View Full Version : Kaze Arashi-ryu (Henri-Robert Vilaire)

16th April 2001, 00:33

I'm wondering if anyone has any information regarding the "Kaze Arashi Ryu" style of Aikijujutsu? Also, if there are any practitioners of this style on this forum that could comment, I would greatly appreciate any insights and information regarding this style..

Thanks in advance...

Michael Becker
16th April 2001, 07:42


I dont practice this school so I cannot give any further information.

16th April 2001, 14:03

Thanks very much.. I browse through the links...

Thanks again...

17th April 2001, 03:59
I brought this style up in this forum once and was told that it would be very difficult to consider this an authentic "aikijujutsu" style. Apparently there were some liberties taken with the lineage...

Mark Raugas
17th April 2001, 06:00
Might I enquire as to what liberties?

I'm sure I would have responded to an assertion like that, had it been made publicly, as I used to moderate this forum, and have tried to be current in reading its topics since Nathan took over. If someone did make an assertion to you about Kaze Arashi Ryu, in private, I would appreciate that you repeat it publicly, including its source, so it may be addressed.

If you do not feel comfortable doing so, or confident doing so, then I might question the responsibility of the vagueness your response above. In short, please be concrete and specific.

Also, please feel free to air any questions you might have. We have tried to be as thorough as possible in the presentation on our website (www.kazearashiryu.org). If anything is genuinely unclear, I can make an attempt to have it clarified.

Mark Raugas

17th April 2001, 21:25
It was almost a year ago, in a thread asking "how many kinds of aiki there were" (basically). I was told that neither hapkido nor KAR had historical evidence to show that they were linked to Daito-ryu, and thus could not be considered aiki.
It may have simply been a purist; I was not really interested enough at the time to press the matter. I would be quite happy to find out that such an assertion was incorrect!

Devon Smith
17th April 2001, 21:46
This might just be the thread in question:

Mark Raugas
17th April 2001, 21:53
I remember. That was when a bunch of people were arguing about what "aiki" was, and some maintained only Daito Ryu was the only system with "aiki." The famous "sorewa aiki ja nai jidai" of 1999.

The word aiki has been around forever, and the use aikijujutsu wasn't even coined by Takeda, it was coined by Onsaburo Deguchi. One of our headmasters liked the phrase and adopted it; currently, we're thinking of dropping it, and returning to the name we used previously, because the quality of a large proportion of the groups around using that word to describe their practice is largely, to be frank, garbage.

Kaze Arashi Ryu does not come from Daito Ryu. That does not mean it has "taken liberties" of any sort. If anything, Daito Ryu has taken many liberties by claiming it is something more than simply Sokaku Takeda's creation. I've grown sick and tired of people speaking of their system as if it were the only ryuha practiced in northern Japan, when it wasn't even in existence before the Meiji era. Just because Takeda taught too many people, and now their organization is having quality control problems, and problems controlling people using the Daito Ryu name, is no reason to defame third parties. On the other hand, when you teach thousands of people, how can you expect to keep things under control?

While I've had the chance to see some good Daito Ryu, and enjoyed it, I've also seen some real garbage using the same name. I personally think the empty hand arts of Kaze Arashi Ryu are much more effective than any of the (both good and bad) Daito Ryu I've seen. If I felt differently, I wouldn't continue to practice them.


17th April 2001, 22:07
Points well taken about Daito ryu!

By the way, the thread posted by Mr. Smith is indeed the thread I recall, although several posts were added that I never saw... Including apologies for questioning authenticity.

18th April 2001, 02:17
Mr. Raugas,

I must admit, I'm a bit confused now. So Kaze Arashi Ryu isn't based on Daito-ryu? I thought Henri-Robert Vilaire clearly stated that it descended from Daito-ryu on the "Aikigoshindo" Bushidokai video from the mid 80's? At this time, he was a menkyo kaiden in the ryu.

I also checked out your website. I noticed there isn't a listing for Kaze Arashi Ryu's hombu dojo. Does Nishiyama Akemi shihan teach or is there any way to contact her regarding the history of the ryu??

Thank you for your time and patience.


Andrew Bryant

Devon Smith
18th April 2001, 02:47
Hi Andrew,

please note this forum's rules, stated at the bottom of the page:

Please sign your posts with your full name.
Profanity will not be tolerated.
Blatant commercial advertising is not allowed.
Treat your fellow E-Budo members with respect.

Mark Raugas
18th April 2001, 05:54
Please do use your full name, we all extend you that courtesy. Regardless, the short answer to your question is: nope. The long answer begins with a question: are you sure you are remembering correctly?

In personal conversations with Vilaire Sensei, I've been told on more than one occasion, that our system is not derived from Daito Ryu. Having become one of his long term students, I made an effort to stress that publicly on our website. Our system existed previously under the name Yama Arashi Ryu; in addition, the four previous headmasters are listed there, if you are interested.

Now, there is an (now extinct) system called Daido Ryu, which you may or may not be familiar with, taught in the Aizu area, which had in the past, connections with (and there existing influences between it and) our system. Another example of a sister tradition, if you would, is Gassan Ryu, which was practiced at Dewa Sanzan. There was influence between groups there as well. This is all before the end of the Edo period, however.

There were practitioners of our system who did teach the Sakai and the Aizu as military advisors. Nishiyama Shiro is one example. Conceivably some of our teachings may have been incorporated into what became later disseminated under the name of oshikiuchi in the Aizu han, if that was indeed a martial art. Nishiyama Shiro did know Saigo Tanomo, while Saigo was retired as a priest. Conceivably some of the same Aizu han oshikiuchi may have influenced Takeda in his formation of Daito Ryu, may have influenced Nishiyama's practice of Yama Arashi Ryu. If indeed Saigo was a teacher of Takeda, and if he indeed disseminated oshikiuchi. There is some doubt on those issues, raised in Pranin's book on Daito Ryu. How much of an influence or relation persisted to this day, in the example of Daito Ryu, is simply too ill-posed a question to answer. As such, we do not make claims to any relation. If you look at the two arts, there are many more differences than similarities.

To this day, the only system members which teach at public dojo are students of Henri-Robert Vilaire. Any contact with outsiders has fallen to be the responsibility of qualified people in his branch of the system. I've taken on the responsibility of attempting to provide some representation on the internet, for better or worse, it eating up a bit of time. However, Nishiyama Akemi Shinan does not have a public dojo, and we do not give out her home address to curious strangers. That would be quite rude. I would prefer some sort of introduction even before putting someone in contact with my direct instructor, let alone with the head of the system I practice, or any other of its licensed teachers. They are all very busy people.

One thing to consider in passing. I consider myself very lucky to have stumbled on a small school in New York City that taught the arts I would later learn. For years, if it existed with eight or ten active students, that was a lot. The only reason different schools exist now is that some people have moved, and wish to continue their practice. They are all very small; most have trouble just renting space to practice. If I was told there were one hundred currently active practicing members, at all our public schools combined, I would be quite surprised. Not many people have the patience and dilligence to learn what we have to offer.

If Nishiyama Akihiro had not given Vilaire sensei permission to teach publicly, there would have been nothing available to the public. Now, it is nice to make an attempt to, and as an academic I find it of some interest to, provide the public with some knowledge of what it is that we do, being that I find it of a high quality, providing a window on classical martial teachings. However, I don't have the responsibility to sate people's curiosity, for curiosity's sake.

It was a very lucky occurance that our system did not die out when Nishiyama Akihiro was left as its only menkyo-kaiden after the Second World War; mine and others' responsibility is to see that it continue in small, qualified, numbers. People who walk into my dojo looking to train will not be aware of it, but they are quite lucky that we accept strangers. However, with that level of openess comes a limit on the information we see fit to presenting to the uninitiated. People who don't enjoy that are free to ignore us as they see fit; it is their loss, not ours.

I realize this isn't a very pleasant attitude to maintain, but what we practice is not about being pleasant and nice. It is too precious a thing to risk handling in so casual a manner. I think most people who train in classical traditions, and view their practice seriously, can understand that point of view.

Mark Raugas

18th April 2001, 11:20
Mr. Raugas (and all),

First, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Secondly, yes he distinctly said "Daito-ryu" when Tony A. introduced him, Don Angier and Roland M. and ask them to give the influences of their arts. I reviewed it again last night to be sure. Regardless, I just noted your statement above that Kaze Arashi Ryu was not related to Daito-ryu and remembered Mr. Vilaire's statement to the contrary. Perhaps he was uncertain himself, at the time?

I certainly understand your point of view about limiting information to the uninitiated, but I'm sure you understand people's continued skepticism when the only historical information available are names on a website that could have come from anywhere (I'm sure they didn't in Kaze Arashi Ryu's case, however). I can't think of any authentic koryu that can't be independently verified in some fashion.

Regardless, I would think you'd encourage research and skepticism when we live in a time where anyone can throw a few Japanese names up and create a little story to add history to their dubious "koryu." Case in point, Senso-ryu (although I see now that he states he founded the ryu and not inherited it.... Humm, amnesia I suppose).

Again, thank you for the information. You've provided a lot of answers regarding the history of Kaze Arashi Ryu.

Take care,

Andrew Bryant

Mark Raugas
18th April 2001, 15:11
Thank you very much for your input, and I appreciate your response. I would suggest, to those who have only heard of our name, and are curious, or have only briefly seen pieces of our system on a tape of some sort, that the most prolific way of understanding the similarities and differences between our system and Daito Ryu, is to experience it physically. We have a number of schools in Europe and the Middle East, as well as in the United States. I personally am available and accesible to discuss the finer parts of our art with serious interested parties, for those who wish a demonstration. You will see the effectivess of our art, and the clear depth of our practice.

Thank you,
Mark Raugas

Eric Baluja
18th April 2001, 16:53
Originally posted by Mark Raugas
I would suggest, to those who have only heard of our name, and are curious, or have only briefly seen pieces of our system on a tape of some sort, that the most prolific way of understanding the similarities and differences between our system and Daito Ryu, is to experience it physically....You will see the effectivess of our art, and the clear depth of our practice.

Mr. Raugas,

With respect, I think the issue that seems to be arising is one of legitimacy (i.e., historical provenance), not one of "effectiveness." I'd like to cite Dave Lowry's article in this regard, which can be read here: http://www.furyu.com/wayne/Dave%27sF/Confess.html

But since you bring it up, I have to say that after watching some demos and taking a look at the website, there are marked differences between your school and most other koryu bujutsu that I've ever seen demonstrated,...differences which MAY lead one to believe that Kaze Arashi Ryu can't be compared to or maybe even categorized with the majority of koryu.

I apologize if this observation rankles. I have to imagine you've heard it before, and are probably tired of addressing it. Please don't take it as a criticism; "different" doesn't mean better or worse or not koryu. It's just different.

However, if there is some evidence (other than physical technique) independent of the Ryu's claims, I'm sure many would appreciate the opportunity to view it.


Eric Baluja

Mark Raugas
19th April 2001, 00:26
Hi Eric,

I agree with your observations, and can understand your concerns. I too find some of what we do to be quite different from what I have seen in other's practice. But I've also noticed there to be similarities as well, especially in the theory which models the engagements taught. It is comforting to hear something said in the context of another system's combative theory and have it ring true from one's own perspective. Then the knowledge presents itself: more than one group has preserved similar parts of the puzzle which is martial arts. I find this reassuring. However, I would be most disturbed if I found my practice to be identical in form and content to some other system. In the light of my obversations to date, it continues to remain precious and unique.

Hopefully the information which I have been allowed to present is sufficient to let people keep their minds open. As far as external evidence goes, for those interested, there is an entry listed in Watatani's Bugei Ryuha Daijiten under our older proper name (Yama Arashi Ryu). It is one of the many entries in that work which is berift of much detail. I wonder how many other of those systems continue to exist, quietly practiced. I hope all have not been reduced to extinction, remaining solely as empty entries in that compendium.

Mark Raugas

19th April 2001, 10:54
Mr. Raugas,

Thank you again for you openness and sincere input, regarding Kaze Arashi Ryu.

Since I don't own a copy of the BRD, I wonder if you could tell me if it lists the name of the founder of Yama Arashi Ryu? Also, have you ever met and trained with Akemi Nishiyama? Thank you again for your continued input. I am certainly learning a great deal.


Andrew Bryant

Mark Raugas
19th April 2001, 12:55
That was my point. It doesn't do anything more than list the name, and list that it practices ken. I think Watatani included entries on arts he didn't have documentation on, but had heard of third hand, in such a fashion.

Eric Baluja
19th April 2001, 14:12
Originally posted by Mark Raugas
It [the BRDJ] doesn't do anything more than list the name, and list that it practices ken.

That's a true shame. I hope you won't mind a few more questions, then. I sincerely appreciate your openness.

1) (a) Is there some other independent source of information regarding the ryu, for example, Nihon Kobudo Sokan, Nihon Densho Bugei Ryuha: Dokuhon, The IHS Guide to Classical Martial Ryu of Japan, etc.?

1) (b) Perhaps, specifically, something to support the genesis of the ryu between 832 and 909, some 6 centuries before the advent of formalized ryu-ha?

2) Is the ryu a member of any of the Japanese koryu bujutsu societies, e.g., Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai/Kyokai? If so, which?

3) Is it still taught anywhere in Japan? If so, where (just a prefecture name will do)?

4) Is there a honbu dojo in Japan? If so, in what prefecture?

Here are some general criteria for koryu bujutsu teachers, as provided by Diane Skoss http://koryu.com/library/dskoss1.html which I wonder if Mr. Villaire or yourself fit:

5) "Such a person is probably over thirty years old (getting competent in koryu takes time);"

6) "they have spent at least five consecutive years in Japan--this is an absolute minimum, ten or fifteen years is better;"

7) "they are able to function in the Japanese language;"

8) "they hold a license, presented to them by the headmaster or a master teacher (menkyo kaiden), in one of the classical traditions that are members of either the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai, or the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai (admittedly, there are a very small number of schools that for political reasons fall through the cracks here, but essentially a tradition must be documentable in Japan);"

9) "finally they must be able to describe the history and lineage of the school (this doesn't mean that they can recite these facts off the tops of their heads, but that when queried they can produce and explain the information)." I think you've already satisfied this requirement, though, at least through your website.

Your patience and assistance are greatly appreciated. I sincerely look forward to the continuation of this discussion in a positive and open manner.

Respectfully yours,

Eric Baluja

Mark Raugas
19th April 2001, 21:04
The shugendo sect was founded in 832; we do not state that Yama Arashi Ryu was founded in 832. Big difference. The provenance of Honzan-ha and Tozan-ha shugendo are very well established. Our martial arts stem from military practices developed out of the training and experience of militant sohei associated in the past with the yamabushi of Dewa shugendo. As such, we cite Shobo as a founding influence, because without him, there would be no Dewa shugendo to speak of.

I have been quite open in discussing the questions above, assuming them to be made in good faith, and by qualified individuals. However, I find it of great interest to note the backgrounds of the people who have been raising most of these recent questions. They include a basis of experience constituted of aikido, kung fu (lines left unspecified), home correspondance black belt courses, and ninjutsu. Some of which, with all due deference, have many problems in terms of relevance, veracity, and (in some instances) the general level of martial technique they preserve. This draws great suspicion on the motivation behind these questions.

I wonder if indeed they possess any actual experience with which to compare and contrast their opinions of our form or practice with actual koryu; or if they ever have directly seen or participated in actual koryu of quality at all. I have had occasion to discuss features of classical martial arts with a bona fide expert in the field, who is outside of my own system, and hope to continue to do so in the future, so I might further my understanding of the existing arts which are of high merit. I suggest others take the time to inform themselves as well, so they might understand what merit constitutes itself to be.

But, as for this current exchange, I feel I have wasted enough of my time clearly delineating our claims, above and beyond good faith. I do not feel it necessary to continue any further in answering ridiculously phrased questions, or those presented with a non-understanding of material we have performed a courtesy by sharing.

Mark Raugas

Eric Baluja
19th April 2001, 22:03
Originally posted by Mark Raugas
I have been quite open in discussing the questions above, assuming them to be made in good faith, and by qualified individuals.

My good faith you can be sure of. Why I need to be "qualified" to ask questions I don't quite understand, however. How is this relevant? If you were a doctor and I was a prospective patient asking about your credentials, would you require me to finish med school before you deigned to answer me?

To be honest, I was fairly sure that it wouldn't be long before you attacked the questioner without answering the question, and you performed admirably. I take my leave of you with your carefully crafted fictions and rationalizations intact.

All the best in all your endeavors,....as long as they don't involve the promotion of fraud and misunderstanding of koryu budo,

Eric Baluja


Originally posted by Mark Raugas
I have had occasion to discuss features of classical martial arts with a bona fide expert in the field, who is outside of my own system, and hope to continue to do so in the future, so I might further my understanding of the existing arts which are of high merit. I suggest others take the time to inform themselves as well, so they might understand what merit constitutes itself to be.

I have had the same good fortune, as it turns out, although with several experts. It is from my conversations with these folks that my questions were drawn. They find your claims rather questionable. I was hoping to present them with whatever information you were willing to provide, but you seem to have only mitigated their concerns. I nevertheless thank you for your time.

Nathan Scott
19th April 2001, 22:25
This has been an interesting and beneficial exchange thus far, though I would ask Mr. Baluja to choose his wording a bit more carefully. It is not appropriate to badger someone if they choose to discontinue a discussion. You can take the action to mean whatever you like, but implying fraud without substantiation is a bit strong.

Though some hard questions have been asked, I have generally not sensed any malice on the part of those asking questions (aside from the last post). I would have to agree that, as long as questions are ligitimate, informed and posed politely, that the background and credentials of those curious is irrelevant.

Mr. Raugas has been forthcoming and giving of his time in this thread. There is nothing requiring him to continue entertaining further questions if he does not wish to answer them, however, since this thread is specifically in reference to KAR, it would seem to be a good place to consolidate information and resolve issues. When future questions are raised, this thread will be linked as reference.

In any event, just to clarify - we are discussing issues of lineage, not issues of effectiveness. Those that are curious if the art is effective should simply go to a dojo or seminar and find out!


Mark Jakabcsin
20th April 2001, 03:32
You get my vote for President!! G.W. should have called you to deal with the recent China tiff cause damn, you be smooooooth.


20th April 2001, 10:41
Mr. Raugas,

I sincerely apologize if you feel the questions I've asked have been done so with "ulterior" motives. That is certainly not the case. Due to my background in Aikido, I have a sincere desire to learn more about the history of arts that 'might' have some connection to Daito-ryu, or other teachings connected to Aizu. Frankly, I've followed your posts regarding your search for the history of KAR both here at E-budo (when you were moderator) and over the past several years on the Iaido-L, with some interest.

I for one, have learned a great deal reading your previous posts and want to thank you for taking the time to respond. I know there have been some difficult questions raised and I sincerely hope that you stay with the discussion to answer them.

Best regards,

Andrew Bryant

Eric Baluja
20th April 2001, 12:24
Esteemed Mr. Scott,

Originally posted by Nathan Scott
...I would ask Mr. Baluja to choose his wording a bit more carefully. Point taken, and I thank you very much for your taking the time to make it.

Originally posted by Nathan Scott
I would have to agree that, as long as questions are ligitimate, informed and posed politely, that the background and credentials of those curious is irrelevant. This is all I was really trying to say. I think I just bristled at the faulty logic of Mr. Raugas' proposition. I thank you for making my point better than I did.

Originally posted by Nathan Scott
...however, since this thread is specifically in reference to KAR, it would seem to be a good place to consolidate information and resolve issues.
With all sincerity, this was all I was trying to do. I think the questions posed have been straightforward and clear ("ridiculously phrased"?) and asked in such a way as to give the KAR the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, all we were left with was doubt.

Originally posted by Nathan Scott
In any event, just to clarify - we are discussing issues of lineage, not issues of effectiveness. Exactly. I think next time I want to post I'll just let you do it for me! I'm too discourteous.

Thank you again,

Eric Baluja

Nathan Scott
20th April 2001, 16:11
Thanks for the kind words guys!

You get my vote for President!! G.W. should have called you to deal with the recent China tiff cause damn, you be smooooooth.

Yeah, maybe I can take over Jesse Jackson's gig someday. Any time controversey pops up, I'll invite myself into the fray to offer my "moderation"! (professional moderator/world consultant - how much does that pay, ya think?)

Funny enough, an associate of mine who is also involved in our federation issues often tells me the same thing! I'll bet he's having a good laugh right now.

But I do appreciate everyone's efforts to maintain productive conversation.


Mark Raugas
20th April 2001, 19:09
It is significant to note that when one uses such terms as "cleverly constructed fictions" and "fraudulent", without substantiation or corroborative evidence, this demonstrates disrespect, a lack of budo, and most importantly, a possibly libelous intent. In short, there has been a lack of substantive response to the points I have clearly and cogently made, as well as a disregard of appropriate level of protocol, including the spirit of budo itself, that should be assumed in relating to fellow practitioners of the martial arts.

When it is asked if my teacher is over thirty years of age, when it was mentioned he was on video fifteen years ago, and we list the dates he began training, I question the underlying intent. If it is asked whether we have a school in Japan, that would be justified and reasonable, if it is not parenthetically added "(even a Prefecture will do)". That added content intimates one is hoping I cannot answer. Moreover, the manner in which an inordinate number of questions were presented obviously appears to approximate a cross-examination in a court of law rather than an exercise in gaining greater understanding and clarity, regardless as to the content of what about we agree or disagree. None of us have been appointed as Inquisitors and such behavior on any of our parts raises the spectre of questionable judgement, spirit and intent.

I respect the effort Diane Skoss made in developing her criteria, and feel they may be helpful for prospective students to use in making decisions about where they would like to practice, if they seek classical arts. However, cutting and pasting third party material into an ongoing discussion, without expressing it cogently in one's own words, shows a lack of regard for the conversation at hand, especially while at the same time challenging my awareness of their existence.

No one sits here as a sworn and deposed witness; Mr. Baluja is not the counsel in a criminal proceeding and I am not here to be spoken to as if I am in a jury trial. Rather, the nature of our being involved in these arts, no matter what one's preconceptions may be, necessitates a respectful manner of inquiry and appropriate conduct commensurate with the fact that all participants here are present of their own volition.

I enjoined this thread with good intent. I have presented and corrected information which I feel would be helpful to the readers and posters of this forum. I also have openly invited those of sincere intent an opportunity to speak with me directly and possibly observe our system. Obviously, the feedback I related may not satisfy all readers; I have hopefully provided some insights into our art. Although I came here with an open spirit, I felt it was no longer productive to engage in a dialogue which was growing increasingly discordant, despite any benefit third parties might have felt they derived from it.

Thank you,
Mark Raugas

[DOUBLE POST deletion. I deleted the first post, as it was identical to this post except for the last paragraph. Please edit this post accordingly if I errored in my selection! NS]

Eric Baluja
21st April 2001, 00:30
Mr. Raugas,

Umm.....well I.....ah.....err......aaaalrighty then! This has certainly been a bizarre exercise in futility, and I for one am glad it's over. I thank you again for your time and assistance, and look forward to your answering the same questions if and when an individual with what you deem the proper motivation and qualifications asks them. In the meantime, in my opinion, you have done neither yourself, nor your ryu, nor budo any service.

It has been my experience that, in pretty much any human endeavor you can name, obfuscation, evasiveness, hypersensitivity to direct, simple inquiries, defensiveness, truculence, and attacking the questioner and the questions instead of answering them, is indicative of something being hidden, something usually of a highly questionable if not downright nefarious nature. I truly hope that is not the case here, believe it or not.

I thank you once again.

Eric Baluja

Marc Stowe
22nd April 2001, 01:36
As someone who once studied at KAR for a while (for a little over a year), my thoughts might be pertinent to this discussion.

KAR is considered to be one of the better "jujutsu" type schools in the New York area. I was personally taught at times by Mark Raugas, and consider him to be well qualified to expound on the system. Having said that, the issue of whether a system has koryu affiliations or not does indeed have ramifications that go beyond the main hombu dojo. For example, there are probably certain quality control procedures that are put into place. I personally witnessed a young student at one of KAR's satellite dojos get promoted to the next kyu, even though he did not know the techniques. And I don't mean not knowing the techniques well, I mean not knowing the techniques at all!

Now, one bad apple does not imply that there is something wrong with a system as a whole. And I did'nt leave KAR for that reason alone. I decided that I would prefer to study two different systems, one being aiki-jujutsu (Takumakai), the other Chinese Kenpo. As to this whole question of KAR and koryu claims, I did once discuss the issue with an Aikido shodan who is affiliated with Saito Sensei in Japan (Iwama). His name is Bob Molerio, and he has contributed articles at Koryu.com. He also trained at KAR for a little while, and came to the conclusion that they are "sogo bujutsu wannabees" (his words Mark, not mine.....).

Personally, I agree with Mark to the extent that people ought to look into these things and see for themselves what works for them, and draw their own conclusions..........

Marc Stowe

Joel Buchheim
22nd April 2001, 13:34
As a student of the Kaze Arashi Ryu system spanning a period of eleven years, I have developed familiarity with the underlying philosophical rationale and values that guide thieir instruction and level of interaction with students. It is in a class of its own.

In 1990, having been away from the martial arts for many years, I was searching for a unique system that would be inspiring, not based solely on effectiveness, but one which would address my needs for personal growth and development. Having studied martial arts since childhood ( my father was the personal Honor Guard to General Douglas MacArthur in the Phillipines, and was well trained in what was then known as Combat Judo), I had developed significant interest in the martial arts and over the years obtained training in jujutsu, karate and Yoshinkan Aikido. Consequently, by networking, I found some of the best martial art instructors in the NYC area including aikido, jujutsu, karate and others, visited their respective dojos carefully observing their demonstrations and level of interactions. Due to my previous experience I was not overly impressed or inspired by what I observed, not because they were not excellent schools but because they did not provide the special unique training and philosophy that I was seeking.

However, in this search, I came across the Kaze Arashi Ryu School in Queens, NY and met, at the time, their chief instructor. After one demonstration I was in awe, not only by the seemingly effortless and devastating nature of this art, but by the fact its power was emanating from within and not dependent on speed and strength. At that given point, I was immediately aware that I was in the presence of a bujutsu art. Most impressive was the calm and tranquil feeling emanating from this senior instructor, who was not only humble but had no hidden agendas as to signing up a new member. In fact, when discussing fees for private instruction, he offered to teach me for a modicum amount of money which was quite an impressive act of genorosity even though I offered to pay more. The dojo and its others instructors exuded honesty, integrity, ethicality and a lack of emphasis on advertising or proseltizying others to join. In fact, they encouraged students to participate in other martial arts since they believed there was value in doing so. There was no hype being generated regarding the Kaze Arashi Ryu system being the best as I had observed in other schools.

In deference to all participants in this discussion it is important to understand that the basis of true budo emanates from the characterisitics that I described which transcend lists of criteria as to what constitutes a Koryu art. The issue for me centers around the spiritual and ethical principles which form the core rationale for a schools being and the substance of its instruction and in this regard the Kaze Arashi Ryu exemplifies the finest tradition of a true budo art.

To those of you who admit that they had "trained
for awhile" and feel that this enables them to provide insights into this intricate art or who quote others as saying that members of this art are "sogo bujutsu wanabees", or who"grill" rather than respectfully discuss questions relating to Koryu are actually revealing more about themselves and their level of budo development. Personally, it is embarrassing to perceive such behavior which is totally antithetical to the principles of Koryu which they are espousing! Disagreement is one thing, slinging aspersions without substantiation is another no matter whether in the form of quoting others or in direct or indirect attacks or innuendos regarding the substance of this art.


Joel Buchheim

22nd April 2001, 15:30

Interesting exchange.

Frankly I think Mark Raugas has acquitted himself quite well here whatever you think of his art or it's history. I think Mr Baluga has not acquitted himself as well.

Mr Baluga list's "Takamatsu-den" as his art of study.

Humm.....interestingly vague.. Theres an old addage about glass houses perhaps he should heed.

Toby Threadgill

Eric Baluja
22nd April 2001, 23:42
Dear Mr. Threadgill,

I am very sorry to have made your acquaintance (so to speak) under these circumstances, as I have nothing but respect for you and your teachers. Congratulations on your recent achievement; well-earned, in my relatively uninformed opinion.

I also regret that Mr. Raugas was able to use my later abrasiveness (there was no initial "attack" to warrant his) to avoid answering pointed but nevertheless important questions regarding his ryu's interesting claims. In other words, I readily acknowledge that I’m an a**hole, and I’m sorry I let Mr. Raugas use this as an out.

But, beyond this, I have zero qualms with my own comportment, and do not in the least apologize for having raised these issues. These are hard questions that need to be asked and answered if true budo is to be understood. Public claims have been made (on the web, in videos, seminars, advertisements, etc.) and should therefore be substantiated just as publicly.

I refer to what I study as "Takamatsu-den" precisely because I do not claim to study anything older than the teacher of Masaaki Hatsumi Sensei. I believe the arts are older, but I have not seen any reliable evidence that they are. But I must be an incorrigible jerk and an utter moron because I still fail to see how my training background abridges my right to ask a question. This proposition defies reason, in my opinion.

I sincerely thank you for your time and input. I’m sorry you think less of me, and I hope to someday have the opportunity to rectify your impression.


Eric Baluja

P. S. One last thing (this happens to me all the time, so I never take it personally!): My family name is BaluJa. Just as an aside, the "j" is pronounced in the Spanish manner, i.e., as if it were an "h."

Marc Stowe
23rd April 2001, 03:50
Although I did not think that my previous post was particularly virulent or direspectful towards the KAR system, it seems that I struck a raw nerve of sorts by stating my opinions and observations concerning this system. So I'm going to address Mr. Buchheim's didactic assertions one by one:

1) This thread was supposed to be addressing the somewhat dubious claim that KAR is a legitimate koryu budo. No one gives a rat's a@$ about your father, and besides, it makes you sound like some kid in a school yard ("my dad can beat up your dad!!"). Who cares?!?

2) "but by the fact its power was emanating from within and not dependent on speed and strength"

I saw nothing at KAR that would even remotely suggest that, on the contrary, the senior instructors took great delight in slamming their underlings to the mat (à la Koshi Nage variety, which one can learn in any Judo dojo). And I think that most people would agree that that sort of abuse has nothing to do with the true meaning of Budo.......

3) "The dojo and its others instructors exuded honesty, integrity, ethicality......"

There is absolutely nothing ethical about promoting a student who has not put in the time and effort in order to achieve the next rank. On the contrary, it's extrememly unethical and unfair to the other students. In case you have'nt yet heard, reverse discrimination is no better than discrimination.........

4) "are actually revealing more about themselves and their level of budo development......"

Oh, I see, because you decided to stay at KAR for eleven years, that somehow makes you an authority on the martial arts and the true meaning of Budo. In the meantime, neither you nor Mark can directly answer a few simple questions. What we get instead is hyperbole and evasion through intellectual meanderings.

I want to end this post by stating that I used to have a good deal of respect for Mark Raugas; I'm very well aware of the fact that he's a student of astrophysics at Columbia University, and began his training at KAR well before attending college. I even congratulated him on being admitted. But maybe some of that intellectual expertise would be put to better use by admitting what most people already know: that KAR is not listed as a koryu bujutsu in either of the two legit, non commericial koryu organizations in Japan.

Marc Stowe

Joel Buchheim
23rd April 2001, 16:07
It appears obvious from Mr. Stowe's adversarial remarks, such as his quoting another party as saying that we are "Sogo Bujutsu Wanabees" (as if he is not making a personal evaluation by doing so), his misinterpretations, gross generalizations and the tone of his comments , that he may have a personal "axe to grind".

Mr. Stowe's obsessive focus on another student being allegedly promoted although he believed that this individual should have not, leads one to conjecture what is possibly underlying his motivation to negate another system. By his own admission, Mr. Stowe was a beginning student in our school and therefore was by no means qualified to determine the basis or criteria underlying decisions regarding promotions. If this situation was indeed fact, neither he or anyone else is privy to what actually led the sensei at that time to reach this decision. However, what is most revealing is that he is taking an anecdotal situation, and making gross generalizations. This begs the question. Is it because he himself was not considered for promotion?

My relating information pertaining to my father had nothing to do with Mr. Stowe's negtive conclusion that I was attempting to show "My dad can beat up your dad". I was merely conveying my early background, which was very unusual in terms of having an opportuity to study a pre-war form of judo and was merely presenting this as a fact not as a challenge and only to convey my long term interest in martial arts. However, Mr. Stowe's tendency to interject his personal adversarial issues onto others again comes to the surface.

Mr. Stowe's negative conclusions about the integrity, honesty and ethicality of our instructors is without actual foundation. Based on his alleged impression of one student being promoted unfairly or his perception that students were thrown too hard to the mat is not congruent with my experiences or others but leads him to condemn the entire school, its instructors and the quality of what we offer. As we are all aware this kind of reasoning is grossly distorted, erroneous and is questionable.

Mr. Stowe then concludes, based on his own internal frame of reference, that I am attempting to show, by indicating that I studied KAR eleven years that I am" an authority on the martial arts and the true meaning of budo". Point in fact is that as he indicated that he had studied in our school for a relatively brief period of time and therefore had some basis to comment on our school, I in turn, was expressing my level of experience to support the basis for my perceptions and opinions. I made no mention of my ranking or allusion to my level of skill or to the attainment of an outstanding level of budo. My primary interest was to convey my experiences with a fine school and outstanding instruction. In fact, I did not take on the issue of Koryu at all, since I was merely attempting to express my perceptions which were completely antithetical to Mr. Stowe.

I am not contesting the questioning regarding Koryu since it is a fair topic to explore. I have only received positive feedback about the Daito Ryu Takumakai from within kaze Arashi Ryu. I too have had this impression. However, I am struck by the vehement and adamant desire, as noted in this case, to attempt to do harm to the reputation of an outstanding school.


Joel Buchheim

Marc Stowe
24th April 2001, 06:49
I did not join this discussion in order to get into some pedantic test of wills, or worse yet, to be patronized by "teachers" from a school that has a questionable lineage. If my interest was in besmirching the "reputation" of your school, I don't think that I would have stated in my first post that "one bad apple" does not necessarily extend to an entire system.

As far as quoting third parties is concerned, the fact that a respected author at Diane Skoss' website has raised serious questions concerning KAR's history, is not something that any serious student of budo would be inclined to ignore. The fact that Mr. Buchheim takes such extreme offense to it only lends more credence to the doubter's suspicions.

Mr. Buchheim also suggests that I might have some sort of hidden agenda concerning my posts. I am not going to respond to that, I have better things to do with my time.

As far as KAR's legitimacy and the ongoing obfuscation by it's proponents is concerned, I have seen nothing in this thread that convincingly counters the proposition that the KAR system is nothing more than a grab bag of waza from various styles their teacher had studied.

Marc Stowe

George Ledyard
24th April 2001, 14:26
Boy am I glad that I do Aikido! No question of age or authenticity... My teacher's teacher died in 1969. Simple as that.

For a bunch of folks that purport to be interested in understanding and / or practicing the classical martial arts I see a distinct lack of understanding of the kind of deportment and respect that is fundamental to the practice of these arts.

I have said in the past that I feel people should not use the internet and the physical distance between us as an excuse to act badly. The etiquette that underlies all martial arts is based on the assumption that the person with whom you are dealing is standing before you wearing three feet of razor sharp steel. In the old days insulting behavior had to be backed up by skill and one or the other might die. Because of that people tended to be more polite. Now that we are conversing from thousands of miles apart people act like they can say whatever they want with no thought to the result. It's bad Budo.

No serious warrior goes out of his way to make enemies.

24th April 2001, 20:22
Originally posted by George Ledyard

I have said in the past that I feel people should not use the internet and the physical distance between us as an excuse to act badly. The etiquette that underlies all martial arts is based on the assumption that the person with whom you are dealing is standing before you wearing three feet of razor sharp steel. In the old days insulting behavior had to be backed up by skill and one or the other might die. Because of that people tended to be more polite. Now that we are conversing from thousands of miles apart people act like they can say whatever they want with no thought to the result. It's bad Budo.

No serious warrior goes out of his way to make enemies.

YAMANTAKA : Congratulations, Ledyard Sama! Another magnificent post!
Best regards

26th April 2001, 11:28
Originally posted by George Ledyard
No serious warrior goes out of his way to make enemies.

Agreed. But in the nearly two years I've been a member of this board, I've never seen this come to that kind of conclusion. And when they do become e-enemies, e-mail can do wonders, and may even lead someone discovering something s/he is so awfully wrong in the first place.

I think this is where some become so intensely against anything with a title of "bad Budo." Perhaps a description and lines should be drawn as to what is and what isn't. A little "barking at the moon" is good for the soul, or so they say, and, for the most part, is not injurious.

You do aikido, I do judo, and we can trace lineage easily, just as you described, but perhaps you were right in the first phrase you wrote: "Boy, am I glad I do Aikido." Even here, this is not always the case, and sooner than one thinks, the time has been so spent as to have newer o-sensei and newer argument about who deserves respect.

I've seen new-found respect come out of threads such as this. The old "aiki-wars" is a prime example. It started just as this one, but became one, long example of what electronic budo is about. And new friends were made as well, but I'm not so off the mark as not to agree with you but personalities bang heads for real, and at least with this type of kata, people learn all about respect. Some never will, but I think in general, most do, whether one knows it or not.


22nd June 2001, 20:12
I would like to several things about Kaze Arashi Ryu.

That being said, I would like first to dissociate myself from many of the previous posts in this forum as in no way do I mean my questions to be antagonistic.

Does Kaze Arashi Ryu still have any link to Japan? Is it still taught or practiced there? If so, under what circumstances (ie. Is training available openly, as in the states)? If Mr. Raugas, or anyone else qualified to answer this, could do me such a favor, I would be extremely grateful.

I'm not asking this because of any doubt about the system... I leave it to everyone else to debate legitimacy as they see fit. I have no interest in involving myself in that debate as I am, quite frankly, unqualified to participate. I simply plan on spending time in both Japan and the US in the near future, and would not like to begin studying a traditional Japanese art that I could not study while in Japan... I would find that to be extremely bitter irony :-)

Deha, yorosiku onegai itasimasu.

- Franklyn Tamalenus

Don Cunningham
22nd June 2001, 22:49
I'll probably get a lot of heat for this as well, but Kaze Arashi Ryu is another one of those martial arts systems patterned after Japanese style koryu. You can find an interesting historical description at:


Kaze Arashi Ryu may or may not be based on a family style martial art from Japan. I don't wish to get into that argument. However, as one who has lived and practiced in Japan, you are unlikely to find anyone still practicing this martial art there. If you did, they would most certainly be a descendant of Nishiyama san but their own history indicated he was orphaned so that is doubtful. Even if you did, they would probably be unwilling to take on a non-Japanese as a student.

Bottomline is that you're better off studying one of the gendai arts, such as kendo or judo, if you plan to practice both in the U.S. and in Japan. They are easy to find in just about any country. While in Japan, you're also more likely to meet koryu instructors through such activities, especially kendo and iaido. Having a shared interest in something like kendo, they are generally more willing to discuss and maybe even share information with you.

Judo opened a lot of doors for me. I was able to meet many former jujutsu practitioners, most of whom are now too old to teach, because of my practicing judo. I was also introduced to many through common judo friends, for example, the police that I practiced with knew everyone in their own neighborhoods. They were more willing to make introductions (an important requirement for getting your foot in the door in Japan) since they knew me on the mat as well.

Again, I am not speaking to the legitimacy or authenticity of this particular style, only to your question regarding the probability of studying the same or similar art in Japan.

Mark Raugas
26th June 2001, 16:58
Hello Franklyn,

If you want to practice in both America and Japan, Kaze Arashi Ryu is not the system to do. If you are looking for a connection to Japan that is open at the lower levels, where junior members can go back and forth to train, you will be disappointed. There are very few people practicing in Japan; they train together at a private residence, and don't take students without introduction. I recently went to Japan, and it was very enlightening for me, but that didn't happen until I had been training here for a long time.

Don's advice of trying judo or kendo is not a bad one, if you enjoy those arts. Another option, if you want to train here and in Japan, is try to study a system represented in the states that has open connections to Japan. Many names come to mind. That would only require relocating within the United States, at first. You might then be able to benefit from the hard work others have made in bringing those arts to the United States.

Take care in chosing what you eventually do: make sure it is something of substance. Once you make that decision, be dedicated to what it is you practice and spend the neccesary time and effort to understand it fully.

Best of Luck,
Mark Raugas

Don Cunningham
26th June 2001, 19:32
Mark is entirely correct. I am also glad that I apparently didn't offend any current Kaze Arashi Ryu practitioners with my previous comments.

There is nothing wrong with practicing a martial art styled like a Japanese koryu. Many of them have done an excellent job of recreating the practices and techniques of the original forms. However, be wary of those which claim to have direct ties to Japan. I've found very few of these to be true.

It's particularly distressing to hear about those who devoted years of time (and probably money) studying an art which is presented as a directly linked koryu style only to discover that they will not be recognized by any legitimate marital arts groups when they visit Japan. I've heard from many who feel they wasted their time and effort studying something they were told was "authentic" only to find that it is was simply the creation of one person who invented a fictional history to draw others into the practice. Often, they also constructed the techniques based on their own misinterpretations and misconceptions. [The Tenshin-ryu of Fredrick Lovret is a good example of this kind of martial arts style based on little more than some bits and pieces pulled from numerous sources and then patched together like a poorly done quilt.]

If you have the opportunity to study with someone who definitely has a living link with Japan (such as Meik Skoss, Kim Taylor, Carl McClafferty, or several others) then by all means take full advantage of it. You will be able to identify the frauds since they are unlikely to have any photographs of themselves in Japan, refer vaguely to a mysterious teacher who died or otherwise is completely unavailable, have little or no Japanese language skills, can not provide confirmable addresses of their style's dojo or offices, etc. If the instructor exhibits any of these identifying characteristics, you're probably better off studying on your own.

I still recommend practicing judo, kendo, or iaido. There are recognized schools or clubs available in just about any major city in the world. These kind of martial arts activities are also great gateways to those involved in the classical martial arts should you visit Japan. Having a black belt in make-believe ryu is not going to help your credability. Of course, most Japanese are very polite. On the surface they may act very impressed with your accomplishment, but their unexpressed thought is that you are a real kook to have bought into such silly rubbish.

28th June 2001, 10:18
I agree with Don. Judo, Kendo, or iaido have foundations found in almost any Japanese art, and when it comes down TO it, the foundation is going to hold up when the rest is about to topple.

Cheap, generally good teachers, and available almost anywhere. In fact, if one shows the big brass ones by staying in judo or kendo long enough for high ranks, the more likely the invitation to study koryu.


23rd October 2001, 21:41

How many Tessen Waza are there in Kaze Arasi Ryu Tessen Jutsu? I just want to know the number of techniques without variations.

Tom Thornton

4th November 2001, 18:21
ha ha good question. why dont you just ask sensei white, at the pitsburgh dojo?:nono:

4th November 2001, 21:23
That was going to be my next step if I didn't get an answer here. Are you farmiliar with Sensei White and the Pittsburgh Dojo?

Nathan Scott
6th November 2001, 19:49
Mr. Mountainstorm,

Forum policy requires your full, real name in either your login name or configured in your signature option.

Thanks for your cooperation.

8th November 2001, 20:02
oh sorry about the name thing, i hope it works now. yes mr. thornton. my sensei goes down to pittsburg often to work w/ sensei white. my sensei is a moku roku here in sioux falls south dakota

8th November 2001, 21:38
Hello, I was wondering anyone's take on this style, I was planning on starting. Any info would be greatly appriciated. I have not studied Aiki before, but have practiced, for a while Braz. Jiu-Jitsu, and have played with Judo, Muy thai, Tang So Doo, Kenpo. Thank you.

Nathan Scott
9th November 2001, 01:23
Mr. Grosch,

Please have a look at the other Kaze Arashi ryu thread found in this forum. We've already discussed the art pretty thoroughly.


9th November 2001, 07:56
Thank you, I plan on starting Monday.

9th November 2001, 10:24
Originally posted by mountainstorm
oh sorry about the name thing, i hope it works now.

YAMANTAKA : No, it doesn't...:nono:

Eric Baluja
9th November 2001, 17:22
Originally posted by mountainstorm
ha ha good question. why dont you just ask sensei white, at the pitsburgh dojo?:nono: Dear Sir,

You give the impression that there was something wrong with the question. It seemed harmless enough to me. Is there some subtext you need to make us aware of?


Don Roley
14th December 2001, 22:47
The Kaze Arashi ryu claims to be a koryu aikijutsu system. Koryu styles are appropriate subjets for posting in this forum, hence my posting this query here.

The thing is, there seems to be no mention what- so- ever in any Japanese source about the style. As far as the Japanese are concerned, the style has never existed.

I and others tried to get some sort of proof that the art really was Japanese with practicioners in Japan, but it quickly was swept off topic and ended up in a lot of sreaming with the web master forced to step in and close the thread before such proof was offered. At the end, e-budo was mentioned. You can see the thread at

I repeat my question to any member of the Kaze Arashi ryu, is there any proof that you can give that the art exists, has ever existed or is even known in Japan?

Eric Baluja
15th December 2001, 17:21
Mr. Roley,

As I myself found out the hard way when this subject was discussed previously, it's bad heiho to come out swinging with this group, as you seem to have done (I hope you don't mind the observation; if I'm wrong, please forgive me). It will be used against you and will be the means by which the question is avoided. After all your debates with the Koga and Nindo Ryu folk, I would've thought that you figured this out by now! :look:

But good luck, anyway. This is a subject I've tried to explore in a respectful way here and on other boards but with little success. The strategy seems to be "If you ignore it, it will go away." The way e-Budo forums are set up, this strategy works out great; the truth is literally buried under a pile of new threads.


Nathan Scott
18th December 2001, 08:59
O.K., lets set a few things straight here before we continue with this thread.

I've received two private messages regarding it - one from a contributor who asked me to remove his post, and the other from a member of KAR that was offended by the tone of the contributor's post and wanted it removed.

They both got their wish, but only because the author requested it (anyone who wants help deleting or editing their own post for any reason will be helped if needed/requested).

I've also followed, and in some cases contributed, to threads refering to KAR in this forum:

Kaze Arashi Ryu Aikijujutsu (

and have noticed a disturbing pattern. KAR members, when asked to offer verification of their public claims, seem to reply to them by carefully redirecting the focus elsewhere, and generally avoiding the question on the grounds of being offended by the tone of the person posing the question.

Now, I do agree that in many cases the contributors posing the questions could have begun the discussion with more of an open mind, but on the other hand, I would think that it would be in KAR's best interest to be more forthcoming with their verifiable history in order to avoid increased skepticism.

It is of course up to KAR how they wish to handle such discussions, however, but the way I see it there are three reasonable choices:

1) Answer the questions as honestly as possible. Those points that cannot be reasonably supported might be better off kept within the oral teachings of the school or densho rather than claimed in public. It is the burden of the group making the claim to offer supporting evidence, not those asking.

2) Answer only those questions that you are authorized or informed enough to reply to.

3) Ignore all discussions, and just enjoy the training experience.

The poster that asked me to remove his post did so because a member of KAR complained to the headquarters in Japan of the art he studies, even though he did not identify himself as a representative of this art when he posted.

Personally, I find this action to be inappropriate. Just because somone is asking questions that you don't want to answer, that does not mean it is a reasonable recourse to stifle their contributions (or try to get them in trouble) in order to kill the topic. We are typically discussing issues here as individuals, not as "authorized representatives" of our arts, even though our actions do reflect on the arts we study to some degree. Personal problems with a contributor such as this should be handled on a personal level - taking the issue to a contributor's headquarters is basically a cheap shot.

While some of the contributors on this thread and related ones have not been overly polite, they have also not been overly rude. The internet is not for the thin skinned, and I don't intend to politically sanitize this forum to the point where others become too intimidated to contribute anymore.

The questions have been posed repeatedly - with all due respect, what is the verifiable history/lineage of KAR?

If KAR has been sustantially reformed in modern times, does it still claim to be koryu or is it more properly classified as a gendai art?

I recall a reference to an entry in the Bugei Ryu-ha Daijiten, but the entry was like one of thousands of other entries in there that had very little - if any - information regarding it. The point being, it would not be hard for someone to open a copy of the BRDJ and pick an extinct ryu-ha that appears to have little known about it as a root system.

What other kind of documentation does KAR have to substantiate it's history?

Eric Baluja
18th December 2001, 15:21
Thank you, Mr. Scott. Well said as always.

The main Kaze Arashi Ryu website, http://www.kazearashiryu.org, has been unavailable for the last several days.

Mark Brecht
18th December 2001, 15:36
Got curious, here is what I found through a quick look on the web:

History of the Kaze Araishi Ryu (http://www.kar.telinco.co.uk/history.html)

Another page with history stuff... (http://homepage.tinet.ie/~kazearashiryu/introduction.htm)

Eric Baluja
18th December 2001, 17:28
Thank you, Mr. Brecht. I think the current question has to do with whether there is documentary support for the various public claims regarding the history and lineage of Kaze Arashi Ryu made on these websites and the main website. It has also been asked whether there is independent evidence linking the current practice of KAR to Japan (e.g., by organizational affiliation, honbu/shibu dojo, teacher, and/or location). I hope a member of the ryu, and/or anyone that has in-depth knowledge of Japanese classical martial art history and lineage, will come forward.

18th December 2001, 18:34
I recall a reference to an entry in the Bugei Ryu-ha Daijiten, but the entry was like one of thousands of other entries in there that had very little - if any - information regarding it.

I have looked before, but just double checked to be sure and Kaze Arashi ryu is most definately not in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten. Just wanted to clear that up.

Best Regards,
Rennis Buchner

Nathan Scott
18th December 2001, 18:46

Thanks for checking, but if I recall correctly, KAR states that the art was called something else originally, maybe "Arashi ryu" or "Arashi kaze ryu". I'll have to check.

If you haven't yet, have a look through the links provided above to get familiar with the claims. I need to review them as well, but I'll be out much of today.


18th December 2001, 19:23

I went back and checked the other names as well. The KAR.org site lists Kaze Arashi ryu, Kazemura Arashi ryu and Yama Arashi ryu. Neither Kaze Arashi ryu, nor Kazemura Arashi ryu are in the Daijiten. There is also no Arashi ryu. There is a Yama Arashi ryu, but the entry consists simply of this.

Yamaarashi ryu (ken)

This cannot really be used as any sort of evidence for the existance of Kaze Arashi ryu in Japan as there is simply no information given about this school. All this proves is that some entity known as "Yamaarashi ryu" existed somewhere in Japan at some point in time and they were a kenjutsu school. Anyone could find the entry (or any of the small mountain of similar entries in the Daijiten) and make any claim they wanted about it as there simply is no information given and nothing to say that their claims are right or wrong. I'm not saying that is what KAR did, but with this sort of vague entry we should really keep all possiblities in mind. It could be something related to KAR, but it also could be something completely unrelated and pure coincidence. It proves nothing and therefore more conclusive evidence is needed.

I mentioned this on the original thread on Budoseek, but maybe should mention it here as well. I know for a fact that there are some very knowledgable and well connected people in Japan who are looking into KAR's claims in Japan very carefully. Hopefully they will be able to offer more information one way or the other at some point in the near future, but research of this kind always takes some time so it may be awhile.

Best Regards,
Rennis Buchner

Eric Baluja
19th December 2001, 16:07
Posted by Mark Raugas on the Bugei sword forum (http://www.swordforumbugei.com/ubb/Forum9/HTML/000016.html) in January, 2001
Formerly Yama Arashi Ryu, our martial tradition from Dewa Sanzan in Yamagata, Japan, is affiliated with the Shugendo sect founded by Shobo. Preserved by the Nishiyama family in Japan, Kaze Arashi Ryu consists of battlefield-derived teachings in both armed and unarmed arts. Its weapons include blades and staves of various lengths (daito, shoto, tanto, daijo, chujo, and shojo), and polearms (naginata, nagamaki, and yari). Deriving from the use of these weapons, its unarmed curriculum includes aikijujutsu for armored opponents and atemijutsu for unarmored opponents. Despite modern cultural changes, Kaze Arashi Ryu continues transmitting its valuable knowledge in its full, unaltered form, under the leadership of the current headmaster Nishiyama Akemi. A student of her father, Henri-Robert Vilaire is the only menkyo kaiden of Kaze Arashi Ryu to teach publicly.

Tom Douglas
21st December 2001, 17:51
Please indulge my ignorance. The "Bugei Ryuha Daitijen" is mentioned in some of the other threads on this post as an implicitly comprehensive list of all authentic bugei ryu in Japan. How comprehensive is the Daitijen? Is listing there based on reliable documentation and other research into the historical authenticity of the listed ryu? How reliable is the (perhaps unintended) implication that NOT being listed in the Daitijen means that the unlisted ryu is not an authentic bugei ryu? I'm genuinely interested in finding out, as I had not heard of the Daitijen before.

There seemed to be a distinct absence of knowledge about KAR's historical antecedents beyond Henri-Robert Villaire, according to a KAR member I've had a couple of discussions with. This gentleman comes across as a little embarrassed and circumspect (my impression) about the art's claimed origins, although he is very enthusiastic about teaching the art. As a teacher, he just labels it aikijujutsu and it took some digging to find out his training and affiliation. Out of respect for his privacy, I won't specify his name. He doesn't run a formal KAR dojo, rather teaching privately to individuals and small groups.


Tom Douglas

Jeff Anderson
24th December 2001, 18:15
Well now...

I guess I'll play "devils advocate" here... Is there ANY and I mean ANY independent evidence to support the existence of KAR in Japan -Ever???? Very simple question folks.... ANY AT ALL???????

The first I ever heard of KAR was through video some 10 years ago featuring Mr. Henri-Robert Vilaire. I can say that without a doubt, the etiquette he displayed was NOT learned in a traditional dojo and definitely not in any koryu....

He also seemed to take great pleasure in “cranking” on beginner’s injured wrists when it was obvious that they definitely couldn’t take the ukemi...... Humm... Does someone have “control” issues??? I should also mention that he made a VERY direct statement that “Kaze Arashi Ryu” was linked to Daito-ryu....That is, the Daito-ryu of Sokaku Takeda.... (prove me wrong).... Gosh darn, that story just seems to change with Stan Pranin's research over the years huh????

The most telling aspect of the video was his leaping down in seiza and bowing in a manner that wouldn't pass any rokkyu Aikido test.... [Gasp, Grimace.... How dare he!!!! Really?... How rude and "un-politically-koryu" like of him..... really? Well KAR folk, please prove me wrong...]

KAR is an effective MODERN form of jujutsu, based on Vilaire's study of Judo, karate and Aikido, etc... Not to mention what he picked up from Mr. Yonezawa in the 70's.... If you like it, great! but it's NOT koryu!.... Don't like that statement, then prove me wrong....Mr. Raguas??.... Anyone????????

BTW, the picture on all the websites is a nice touch..... However, like Parulski’s picture (which looks very much like it came from an early 90’s CD cover from some obscure Japanese pop star... I.E. –Note the very “Miami Vice” looking t-shirt and jacket....), it could have come from anywhere and validates absolutely NOTHING.

One last question that has been bugging me for years.... Has anyone actually met the supposed “Shinan” of KAR, Akemi Nishiyama?? I see lots of fancy pictures of shrines of “someone’s” recent visit to Japan but none of actual training with the “Shinan” of KAR..... Hummmm

AND on one final humorous note............ Just love those “shugenda” uniforms.... Those things are great! – Where can I get one?


Jeffrey Anderson

24th December 2001, 22:53
Please indulge my ignorance. The "Bugei Ryuha Daitijen" is mentioned in some of the other threads on this post as an implicitly comprehensive list of all authentic bugei ryu in Japan. How comprehensive is the Daitijen? Is listing there based on reliable documentation and other research into the historical authenticity of the listed ryu? How reliable is the (perhaps unintended) implication that NOT being listed in the Daitijen means that the unlisted ryu is not an authentic bugei ryu? I'm genuinely interested in finding out, as I had not heard of the Daitijen before.

The Bugei Ryuha Daijiten is a large (970 pages) general listing of Japanese martial ryuha (both modern extant systems and historical ones). Like any work of this sort, it is not perfect, but it is extremely comprehensive in its listings and there are very few authentic ryuha that do not appear in this work (I can think of only one off hand). For in depth histories of individual schools it only serves as something of a quick stop guide as it is made in dictionary format, and therefore is not extremely in depth on specifics of various schools. However it is more or less universally viewed as the best one stop reference of its kind available. If someone asks whether a certain ryu ever existed in Japan or not, this would probably be just about anyone's first stop.

There are a few other good books and series of books that can catch the few ryuha that slipped past the Daijiten, but it is schools like KAR that do not appear in any Japanese references, nor have been heard of by Japanese experts, that cause people to ask questions like have been raised in this thread. Not being listed in the Daijiten in and of its self is not grounds to completely write off a school's claims, but it is at least cause to raise eyebrows and look deeper into the issue.

Hope this helps,

Rennis Buchner

25th December 2001, 09:32
That it [KAR] claims koryu status AND a link to DR aikijujutsu would lead some to the conclusion that it must be a modern or gendai system. DR aikijujutsu was officially founded after the beginning of the 20th century but clings to its pre-1870s beginnings which did not include "aiki" in its name and probably did not teach the inner secrets simply because they were, not because of any aiki no jutsu. The techniques of most bugei/budo of Japan are rooted in pre-1870s technique, but some went through refinements while others would cling to their koryu hhistory.

That said, not all post-1868 bugei are gendai, and not all pre-1868 bugei are koryu. The dates matter little, it is how and why, not when or who.

It is more fitting to say they all come today on a kind of continuum, that generally older budo practice a certain manner of the day while some moved forward on the continuum because of times limitations.

(Please read the thread in the Judo Forum on Saigo Shiro for more on linking the past with more recent past. The disussion is based on the legendary man who possibly used aikijujutsu of the Daitoryu school in the [in]famous Tokyo Police Department of the 1880s contest pitting Jigoro Kano's judo against then current jujutsu schools).


Dan Harden
25th December 2001, 17:56
Just a few comments bud

To be more precise; DR was NOT officially founded before, during, or after, the 20th century or any other time. I do not know any source whatsoever you can use to establish that. No one can prove or disprove its claimed history, so the jury is still out. Even Stanley (a pre-eminent researcher into the origins of DR) agrees to that. He "Thinks" it began with Sokaku- but there are many things that surround that that are problematic.
If it did begin with Sokaku; then when was that? The 1880’s ? 90’s? the early 1900's?
Why was it a developed and seasoned art at the beginning of its supposed history? The techniques were rather large in number, complex in design, and diverse in approach.
Where did this knowledge come from?.
Why does its Hiden Mokuroku and Goshin-yo-no-te look so much like koryu jujutsu waza?
Where is the written record of Sokakus apparently deep and detailed study of taijutsu? Where did it come from if it were from an unrelated training other than an Aizu art?
Who did he perform this obviously deep and detailed study with? If it were soem established school or some individual, I would assume at this point that they would be more then thrilled to come forward and claim that liitle distinction
Since his training in sword and spear is known and he let it be known- why would he NOT let his training in taijutsu be known?
He would conceal one but show others? That makes no sense -other than that it is what he stated it is- An Aizu and/or family, based art.
He certainly seemd to be VERY up front and "in your face" in all his dealings. So he uncharacteristically lied about this part of his training?
Where did the first Scrolls come from that were handed to Horokawa to "copy"?
From an illiterate originator?
During the period that some consider to be its beginnings, and others consider to be merely the first “open” teaching period; there were many experienced men involved.
Whether or not the likes of the Horikawa's (father and son) the Yoshidas, Sato, Sagawa.etc etc. would have been unable to see the truth, or were duped, or worse; co-conspirators in a plot to fabricate a "history" seems unlikely to me. It would seem that it would have required a conspiracy with most of those men to make it all fit. Something which I find highly suspect.
Why anyone thinks there is cause or reason to call Takeda Sokaku a liar is well beyond me. Of course no one would use such a rude terminology. But in essence that is what is being said.
The idea that the records were destroyed in Aizu either during wars or in fires is certainly plausible since it has happened before. A recent "legitimate" Soke reported that he left his old original scrolls in a cab and lost them.

In any event were it true that Sokaku “invented”, “revived” or “combined” arts to form DR- Takeda was certainly ballsy enough and able enough, to claim it for himself if he chose to. There were certainly enough precedents of men starting their own schools, so why say it was old if it wasn't?
Hell he could have said a wood-sprite taught him, or God taught him- like other arts did.

So since the evidence to support the history is still not able to be verified-I would tend to leave it alone till proven otherwise.
But again, why would the guy who was open about his other training-be fibbing about the rest? Wouldn't it be loveley to find he was simply telling the truth?

Oh well.............

Although it was added to the "name," we know from unrelated corroborating evidence that Aiki was part of the syllabus prior to any outsiders influencing the name. In fact there is even written references to its instructional use as far back as 1913.
One recorded entry from a private Dairy states that Sokaku told the writer to "Apply Aiki here."
This is important for other reasons since DR's use of that terminology is rather unique. Aiki in DR is a concept all its own, It is not used or taught in the same way some Koryu weapons based art use it, nor some other "Aiki arts I have seen and it has no relation to Aikido's use at all. It is highly unlikely that anyone "OUTSIDE" of DR would know that or even use that terminology, or phraseology- particularly back then.
At any rate, the dairy entry is consistent with the schools teachings.
And all of this took place before Deguchi and Ueshiba came on the scene. Therefore I doubt its another conspirator’s entry.

Don't know much about KAR, other than I saw it and it doesn't look like DR to me- not even a distant relative. The entry is off, the angles are different, I don’t see the spearing or cutting angles, even the basic method of creating Kuzushi and building on it isn't there- It looks more like Aikido to me.
It sure as hell doesn't look like a koryu jujutsu.
It’s not worth arguing over. And I have no idea where it came from.


Brently Keen
27th December 2001, 00:49
Well stated I agree completely with Dan. The jury is still out folks, on the orgins of Daito-ryu.

The evidence for the gendai (Sokaku founded the art) argument is no where near compelling enough to make me even start to question Sokaku's own integrity, or the story of Daito-ryu's orgins propagated by his senior students. It's a theory, sure, and some might subscribe to it, but as Dan said there are many problems with it too. At this point we just don't know a whole lot prior to Sokaku, despite the "open-ness" in recent years, much still remains a mystery.

As for KAR, I've also seen a little of it and I agree with Dan on that too. It looks to me a lot more like aikido with atemi from some Okinawan styles thrown in. I've seen some skilled exponents, but it doesn't really have much in common with Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. I've also got copies somewhere of different history versions in their handbook, and from web sites over the years. No one that I know of (here or in Japan) is aware of the art outside of it's present Western practitioners.

Brently Keen

Mark Raugas
27th December 2001, 02:57
Hi Nathan,

I just stumbled across this thread, along with the one referred to on Budoseek. I haven't been following e-budo lately. Anyway, I think you make some good points, and would like to offer up some clarifications in return.

Kaze Arashi Ryu is currently taught under the guidance of Henri-Robert Vilaire in the United States and elsewhere; anyone who is learning that art under proper guidance in the west is essentially learning from him. The only public schools currently within our system's oversight are those listed on our website, to my knowledge, except for a small study group in Michigan.

Our history is as follows. Henri Vilaire learned Kaze Arashi Ryu from a man named David Lee Samuel who taught in New York City in the mid 70's; Samuel learned Kaze Arashi Ryu from a man named Akihiro Nishiyama, while in Japan in the 1950's. Akihiro Nishiyama learned Kaze Arashi Ryu from his grandfather, Shiro.

Yes, the name Kaze Arashi Ryu sounds odd. The name was changed to that from Kazemura Yama Arashi Ryu. The Japanese reading is used to keep the idea of Kaze and Arashi seperate, so we get that, instead of Furan Ryu. At the end of World War II, Akihiro Nishiyama had no students--his first long term student from then onward was Samuel, after the Korean War. So, I personally don't think KAR was practiced in Japan on any open / wide level during the last 50 years. I might be wrong on that.

Regarding Daito Ryu. We do claim that Shiro Nishiyama at some point later on in his life, after learning Kazemura Yama Arashi Ryu, met with Tanomo Saigo (aka Hoshina Genshin). A lot of people used to believe Saigo taught Sokaku Takeda oshikiuchi, and that meant some kind of empty hand martial arts. That may or may not be true--Stan Pranin seems to doubt it in his book on Daito Ryu, and I don't know what the various real Daito Ryu groups claim. If Saigo did teach Takeda, and back in the early 80's that seemed to be the consensus, and if Shiro Nishiyama did meet with him and study with him to a degree (which we maintain, exactly how much is not clear to me), then some of the same knowledge may have influenced our empty hand arts. If Daito Ryu is the successor to that knowledge, then it may have (by that mechanism) had an influence on our arts. That's my best guess at the reasoning behind Vilaire's extemporaneous comment on that old "Aiki friendship" video sold by Tony Annesi. Maybe Vilaire spoke too much in the spirit of similarity and freindship on that day. I'll have to leave that to him to expound further on, as I wasn't there, and am not about to put words in his mouth. But the above is my understanding.

But let's be honest, it is very sketchy what degree of involvement Saigo had in Takeda's martial development, and there have been in recent years people coming out of the woodwork claiming to do Saigo-ha Daito Ryu, and very importantly, if you look at KAR and you look at DTR, beyond the fact that there are a few grossly similar techniques, the arts are extremely different. So much so, that many DTR people chafe at our use of the word aiki. We don't feel it is trademarked, and have used it for a long time so aren't about to change it, but I personally recognize that DTR is talking most very likely about something else when they use that word, different from my understanding of the term.

So, those two things considered, we don't claim any connection with Daito Ryu, and have gone through pains to mention that when we updated our website. It is pretty clear to us from our end that we don't want to steal any thunder from Daito Ryu, or cash in on its popularity. Sorry if it isn't clear from your end; but at least I'm stating that publicly, and hopefully clearly. And hopefully that issue will be settled. The next time someone asks, could someone else here provide that short answer, or refer them to this post, as I believe I have stated this before.

Regarding koryu. There is no way we can claim to be a koryu system in the sense that people are defining that term here, because we are not offering up verification or documentation of our history. If we were to do so, it would not be to a forum such as this, but to an organization such as the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai, and only after careful consideration as to what to provide them in way of proof and who should make such a presentation.

What we do claim is that Samuel did learn these arts in Japan, from a man named Nishiyama Akihiro, who learned them from his grandfather. Of those facts I can provide at this time no proof beyond what Henri Vilaire has told me, but I really don't have much reason to doubt him, or find the issue that complicated. It would be much easier and self serving of him to claim he invented our arts, or better marketing strategy to claim a connection with a well known martial system such as judo or aikido, as then prospective students would have a point of reference with which to better understand what we have to offer. But, in both cases, we do not follow that path.

As for my personal experience, I have travelled with Vilaire to Japan, and while there, I spent time with some of Nishiyama's living relatives. While at their house I did see a picture of Akihiro in their family shrine. I do not think an eldery Japanese couple would let strangers stay at their house for over a week (especially as my language skills are rather poor in Japanese -- I wasn't very engaging company) if there was no connection.

In the sense of currently being practiced in Japan, with a connection to an established school in Japan, and records which we make available to the curious, no we are not koryu, if those are neccesary conditions. Also, we do not claim to meet those criteria--the word koryu is not mentioned once on our website, deliberately, and for those reasons. What might be more appropriate is a re-evaluation of what people think classical traditions are, and that their labeling schemes might not be as perfect as they seem at first sight.

What we are is a martial tradition that almost died out, and wound up being primarily practiced by students of Henri Vilaire, in the United States. We do claim these teachings have come from Japan, and not to be invented here. KAR, when taught by Samuel, did restructure the nomenclature of its techniques to be easier for us Americans to learn, but Samuel or Vilaire have not altered its technical content as being taught by Nishiyama Akihiro. Believe me, the terminology is bad enough in its "simplified" form, and I did a couple years of Japanese at university. Martially, it encompasses a cohesive whole, both unarmed and armed combat in and out of armor, and believe it or not, does contribute to the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of its practitioners.

Its teachings are quite unique, and are developed to a high degree of skill in its advanced practioners. It hasn't been made nice or pretty, or pleasant to watch, or pleasant to recieve or give for that matter. They are very brutal at times, and very effective as a result, and I believe they do form a link back to the manner in which some people did things in the past. A lot of people quit because of these features of our art--we would be much more "successful" commercially if we would tone it down, make it more like other budo, have more grades, and easy examinations, but we do not.

Of all of the things we claim, which really isn't as much as what people might have purported (I've hoped to have shown that) we offer at this time only our techniques as proof. The people who come to us to learn do so out of a desire to learn an effective means of combat, and if they stay long enough, do so.

One day, if Vilaire and his contemporaries decide to provide me with historical documentation they are willing to release, I would hope to make some of it public, in the public interest. Until then, I am confident I am not wasting my time practicing what it is I practice, and despite some searching, have not to date found another system or systems from which I could recognize enough similarities that I could say this was concocted from or a derivative of or improvement on.

Now that I'm out of grad school and working full time, and trying to continue my training, I don't have as much time as I would like to participate in these forums. I do hope this message was of some help. Believe it or not, I don't see myself as the defender of KAR's honor or anything like that. I just get angry (and for that I apologize) when I hear something I care about being ridiculed. That's human, I suppose.

Now I'll get back to Nathan's suggestion number 3.

Best wishes in the New Year,

Mark Raugas

P.S.: I don't know who complained about what (wasn't me), since I got here after whatever message was deleted. I would say, we should all think before we post--if a message is something our seniors could find embarrasing or take exception to, for whatever the reason, maybe it should be measured carefully before being submitted. Those of us who are members of different martial traditions, whatever they may be, all reflect on our teachers or their memories in our actions when dealing with people who practice other arts.

27th December 2001, 04:01
Hi Mark,

When did you get over to Japan? You should have contacted me as I was in the "neighborhood" so to speak. I would have liked to have gotten to finally meet you.

Best Regards,
Rennis Buchner

27th December 2001, 10:26
Danny Boy,
How did conclude that I intimated that Takeda Sokaku was a, uh, "a liar???"

I had only meant to separate DR and/or aikijujutsu from KAR as it has made claims of DR aiki influence, all without any proof it existed before the 1970s, at least that was my intent.

Also, I never agreed that Takeda was a complete illiterit as according to Tokimune, he did attend his father's school, but was not an apt or attentive student. So that is the only disagreement I have with your post.

How you read all that into simply stating, btw, what Dr. Karl Friday himself has inferred, that the dates of which was is not written in stone, so I stated that there are koryu on the modern side and gendai on the koryu, etc., but that even if, and I say "IF," he taught the entire world, or the legendary thirty-thousand, that he had also said, and I believe it was to Uyeshiba, to teach "only the few" and then only one or two one could trust elsewise, one may use such technique against you.

That you took any of that to call inot question all of DR AJJ or AB or anything else was absolutely NOT my intent, nor was it ever meant to. The one source I had thought of who stated a post- 1900 date for Daito Ryu Aikijujutu has now "rethunk" the matter and stated the date was "around 1896." I went to that source to confirm it.

I also felt a complete description or a post explaining the history of DR was not needed for my post. I had thought my point was obvious, but I see that I need to freshen them up so they are much more specific, something which can only help.

Simply, as understood by me, KAR is so far removed that it couldn't possibly be koryu, but that when a questionable beginning of something is close, has been taught and practiced as it first was (leaving out the changes in grading made by Tokimune as that is understandable), that I simply now believe it to be koryu. Any other reading of my short post was either said in anger, or simply was misunderstood. I don't think you were angry nor did you mean to imply what you did.

Besides, as a topic, this isn't the place or time, however if you wish, well, a thread could be started and our keyboards could be absolutely flaming with, well, you know what I mean.

And if you really want to put it here, well, I'm not in complete retirement...yet.;)

Anyway, Happy new year, Dan. Here's to you. I do appreciate your spirit.:toast:

Mark F.

Dan Harden
28th December 2001, 00:09
Hey ya Mark

You know; I have to stop doing this. I was actually refering to only ONE of your comments, and on one of the general KAR question.
I see it as a pattern I have developed; I pick up on a point or two in a post, comment on it-then the rest of my posts are a take off on the whole subject in general-having nothing to do with the other comments in the original post.
With your letter- I also went into some expanded commentary on related problems in dating it.

I'm just not bright enough to deleniate twixt the two when I post.
Sorry for the confusion Bud. I'll be more careful in the future



Eric Baluja
28th December 2001, 18:48
Originally posted by Mark Raugas
...we are not offering up verification or documentation of our history. If we were to do so, it would not be to a forum such as this,... So, if you would allow me to summarize, you refuse to answer the posted questions. That’s all you had to say; it would have saved you (and me) a lot of typing.

But...why not address these issues on this forum? This forum, others like it, and the internet have been by the KAR to make public claims. Why not use these media to support those claims?

What we do claim is that Samuel did learn these arts in Japan, from a man named Nishiyama Akihiro, who learned them from his grandfather. Of those facts I can provide at this time no proof... Thank you for your response in this regard.

It would be...better marketing strategy to claim a connection with a well known martial system such as judo or aikido, as then prospective students would have a point of reference with which to better understand what we have to offer. On the other hand, as you know, the koryu bujutsu seem to be “enjoying” a certain fad-ishness at the moment. To claim a connection to the older samurai arts, as the KAR does, seems to be more of a draw.

Regarding koryu. There is no way we can claim to be a koryu system in the sense that people are defining that term here,...In the sense of currently being practiced in Japan, with a connection to an established school in Japan, and records which we make available to the curious, no we are not koryu, if those are neccesary conditions. Also, we do not claim to meet those criteria--the word koryu is not mentioned once on our website, deliberately, and for those reasons. What might be more appropriate is a re-evaluation of what people think classical traditions are, and that their labeling schemes might not be as perfect as they seem at first sight. Brilliant, perfectly brilliant. The “Pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain-but-ask-yourself-why-you’re-even-looking-back-there” strategy.

Dave Lowry, a koryu exponent and essayist, has received and dealt with just this type of argument in response to his articles.

From “Confessions of a Navy Seal” (http://furyu.com/wayne/Dave%27sF/Confess.html) by Dave Lowry
1. There is no clear-cut, exact definition of a classical koryu. Therefore any creature that comes along may be so labeled and those of us who take exception are snobs. I refer those interested to the article for a full discussion of the weaknesses in this type of argument, if those weaknesses are not already apparent.

As for not explicitly claiming koryu status and not using the word “koryu” on your websites, of course you are right. The latest versions of the various KAR sites make no mention of koryu (define it as you will), in so many words. I do remember a fully detailed lineage chart dating back to the shugenja Shobo in previous versions of the KAR sites, however. Also, statements like these...

From kazearashiryu.org
Kaze Arashi Ryu (Wind Storm Tradition) is a system of armed and unarmed combat derived from the battlefield methods practiced in the past by shugendo followers of Dewa Sanzan Jingu (Three Mountain Shrine of Dewa) in what is currently Yamagata prefecture. That system was formerly known as Yama Arashi Ryu..., until the end nineteenth century [sic], when a branch of its teachings, Kazemura Yama Arashi Ryu (Wind Village Mountain Storm) headed by Nishiyama Shiro (1846-1932), was its last surviving faction...

...These methods are designed for use against multiple armed and armored enemies in battle...

...It was in this sophisticated, yet ancient environment that Shiro began to study the martial arts passed down within a Shugendo sect founded by Shobo (832-909) as a part of his education. This system was Yama Arashi Ryu...

...It is through the efforts of monks like the above figures, who while residing at those mountain temples, developed what would become highly refined combative traditions. It is through the long term efforts of warrior monks who came to reside at the Dewa Sanzan Shrine, that the Kaze Arashi Ryu has survived to this day....while not actually coming out and saying it, leave the strong taste and implication of a claim to koryu. But the site, like your post, is indeed very carefully worded.

Mark Raugas
We do claim these teachings have come from Japan, and not to be invented here. ...but won’t offer support for this public claim publicly, the primary reason this thread exists and will continue to rear up every so often.

Mark Raugas
...I believe they do form a link back to the manner in which some people did things in the past...Of all of the things we claim,...we offer at this time only our techniques as proof. The people who come to us to learn do so out of a desire to learn an effective means of combat, and if they stay long enough, do so. Mr. Lowry addresses this mindset as well.

“Confessions of a Navy Seal” (http://furyu.com/wayne/Dave%27sF/Confess.html)
2. Practical skills are the only true and objective criteria of one's claims about associations or memberships in a koryu and these ought to take precedent over papers, licenses, or other documentation. If one "looks" like an exponent of a koryu, behaves that way, and demonstrates abilities we might expect from a practitioner of a koryu, they should be so considered and respected. No one "owes" anyone an explanation or documentation of their claims regarding membership in a koryu. It is boorish to inquire. And finally...

Mark Raugas
..I am confident I am not wasting my time practicing what it is I practice...

From “Confessions...” (http://furyu.com/wayne/Dave%27sF/Confess.html)
3. If one "feels" good about his practise, is sincere and trains with an "open heart," if one meets the expectations of one's teacher, that is all that is necessary.

Maybe so.

Thank you.

28th December 2001, 18:58
Please don't be too careful. Your posts have taught me allot so go ahead an educate the masses.

I'm not that thin-skinned to really take offense at anything which would help in understanding. I simply wasn't sure, well, since it was addressed to me in answer to my own, perhaps took me another reading to realize it.

Oh, and BTW: You're not bright enough? Well, that is one thing with which I take issue. As I started this, "Don't be too careful" as I need to learn and I will be one-hundred years old in less than fifty years, so time is short.

I haven't been your way since the 1970's so one day, old and doing attack and kumiuchi on a walker may yet create better understanding.


Dan Harden
28th December 2001, 21:47

Gee......what is it the holiday spirit or something? Everyone is agreeing with everyone.....I for one will enjoy it while it lasts-
Merry Christmas Bud May his spirit shine through you throughout the year
After that Bugei thread; if Toby comes back and agrees I'm gonna fall over and faint.



Thanks...but we're all still learning neh? I just don't like being downright offensive.
Over fifty?
Hey I got trees younger then you...and I hear tell the bark is smoother too.......hah!

In truth, I think I'm only 7 years or so behind you. Old judo guys will still rock and roll you though
won't they? Walker and all

"We now return you to your regularly scheduled Autocad desktop"

GET BACK TO WORK you miscreant!!

Nathan Scott
9th January 2002, 22:59
O.K., so to summarize where we're at:

Mr. Raugus offered us a thoughtfull reply to the questions we asked. Mr. Baluja then went to the effort of going point by point and comparing this response to articles by Dave Lowry in which he illustrates typical characteristics and behavior of arts/individuals that lay unsupported claims to their art's historical lineage.

Interesting exchange.

As far as the current information we have on KAR:

1) Their oral tradition claims an unbroken line to pre-Meiji Japan, which would catagorize KAR as a koryu if this was supported with reasonable evidence. I've read all the documentation currently referenced on this thread, and have compiled a few conclusions.

The KAR AJJ is claimed to have come from Saigo Tanamo (oshikiuchi), which is why they say that they do not claim to have a relationship with the Daito ryu of Takeda Sokaku, since Saigo was supposedly the one that taught Takeda oshikuchi as well.

Whether this claim is to be considered plausable relies heavily on whether you believe Saigo knew oshikiuchi, and that it was/is a martial method. Many in Daito ryu think that oshikiuchi is martial, while many researchers do not. This becomes a matter of opinion until further evidence is produced.

2) KAR, to date and to my knowledge, has not released any densho (tradition documents), photos, administrative articles (hanko, enrollment books, etc.), interviews, statments, or anything else to verify on any level a claim to origins - or even connections - to Japan, let alone that of a pre-Meiji lineage, aside from reference to a ryu of a different name and no details listed in the BRDJ. While the claims may be true, the fact remains that anyone with access to a book like the BRDJ can pick a ryu-ha, fabricate a history connecting their art to such a ryu, and publicly claim to be a small, secret art transmitted privately through the generations. This entry in itself is not all that convincing, though perhaps it is better than nothing (was there an art called "Yama arashi ryu" active in pre-Meiji Aizu/Fukushima?).

Mr. Raugus states that only senior members are privy to the contact information for their head mistress in Japan, which is why others cannot verify a relationship. Do any photographs exist of her, or with some of the members in Japan visiting her? Photos of at least one previous headmaster has been published on the net already.

3) The KAR pages, and Mr. Raugus, state that the terminology used in the art, including changes in the name itself, have come about in the last generation or so. This would explain why alot of the terminology can be found in arts like aikido and karate, but unfortunately does not bring us any closer to establishing a lineage to pre-Meiji Japan.


Aside from reports that the techniques are effective, and that the members are of good character, there is not much for the pubic to go on in regards to history.

Mr. Vilaire apparently does claim lineage to Daito ryu in the "American Masters of 5 Aiki Arts" video, available from Tony Annesi/ Bushido-kai Budoya. The catalog for Bushido-kai Budoya also says, perhaps mistakenly, on page 13: "Akihiro had taken his grandfather's teachings and added to them what he learned from his study of Daito-ryu."

So is KAR a koryu that continues in an unbroken line from the classical yamabushi warriors, or an art founded by Mr. Vilaire here in America?

Unless the leaders of KAR choose to offer substantiating evidence of some kind, we technically have unsubstantiated claims to historical/national lineage. Whether this is an important enough issue for KAR to address is of course up to them. The rest of us should take these facts for what they are, since nothing conclusive in either direction has been established.

In the meantime, I've merged several of the e-budo threads and referenced them on this thread. Additionally, there is a thread in the Koryu section:

Kaze Arashi ryu (

KAR seems to have three web pages as well:

KAR/ New York (http://www.kazearashiryu.org)

KAR/ England (http://www.kar.telinco.co.uk)

KAR/ Florida (http://home.att.net/~kaze.fl)

Aside from minors errors/typos, they seem to all be pretty consistent, except for perhaps the Florida one, which states:

"Kaze Arashi Ryu is a classical Japanese martial arts tradition that incorporates both empty hand and weapon techniques used by the Samurai for use against multiple skilled opponents."

Anyway, unless new evidence is introduced, or corrections offered, I'd say there is nothing else to discuss here!


15th January 2002, 19:06
Regarding the following statement:
Mr. Vilaire apparently does claim lineage to Daito ryu in the "American Masters of 5 Aiki Arts" video, available from Tony Annesi/ Bushido-kai Budoya. The catalog for Bushido-kai Budoya also says, perhaps mistakenly, on page 13: "Akihiro had taken his grandfather's teachings and added to them what he learned from his study of Daito-ryu."

An individual who is member of the KAR once told me that Akihiro Nishiyama studied Daito-ryu after obtaining his teaching license in KAR.

An individual who is not a member of KAR once told me that Akihiro Nishiyama's name shows up on a list of students of Daito-ryu. I do not know which generation, but it is something that could be easily verified by someone with access to such lists. I'm guessing the time frame would be around the 1920's, maybe a decade earlier later.

Michael D. Heiler

Nathan Scott
15th January 2002, 21:40
Thanks for the additional input, but unless such a listing in a recognized branch of DR is produced, the possibility is unsubstantiated. The problem is that there are a number of branches of "DR", and they all keep their own records.

Mr. Raugus and those hosting authorized KAR web pages have opted to remove such claims to DR until such evidence can be produced.


Nathan Scott
15th January 2002, 23:01
BTW, if the reference I'm looking at is correct, "Daido ryu" was founded by someone named Goto Tameuemon Tadayoshi sometime in the 17th century, and was taught in Aizu (Fukushima).

Nathan Scott
18th March 2002, 21:25
Just a note to let you know that all the aforementioned Kaze Arashi ryu related threads in this forum have been merged into this single thread to assist in archiving and search results.


Mark Raugas
25th May 2002, 14:47
I've been asked to post the following message.

Best Wishes,
Mark Raugas


To Whom it May Concern:

The only authorized representatives of Henri Robert Vilaire currently licensed to teach the arts of Kaze Arashi Ryu are Abel Castanos, Gus Flores, William Franklin, Dean Karras, Mark Raugas, Srini Sastri, Chris Sookchand, Mark Sprague, and Kirby Watson. Certain students of these instructors lead small study groups; any questions about the provenance of a person claiming to offer instruction in the arts of, or to represent, Kaze Arashi Ryu should be directed in writing to the address below:

Henri-Robert Vilaire
c/o Kaze Arashi Ryu
9201 North 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85021

Attn: Inquiries

Eric Joyce
20th June 2003, 22:03
Has anyone heard of this group before (Kaze Arashi Ryu Jujutsu) Here is there web page: http://www.kazearashiryu.org/kar.html

I tried to do a little more research on it besides the webpage and found nothing else. Is it a legit group? Just curious.

Eric Joyce
20th June 2003, 22:06
Nevermind. I found some history on it in the archives.

Nathan Scott
8th July 2007, 23:30

For those who have not heard yet, and as a conclusion to this thread, I'd urge you to take a look at the following (16 page) thread in bad budo:

Kaze Arashi-ryu - A statement from Ellis Amdur (http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31889)

Here is a summary:

Kaze Arashi-ryu - A statement from Ellis Amdur (11-30-05)
There was a recent thread about Kaze Arashi-ryu regarding it's legitimacy. Mark Raugas, a senior practitioner, who is a training partner of mine in Gao Bagua and a personal friend, responded to the questions based on what he knew -the oral traditions of his school as passed down by his teacher. I responded at the imputation several folks made that he was lying - I know my friend as a man of integrity, and so spoke up on his behalf. I also said that I'd seen some photos which he had referred to as supporting his statements (the photos were real, but the identifiers were, I believe, false). On my first viewing of the jujutsu in the system, it did appear to be Meiji period TYPE waza, and that I didn't know what to make of the kenjutsu (which, in fact, I had seen once in a demonstration).

My stepping in rather stopped the discussion.Don Roley said some complimentary things about my reputation for integrity, for which I thank him, and asked, in essence, if I could check things out. I didn't intend to do so - not in that way, perhaps. In the limited time that I have outside work, family and training, I'm always looking for what is true - and as soon as I discern something as false, I just ignore it. I have not cared to spend the time necessary to examine and debunk in depth.

Events intervened, however, due to my stepping in the discussion. Prompted by matters that are best discussed by KAR members if they choose, I reviewed two things: a) an account of the various origin stories told about the school b) Five DVD which have the bulk of the syllabus of the school. I will not go into more detail than is necessary here, and I do not care to discuss in any more detail what I post here. It is up to the current and former members of KAR to publicize any evidence they have, but suffice it to say that I have seen evidence to convince me of the following:

First of all, I am convinced that ALL of the claimed history of KAR is false - not mistakes, not misinterpretations, but fabrications. I do not believe that the art was created in Japan, and I also am convinced that neither Nishiyama nor the majority of the figures cited as senior shihan ever existed. I believe the school started with Mr. Henri Villaire.

Secondly, I carefully viewed the weapons kata and jujutsu as well, and see it as a pastiche of koryu kata from several prominent schools (derived, I believe, from videos - not actual training) grafted onto aikido type sword/tai-sabaki and movements, elements from aikido and Miyama-ryu, a school which Mr. Villaire is reported to have studied, as well as movements and techniques that are never seen outside of Japanese movies. The grafted on koryu techniques and sections of kata are so unique to the respective ryu that, chained together in one form, it is impossible, in my view, that they could have been independently arrived at. If you see a dancer do fifteen signature movements from a Balanchine choreography, sprinkled within another dance, it's pretty well impossible that someone could have recreated something so unique.

These elements and waza are, however, executed with profound misunderstanding. In addition, there were elements of etiquette, stance, kamae, oral teachings, ma-ai, the names of the kata and the structure of the kata which absolutely have never appeared in any Japanese school. It would be like seeing a Balinese dancer in toe shoes. Or a claim that Bach played on the harpsichord with marimba hammers.

I'm outraged on behalf of my friends, both for the years they've spent in dedicated training (there ARE some good technique - their time was not totally wasted), but also that they have found themselves, in good faith, defending a lie. (I stand by my statement that M. Raugas was not lying).
I still do not agree with the proposition that one should furnish an outsider with the contact information of one's teacher, who may wish to be private for any one of a number of reasons. But the larger issue is this - were I not to post this, I would be supporting something I believe to be a lie. I'm simply here setting the record straight.

One final point - I am not posting this at the request of any KAR or former KAR member. I am speaking for myself, after forming my own opinion after examining in depth the differing accounts of the oral history, examining at great length the video of the mokuroku, and after becoming privy to documentary evidence which establishes, as far as I am concerned, the fundamental dishonesty at the core of this organization, something that is the responsiblity of the teacher alone.

With respect
Ellis Amdur
Author of Dueling with Osensei & Old School: Essays on Japanese Martial Traditions, as well as the DVD, Ukemi from the Ground Up
For inquires: http://www.edgework.info

Nathan Scott
8th July 2007, 23:39
From Mark Raugus:

(12-01-05) Hi All,

Since I've posted on e-budo before, I'd like to announce that I have formally resigned from the Kaze Arashi group. I wish all my old friends who continue to train under that umbrella the best of luck in their practice.

Eric: It was great fun training that day and I am glad to have met you in person. I would like to apologize to you and to everyone else I got into internet conflicts with over KAR in the past. Best of luck in your Hontai Yoshin-ryu training.

Best Wishes
Mark Raugas


(12-19-05) In Ms. Wilson's recent posting to e-budo she completely missed what is at issue here. It is not Ellis’ opinion of the technical teachings of Kaze Arashi Ryu that matters so much; it is the alleged dishonesty at the core of Kaze Arashi Ryu. Ellis’ post was necessary because he previously vouched for me and KAR in one of these very discussions. Having changed his opinion about KAR, he is free to state that publicly. Ellis' opinions, as much as I respect them, are actually tangential to the real issue. The real problem is that several of the highest-ranking members of KAR have recently decided to quit that organization after many years of hard study, and prolonged interaction with Henri. Some of whom don't know Ellis and probably don't really care much about what he has to say. They quit not because of Ellis or anyone else external to the “ryu” but because of their experiences internal to it. Probably experiences she would not be privy to, given its hierarchical structure.

I myself quit KAR before getting any negative feedback about its arts from Ellis or anyone else. I quit because I felt something was fundamentally wrong with things I had been told and behaviors I witnessed. I waited a long time, and gave a great deal of “benefit of the doubt” as a result of my conviction in the physical techniques. But as I was not getting, and realized I was never going to get, a straight answer or resolution to the problems I saw at the core of the organization, I left.

Having left, what is my opinion of the arts themselves?

I feel that KAR teaches quite good aiki-styled jujutsu possibly drawn from an admixture of kenpo, aikido, and/or Daito-ryu of some kind. It contains a good amount of kenpo-styled atemi which is very well integrated with its jujutsu. If it does come from an art called Yama Arashi-ryu, I have seen no historical proof of that. I have seen no proof that anyone knew Kaze Arashi Ryu before Henri began teaching it in Queens around 1980. Whatever its origins, Henri Vilaire is probably not even the most skilled exponent or teacher of that art today. It is my opinion that his student Abel Castanos moves much better than him, and has for some time. In that way, Henri was successful as a teacher.

As for its weapons, KAR teaches what I feel to be very good use of the tanto. It also has what I still find to be interesting use of the bo (called daijo in KAR), which parallels its atemi in many ways. At this time I think a lot of the sword work does not work as well as KAR members think it may. Out of the entire curriculum of kenjutsu, I can think of both basic (fundamental) and advanced (esoteric) aspects that do not work well once you think outside the box of the form they are taught in, and even less well with shinken than with bokken. Some of it remains quite good in my opinion, but of those portions, I have no idea where they come from -- if they were mis-appropriated or not. People like Ellis, who have seen a number of different koryu in detail, would be more qualified to make statements about provenance than me.

After I left, I took Ellis’ feedback at face value, and decided to experimentally validate the teachings as best as I could. I had done those movements for over sixteen years on faith, within the context of KAR practice. With that experience, I tested them with someone who was training in KAR even longer than I had been. We came to negative conclusions about the kenjutsu in the process of wanting to hold onto it, even after deciding to leave. It was not an easy realization to come to. It went against the grain of my thinking, as I had sparred well against other people in the past – even one person who did koryu - but shinai are not shinken, and moving forward, I am only interested in practicing things which I know work.

I can understand Ms. Wilson's loyalty, even though I feel it to be misguided. But being forced to examine the field weapons critically, with no guru figure to hold our hands and tell us "it is all fine, you just need to train harder" my friend and I came to some hard negative conclusions. Of the myriad of sword techniques we were taught over the last fifteen years, only a portion of them are worth retaining as useful in an unscripted environment. And if I am not qualified to say this, after Henri awarded me menkyo-kaiden in KAR, and I was generally regarded as one of the people most interested in working on and preserving the weapons teachings he presented us with...

The situation is unfortunately more problematic than dealing with a single ‘disgruntled former student.’ KAR as taught from Vilaire has mixed a great deal of New Age and New Religion dressed up as an older form of Shugendo into its upper level practices. There is nothing wrong with New Religion, or New Age ideas in principle. But, I feel the mystical worldview promulgated by Vilaire created a great deal of loyalty in a number of people, as well as an "us versus them" mentality. This I feel is unfortunate, especially since those teachings all came from a person who is not very educated in Japanese history, language, or culture. Those ideas were often expressed in very Western terms. So, what happened? People who were generally not trained in logic misapplied logic in their thinking. Even people who made efforts to be well-informed put in even greater efforts to rationalize the stories presented to them, to find the grain of commonality or truth to them:

Because Henri is good at jujutsu, many of us thought him to be good at classical weapons, and teaching in a classical style. Because we thought him taught in a classical style, we thought his teachings to be expressive of classical martial arts. It is my opinion that the first inference was incorrect, and the second even more so, being based on a false assumption.

Maybe our jujutsu is good because Henri was actually taught jujutsu by someone. Maybe there are problems with our field weapons practice because he was never taught the classical use of field weapons. He long ago said he was not taught weapons by Samuel, but by Rene Barjaval. He also said his teacher only used bokken, and not shinken. That all being said, I now have some strong suspicions that Rene Barjaval does not exist, and neither does David Lee Samuel, Marie O’Toole, or Akemi Nishiyama.

I think Henri is a very talented modern jujutsu practitioner who over-stepped the bounds of his training in attempting to teach ‘classical’ martial arts. Because he was talented, I think he felt he had license to improvize a great portion of his curriculum. But since he is only human, I feel he made some mistakes along the way. It is not that there are mistakes that is the important issue. There could be old arts with mistakes as well (although I imagine they would probably less fundamental in scope -- witness natural selection). It is that the process behind the creation of, or true nature of, the arts were hidden from even senior practitioners. Disclosure was simply was not part of the program. I am left thinking that a good deal of KAR ‘weapons’ curriculum should be best viewed as a form of aikiken or aikijo; i.e. drills or practices to improve KAR jujutsu.

Why care about provenance or history or how KAR represents itself? Martial artists care about lineage because for some of these arts, we do not use them in combat in the present day (e.g. sword, naginata). Lineage then becomes important, so that we know we have a connection to the past, outside of the realm of dream or fantasy. Without lineage, were we to have fighting ability alone, it would be sufficient to determine the ‘reality’ of our practice. But in arts which are no longer used in their full form, one must be more conservative in one’s thinking.

One can argue that lineage is only important because we do not fight each other any longer, and cannot stand solely on fighting ability. This is true. Pure fighting ability should be enough. But without character, both lineage and ability become irrelevant.

I would have loved proof about what it is I was taught. I would have loved to have been sat down, set straight, and set on my way. But Vilaire was quite willing, in retrospect, to let anyone who questioned him and wanted something more than a story by way of an answer, walk away. To that several of us ultimately said, "keep your sense of identity". We were tired of the stories. They grew thinner and thinner as time wore on.

It is time to move on. I am not interested in hashing out all the gory details of why I quit beyond what I have written above. I am not interested in having a conversation on the subject. If Vilaire wishes to provide the public proof about KAR's origins, then he will do so. I myself was quite willing to let my one line statement earlier in this thread stand. But silence would somehow feel inappropriate, given all that has been said about me during my absence from this discussion.

If Ms. Wilson wants to practice KAR under Henri, no one is going to stop her. If Henri is just concerned with techniques and not history, it is however time for both him and his students to lose the stories – and as they say, shut up and train. But when they do so, they should remember: character and self-discipline and honesty above all other things are the heart of true budo. Without that, we are left only with the darkness of violence.

Best Wishes
Mark Raugas

Nathan Scott
8th July 2007, 23:52
From E-budo moderator Robert Wolfe:

(12-14-05) I’ve had the distinct pleasure of seeing Mark Raugas in action, during kagami biraki at our dojo several years ago. The demonstration he and his crew presented was one of the most impressive I’ve seen, of any art. Mr. Raugas, Kevin Tsai, and company weren’t just obviously lethal, they were flat-out scary. Given the degree of skill and implicit knowledge of the tradition reflected in that demonstration, I would say Mr. Raugas has exactly the credentials to judge the authenticity of the art he’s practiced for more than 15 years. He also has experience outside the envelope of KAR, and the benefit of input from recognized authorities in the field upon which to base his assessment.

As for it being “foolish to assume one man created this tradition,” as Mr. Marrero suggested, single individuals are credited with creation of various extant koryu, or at least the initial components thereof. Especially if he were drawing from established arts, “borrowing” kata or techniques and overlaying both with some integrating philosophy or principle, I see no reason a particularly talented individual wouldn’t be capable of constructing a system like KAR.

Although I agree with Mr. Marrero on the point one “cannot become a doctor by looking at a season of ER,” a credentialed emergency room doctor watching that same season would certainly be in the position to identify mistakes or inauthentic actions presented in the show. Mr. Amdur is in an analogous situation, as a credentialed expert in more than one classical tradition and a couple of relatively modern arts, to boot.

In the absence of verifiable documentation of the lineage of a ryu, judgments such as that offered by Mr. Amdur can be made on the basis of the observable characteristics of the art, its composition and methodology, and its underlying doctrine. There is a “feature set,” as Diane Skoss terms it, of characteristics that pertain to authentic koryu. She notes that not all koryu have all the characteristics, or even many of the same characteristics, and not all the characteristics in the feature set are necessarily readily definable, but the fact is there are attributes of authentic arts that are readily apparent to knowledgeable observers like Mr. Amdur.

Regardless of the physical efficacy of individual techniques within a particular system, Dave Lowry has made the point that fundamental dishonesty or deliberate obfuscation at the core of a system corrupts the practice in subtle but significant ways and ultimately affects and compromises the practitioners themselves by requiring energy and spirit that should be available to training be diverted to justifying the practice, to themselves or others. An internal schism is created when some seed of doubt in one’s instructor is planted, exacerbated by the fact the physical and psychic danger inherent in practice of classical (or classical-styled) martial arts in essence requires absolute trust and faith in the instructor. Eventually such disharmony can reach something of a critical mass, resulting in even as senior a practitioner as Mr. Raugas deciding honor and integrity demand a different course.

I wish Mr. Raugas the best of luck in the future -- after what he’s going through, he’ll have earned it.

Bob Wolfe

And from Mike Heiler:

(12-20-05) The first step to recovery is admission. Yes, I was a student of Kaze Arashi-ryu. I studied KAR for nine years and was awarded the rank of Mokuroku, I stopped training in KAR about seven years ago, and have since trained in other martial arts, both gendai and koryu. I have met and trained with Mr. Villaire.

I first met Mark Raugas about eleven years ago, but had little contact with him afterwards. Recently, I have taken the time to become re-aquainted with Mark, upon the recommendation of several people whose opinions I hold in high regard. One thing we all agree upon is that Mark is a person of high intelligence and excellent moral quality. Mark also exhibits exception martial skills. I am aware of Mark's sincere attempts to reconcile with Mr. Villaire what most of us on this forum see as long standing and blatant dishonesty on the part of Mr. Villaire. Mark's actions and words, both in private and public, only reenforce my high opinion of him. Those individuals who know Mark have only had good things to say about him. I ask that those individual who do not know him decease from making any further negative comments about Mark on this forum.

It is my OPINION that KAR is a modern martial art created in America, specifically New York, in recent times. My opinion is based upon information that I have received over the year regarding the techniques of KAR and other martial arts, and the (changing) history of KAR.

The techniques of KAR are formed around ten taisabaki (actually five preformed on both left and right sides). With one minor variance, the first eight match exactly eight taisabaki that I have seen performed by practitioners of Miyama-ryu. Also, the five variations of the KAR technique kote gaeshi, match exactly with the five variations that I have seen performed by practitioners of Miyama-ryu (e.g., hand position for each one, method of locking in the technique, angles on movement). It is my understanding that Mr. Villaire studied Miyama-ryu while younger and living in New York near where Miyama-ryu was first taught. I'm guessing that other techniques will be similar between the two arts.

Several techniques in KAR also bear a very striking resemblance to techniques I have performed and seem performed by groups and individuals that have studied under Yonezawa, of Daito-ryu fame, some of which claim that lineage, while other have made up their own. By striking resemblance, I mean that while most other unarmed martial arts that I have studied (e.g., various lines of aikido, gendai and koryu jujutsu) all have techniques that resemble aikido's kote gaeshi, irimi nage, kokyu nage, etc. on the face, the techniques as performed by these groups are very different from both KAR and the Yonezawa derived groups, whereas the techniques as performed by the KAR and the Yonezawa derived groups are much more similar to each other.

It is also interesting that KAR uses the same naming convention as aikido for most all of the techniques that it has in common with aikido. This is something that I have seem only in the Yonezawa derived arts, and no where else.

Lastly, for the techniques, several changes were made to the techniques during the time that I was a student, and since I have left. I find this very strange for an art that has been around for 130+ years, and one whose members holds its lineage and effectiveness up so highly. I actually have found the unarmed techniques as taught by KAR to be more effective than most, including mainline and yoshinkan aikido, and gendai and koryu jujutsu. Their effectiveness did desert me with judo players though. I've since taken up judo. The KAR jojutsu seems to me to be at least decently effective, although I've never been able to test this as I have with the unarmed art, and the KAR jojutsu arm and leg locks are very, very, very painful. Having the opportunity to study a few koryu kenjutsu, I have found the KAR kenjutsu to be very odd, and ineffective. This may be due to KAR trying to graft the kenjutsu onto the same taisabaki, with the same blocks to the same attacks, as used in the aikijujutsu.

As for the history of KAR, I found it odd that the oral history has changed so much from the time when I was a student. As a student of KAR, I was told without a doubt that Nishiyama Shiro studied aikijujutsu from Saigo Tanomo, and was a contemporary student with Saigo Shiro and Takeda Sokaku. I was also told that Nishiyama did not like Takeda, and can recall at least one specific opinion that Nishiyama was said to hold of Takeda. I was told that Saigo Shiro was sent by Saigo Tanomo and Nishiyama, who was said to be his senior, to Kano to help promote judo because of its higher goals. I was told that Kawaguchi Ekai, subject of the book "A Stranger in Tibet" by Scott Berry, was a Menkyo Kaiden holder in KAR. I was told that Nishiyama Akihiro, grandson of Shiro and inheritor of KAR, was also a student of Takeda. Everything that I was told about KAR indicated that it was a sister art to Daito-ryu, and in fact I wastold that Daito-ryu was the sister art. It is my understanding that none of this is part of the oral history anymore. I have yet to be presented with any information proving the claimed history, or the existence of anyone in the claimed lineage other than Mr. Villaire and his students.

It is curious how such debates flair up over such seemingly trivial matters as the history of some obscure martial art taught to only a few dozen people. For my part, I dislike that it seems some very sincere people are being lied to about the history of an art they practice, and may be relying on that history in making their decision to study the art. It would be nice if Mr. Villaire and others in his position would either provide the proof of their lineage and shut the rest of up, or admit to them having made up their art. I don't care either way, as long as it's the truth. Heck, I'd most likely still be studying KAR if this had happened anytime in the last six or seven years.

I don't know if we'll get the issue resolved in the present generation, but it will be interesting to see what happens to the arts in successive generations. Which brings forth the question: is KAR worth preserving and passing on, and, if so, then in what form? My opinion is yes, as a gendai jujutsu, with truthfulness about the history. My own time in KAR has since allowed me to walk into several dojo in the past seven years, and participate at a decent level of technical ability. No matter how you slice it, a lie is a lie. Would those of you that are standing up for Mr. Villaire so vehemently, stand up for your spouse if they had been blatantly lying to you about their past and the basis for your relationship with then for fifteen or twenty years, because they thought it necessary to gain your loyalty and keep it?

I'm not going to pretend to be "shocked" by all this, but at the same time, I do feel genuinely bad for all the KAR students who were suckered into the art through a fabricated history/lineage.

I also would like to publicly applaud Mark Raugus, Kevin Tsai, Mike Heiler, and others who all made the hard decision to suck it up and start all over again. That's not easy to do after so many years of time and financial investment in an art, so it says a lot for your character. Good luck to all of you.


Nathan Scott
8th July 2007, 23:56
For those with continuing interest in this subject, Mark Raugus also has an essay online where he examines the methods of KAR:


BTW, I guess it's a little late now, but I noticed the following statement a few posts up:

An individual who is not a member of KAR once told me that Akihiro Nishiyama's name shows up on a list of students of Daito-ryu. I do not know which generation, but it is something that could be easily verified by someone with access to such lists. I'm guessing the time frame would be around the 1920's, maybe a decade earlier later.

Based on the early time period, the list would almost have to be from Takeda Sokaku's eimeiroku. I have previously checked the summarized version of the published eimeiroku and did not find any name even close to Nishiyama Akihiro.