Kokusai Bugei Kessha Disciplines
Toyama Ryu Morinaga ha Iaido
Toyama-ryū (戸山流?) established in 1925 by Nakamura Taisaburo, is a modern sword-drawing, test-cutting system, with little battlefield application. Nakamura Taisaburo called his swordsmanship battōjutsu in order to point out the central subject of his school.
The special school for training army personnel founded in 1873, called Rikugun Toyama Gakkō or "Toyama Army Academy" in Toyama, Tokyo, Japan, led to the establishment of Toyama-ryu. Today, separate lines of Toyama-ryū are primarily located in the Kantō,Tokai and Kansai region of Japan.
After the Meiji Restoration, officers in the Japanese army were required to carry Western-style sabres. However, this caused problems during battles against rebels in Satsuma(now Kagoshima Prefecture), since soldiers equipped with single-shot rifles and sabres were frequently overwhelmed by samurai who knew Jigen-ryū (示現流）and could charge much faster than the non-Samurai soldiers could cope with.
During the Russo-Japanese war (1904-05), the Cossack cavalries frequently charged against the Japanese infantrymen and again it was extremely difficult for the Japanese to defend themselves using sabres once their enemy reached them.
The Japanese studied the First World War with great enthusiasm, hoping to learn more about fighting modern warfare. They discovered that much fighting was still occurring at close quarters in trench warfare, often with heavy swung weapons like entrenching tools. This likely prompted the Japanese to tighten up their close quarter combat training. The katana was therefore readopted as the Japanese could access domestic sword masters more easily than European ones. Jūkenjutsu (銃剣術?) was also developed at this time, being based on the use of sōjutsu (spear) techniques. This later became the rarely practiced sport of jūkendō, after the war ended.
Thus, Japanese army officers were later issued new swords shaped more like katana. However, not all officers had sufficient background in kenjutsu to deploy these weapons in combat. Consequently, in 1925, a simplified form of sword technique was devised that emphasized the most essential points of drawing and cutting. For instance, the army iai-battō kata differ from those of many koryū sword schools in that all techniques are practised from a standing position. (Koryū schools included a number of techniques executed from seiza.) Also, this modern ryū has a strong emphasis on tameshigiri, or "test-cutting.
At the end of World War II, the Toyama Military Academy became the U.S. Army's Camp Zama. Nonetheless, the military iai system was revived after 1952. By the 1970s, three separate organizations represented Toyama-ryū Iaido: in Hokkaidō, the Greater Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation (established by Yamaguchi Yuuki); in Kansai (Kyoto-Osaka area), the Toyama Ryu Iaido Association (established by Morinaga Kiyoshi); and the All Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation (established by Nakamura Taizaburo). Each of these organizations was autonomous and retained its own set of forms; the Hokkaido branch even included sword versus bayonet exercises. Today, there are also at least half a dozen active instructors of Toyama-ryū outside Japan, in California , Illinois and New York.
The adoption of the katana by the Westernised Japanese army was also part of a Nationalist trend in Japan. During the 1920s Japan went through a phase of Militant Nationalism that lasted until defeat in the Second World War. By adopting the katana, the traditional sword of the Samurai the Japanese were allying themselves with the Samurai military tradition. Adopting the Katana also served to calm discontent among the more politicized sections of the army who had been outraged at mechanization (another lesson learned from World War I) which had de-emphasized the role of infantry and cavalry.
Mugai ryu (無外流 Mugai-ryū?) is a Japanese koryū martial art school founded by Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi (辻月丹資茂?) in 23 June 1680.
The founder of Mugai ryu, Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi 辻月丹資茂 was born to Tsuji Yadayū descendant of Sasaki Takadzuna, in the second year of Keihan (in 1649, in the early Edo period), in the Miya-mura-aza village area 宮村字 of Masugi 馬杉, in the Kōka-gun district 甲賀郡 of Ōmi 近江; what is now Shiga Prefecture. When he was 13 he went to Kyoto to study Yamaguchi-ryū swordsmanship under Sensei Yamaguchi Bokushinsai, and at the age of 26 he received kaiden (full transmission) and opened a school in Koishikawa 小石川 in Edo; what is now Tokyo. In order to cultivate, train and improve his spirit, mind and body, he went to study Zen and Classical Chinese literature under Zen monk Sekitan Ryouzen 石潭良全 at Kyūkōji temple 吸江寺 in Azabu Sakurada-cho 麻布桜田町. At the age of 32 he reached enlightenment and received from his Zen teacher a formal poem taken from the Buddhist scriptures as an acknowledgment and proof of his accomplishment. Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi used the word Mugai from this poem to represent his school of swordsmanship.
It is recorded that among his pupils were Ogasawara Sado-no-kami* Nagashige, a very powerful feudal lord, Sakai Kangeyu* Tadataka, a feudal lord of a castle in Maebashi, Yama-no-uchi Toyomasa, a powerful feudal lord of the Tosa area, as well as 50 daishōmyō, high level samurai having a status slightly lower than that of a feudal lord level with stipends above 10 000 koku, 150 jikisan-no-shi, the Shōgun's direct vassals with stipends below 10 000 koku, and 932 baishin, the vassals of feudal lords. (* These names were given to these feudal lords by the emperor and are symbols of their very high status.)
Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi was unmarried and it is assumed that he had no offspring as he took the eldest son of Head priest Sawatari Bungo-no-kami 神官 猿渡豊後守, of Ōkunitama 大国魂神社 Shrine in what is now known as the Tokyo provincial government area, as his successor. Shinkan Sawatari (Bungo-no-kami)'s eldest son took the name **Tsuji Kimata Sukehide 都治記摩多資英 after Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi and thus became Nidai, Tsuji the II. Kimata opened the dojo in Kojimachi 麹町 (** Although the kanji for 都治 is different from the original 辻 the pronunciation is the same and represents a succession.)
Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi was known not just as a master of the sword, but as an enlightened philosopher and scholar, and his writings Mugai Shinden Kempō Ketsu 無外真伝剣訣 is recognized as a superb and unique book in Japan's martial arts literature for its depth, flowing style and elegant composition.
Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi died on June 23 in the 12th year of Kyō-hō 享保 (1725) at the age of 79. The tombs of Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi's successors are kept at the Buddhist priest's cemetery for Nyoraiji temple 如来寺, which is in the town of Nishiōi 西大井町 in the Shinagawa 品川区 area.
The school retains both iaijutsu and kenjutsu in its curriculum, and has a strong connection with Zen due to Gettan's belief that the "sword and Zen are the way of the same Truth". The name "Mugai" comes from the following poem:
Ippou jitsu mugaiKenkon toku itteiSuimo hou nomitsuDouchaku soku kousei
"There is nothing other than the One True WayHeaven and Earth profit from this single VirtueThe fluttering feather knows this secretTo be settled during confusion is to be enlightened and pure"
Today Mugai-ryu has splintered into several lines and there is no one sōke. Nakagawa Shiryo Shinichi is generally considered the last soke. He did not appoint a successor, but awarded several menkyo kaiden, and his students continue to teach the school and several new lines have been established, each with their own soke.
Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu
To understand the Dentokan style of Ju-Jutsu one must first travel back to ancient Japan. It was in that bygone era that one of the most famous schools of Ju-Jutsu had its beginning. The style was called Daito-Ryu. In The Hidden Roots of Aikido: Aiki Jujutsu Daitoryu (pages 13 and 14), Shiro Omiya describes the history of Daito-Ryu as follows: "The DAITORYU is believed to have originated within the family of Emperor Seiwa (reigned A.D. 858-876) and to have been greatly developed by one of the emperor’s descendants, Shinra Saburo Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, in the eleventh century. Yoshikiyo, his eldest son, settled in the village of Takeda in Koma (in present-day Yamanashi Prefecture) and founded the Takeda branch of the Minamoto clan. The Daitoryu tradition of Yoshimitsu was thereafter handed down in complete secrecy to successive generations of the Takeda family.
It was not until the nineteenth century - when martial art genius Sokaku Takeda began to teach the Daitoryu to the public - that the art became widely known." Sokaku Takeda had many students. Among these was Toshimi (Hosaku) Matsuda. It was Matsuda who was Yoshiji Okuyama’s (1901-1987) first and primary Daito-Ryu teacher. Okuyama later became a direct student of Sokaku Takeda for a short time. This is important because Okuyama would go on to form his own ryu/ha (style/method) of Ju-Jutsu called Hakko-Ryu as a derivative of Daito-Ryu. In addition to Daito-Ryu Ju-Jutsu, Okuyama also studied Iai-Jutsu (quick draw sword), Ken-Jutsu (fencing), Jo-Jutsu (short staff), Kusarigama-Jutsu (sickle and chain), So-Jutsu (spear), and Kyu-Jutsu (archery). Equally as significant, he made a study of oriental medicine. The study of which would greatly influence the development of his particular style of Ju-Jutsu. Yoshiji Okuyama received his Daito-Ryu teacher’s license in 1936 and opened his first Daito-Ryu school in 1938.
Succumbing to the nationalistic fervor of the time he actively supported the ideals of Imperial Japan. It was in 1941, the same year as the attack on Pearl Harbor, that he founded his Hakko-Ryu Ju-Jutsu. It was a style that combined the physical techniques of Daito-Ryu with elements of oriental medicine. But, it was also firmly grounded in the state religion of the day. Upon the founding Hakko-Ryu, in a Shinto ceremony, Okuyama took on the name of "Ryuho" which literally means "Spine of the Dragon". Hakko-Ryu translates to "Eighth Light Style". This name was based upon the belief that there is an eighth band of light in the spectrum. This band of light is much weaker than the others, almost invisible, but actually very strong, like x-rays. As an analogy, Hakko-Ryu’s techniques may appear weak, but are actually strong. It is quite common to confuse a lack of big sweeping motions with a lack of power. Nothing could be further from the truth. Small, direct, well-executed techniques are normally far more effective than those consisting of a great deal of wasted motion. This is true in virtually all martial arts. Okuyama’s nationalistic views changed as a result of the war. He became more peace loving as a result of the pain the Japanese people had to endure. This new philosophical outlook was reflected in a change in his approach to Ju-Jutsu. Thus Hakko-Ryu took on the characteristics of "No Challenge, No Resistance, and No Injury". It was a move away from the brutal combative approach normally associated with Daito-Ryu and its various offshoots. This approach was reflected in the Ju-Jutsu taught at the new Hakko-Ryu Hombu Dojo established in Omiya, Saitama Prefecture, in 1947. legalistic society.
Hobbs sensei began his study of Hakko-Ryu in the United States in 1965. His teachers included Carl Miller, Dr. Roy L. Creasy, Jr., and the Reverend Clement Reidner. He also attended seminars conducted by James Benko. In 1968 Hobbs Shihan received his Shodan (Black Belt) in Hakko-Ryu Ju-Jutsu and continued the study of Hakko-Ryu, other forms of Ju-Jutsu, and Judo. Hobbs sensei lived in Japan from 1980-83, where he studied at the Hakko-Ryu Hombu Dojo. His principal teacher was Yasuhiro Irie, a direct student of Ryuho Okuyama since childhood. Other significant influences upon him were Shuzan Segawa and Toshio Okuyama. Following three years of study at the Hombu, he received his Shihan Menkyo (Master’s Certificate). The certificate was actually presented by Ryuho Okuyama. It was also during this period (1980-83) that Hobbs sensei also studied Aikido at an Aikikai affiliated dojo in the Tokyo area. Aikido interested him because of its unique footwork. Although both Aikido and Hakko-Ryu trace their origins to Daito-Ryu, Hakko-Ryu tends to be much more direct. "It was my good fortune to also earn my Shodan is Aikido prior to departing for my next assignment in England. While living in England for three years I taught Hakko-Ryu and found my knowledge of Aikido to be very useful. The reason being that a number of Aikidoka came to study Hakko-Ryu, resulting in the rapid spread of the style throughout much of the country."
Ryuho Okuyama passed away in 1987. Not long after Okuyama’s death, like a number of the seniors, Irie founded his own ryu/ha. He named his style of Ju-Jutsu "KoKoDo", which translates to "Imperial Light Way". This came as little surprise to most since he had been the chief instructor at the Hakko-Ryu Hombu Dojo for over twenty-five years and had developed his own unique approach to Hakko-Ryu. From 1997 to 1999 Sensei once again found himself living in Japan. Again, he studied with Yasuhiro Irie, becoming a part of his KoKoDo Ju-Jutsu. Before leaving Japan he received Menkyo Kaiden (Certificate of Total Transmission). Kaiden can also be literally translated to "All Passed". It designates that one has learned the complete syllabus of a particular ryu/ha. With Irie’s blessing Hobbs sensei formed Dentokan Aiki Ju-Jutsu just before leaving Japan. It traces its origin in a continuous stream from Daito-Ryu, through Hakko-Ryu and KoKoDo into its present form.
The Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu System
Dentokan Aikijujutsu utilizes the Hakko-Ryu/KoKoDo waza (techniques) lists of Shodan Gi, Nidan Gi, Sandan Gi, Yondan Gi, Shihan Gi, Kaiden Gi, and Sandaikichu Gi to establish a firm base for further understanding and development. Knowledge and proficiency is increased by fully understanding the Henka (variations) possible within the standard waza. Still further expertise is gained by fully understanding the underlying Gensoku (principles). Through the understanding of Gensoku, one is able to develop practical Goshin (self-defense) Oyo (applications). Dentokan Ju-Jutsu provides one with a full spectrum of techniques. These include Kansetsu Waza (joint locking techniques), Nage Waza (throwing techniques), Shime Waza (strangulation techniques), and Atemi Waza (striking techniques). These techniques coupled with an understanding of Henka, Gensoku, and Oyo make possible a graduated response to any attack. One’s response can be one of simply pinning or restraining an opponent to an all out counter attack. It is a self-protection art developed for the battlefields of old Japan, yet still applicable to today’s Society.