Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Images of John Evans Sensei

These are some photos of John Evans Sensei, SMAA Senior Advisor, and his students in London. Evans Sensei is a seventh dan in Nakamura Ryu swordsmanship as well as an accomplished teacher of yoga. He lived for many years in Japan, where he studied directly under the founder of Nakamura Ryu.

Interested in iaido? The SMAA has a well-established iaido division lead by Nicklaus Suino Sensei and Guy Power Sensei, both seventh dan. Membership is open to legitimate practitioners of authentic systems of Japanese iaido. Within our iaido section are accomplished students of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Toyama Ryu, Nakamura Ryu, Muso Shinden Ryu, Hontai Yoshin Ryu, Takeuchi Ryu, and other iaido systems (or ryu that include iaido in their curriculum). To learn more about the SMAA Iaido Division, visit www.smaa-hq.com.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Member Profile: John Evans Sensei

John Evans Sensei is our first SMAA Senior Advisor in Europe. Mr. Evans’ training in martial arts began in his teens when he visited the Anchorhold, an Anglican monastery in the UK, where tai chi chuan and yoga were taught as ways to facilitate contemplative prayer. At Oxford University, he trained in Shotokan karate-do. After graduation, he lived at the Anchorhold for five years, continuing his study of tai chi chuan and yoga.

In 1981, John Evans Sensei travelled to Japan, where he was introduced to Mikkyo (esoteric Buddhism). He studied Mikkyo with yamabushi near Mount Takao. Yamabushi ("one who lies in the mountains") are Japanese mountain ascetics, or hermits, with a long tradition as warriors said to be endowed with supernatural powers. They follow an integration of esoteric Buddhism and Shinto elements (Mikkyo). Largely solitary, in old Japan they sometimes formed loose associations with certain temples, and they also participated in battles alongside samurai and warrior monks. Yamabushi emphasize asceticism and feats of endurance for spiritual training. White & saffron-robed yamabushi carrying conch-shell trumpets are a common sight in the sacred mountains of Kumano and Omine.

Mikkyo (literally "secret teachings") refers to the esoteric practices of Shingon Buddhism and related methods which make up part of Tendai Buddhism. Mikkyo is a little-understood, and sometimes sensationalized, synergy of esoteric Japanese religions, and it lies at the core of Japanese mysticism.

Teachings and practices that came to be called Mikkyo began in Indian and Chinese esoteric traditions. In the early ninth century, the concepts which became the core of Mikkyo—Shingon and Tendai Buddhism—were brought to Japan by monks who traveled to China to study. To these beliefs were added magic and healing methods that gradually reached Japan through itinerant shamans, who left China after the fall of the Tang Dynasty. Blending with Shinto practices and pre-Buddhist folk traditions connected with sacred mountains, these new teachings, combining Chinese Tantric Buddhism, magic, Taoism, and eventually Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, became Mikkyo.

Evans Sensei’s training also included a mixture of Shugendo and kenjutsu (traditional swordsmanship). Shugendo is an ancient Japanese religion in which enlightenment is obtained by studying of the relationship between human beings and nature. Shugendo, "the path of training and testing," centers on an ascetic, mountain-dwelling lifestyle and incorporates teachings from ancient Shinto, Buddhism, and other Asian philosophies (including folk animism). The goal of Shugendo is the development of spiritual experience and power. En-no-Gyoja first organized Shugendo as a doctrine.

After three years of intensive practice of Mikkyo, Shugendo, and kenjutsu, Evans Sensei was introduced by the yamabushi to two of the most senior teachers of swordsmanship in Japan, Nakamura Taisaburo Sensei, founder of Nakamura Ryu battodo, and Danzaki Tomoaki Sensei, head of the Kenshukan Dojo of Muso Shinden Ryu. At the Kenshukan, Evans Sensei studied Muso Shinden Ryu iaido and Shindo Muso Ryu jodo (“the way of the four-foot staff”). One year later, he also began weekly trips to Kashima in Ibaragi prefecture, where he trained at the Kashima Shinto Ryu school of classical swordsmanship under Yoshikawa Koichiro Sensei. In 1987, his training regime of swordsmanship and Shugendo was profiled in a 30 minute NTV program in Japan entitled Igirisujin no Musha Shugyo (“An Englishman’s Warrior Discipline”).

Following his return to England in 1993, he decided to concentrate on Nakamura Ryu battodo and founded the Fudokan dojo in London. Incorporating the training methods from Shugendo and Shadow yoga, he developed a system of tanren (“spiritual forging”) and misogi (“purification”) to cultivate the internal energy required to perform the kata of Nakamura Ryu. Fudokan students also use wooden sword drills and kendo armor to enhance the paired kata of Nakamura Ryu. Since Nakamura Sensei’s death in 2003, Mr. Evans has continued his Nakamura Ryu training in Japan with Suzuki Kunio Sensei, eighth dan, and Sato Shimeo Sensei, ninth dan. Evans Sensei received seventh dan in Nakamura Ryu in 2008.

In addition to his high rank in Nakamura Ryu, Evans Sensei has obtained rank in the following traditional Japanese sword and weapon arts: Muso Shinden Ryu iaido (third dan), Kashima Shinto Ryu kenjutsu (shomon certificate), Shindo Muso ryu jodo (second dan), and Kurikara ryu kenjutsu (third dan).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Joining the SMAA

The SMAA has attracted a number of prominent members. These distinguished martial artists include Dave Lowry, a well-known martial arts writer; Hunter Armstrong, director of the International Hoplology Society (founded by the late Donn Draeger); and Wayne Muromoto, editor of Furyu--The Budo Journal of Classical Martial Arts and Culture.

Prospective members: print the Application for New Members
Current members: print the
Application for Current Members
Membership Levels
There are two levels of membership in the SMAA:

Associate Membership: allows you to be affiliated with the SMAA and receive an Associate Member certificate, our quarterly newsletter, and discounts at SMAA events. Associate members are not eligible to apply for rank or teaching titles. The annual membership fee at this level is $20.00 (US).

Full Membership: allows you to be affiliated with the SMAA and receive our quarterly newsletter and discounts at SMAA events. In addition, full members may apply for rank and teaching titles. The annual membership fee at this level is $25.00 (US).

How to Obtain an Application Form
You may request an application form using one of the following methods:

via the Web: print out the
online application form with your web browser

via e-mail: send a message to shudokan@smaa-hq.com

via mail: send a letter to the SMAA HQ at the following address:

PO Box 6022
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-6022

The SMAA Welcomes John Evans Sensei to its Board of Advisors

The SMAA has a new Senior Advisor in England. His name is John Evans Sensei, and he is the chief instructor of the Battodo Fudokan Dojo in London. He lived in Japan from 1981-1992, where he studied Toyama Ryu and Nakamura Ryu battodo (forms of swordsmanship) under the late Nakamura Taisaburo Sensei, tenth dan. Evans Sensei has received Kyoshi and seventh dan from the International Battodo Federation, an association founded by Nakamura Sensei, creator of Nakamura Ryu. Evans Sensei also has dan grades (or an equivalent classical rank) in Muso Shinden Ryu iaido, Kashima Shinto Ryu kenjutsu, Kurikara Ryu kenjutsu, and Shindo Muso Ryu jodo.

The SMAA is happy to welcome Mr. Evans to our Board of Advisors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SMAA Online Store

The Shudokan Martial Arts Association (SMAA, Shudokan Budo-Kai) was founded in January 1994 by a group of martial artists who were concerned with promoting and safeguarding Nihon budo and bujutsu--the traditional martial arts and ways of Japan. The SMAA is a small, fraternal organization with a decidedly noncommercial outlook on budo and bujutsu. It includes separate divisions for karate-do, aikido, judo, traditional jujutsu, iaido, and goshin-jutsu (modern self-defense systems stemming from budo or bujutsu). Both associate membership (without rank) and regular membership (with rank) are available to individuals sincerely interested in researching and training in the classical martial systems of Japan.

The SMAA has developed an online shop in order to provide unique SMAA logo products for its members. All of the income from the SMAA online store goes to support our nonprofit organization and to further the preservation of traditional budo around the world. To get your own official SMAA hats, shirts, stickers, calendars, and other logo items, just drop by http://www.cafepress.com/shudokan/.

An Upcoming Change for the "SMAA Journal"

In 2009, we’re planning on moving the SMAA Journal in an all electronic direction. In short, we’re hoping to gradually eliminate the print version of this publication. Unless you do not have e-mail access, at some point in 2009 you’ll no longer receive a print version of our association’s official periodical. There are several simple and compelling reasons for this change:

The majority of the people in the USA now have Internet access, and we think the situation is the same for most of our members, including those living outside the US. The quality of computer monitors and printers has dramatically improved over the years. The full-color images you see in the electronic version of the SMAA Journal are vastly clearer than the black and white, photocopied edition. What’s more, if you print our electronic journal with your home printer, it looks better than the print version of this small magazine. (And the cost of publishing the SMAA Journal in color would be huge.)

In the past, a major contributing factor in the size and amount of content found in our publication has been printing and mailing costs. We simply have not had the budget to offer a bigger journal, and the printing/mailing costs for our quarterly represent a large percentage of the expenses we incur annually. By shifting to an exclusively electronic format, we’ll be able to gradually offer you a bigger and more interesting publication. We’ll get it to you faster as well.

The money and time saved by significantly reducing the number of printed copies of the SMAA Journal can be used in other more productive ways to benefit our membership and our association. Presently, a large number of members have opted for the “e-mail only” version of our journal, so this change will not impact many of you.

This new direction will take place progressively, and if you don’t have an e-mail account, we encourage you to get a free Yahoo account or something similar. If you do not own a computer, we’ll have an option, which will allow you to contact the SMAA and request a print version of this publication. More information will follow in the coming months.

Member Profile: Herbert Wong

Herbert Z. Wong Sensei's first exposure to the martial arts occurred in the Chinese schools he attended as a young boy in San Francisco's Chinatown. Martial arts were taught as part of the cultural arts curriculum and on an ad hoc basis at Chinese community centers. In 1959, Wong Sensei began his formal martial arts training in karate-do with Walter E. Todd Sensei at the International Judo, Karate and Aikido School. He was one of the first group of students at the school to earn a black belt in karate, which he received in 1961. He continued to train diligently and was awarded his second dan in 1963.

The United States Army drafted Wong Sensei in 1963 and sent him to Okinawa. During that time, he began training with Grandmaster Shimabukuro Eizo in Shobayashi Shorin Ryu karate-do. Throughout the time he was in Okinawa, Wong Sensei managed to train almost every single day. Because of this dedication and his previous experience, Wong Sensei earned his black belt in Shorin Ryu near the end of 1964. He was awarded his second dan in August of 1965, which was shortly before he finished his military service and returned to the United States.

After returning from Okinawa, Wong Sensei resumed his undergraduate studies at San Francisco State University and continued to practice Shorin Ryu. In 1965, he started the Asian Martial Arts School in San Francisco with Andrew Chan Sensei. He also began training in Sil-Lum Hung Gar (Tiger-Crane) kung fu under Master Y.C. Wong in San Francisco that same year. Wong Sensei was one of Master Wong's first three students in the United States. Wong Sensei continued to train with Master Wong and teach at the Asian Martial Arts School until he left the San Francisco Bay area to pursue his graduate studies.

In September of 1970, Wong Sensei started in the doctoral program at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While simultaneously pursuing his doctorate degrees in clinical and organizational psychology, he was also teaching classes in Okinawan karate-do and Chinese kung fu. In the beginning, Wong Sensei accepted only four students, including Karl W. Scott Sensei and Gary Hu Sensei.

After almost four years, Wong Sensei tested his assistant instructors and promoted them to black belt. Shortly after these promotions, he strongly suggested that one of them, with the help of the others, should open a full-time martial arts school. In 1974, Hu Sensei and Scott Sensei opened a school in Ann Arbor. This school has continued to exist since that time and is now known as the Asian Martial Arts Studio. Scott Sensei has been the Director of Training at the school since 1979 and he continues to carry on Wong Sensei's karate legacy in Ann Arbor. In 1974, Wong Sensei was also made the head of Shorin Ryu for the Midwestern and Southern Divisions of the United States by Grandmaster Shimabukuro.

After receiving his doctorate degrees, Wong Sensei returned to the San Francisco Bay area in 1975 to run a psychiatric clinic and psychology training center. A few years later he started doing consulting work in addition to running the clinic. He now has his own consulting firm that specializes in management consulting and organizational development.

Over the years, Wong Sensei and Andrew Chan Sensei also ran a number of martial arts schools together. Wong Sensei also made regular trips to Ann Arbor to teach seminars, classes, and private lessons at the Asian Martial Arts Studio. In addition, he continued to travel to Okinawa to train with Grandmaster Shimabukuro. He received a number of promotions over the years and was awarded his eighth dan in 2005. He was also awarded the title of Shihan ("Full Professor" or "Teaching Model") by Grandmaster Shimabukuro.

Member Profile: Nyle Monday

Nyle Monday Sensei began his martial arts training in 1965 when he took up the practice of Kodokan judo at a Buddhist church in Bakersfield, California. In the ensuing years he branched out into Japanese Goju Ryu, Shotokan, and Shotokai systems of karate-do. While he enjoyed these activities, he was looking for something more, and in 1972 he came into contact with the late Donn F. Draeger Sensei, who introduced him to the world of classical martial arts (koryu bujutsu). Draeger Sensei was the widely acclaimed author of several pioneering books on traditional budo and ancient bujutsu. He lived for years in Japan, gaining high ranks and admission into several koryu on a level that was unprecedented at the time. His vast historical and technical accomplishments in this field are still largely unrivaled.

At the end of his service in the U.S. Army, Monday Sensei studied iaido in Japan before relocating to Hawaii to work with Draeger Sensei. There he was a founding staff member of the International Hoplogical Research Center and participated in Draeger Sensei's study of Hawaiian martial culture, which resulted in a several thousand-page manuscript now in the archives of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii. During his time in Hawaii, he extensively studied iaido under Draeger Sensei and Shindo Muso Ryu jodo under Draeger Sensei, Quintin Chambers Sensei, and Kobayashi Ichiro Sensei.

Returning to California in 1982, he took up the study of kendo under Chiba Harutane Sensei of the Hokushin Chiba Dojo of the Central California Kendo Federation, and eventually he became the co-founder of the Bakersfield Kendo Dojo. At present, he continues his budo training in Toyama Ryu iaido, Tendo Ryu naginata, and various other arts.

Monday Sensei holds a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii, a Masters Degree in History (Asian), and an additional Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Currently he serves as an Instruction & Reference Librarian at San Jose State, where he is the liaison person for the History Department. He is an avid researcher and a prolific writer on a wide variety of subjects ranging from deep sea diving to the martial arts.

Member Profile: Tom Kosslow

Tom Kosslow began his practice of Wado Ryu karate in 1968 at the age of 18, while attending college in Nashville, Tennessee. His first sensei was the late Cecil Patterson Sensei, President and Founder of the U.S. Eastern Wado Ryu Karate-Do Federation. Kosslow Sensei trained in Nashville until he was drafted during the Vietnam War in 1970. He spent the next four years as a member of the U.S. Air Force. He continued his training during his military years and upon his Honorable Discharge he relocated to Lakeland, Florida, where he trained under the direction of Charles Parrish. Parrish Sensei promoted Kosslow Sensei to shodan (1st degree black belt) in 1975.

In 1976, Kosslow Sensei moved to Atlanta so that he might attend graduate school at the University of Georgia. Between 1978 and 1983 Kosslow Sensei earned a Masters Degree, Specialist Degree, and Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration. He worked for the Fulton County Board of Education in Atlanta, first as an Elementary School Teacher (9 years) and then as an Elementary School Principal (17 years). In July of 2000, Dr. Kosslow retired from that school system.

In 1969 and again in 1975, Kosslow Sensei was fortunate enough to have been able to receive instruction from the late Otsuka Hironori Sensei, the founder of Wado Ryu karate-do. In 1985, he traveled to Japan for the 50th Wado Ryu World Championships as a member of the U.S. Eastern Team. In the early 1980's, Kosslow Sensei began training under the supervision of Suzuki Tatsuo Sensei, the most senior of all Wado Ryu instructors. When Suzuki Sensei created the Wado International Karate-Do Federation, Kosslow Sensei formally joined that organization in 1989. Suzuki Sensei has been his instructor since that time. Kosslow Sensei returned to Japan again in 1995 as a member of the WIKF Team to compete in an International Friendship Tournament. In 2003, he once again visited Japan to train and tour as a member of a WIKF world group.

In 2005, at the Wado World Cup in Plano, Texas, Suzuki Sensei promoted Kosslow Sensei to the rank of 7th degree black belt. This promotion made him the highest ranked WIKF teacher in the United States.

Dr. Kosslow served as the Chairman of the WIKF USA Board of Directors until December of 2006. He is currently the Secretary and a member of the Technical Committee of that organization. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Karate League since its inception in 1996. Dr. Kosslow has owned and operated the Newnan Karate Center in Newnan, Georgia since 1977.

Member Profile: Ann Kameoka

Ann Kameoka Sensei is a member of the SMAA Board of Advisors. She is also the co-author of The Japanese Way of the Flower: Ikebana as Moving Meditation (Stone Bridge Press).

Kameoka Sensei has studied Ikenobo kado, the oldest form of lower arrangement, for many years under top Japanese experts. She lives in California and holds a teaching certificate from the Ikenobo headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. Ikenobo is the original form of flower arrangement from which all newer systems have originated. She also has teaching certification in the Shin-shin-toitsu-do system of Japanese yoga and its related healing arts. Kameoka Sensei presented a very well received flower arrangement lecture/demonstration at the first SMAA Seminar and Conference in July of 2005.

Her appointment as an SMAA Senior Advisor is an indicator of our association's ongoing effort to offer SMAA members information about other time-honored Japanese art forms, which have parallel principles to budo, principles that can further one's understanding of certain aspects of the Japanese martial arts. Likewise, bringing Kameoka Sensei onto our Board of Advisors is part of the SMAA's continuing endeavor to further our ties with the Japanese and Japanese-American communities.

Member Profile: Kevin Heard

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Kevin Heard Sensei has been studying Japanese cultural arts for over twenty years. He holds teaching licenses in Shin-shin-toitsu-do, a form of Japanese yoga and meditation, as well as related healing arts. He also holds the rank of menkyo chudan (a traditional teaching license roughly equivalent to fourth through sixth dan in modern ranking systems) in Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu. He also posed for illustrations in the books Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation and Unlocking the Secrets of Aiki-jujutsu.

Heard Sensei serves on the SMAA Board of Advisors. He is also the assistant editor for the SMAA Journal and webmaster for the SMAA website. He currently holds the title/rank of Fuku Shihan/5th dan in the SMAA's Traditional Jujutsu Division. He has received rank and teaching licenses from the Nihon Jujutsu and Kobudo divisions of the Kokusai Budoin, an elite international martial arts federation headquartered in Tokyo. He has also demonstrated aiki-jujutsu several times at the Kokusai Budoin Sogo Budo Taikai, held annually in Tokyo. Heard Sensei taught Saigo Ryu at the 2005 SMAA Seminar & Congress in Utah and at the 2006 event in Michigan.

Mr. Heard earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. After working in the software development industry, he returned to the University to become Director of Computing and Information Services for UCB's
School of Information. His professional interests include UNIX/Linux system administration, building information systems based on open standards, open source software, and the effects of electronic media on personal freedom and privacy. He is co-author of Mastering Netscape SuiteSpot 3 Servers (Sybex).

Mr. Heard currently lives in Richmond, California with his wife, Patricia.

Member Profile: Michael Donnelly

Michael Donnelly Sensei's interest in Japanese culture began with his exposure to the Japanese art of aikido at the New Jersey School of Aikido in 1976, while in the U.S. Navy. He is now a third-degree black belt in aikido, affiliated with the Shudokan Martial Arts Association. In addition, Mr. Donnelly is a Senior Advisor with the Shudokan Martial Arts Association, and he has served as its General Manager in the past.

Donnelly Sensei, while primarily interested in budo (martial ways) in Japanese culture, is also interested in the history of medical ethics in China and Japan and their legal and philosophical interactions with Western medical ethical models and practice. He has expanded his martial arts background to include dabbling in Tai Chi Chuan and Arnis.

Mr. Donnelly lives in New Hampshire with his wife, Jayne. He has worked as a New Hampshire attorney and, in many hospitals in multiple states, as an ASCP certified pathologists' assistant. While not the legal counsel for the SMAA, he often serves as an unofficial legal advisor.

Member Profile: Richard Burkland

Richard Burklund Sensei brings many years of budo experience to our group, and we're fortunate to have him as a Senior Advisor. Burklund Sensei is one of the original members of the SMAA. He is active in both the SMAA Judo Division and the SMAA Jujutsu Division. Burklund Sensei retired from the Army in 2004 and has continued to serve as a high-ranking Department of Defense civilian.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Burklund was commissioned as an Infantry Officer upon graduation from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1983. During his over 20 years of service, LTC Burklund held a variety of command and staff positions in light infantry, military intelligence and special operations forces. He has led or commanded units and sections ranging in size from 40 soldiers to 500 soldiers.

In addition to troop leading and staff assignments, to include combat operations in Panama during Operation Just Cause, he has served at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he managed a $30 million dollar annual budget and interacted with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of Congress. LTC Burklund's final assignment was with Special Operations Command. While there, he served with Task Force Dagger, the Joint Special Operations Task Force in combat in Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom and at the Combined Forces Special Operations Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

LTC Burklund's military education includes the Command and General Staff College and the Joint Forces Staff College. LTC Burklund also holds a doctorate in History from Columbia State University.

Burklund Sensei has studied the martial arts and Ways of Japan for over 30 years. He is a member of both the Kokusai Budoin of Japan and the SMAA. He holds dan grades in judo and Nihon jujutsu. Burklund Sensei has been granted a Fuku-shidoin certificate by the SMAA. His first judo teacher was Otaka Shuichi Sensei, godan, of Nihon University. Sato Shizuya Sensei, judo ninth dan and Chief Director of the Kokusai Budoin, and Walter Todd Sensei, judo eighth dan and one of the founding members of the SMAA, have also instructed him. Burklund Sensei is additionally a past contributor to the SMAA Journal and the SMAA web site.

Member Profile: Dave Lowry

Dave Lowry literally grew up in the Japanese cultural arts. As a boy, he commenced a lifelong study of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu swordsmanship under a Japanese teacher who was living in Missouri. In 1985, Mr. Lowry's experiences growing up as a Westerner, who was deeply immersed in Japanese cultural and martial arts, formed the basis for Autumn Lightning (Shambhala), which was widely acclaimed.

In addition to Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Mr. Lowry has trained in karate-do and a variety of modern martial ways. His current and primary martial arts activities are focused on Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Shindo Muso Ryu (an old combative art utilizing a four-foot staff), and aikido.
He is heavily involved with the Japanese community in the St. Louis area, and he has practiced a wide variety of Japanese arts including go (an ancient Japanese game), shodo (calligraphy), kado (flower arrangement), and chado (tea ceremony). Mr. Lowry is also active in the organization and running of the St. Louis Japanese Festival, the largest such festival in North America. He is on the Executive Board of the St. Louis Japanese Festival as well, and he is the President of the St. Louis-Suwa Sister City Committee.

Dave Lowry has a degree in English and works as a professional writer. He has authored numerous books, including Sword and Brush (Shambhala); his monthly columns appear in several martial arts magazines, and he is the restaurant critic for St. Louis Magazine. In 2007, Mr. Lowry presented well-received classes in Japanese swordsmanship at the SMAA Seminar & Conference in Nebraska. See
Dave Lowry's Web Page on Furyu Online for more information about the works of Dave Lowry.

Member Profile: Karl Scott

Mr. Scott has studied the martial arts since 1965, and has trained extensively both in the United States and in Asia with top exponents of many different Asian martial arts and ways. He has been with the Asian Martial Arts Studio in Ann Arbor since its beginning at the University of Michigan in 1970.

Mr. Scott began to study Toyama-style karate-do with Walter E. Todd Sensei over twenty years ago. Mr. Scott has also trained under Ichikawa Isao Sensei, and Shimabukuro Eizo Sensei. He trained with Shimabukuro Sensei in Okinawa as an uchi-deshi, or "personal live-in disciple," and received a Shihan (professor) certificate, directly from Mr. Shimabukuro, in Shorin Ryu karate-do and Okinawan weaponry.

Scott Sensei is also a high-ranking black belt in aikido. His aikido training started in 1973, and he founded the Asian Martial Arts Studio aikido program in 1976. Scott Sensei has trained in aikido under the following teachers:

Tohei Koichi Sensei (founder of Ki no Kenkyukai and judan)
Kai Kuniyuki Sensei (Yoshinkan hachidan)
Walter Todd Sensei (rokudan)
Toyoda Fumio Sensei (founder of the Aikido Association of America and rokudan)
Shiohira Hideki Sensei (founder of the Pacific Aikido Association and rokudan)
Scott Sensei is a Division Director in both the Karate-do Division and Aikido Division within the SMAA. He currently holds the title/rank of karate-do So-shihan/7th dan and aikido Shihan/6th dan. He is also a high-ranking member of the Kokusai Budoin Aikido and Karate-do Divisions.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

2008 SMAA Seminar (11)

The last class of the seminar was taught again by Suino Sensei, SMAA Judo Division sixth dan. He continued to explore seoi nage. Fabian Sensei had previously shown the older Hontai Yoshin Ryu version of this throw, thus illustrating the connection between the modern martial art of judo and elder Nihon jujutsu methods.

But on Sunday, Suino Sensei had students use seoi nage in response to a punch or collar grab, stressing that judo remains a martial art and not merely a sport. He then transitioned into using the same entry and tai sabaki for harai goshi, a “sweeping hip throw,” one of his specialties. His judo classes are always fun and fast paced, with Suino Sensei’s outgoing personality and ever-present bubbling enthusiasm permeating the mat area.

Want to attend the next SMAA Seminar & Conference? You can find out how to join the SMAA by visiting www.smaa-hq.com.

2008 SMAA Seminar (10)

Following lunch, Fabian Sensei, SMAA sixth dan, continued illustrating ancient jujutsu joint locking techniques. Several of these methods can be seen in modern jujutsu offshoots like judo. (One example is judo’s waki gatame elbow lock, and Fabian Sensei taught the Hontai Yoshin Ryu version of this grappling technique.) On Sunday, he focused on applying joint locking skills to punching attacks. He concluded with a remarkable demonstration of Hontai Yoshin Ryu, aided by his students Brian Barnes Sensei and Mathew Hawthorne Sensei, both SMAA members from Kentucky.

2008 SMAA Seminar (9)

H. E. Davey's subsequent class in Saigo Ryu jujutsu also accented the importance of moving from the lower abdomen for coordinated power. With Fabian Sensei as his uke, the “receiver” of his techniques, Mr. Davey taught how to escape from attacks from the rear.

2008 SMAA Seminar (8)

Sunday--July 27, 2008
H. E. Davey started training on Sunday morning with another Japanese yoga class, continuing his explanation of mind and body unification principles and exercises. He taught the following points at the 2008 SMAA Seminar:

Four Basic Principles to Unify Mind and Body
1. Maintain a positive mind.
2. Train the mind to arrive at full concentration.
3. Use the body obeying the laws of nature.
4. Train the body progressively, systematically, and regularly.

He also followed up on Rippy Sensei’s emphasis on the tanden, explaining that this natural center in the lower abdomen can serve as a point of mental focus for calming the mind, while coordinating the mind and body.

Friday, August 1, 2008

2008 SMAA Seminar (7)

Nicklaus Suino Sensei taught the last class on Saturday. Following his typical high energy warm-up exercises, Suino Sensei explained that he would show how Kodokan judo had evolved new entries for various throws due to the influence of competition. He began with the classical tai sabaki, “body movements,” for setting up seoi nage. Then, he taught a new approach, that’s popular in sport judo, to this common shoulder throw. This innovative entry was nonetheless based on skill more than muscle. It still retained classical judo’s accent on maximum efficiency with minimum effort.

Saturday concluded with a great party and BBQ. Don Prior Sensei and his wife Amy were wonderful hosts, just as they were at the 2006 SMAA Seminar & Conference.

2008 SMAA Seminar (6)

Joe Rippy Sensei, Wado Ryu sixth dan and the seminar’s special guest instructor, was next. He affirmed the importance of the mind-body unification principles and exercises H. E. Davey covered in his Japanese yoga training, emphasizing that anyone, in any martial art, could benefit from these concepts.

Rippy Sensei’s instruction started by highlighting the tanden, a point in the lower abdomen, and he explained that movement must originate from this point. However, most of his class was on tai sabaki, “body movements,” for evading an attack. He stressed that these skills originated from the influence of jujutsu on Wado Ryu karate-do.

2008 SMAA Seminar (5)

Following lunch on Saturday, Steve Fabian Sensei began teaching Hontai Yoshin Ryu jujutsu. This dynamic martial art also includes training with the six-foot staff, three-foot stick, and sword. It dates back 19 generations, in an unbroken lineage. Fabian Sensei is part of this line, having studied in Japan with the 18th and 19th generation leaders of Hontai Yoshin Ryu.

He began with warm-up exercises, and then progressed to ukemi falling drills. Next up were Hontai Yoshin Ryu wrist grab releases, building on what H. E. Davey taught earlier that day. From these releases, Fabian Sensei transitioned into various joint locks in response to a wrist grab. He emphasized that a successful technique in Hontai Yoshin Ryu requires ki (“life energy”), chikara (“strength”), and waza (“technique”).