The Ryobukai UK was honoured to have Kiyoshi Yamazaki Sensei 8th Dan JKR the international chief instructor of the Japan Karate-do Ryobukai visit the three of the main UK dojo’s between 6th to the 10th November. Yamazaki Sensei provided detailed direction in Shindo Jinen Ryu for both Kyu grade and Dan grade members.
On Friday the 6th November Alicia Tollhurst Sensei hosted Yamazaki Sensei first seminar at the Brighton dojo. Yamazaki Sensei started with a special class for the junior members of the JKR-UK covering the basics of the Shindo Jinen Ryu. The second session was a Goshin (self-defence) class. The Shindo Jinen Ryu is renowned for its unique blend of original karate-jutsu, Takenouchi Ryu jujitsu, Muso Ryu Jujitsu Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu, kendo and western boxing. In the past few years Shindo Jinen Ryu has emerged as the original cross training system from Japan and a preferred effective self defence system of many.
The final session of the evening was on the kata Sōchin (Tranquil Force); originally the kata was introduced by Naha-te master Seishō Aragaki and is believed to have come from dragon style Chun fa, but today it is mainly practiced by Shuri style karate practitioners. This session was expertly conducted by the JKR-UK chief instructor Simon Oliver Sensei 6th Dan JKR. The JKR are unique in covering not just the Itosu kata group but due Konishi Sensei’s receiving instruction with Mabuni Sensei, Miyagi Sensei and Motobu Sensei the Shindo Jinen Ryu also cover kata from all of the major and some lesser known groups.
Yamazaki Sensei travelled next to the JKR-UK Hombu in Nottingham for his next seminar on Sunday 8th November. Sensei conducted two classes, a Goshin session for all grades and a BO (staff) class.
The first two kata’s of the Shindo Jinen Ryu syllabus Sunakake-No-Kon and Sushi-No-Kon Dai were reviewed as well as kumi-bo drills from both kata.
The Shindo Jinen Ryu Kobujitsu syllabus has a direct lineage to Taira Shinken (12.6.1897- 1970) born in Village of Nakazato’on Kumejima Island. Officially recorded as Maezato Shinken, he often used his mother’s maiden name ‘Taira’. After graduated from Nakazato Jinjo Elementary school he later worked at a mine in Minami Jima. During one of his shifts he was caught in a cave-in and buried alive. Although badly wounded, with broken leg he managed to dig his way to safety. When he recovered he continued to work as a miner, but later decided to leave. Because of the accident he was left with a limp which he was to carry for the rest of his life. He felt embarrassed and ashamed. That decided him to learn Bujutsu.
At 25 he left to Japan intent on studying Judo. In Tokyo he had a chance meeting with Funakoshi Gichin. Taira was so impressed what Funakoshi told to him, reconsidered his plan and stay from 1922 for the next eight years in his Dojo. He became his assistant instructor and one of his closest students. He often traveled and demonstrated Tameshi waza – breaking techniques. In 1929, with Funakoshi’s recommendation; he entered Yabiku Moden’s dojo to study Ryukyu Kobudo. During his study under Yabiku, Taira mastered the use of such weapons as the Tonfa, Bo, Nunchaku, Sai, and Eku. In 1932, he was granted by permission to open a dojo and taught Kobudo and Karate as well. In 1933 he received his formal teaching license in Ryukyu Kobudo from Yabiku Sensei.
In 1934, Taira Shinken invited Mabuni Kenwa. He accepted the invitation and taught Taira until his return to Okinawa in 1940. Taira expanded his knowledge of Kata and techniques of the Bo and Sai. Later he began to experiment with the idea of full contact weapon sparring and was trying to develop flexible and strong armor, so as not to hinder any movement, but also be able to resist the strike of a Bo. Teaching in Gunma Prefecture he visited a Buddhist temple to pray for success of his newly opened Dojo. It was there that he saw a large Manji which in Taira’s eyes resembled as a Sai kobudo weapon. Direct he got inspired as how to create a weapon from its shape. He developed the Mariji sai and created Jigan no Sai .The Kata takes advantage of many double handed thrusting techniques. Kanji of this Kata can be translated as the foundation of love / compassion’ which shows a connection with Buddhist symbol.
In 1940 he returned to Okinawa and after the death of Yabiku sensei, established the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko-Kai (Association for the promotion and preservation of Ryukyu Kobudo, in 1955). He continued to make visits to the Kansai and Kanto in Japan. In the early 1960’s he published the first book on Ryukyu Kobudo in Japanese entitled “Ryukyu Kobudo Taiken.” In 1960 he appointed his students to different positions in the Shinko Kai and established testing and licensing standards. In 1963 the Kokusai Karate-do Kobudo Renmei was formed with Higa Seiko as the chairman and Taira Shinken as the vice chairman. In 1964 he was recognized as a master teacher and awarded with Hanshi certification by the All Japan Kobudo Federation. After Taira Shinken’s death his most senior student Akamine Eisuke, took over the position as chairman of the Ryukyu Hozon Shinko Kai and opened his own Shinbu Kan dojo in 1971. This was followed by other students of Taira opening their own respective Dojo-s.
Yamazaki Sensei last UK seminar was conducted under the invitation of Wayne Stolen-Smith Sensei 4th Dan JKR and Marita Stolen-Smith Sensei 3rd Dan JKR at the Crawley K2 Dojo. Yamazaki Sensei taught two seminars on Tuesday 10th November. His first seminar was for the junior members of the JKR-UK again covering the kihon (basics) of the Shindo Jinen Ryu. Yamazaki Sensei last UK session which well attended by both JKR members as well as representatives from several other UK groups concentrated on correct application of form and the self defence principles from the Shindo Jinen Ryu.
These three seminars were an increasingly rare opportunity to train in an authentic none sport orientated original Japanese martial art. Yamazaki Sensei has been visiting the UK to promote the Shindo Jinen Ryu for over thirty-five years. We look forward to Yamazaki Sensei returning to the UK in November 2010.
Next year we will celebrate Yamazaki Sensei’s 70th Birthday with a series of special open seminars and banquet hosted by the JKR-MEXICO branch, if you would like to join us please visit the website below for details;