The SMAA Goshin-jutsu Division is focused on modern forms of self defense training (goshin-jutsu), which evolved from traditional Japanese martial arts like judo, jujutsu, karate-do, and aikido. Many martial systems today, which often indentify themselves as “jujutsu,” do not actually have a lineage traceable to this ancient Japanese martial art, and in Japan they would be known as goshin-jutsu.
Iaido focuses on the drawing and use of the traditional Japanese sword. It is widely regarded as a form of moving meditation, and it’s practiced in several different nations.
Kodokan judo, meaning “gentle and pliable way,” is a modern Japanese martial art and sport, which originated in the late nineteenth century. It was created by Kano Jigoro (1860-1938).
Its prominent feature is its competitive aspect, where the objective is to either throw the opponent, immobilize the opponent with a grappling technique, or cause the opponent to submit via locking the elbow or a chokehold. Strikes (with the hands and feet)—as well as weapon defenses—are included, but only in prearranged forms (kata), and they are illegal in competition.
Suino Sensei’s present SMAA judo rank in Shihan and sixth dan. The SMAA Judo Division has members throughout North America and in Japan. Prominent members include Mark Colby Sensei of the Kodokan and Ohsaki Jun Sensei, who has over 50 years of budo and judo experience.
Jujutsu, the “art of yielding and gentleness,” is a collective name for Japanese martial systems including unarmed and armed methods. It is often regarded as the oldest Japanese martial art.
The SMAA Jujutsu Division is lead by Stephen Fabian Sensei (SMAA Shihan and sixth dan) and H. E. Davey Sensei (SMAA Shihan and seventh dan). Fabian Sensei lived in Japan for several years, where he studied Hontai Yoshin Ryu jujutsu directly under the 18th and 19th generation headmasters of this system. Davey Sensei began Saigo Ryu as a child and trained in Japan and the USA under top jujutsu experts. The SMAA Jujutsu Division is open to bona fide forms of traditional and ancient jujutsu, which have a lineage that can be traced to a Japanese founder. Senior members of this division include Wayne Muromoto Sensei, Kevin Heard Sensei, and Ohsaki Jun Sensei.
Karate-do is a martial art developed in Okinawa from indigenous fighting methods and Chinese martial systems. It is primarily a striking art using punching, kicking, as well as knee and elbow strikes. Grappling, joint locking, throws, and chokes are also taught in some styles (ryu). Karate-do means “the way of the empty hand,” although its original meaning was “Chinese hand.” Traditional karate-do contains elements of physical, mental, and spiritual training in most systems.
It was introduced to Japan by Funakoshi Gichin Sensei (1868-1957), where it developed sport aspects. Today, karate-do is practiced in nearly every nation, and a large number of Okinawan and Japanese versions have been developed.
The SMAA Karate-do Division is open to any form of classical karate-do, which has a linage that can be traced to a Japanese founder. This division is lead by Karl Scott Sensei (SMAA So-shihan and seventh dan). Scott Sensei has a lifetime of experience in Shorin Ryu and Shudokan karate-do. He trained in Okinawa under Shimabukuro Eizo Sensei (Shorin Ryu tenth dan), and in the USA under Ichikawa Isao Sensei (Doshinkan tenth dan) and Walter Todd Sensei (Wado Ryu, Shotokan, and Shudokan). Among the notable members of the SMAA Karate-do Division are Tom Kosslow Sensei, who holds as seventh dan in Wado Ryu, Joseph Rippy Sensei (Wado Ryu sixth dan), and Hunter Armstrong Sensei of the Goju Ryu.