryuha, but I have heard it referd to as genbudo.
The current waza are easily found in Sensei Prices books.

Sensei Prices' e-mail is listed on the site you quoted feel free to e-mail him.

Oh btw, I gave the wrong dates for the International Martial Arts Symposium. The correct dates are October 3rd 4th and 5th.


11th August 2003, 11:25
Oh, I know now that it is just as you say, I just did a bit of a search to get Toby's statements into the thread, and (I don't remember if that is the thread in which Toby stated that it was probably gendai or genbudo) but in many ways it is so I haven't a problem with it.

In fact, I skipped some threads in which I may have commented as I don't really think the fact as to whether it is gendai or koryu is really all that important.

Toby has commented on the fact that even his MK in Takamura-ha SYR is gen-budo. He actually was stating it as a mere technicality and I agree.

If you haven't, use the same search words I did, 'Shinto Yoshin ryu' and you'll come up with what is left of those threads. There are a few of them in which it is at least mentioned.

I mean as a site search on E-budo, not just this forum. There were others, but as Toby has been asked about it, I thought posting a thread on the subject in which he comments would be good for the thread.

Hey, I'm one wild and helpful guy (to paraphrase Steve Martin, just a bit).;)


Mike B. Johnson
15th August 2003, 17:25

I just received this letter from Sensei Threadgill concerning the AJKA. It pretty much sets the record straight and clarifyís most of my nagging questions. Lots of detail.


From: tthreadgill@shinyokai.com 8-14-2003 MDST,

Hello Mike,

I am familiar with Troy Price and the lineage of the organization to which he belongs, the AJKA, headed by Douglas Grose. Although a sincere group of dedicated individuals, the AJKA is mostly teaching Shindo Yoshin ryu in name only. The art as taught by the AJKA is only distantly, if at all related to authentic classical jujutsu. I have corresponded with Mr Grose several times over the years. He has been very polite and up front in the letters he has sent to me. His story while compelling presents many difficulties.

The most problematic is the actual name of his teacher, Uke Takeski. Since this is not a properly anglicized Japanese name, his actual identity cannot be confirmed ( Uki Takeshi? ). This begs a serious question that must be addressed. Although supposeably a student of Wado ryu under Hironori Ohtsuka, under whose authority was this ultimately unidentifiable gentleman teaching Shindo Yoshin ryu? Wado Kaiís Shingo Ohgami in his research on Wado ryuís origins, has stated to me that Hironori Ohtsuka did not promote anyone in Shindo Yoshin ryu prior to the founding of Wado ryu. To further compromise AJKA historical claims, the contention that Shindo Yoshin ryu ď lay dormantĒ until revived by Uke Takeski is easily contradicted. The Ohtsuka / Takamura ryuha and the mainline / Matsuoka ryuha were active and under the direction of men holding Menkyo Kaiden with direct successions traceable to SYRís founder Katsunosuke Matsuoka. Shindo Yoshin ryu was not in need of reviving.

Concerning the curriculum, in written correspondence directly with Mr Grose he confirmed that much of what is taught today within the AJKA as well as the waza reflected in the manuals produced by Mr Troy Price are not familiar to him. Furthermore, the bukiwaza and traditional kata practised in the existing ryuha have either been discarded or were never transmitted to Mr Grose. Mr Grose reiterated to me that after the war he taught what he learned from Mr Takeski, based largely on a couple of kata called Tora Sho and Tora Dai. I have not heard of these specific kata and they are not listed in the traditional SYR mokuroku I have in my possession. They must be inventions of either Hironori Ohtsuka or Uke Takeski. By Mr Groseís description they sound more like Okinawan Karate solo forms instead of the two man kata prevalent in classical Nihon jujutsu.

So evidently, a small core of original jujutsu ate waza taught by Uke Takeski has over time been combined with liberal doses of Judo, Karate and Aikido, to in effect, fill what was an incomplete cirruculum. I must reiterate there is nothing wrong with this transformation as long as the student / practitioner understands that the art as taught in the AJKA does not really reflect traditional Shindo Yoshin ryu. AJKA SYR is therefore a modern & eclectic compliation of many different arts that are historically and technically disconnected from virtually any SYR roots.

A common misconception accepted by many is that Hironori Ohtsuka became the headmaster of all SYR when he was awarded a menkyo kaiden. This misunderstanding persists because Ohtsukaís menkyo kaiden came from Tatsusaburo Nakayama who is frequently and incorrectly identified in Wado ryu literature as Shindo Yoshin ryuís 3rd headmaster. Although Tatsusaburo Nakayama was awarded a menkyo kaiden this did not make him the 3rd headmaster of the mainline tradition. Both he and Ohbata Shigeta headed their own separate ryuha . The Shindo Yoshin ryu mainline was actually under the control of the genuine 3rd headmaster, Matsuoka Tatsuo, grandson of the founder, Matsuoka Katsunosuke. Matsuoka Tatsuo died in 1989 out living Ohtsuka, while still functioning as the headmaster of the mainline tradition.

The Takamura ryuha traces its history back to SYR's founder (Ryuso) Matsuoka Katsunosuke. In 1895 Matsuoka Katsunosuke issued a menkyo kaiden to Ohbata Shigeta, grandfather of Takamura Yukiyoshi. This line was officially passed to Takamura Yukiyoshi by Ohbata Shigeta. In the 1960's the ryuhaís name was changed from the Ohbata ha Shindo Yoshin ryu to the Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu. This name change was formalized to acknowledge organizational and technical adjustments instituted outside the mainline tradition. In this way there would be no confusion between the Takamura ha and the mainline lineage. In my opinion the AJKA should at least adopt a similar terminology since no evidence of authentic succession exists for the AJKA and their teachings in no way reflect mainline SYR.

In notes I have read it appears that Matsuoka Sensei and Takamura Sensei continued friendly correspondence as late as 1982 or 1983. Matsuoka Tatsuo died in 1989 without formally appointing a successor. The mainline survives today under the direction of Dr. Ryozo Fujiwara as the Shindo Yoshin ryu Domonkai. Whether the mainline/SYR Domonkai will survive past Dr Fujiwara remains to be seen.

I must emphasize that I have no reason to believe that the system taught by the AJKA is not a good system, an effec tive system or one that it is not well performed by its instructors. It just isnít representative of genuine Shindo Yoshin ryu.

For more information about the Takamura Ha Shindo Yoshin ryu please visit our website at www.shinyokai.com. Please also visit the website at www.aikidojournal.com to access Mr Stan Praninís excellent online magazine which includes an interview and several essays written by Yukiyoshi Takamura Sensei.

Toby Threadgill / Kaicho
Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Kai


Mr Kite,

Where did you get the information that Mr Grose holds a Menkyo Kaiden? I'm just curious. If its just mysterious info from memory I understand. Iím over 50. :)

Mike B. Johnson or BJ

Budoka 34
17th August 2003, 03:05

I believe it was listed on the same site you quoted earlier in this thread. I also believe I've have heard this several times. Of course, while not quite 50, the many times I've been dropped on my head may have something to do with it.
One question I've asked several times of my instructors, including Tachi Price, is why Mr. Mols book claims the lineage as broken/ended, if several schools still claim it, including the Takamura Ha line?

BTW thanks for posting Sensei Threadgills' response.
Gengai or Ryuha I still think you'd have a great time training with us in October.;)

In Budo,

17th August 2003, 05:39
why Mr. Mols book claims the lineage as broken/ended, if several schools still claim it, including the Takamura Ha line? Heís wrong. While itís a fine book it is not the be all and end all of information about Japanese jujutsu.

Mike B. Johnson
17th August 2003, 17:18
Mr Kite,

As alluded to by Mr Walker, Serge Mol's book "Classical Fighting Arts of Japan" suffers some nagging problems. Although an overall decent attempt, I believe Mr Mol simply overeached in his effort. There are more than several historical omissions, contradictions and outright mistakes in this book. Several of these errors can be found in the sections of the book concerning the Yoshin ryu, Yoshin Koryu,Tenjin Shinyo ryu as well as the Shindo Yoshin ryu. If you think about it , it is easy to see why problems surrounding the history of these schools exist. Yoshin is such a commonly used name in japanese budo schools that tracing exact lineages without intimate knowledge of their curriculums and overlapping histories leave one exposed to eventual errors. As an example, it is widely known that Hironori Ohtsuka, the founder of Wado ryu received a menkyo kaiden in Shindo Yoshin ryu in 1921. This man was one of the only budoka in Japan to ever be declared a national living treasure by the emperor. In Mr Mol's book, this budo giant and the art of his founding, Wado ryu are hardly mentioned and then it only states that Ohtsuka "studied" Shindo Yoshin ryu.


I think receiving a menkyo kaiden qualifies as a bit more than just studying so this is clearly a critical omission in Shindo Yoshin ryu's history. The fact that Shindo Yoshin ryu was instrumental in the founding of one of the world's most popular styles of karate is worthy of more than a casual blip.

I understand there are some serious questions surrounding Kukishin ryu as well but not being familiar with this system I cannot elaborate on them.

I have asked Mr Threadgill to follow this forum if possible. He stated that he would scan it and forward any corrections that he felt were appropriate. Yesterday I received a copy of an incredible historical document from him on Shindo Yoshin ryu. It included a mention of his teachers contacts with Tobari Kazu, the now deceased female menkyo kaiden in Tenjin Shinyo ryu. Sensei Threadgill clearly has access to some amazng knowledge and historical information. Perhaps he should be enticed to write a book on Nihon Jujutsu.

BTW, You guys in Denver should be banging the doors down up in Evergreen. Sensei Threadgill told me that he is still accepting applications for the Shindo Yoshin Kai Headquarters Dojo. Evidently classes there are not yet filled. Heck! If I only lived in Colorado.


Budoka 34
18th August 2003, 00:53

I'll sell the house and meet you Colorado.:D
Ooops the wife saw that! I'm in trouble now!;)


Never meant to imply that it was,"the be all, end all of information on Japanese Jujutsu".
But I will say, considering the depth of the subject(Nihon Jujutsu ryuha), it's not a bad effort either.


johan smits
18th August 2003, 10:22
Hi all,

There is something that really bothers me. The only decent book on koryu jujutsu - the first one actually- is the book by Serge Mol, a complete guide to koryu jujutsu. The book is excellent. Now what really seems strange to me is that a lot of people who post here always find something to nag about. He doesn't have this fact right, he doesn't mention someone we think should be mentioned, MY teacher should write a book (as in my teacher can beat your teacher....).
Now what did the man actually do? - Write a very good book on a subject of interest to a lot of people here, so what's the problem? Maybe he doesn't belong to the "Budo-bunch" we all know (and most of us love)but that doesn't make his work less significant.
He wrote the first book on koryu jujutsu in english well naturely he can't make all of us happy but we should give him the credit he deserves and that should be a lot better than what he is getting here.

I' m a librarian by profession and a part-time jujutsu teacher - in my opinion the books by Mr. Mol are well written and based on an immense amount of research. Maybe some of us don't like the fact that he did it all by himself. Well tough luck for them.

Best Regards,

Johan Smits

Mike B. Johnson
18th August 2003, 15:14

Chill out a bit.

Mr Mol's book is a very nice attempt on a subject we would all like to see more material on, but it contains a significant number of errors. As is evidenced in this thread people are already using it as a reference source and repeating his mistakes. Thats the problem. If you write a book which includes references to historical info and then make errors, it's going to be marginalized. Thats the heat you're in for if you write this type of book. Mr Mol should have done more "immense" research.

Your letter reminds me of the Lovret guys trying to defend Fred Lovret's "Budo Jiten" several years back. This work was amazingly flawed. Mr Lovrets supporters tried to make the case that we should over look the flaws because it was the only source available in english. Great! A flawed dictionary. Just what everyone needs. I'll take no budo dictionary as opposed to a flawed budo dictionary anyday, thank you.

And frankly I don't know what we're supposed to make of your comments about "the budo bunch" and the fact that "some of us" are somehow upset that Mr Mol wrote this book all by himself.

Johan, I don't give a toot who writes what, as long as the information is accurate. Sounds to me like your problem is more related to the fact that you have an ax to grind with somebody in "the budo bunch" than our observations concerning Mr Mol's book.

Best Regards


johan smits
21st August 2003, 10:18
Hi Mike,

No axes to grind - none - really. I'm quite happy with the "budo-bunch" but I think people should be treated equally. I do think it is presumptious to call the book by Serge Mol a "decent attempt". Many years ago it was said a book on koryu jujutsu would be impossible to write because it would be a to much work, to difficult etc, etc.
Someone comes along who does write such a book and it is called a "decent attempt", yeah funny people.

So - no axes to grind - maybe a book to throw at your head, but that's it.

Happy training,

Johan Smits

Budoka 34
21st August 2003, 11:09

(In my best counselors voice) I'm sensing some tension here.

Mike, how does it make you feel when Johan says he wants to hit you in the head with a book!?;)

Do they teach taisabaki for books in Koryu Jujutsu?


Mike B. Johnson
21st August 2003, 20:22

You wrote:

>>I do think it is presumptious to call the book by Serge Mol a "decent attempt"<<

I disagree, as does my dictionary.

de∑cent, ( 'dE-s&nt ) adjective ,

Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin decent-, decens, present participle of decEre to be fitting; akin to Latin decus honor, dignus worthy, Greek dokein to seem, seem good. Date: 1539

4 : fairly good but not excellent . well executed but imperfect.


at∑tempt, (&-'tem(p)t) transitive verb

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French attempter, from Latin attemptare, from ad- + temptare to touch, try. Date: 14th century

1 : to make an effort to do, accomplish, solve, or effect.


I stand by my words and my dictionary despite your "decent attempt" at debating them.

Mr Kite. I've never studied koryu jujutsu, only judo. I'd like to experience koryu jujutsu but I didn't need any taisabaki. The book didn't even come close.

You guys are a barrel of laughs.


Budoka 34
22nd August 2003, 11:15

Don't take me to seriously (I don't), that was just my meager attempt at humor.;)

But keep your eyes open, just in case his aim improves. ;)

BTW, I agree, it was a decent effort.


22nd August 2003, 11:58
Let's see if I can add to the dictionary tossing here:

I find Mr. Mol's book to be 'interesting.'


johan smits
25th August 2003, 10:11
Hi Mike,

You got me.

Happy landings,

Johan Smits

12th August 2004, 14:46
Toby Threadgill just posted a really interesting piece written by his late teacher Takamura Yukiyoshi over on Aikidojournal.com. The article talks about the role of tameshigiri within Shindo Yoshin Ryu and the very serious light that it takes this study. The article was written in 1978, one can only wonder what Takamura Sensei would have thought of how common tameshigiri has become, even among schools that have not done this practice historically.

The article is here. (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=598)

Thoughts? Comments?

12th August 2004, 17:00
I think Joe Svinth still has a standing challenge -- his untrained sugarcane plantation worker with machete vs. any and all comers. ;)

What really interests me is Takamura sensei's worldview. Some may have heard the storys about a certain "violent sword" that has been kept by the kai "at rest" after Takamura was cut badly by it during a training session.

In this video of a sword polisher he alludes to the ability to purify the soul of a sword through polishing. Interesting resonance.

12th August 2004, 17:08
Cool link Doug, though I thought the challenge was a homeless sugarcane plantation worker with a bottle of rum stand all challengers. :D

Charlie Kondek
12th August 2004, 20:21

I've never read anything like this before. I wonder how many other people in the sword community share his views?

What's a harai gushi?

12th August 2004, 20:28
Yeah, while I approach tameshigiri as a serious aspect to my training, after reading the article, I certainly feel like I'm not treating it as seriously as Takamura Sensei would appreciate. :(

12th August 2004, 22:53
Thanks for posting that Mr. Moses. My Sensei was just talking about Takamura sensei and how he viewed tamashigiri, katanas last night. Its great to actually read this essay. Takamura sensei was really quite amazing on how he viewed the world and things that happened in the world. I have always believed that a persons soul imprints itself in the sword. A person with a bad heart will have a sword that is always looking to bite someone.
Its too bad that not too many schools teach Reigi with a pure heart and intent, like he did.

Thanks again, Mr. Moses.

12th August 2004, 23:21
What's a harai gushi?
Hi Charlie,
Harai gushi is a short pole with strips of carefully folded paper attached to the top. It is used in Shinto purification ritual.

I've never read anything like this before. I wonder how many other people in the sword community share his views?
While most in the sword community regard tameshigiri as serious business, not many take the same stance as Takamura sensei. From what I have read (and this article is a clear indicator), he was quite deep in the Shinto religion. Not many outside of Japan are therefore not many outside of Japan are likely to share his views to quite that extent.

Of course, this does not include Mr. Threadgill and the Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Kai. It is also my opinion and supposition on it, not to be mistaken for unalterable facts. :)


tsurashi shondo
13th August 2004, 00:13
That's an awesome little article. Much of what he says about the purification rituals and the "imprinting" of spirits into a blade is to me reminiscent of Native American views on similar things.
I wish sometimes that dojo culture in the western world would place more value these ritual / spiritual aspects of budo. Not for the spiritual "safety" alone, but for setting the tone and correct mindset before engaging in serious and potentially dangerous practice.
Mind you, I'm probably making a foolish conclusion assuming that things are generally any different in Japan.
Thanks for sharing that. :)

Joseph Svinth
13th August 2004, 00:40
Awhile back, Kim Taylor took me up on that one, and reported back that his CDN $1,500 cutter made consistently cleaner cuts on bamboo than did his CDN $11 Salvadoran machete. He added, however, that he still uses the $11 machete in the yard.

13th August 2004, 00:49
Tsurashi Shondo wrote:

That's an awesome little article. Much of what he says about the purification rituals and the "imprinting" of spirits into a blade is to me reminiscent of Native American views on similar things.
I wish sometimes that dojo culture in the western world would place more value these ritual / spiritual aspects of budo. Not for the spiritual "safety" alone, but for setting the tone and correct mindset before engaging in serious and potentially dangerous practice.
Mind you, I'm probably making a foolish conclusion assuming that things are generally any different in Japan.
Thanks for sharing that.

I thought that too. I doubt the article was just one level but many. At the base it is a practical way to safely test the sword. But also the sword is a symbol for the practitioners themselves. By also taking great care with the way in which deadly practices are taught and practiced by the students they are less likely to develop untamed agressiveness. By resting the swords(or practitioners) and have a period of time and maybe reflection between praticing deadly technique like how to cut someones arm off on cleave their body in half their development is controlled. As opposed to:

"Ok, today we'll finish up on eye-gouging and general maiming and tomorrow it's back to chainsaws..."

Joseph Svinth
13th August 2004, 01:00
Charlie --

For pictures of all the Shinto ritual stuff, see

13th August 2004, 02:13
Originally posted by Joseph Svinth
Awhile back, Kim Taylor took me up on that one, and reported back that his CDN $1,500 cutter made consistently cleaner cuts on bamboo than did his CDN $11 Salvadoran machete. He added, however, that he still uses the $11 machete in the yard. Yeah, but was he drunk and underpaid? I don't think so. :D

14th August 2004, 01:42
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there's tameshigiri and then there's 'cutting stuff.'

Proper tameshigiri is kata. The mental discipline, focus and awareness should be identical. If these elements are absent from tameshigiri you are not performing proper budo but are instead allowing yourself to be seduced by the improper desires of ego gratificaion and self aggrandizement. As such, tameshigiri has been transformed from a practice of necessary education into a corrupted form of symbolic butchery.
-- Takamura-sensei, Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu


r e n

14th August 2004, 05:32
Originally posted by renfield_kuroda
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there's tameshigiri and then there's 'cutting stuff.'


r e n

Sue-Mono-Giri desu ka? :D