Sunday, October 31, 2010

July 2010 SMAA Michigan Seminar

Nicklaus Suino Sensei, SMAA Judo Division Director and sixth dan, offered a special summer event focused on traditional Kodokan judo. He taught 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 showed how these techniques can be used effectively in competition, but also in self-defense. Instruction was 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”

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)

Thanks to the SMAA members that participated. SMAA Seminars are always a great way to make new friends and learn from some of the top budo experts in the world. And as always, SMAA members receive special discounts at these events.

Do you have dojo charters or dojo memberships?


We deal with every member as an individual, and we collect only modest dues from each member. Members need not pay any sort fee, annually or otherwise, to have their dojo registered with the SMAA. In short, we recognize individuals not schools.

I visited the dojo of a person claiming to be affiliated with the SMAA. Can you help me verify his level of teaching certification and rank?

Yes. We have accurate computer records of our various members, past and present, as well as the ranks that each person has received from us. We cannot, on the other hand, verify ranking that one of our members may have received from another organization.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Help Briana Campbell

One of our young SMAA members, Briana Campbell, has been selected as a competitor to represent the USA at an international judo competition in Lima, Peru next month! The competition is the 2010 Jita Kyoei Cup and International Regatas Lima Cup, November 12-14.

The cost to send Briana and her father to Peru will be substantial. We hope you'll consider helping to support Briana's efforts by making a donation toward her travel expenses. You can donate to the Shudokan Martial Arts Association [SMAA], which has agreed to support this fund-raising project.

To donate, please visit and click on the "donate" button under "Donation for Briana Campbell."

The SMAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, so your donation is tax deductible. To receive a letter from the SMAA acknowledging your donation (for your taxes), please be sure to include your complete name and address in the "special instructions to the seller" field.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Who can qualify to be a Regular Member of the SMAA?

Otsuka Yasuyuki Sensei, Soke of Meifu Shinkage Ryu
and SMAA Senior Advisor

Regular Members are individuals that have received dan or kyu rank from our group. To receive such rank, you can be tested by an SMAA certified teacher that you are studying under, who will help you submit the necessary paperwork and fees to the SMAA HQ, where a final determination will be made regarding your rank and/or teaching certification. This is the simplest way to join the SMAA as a Regular Member.

If you are not studying directly under an SMAA teacher, you can visit the membership information section of to learn about the qualifications for receiving rank and/or teaching certification. While there, you can download a membership application, which you will need to send to the SMAA HQ, along with an examination fee, a resume, photocopies of past rank certificates, and information about yourself and your training history. A DVD or videotape of you performing budo will also be needed.

Depending on what association certified your past rank, an in-person examination may be required. This is often the case for individuals that have not received previous ranking from a recognized Japan-based association or a Western group that is directly affiliated with these types of Japanese organizations. Examples of recognized budo associations are the Kodokan for judo or the Aikikai for aikido.

Does the SMAA endorse martial arts instruction provided by Associate Members?

Mr. Dave Lowry, Yagyu Shinkage Ryu expert,
author, and SMAA Senior Advisor

We greatly value the support of the Associate Members of our group. Nevertheless, since we have not certified them as teachers, we have not authenticated their backgrounds, examined their technical prowess, or tested their accurate understanding of budo history, philosophy, and theory. As the result, we cannot endorse or vouch for their statements or activities.

Again, anyone can join the SMAA as an Associate Member and learn more about budo and koryu bujutsu from our teachers, journal, blog, seminars, and website. This includes people that have never studied a Japanese martial art and teachers of martial systems of American, Chinese, Korean, or other origin.

Who can qualify to be an Associate Member of the SMAA?

Suzuki Kunio Sensei, iaido Hanshi/hachidan
and SMAA Senior Advisor

The short answer is that anyone who sends in a membership application and yearly dues can join the SMAA as an Associate Member. They will receive our quarterly journal, seminar discounts, access to our website, and an Associate Member certificate. They do not, however, receive (dan or kyu) rank certificates or teaching certification from our group.

About the SMAA

When the SMAA was first created, it was launched with the objective of educating the public about the true nature of authentic forms of Japanese budo and koryu bujutsu. Since accurate information about these Asian arts was (and still is) often unavailable and/or incorrect in the West, we wanted to certify competent, knowledgeable teachers of genuine Japanese martial arts, and we wanted to offer factual written information about the bona fide history, philosophy, and techniques of traditional budo via the SMAA Journal and our website.

Because our objectives are educational in nature, we have always had an open door membership policy--anyone interested in learning more about budo and koryu bujutsu can join our group. However, it is important to note that there are two distinct levels of membership in the SMAA--Associate Member and Regular Member.