Jujutsu – Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryū:
The Kangetsu Dojo is an official dojo of Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryū (TSYR). We are a Japanese koryu, which literally means “old school’, that focuses on the study and preservation of classical jujutsu and weaponry as it was practiced by the Samurai before they were abolished in Japan in 1868. It’s often been said that modern Japanese martial arts come from the sword; there are many who come to TSYR searching for this connection.
Proper classical jujutsu is a sophisticated system. It relies on the understanding of principles of body mechanics, physics and psychology to perform techniques efficiently with minimal strength and maximum precision. Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryū emphasizes grace and natural movement, its waza demonstrate a soft, more weapon influenced execution of technique.
The TSYR curriculum is comprehensive. Not just limited to empty handed techniques, almost half of the school contains the study of weapons all integrated under a common set of principles and strategies. Some of the techniques in the school include:
- Jujutsu (grappling, joint locks, throws, takedowns, chokes, pins, and weapon defenses).
- Kenjutsu (fencing).
- Tantojutsu (knife fighting).
- Battojutsu (drawing of the sword).
As with many classical schools of budo there are no technical ranks, belt colours or grading in TSYR. The main goal is to sharpen one’s abilities and preserve the art for future generations. The study of Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryū is an endeavour which takes a lifetime to explore.
If you are interested in becoming a student of Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryū please contact Mark Ainslie Sensei at TorontoTSYR@gmail.com or on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KangetsuDojo so you can schedule a time to come and watch a class.
Mark Ainslie – Shoden Menkyo
Mark began as a student of Aikido in 1991. During his early years of training, Mark developed a keen interest in more subtle application of technique, martial arts principles as well as origins derived from Japanese swordsmanship. This led him to joining a small TSYR study group in 2006 and subsequently meeting Toby Threadgill Sensei, Menkyo Kaiden and Kaicho of the ryū. Realizing that koryu budo was the right “fit” for him Mark began focusing entirely on TSYR, travelling several times a year to the hombu dojo and seminars abroad to learn from Threadgill Sensei. In June, 2015 Threadgill Sensei issued Mark a Shoden Menkyo teaching license making the Kangetsu Dojo the first official TSYR dojo in Canada.
Shindo Yoshin-ryū, roughly translated as “New Way of the Willow Heart School”, is a traditional school of Japanese jujutsu founded in 1864 by Matsuoka Katsunosuke, one of the most accomplished samurai of the late Edo period and among the last personal bodyguards of the Tokugawa Shogun. After becoming convinced that the jujutsu of his day had lost much of its military usefulness, Katsunosuke combined several prevalent schools of jujutsu and kenjutsu into one comprehensive martial system – something that Samurai could use in actual combat.
Shindo Yoshin-ryū eventually made it’s way to the Western world by way of Takamura Yukioshi after learning the art from his grandfather, Ohbata Shigeta. Leaving Japan after WWII and living for a time in Sweden and eventually the United States, Takamura made small changes to the curriculum in 1968 to make it more relevant to modern day students while still keeping the old koryu kata intact. He renamed the art, Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryū. Takamura Sensei passed away in 2000 at the age of 72.
Today the Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin Kai is headed by Tobin Threadgill Sensei at the hombu dojo, its headquarters, located in the Rocky Mountains in Evergreen, Colorado. Threadgill Sensei holds a Menkyo Kaiden, the highest possible license, and was a top student of the late Takamura Sensei. The Kai has grown into a vibrant and diverse community of budo practitioners worldwide. As Kaicho, Threadgill Sensei keeps a busy schedule travelling to various dojos around the globe to promote and maintain Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryū.
For more information on Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryū: