Thursday, May 27, 2010

SMAA California Swordsmanship Seminar: September 10-12, 2010

Seminar Instructor
John Evans holds seventh dan in Nakamura Ryu swordsmanship and was the first foreigner to train intensively with Nakamura Taisaburo Sensei in Japan where he lived for 11 years. He is the head teacher of the Fudokan school in London and his book Kurikara – the Sword and the Serpent will be released by Blue Snake Books in December. He is a senior adviser with the Shudokan Martial Arts Association.

The fluidity of Nakamura Ryu Battodo requires considerable skill and great power in the lower body to master the necessary transfer of momentum from one cutting movement into the next. This ability is learnt through correct tanren or conditioning which binds together internal and external power. This seminar will focus on the use of the tanrenbo to cultivate this ability and its application in kata, tameshigiri, uchikomi and kumitachi. Shibori tanrenbo can be purchased for use in the seminar. The tapered handle of the shibori tanrenbo develops correct tenouchi without muscular strain.

Lecturer (Saturday)
SMAA member Paul Martin, who is presenting the lecture and Q & A session on Saturday afternoon, is an accomplished martial artist and expert on the Japanese sword. In 1993 he joined The British Museum in London, eventually achieving his goal of joining the Department of Japanese Antiquities.

Paul left the British Museum in 2003 and relocated to Los Angeles, where in 2005 he curated an exhibition of modern Japanese swords (hailed by the Los Angeles Japanese Consulate General “as the first exhibition of its kind in America.”) at The Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.

In October 2006, he became the first non-Japanese to win the NBTHK Tokyo Chapter kantei kai (sword appraisal meeting). He continues to study the Japanese sword as well as kendo, iaido, Ono‑ha Itto Ryu kenjutsu, and battojutsu in Japan.

Friday, September 10
19:00 – 21:00 Lecture on tanren and demonstration of its applications

Saturday, September 11
11:30 – 13:30 Tanrenbo and abdominal breathing
13.30 – 14.30 Lunch break
14.30 – 15.30 Lecture and Q and A with Paul Martin on swords for tameshigiri
15:30 – 18:00 Tanrenbo training and kata

Sunday, September 12
09:00 – 13:00 Tanrenbo training kumitachi and tameshigiri
Seminar Fees
Seminar and Shibori Tanrebo $220 (SMAA members $180)
Seminar only $160 (SMAA members $120)
Friday lecture and demonstration only $15
All seminar booking and enquiries:
For enquiries about SMAA membership:
Kurikara – The Sword and the Serpent
The Eightfold Way of The Japanese Sword
by John Maki Evans

(To be published by Blue Snake Books in December 2010)

This book sets out the eight components of training essential to complete Japanese swordsmanship. This is not a manual of a single system but indicates the principles that underlie all sword schools giving practical examples and anecdotes from the author’s wide experience. Battodo is currently the fastest growing Japanese sword art and the author was the first foreign student to train closely with Nakamura Taisaburo, widely acknowledged as the master of this field. This book also explains how inner power is necessary to achieve mastery such as Nakamura Sensei’s and how it can be systematically developed. This systematic approach is based on the authors training in Mikkyo (Japanese Vajrayana Buddhism) and shugendo (mountain asceticism).

This seminar is sponsored by the Shudokan Martial Arts Association

What is the SMAA?
The Shudokan Martial Arts Association (SMAA) is an international coalition of enthusiasts dedicated to promoting traditional Japanese budo and koryu bujutsu. The SMAA is a nonprofit corporation, headed by an elite group of high-ranking Japanese and Western instructors whose backgrounds encompass many decades of studying and teaching the traditional martial arts and ways of Japan.
Who can join?
The SMAA invites all individuals who are interested in traditional Japanese budo and koryu bujutsu to apply for membership. There are two levels of membership in the SMAA: full members are eligible to apply for rank and teaching titles; associate members receive all the other benefits of membership, but do not receive rank or titles.
Location of  the Dojo
The Alameda Aikikai Dojo
2025 Clement Avenue
Alameda, California 94501

We hope to see many SMAA members at the lecture/demonstration and or the weekend seminar. Don't miss your chance to learn the art of the Japanese sword from one of the world's top experts!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SMAA California Seminar in June

            On June 26 and 27, the SMAA will offer a special seminar in conjunction with the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts. The featured instructor will be H. E. Davey, SMAA Primary Director and SMAA Jujutsu Division Shihan/seventh dan. The theme of the weekend will be “Japanese Yoga & Hanbo-jutsu.” Instruction will be offered in Shin-shin-toitsu-do, a form of Japanese yoga and meditation, along with Saigo Ryu, a traditional martial art emphasizing jujutsu and several weapons, including the hanbo—a three-foot stick. The event will take place in quaint Albany, California, just across the bay from San Francisco. Instruction is open to anyone above the age of thirteen. 

Through Japanese yoga, martial artists and average people alike can learn to manifest their full potential in a wide variety of situations. Instruction will emphasize how unique mind and body unification principles created by Nakamura Tempu Sensei in the 1920s lead to enhanced concentration, calmness, relaxation, and willpower in both life and budo. Since Mr. Davey will be showing how these principles relate to budo, attending the Japanese yoga and meditation training is required for this event.

Saigo Ryu training will focus on the wide variety of dynamic throws and distinctive immobilizations that can be performed with the hanbo. Think of it as “jujutsu with a stick.” Sign up soon to enjoy fun and vigorous training in a martial art that’s seldom taught in a seminar format. This is a rare opportunity to practice an authentic system of traditional hanbo-jutsu as it’s been taught in Japan.

But more than this, the SMAA California Seminar is your chance to learn how unification of mind and body principles can lead to greater power, balance, and grace in hanbo-jutsu and other martial arts as well. Discover how coordination of mind and body leads to effortless effectiveness in self-defense and daily life.

Classes will be offered in a time-honored Japanese atmosphere, and Mr. Davey’s classical dojo is traditional in appearance and intimate in size. Attending these classes as special guest teachers will be at least three SMAA Senior Advisors: Kevin Heard Sensei, Ann Kameoka Sensei, and Ohsaki Jun Sensei. Space is limited, and early registration is strongly suggested.

The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Book your flight and make your hotel reservations early. Plenty of time has been built into the schedule to allow for sightseeing and fun.

Mr. Davey and the various attending instructors look forward to offering you a life-altering experience in June, an event that will present new ways of approaching budo and daily living. The various attending SMAA officials are hoping to make new friends and meet old training partners at the SMAA California Seminar.

Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27

The Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts
1053 San Pablo Ave.
Albany, CA 94706

H. E. Davey (Featured instructor for Japanese yoga/meditation and Saigo Ryu hanbo-jutsu, biographical sketch at

Kevin Heard Sensei (Attending instructor, biographical sketch at

Ann Kameoka Sensei (Attending instructor, biographical sketch at

Ohsaki Jun Sensei (Attending instructor, biographical sketch at

Saturday, June 26
8:45 to 9:45 AM (Introduction to Japanese yoga and meditation principles. Wear a t-shirt and loose pants.)

10:00 to 11:30 AM (Saigo Ryu hanbo-jutsu. Wear a white gi.)

11:45 AM (Sightseeing in the San Francisco Bay Area) 

Sunday, June 27
8:45 to 10:15 AM (Meditation in Japanese yoga, martial arts, and daily life. Wear a t-shirt and loose pants.)

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM (Saigo Ryu hanbo-jutsu. Wear a white gi.)

12:15 PM (Sightseeing in the San Francisco Bay Area) 

General Public—$60 for all Japanese yoga and martial arts classes

SMAA Members--$40 for all Japanese yoga and martial classes (Save $20!)

 Hanbo—$14.99 with tax included.

Housing and Meals:
Albany is located in the East Bay, across from San Francisco, and next to Berkeley. Restaurants are widely available, as are hotels.

A Holiday Inn can be found in nearby Berkeley, just minutes from the dojo (, Telephone: 1-877-863-4780).

The Hotel Durant is also located in Berkeley (, Telephone: 510-845-8981).

Motels for almost every budget can be found by searching the Internet, so be sure to check around for the best possible deal. 

Space is extremely limited for all sessions.  Contact Mr. Davey soon to reserve your place. The SMAA, the Sennin Foundation Center, and H. E. Davey reserve the right to close registration at any time, once all available spaces have been taken.

A registration form was e-mailed to all SMAA members. If you do not have Internet access, we can also mail you a form. All fees and a completed registration form must be received by the Sennin Foundation Center two weeks prior to the seminar. It will not be possible to register after this date. Checks or money orders should be made out to Sennin Foundation Center. It will not be possible to register in person at the first class. 


Visitor & Tourist Information:
Albany, California Visitor Information:

San Francisco, California Visitor Information: 

Airports & Transportation:
San Francisco International Airport:
800-435-9736 or 650-821-8211

Oakland International Airport:
Rentals car are available at both airports. 

Contact Information:
H. E. Davey

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SMAA Aikido Division

The SMAA has separate divisions for many of the traditional Japanese martial arts. Each division is lead by one or more Directors, each of whom have 20 years or more experience and the minimum rank of sixth dan (or a classical equivalent).

Aikido Division

Aikido is a dynamic martial art and form of spiritual training created by Ueshiba Morihei Sensei (1883-1969). It focuses on nonviolent throwing and pinning techniques, and in some systems the use of the sword and staff is included as well. In many aikido schools, it is practiced in a noncompetitive environment.

Since Ueshiba Sensei’s death, a number of high ranking aikido experts have created their own versions of this martial art. The SMAA Aikido Division is open to all genuine forms of aikido with an authentic lineage that can be traced directly to a Japanese founder.

This popular division is lead by Karl Scott Sensei, SMAA Shihan and sixth dan. Scott Sensei studied aikido for numerous years under several notable and talented teachers, including Tohei Koichi Sensei (tenth dan), Kai Kuniyuki Sensei (ninth dan), Shiohira Hideki Sensei (seventh dan), Toyoda Fumio Sensei (sixth dan), and Walter Todd Sensei (sixth dan).

Cynthia Hayashi Sensei is one of the prominent members of the SMAA Aikido Division. She is a direct student of the famed Saito Morihiro Sensei, himself a senior disciple of the founder of aikido. Hayashi Sensei received a sixth-degree black belt in aikido from the Aikikai World HQ in Tokyo. She is one of the highest ranking female aikido teachers in the world.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Southern Michigan Martial Arts Summit

SMAA official Nicklaus Suino Sensei will be a featured instructor at the Southern Michigan Martial Arts Summit on May 23rd. This event will not feature traditional Japanese budo, but instead will be a energy packed day of practical self-defense instruction. Details available at

Monday, May 3, 2010

SMAA California Seminar (2)

This is the second SMAA Seminar that will take place in California in 2010. Don't miss your chance to learn Japanese yoga, healing arts, and traditional martial arts from one of the founding members of the SMAA. H. E. Davey is a seventh dan in the SMAA Jujutsu Division and one of three SMAA Primary Directors. Here's all you need to know:

When: Saturday, November 20 and Sunday, November 21

The Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts
1053 San Pablo Ave.
Albany, CA 94706

What: Japanese yoga, meditation and healing arts; Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu

Who: H. E. Davey--

With attending SMAA Senior Advisors:
Kevin Heard Sensei--
Ohsaki Jun Sensei—
Ann Kameoka Sensei—

Theme: Students will receive instruction in the Shin-shin-toitsu-do system of Japanese yoga and meditation. The focus will be on Shin-shin-toitsu-do’s unique massage-like healing techniques. These healing arts are especially useful to martial artists, who often suffer from sprains and strains.
Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu training will use of many of the principles of mind and body unification practiced in Shin-shin-toitsu-do, and it will focus on dynamic throwing and pinning techniques. Don’t miss your chance to learn a rarely taught system of authentic Japanese jujutsu, while you explore the connection between Japanese healing arts and martial arts.

No prior experience is needed in any of the above-mentioned arts. It is important, however, not to miss the first classes on November 20, which will introduce the basics of these disciplines.

Contact Information:, 510-526-7518

Cost: General public—$60 for all Japanese yoga/healing arts and martial arts classes, SMAA members—$40 for all Japanese yoga/healing arts and martial classes

Registration Deadline: A registration form will be e-mailed to all SMAA members. If you do not have Internet access, we can also mail you a form. All fees and a completed registration form must be received by the Sennin Foundation Center two weeks prior to the seminar. It will not be possible to register after this date, and space is limited. The Sennin Foundation Center reserves the right to close registration at any time when the maximum number of participants has been registered.

SMAA Australia Seminar

This will be our first SMAA seminar in Australia. The featured instructor is John Evans Sensei, SMAA Senior Advisor and Nakamura Ryu swordsmanship seventh dan. Don’t miss your chance to learn Japanese swordsmanship from one of the world’s leading experts in Nakamura Ryu and Toyama Ryu iaido. Check out Evans Sensei and what he teaches at

Where: Melbourne, Australia

Who: John Evans Sensei—

What: Nakamura Ryu and Toyama Ryu sword arts

When: September 24, 25 and 26, 2010

Theme: “The Art of the Japanese Sword”

Contact: Telephone—0208-533-5553 (Great Britain), E-mail—

SMAA Michigan Seminar

Nicklaus Suino Sensei, SMAA Judo Division Director and sixth dan, will be offering a special summer event focused on traditional Kodokan judo. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn the following judo throws:

• Seoi Nage (“Shoulder Throw”)

• Harai Goshi (“Sweeping Hip Throw”)

• Uchi Mata (“Inner Thigh Throw”)

• De Ashi Barai (“Advancing Foot Sweep”)

• O Soto Gari (“Major Outside Reap”)

Suino Sensei will teach how these techniques can be used effectively in competition, but also in self-defense. These are skills that can benefit people in every martial art, and extensive prior judo experience is not needed, as instruction will be offered for both beginners and advanced judoka.

Where: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Who: Nicklaus Suino Sensei—

What: Kodokan judo

When: July 16, 17, and 18, 2010

Theme: “Judo: Five Throws You Absolutely, Positively Can’t Live Without”

Cost: General Public—$75, SMAA Members—Only $60!

Schedule: July 16 (7:00 to 9:00 PM), July 17 (11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, 5:30 to 7:30 PM), July 18 (11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, 3:30 to 5:30 PM, Dinner/party from 5:30 PM on)

Contact: Telephone—734-645-6441, E-mail—

Japanese Martial Arts Center
771 Airport Blvd, Suite 1B
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 USA

Free Classes

On May 6, 2010 the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts in California will offer introductory classes in Japanese yoga and martial arts. The Japanese yoga class, which will start at 7 PM, will feature yoga and meditation principles. It will be an introduction to how these principles of mind and body unification can help us in Japanese yoga and daily life.

The class is free to both Sennin Foundation members and SMAA members. The instructor will be Kevin Heard Sensei, SMAA Senior Advisor, who has been studying Japanese yoga, healing arts, and martial arts for over 25 years. He has a Shihan teaching license in Japanese yoga, a very advanced rank.

Following the Japanese yoga training, Heard Sensei will present an optional introduction to Saigo Ryu aiki-jujutsu, a traditional Japanese martial art. Since he will incorporate Japanese yoga principles of mind and body unification in the martial arts practice, participation in the preceding Japanese yoga instruction is required. Heard Sensei has an advanced teaching license in Saigo Ryu, and he has received a fifth-degree black belt from  the Shudokan Martial Arts Association Jujutsu Division (

If you and/or your friends would like to participate, please call 510-526-7518 (PM) to register. Then, drop by 1053 San Pablo Ave. in Albany, California at 6:45 PM. If you are not already a Sennin Foundation member, you will need to fill out a registration form and waiver. Wear loose clothing and bring a notebook.

After the class, you will have a chance to purchase related books and CD-ROMs, and you and/or your friends can also make arrangements to join the Sennin Foundation Center if you like. We hope you will make plans to attend this special event.