Picton Martial Arts
Traditional & Authentic Martial Arts for the whole family

Yamanaka-Ha Shindo Ryu Ju Jutsu

Yamanaka Ha Shindo Ryu is essentially a gendai (modern) system of Ju Jutsu taught in the Koryu (traditional) fashion.  The history of Yamanaka Shindo Ryu can be traced to Yoshitoki Shizobei Akiyama, who was the school founder of Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu.  During the course of the 18th and 19th centuries our lineage can be traced to Hironori Ohtsuka who was born on June 1st, 1892 in Shimodate City, Ibaraji, Japan.

By 1905, at the age of 13, Ohtsuka began his formal training in Shindo Yoshin-ryu Jujutsu at the Shimozuma Middle School. By the time of his 29th birthday (June 1st, 1921) he received menkyo kaiden (licence of full transmission which was the highest licence) in Shindo Yoshin Ryu. Ohtsuka eventually combined some of the precepts and techniques of Okinawan Karate with his jujutsu to form his original art of Shinshu Wado Jujutsu, next called Wado Jujutsu Kempo which eventually became known as Wado Ryu.

One of Ohtsuka Sensei's premier students was Masaru Shintani (1927-2000) who originally began the Kokusai Shindo Remnei - World Shindo Federation. Shintani Sensei was born February 3, 1927 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to Japanese parents who had immigrated to Canada.

By 1968, Ohtsuka Sensei placed Shintani Sensei exclusively in charge of teaching for the Wado Kai in North America and appointed Shintani Sensei to head the Wado Kai for North America. Throughout these years, their close relationship was often spent in Kuden (oral tradition) with Shintani Sensei absorbing as much information as possible from his teacher.

Shintani Sensei developed a large organization with in excess of 1200 black belts. He, like Ohtsuka Sensei, went further back through his martial arts heritage of Shindo Yoshin Ryu and developed his own organization called the World Shindo Federation or Kokusai Shindo Renmei. In deference to his teacher's art (Shindo Yoshin Ryu), he called his art Shindo as well; however, the kanji "shin" was reverted to mean "new" once again and "do" was translated as "way". Thus the "new way" was born (again!).

One of the vehicles for teaching Shindo ryu is a staff or rod similar to the Jo but is a sanshaku bo or hanbo. Shintani Sensei developed many techniques for Shindo ryu from the hanbo (3 foot staff) jutsu techniques of his samurai ancestors. Today, the hanbojutsu waza of Shindo ryu are practiced as a martial art around the world. As well, many of its techniques were refined as defensive tactics for law enforcement. Interestingly, many of the original waza of the hanbo were, in fact, kenjutsu techniques and were meant to be performed with a blade as well as being offensive in nature. In YSR jujutsu, the cognate weapons training is hanbojutsu, rather than the sword, which is often more typical in other traditional jujutsu ryu.

Shintani Sensei died May 7, 2000 in Kapuskasing Ontario Canada. When Shintani Sensei was eulogized it was noted that he had a dream to teach and continue Ohtsuka Sensei's ways of harmony ("wado"). The eulogy noted that Shintani Sensei's dream would be fulfilled with the help of his Senate members, his yudansha and all the members of his organization. Specifically noted was the commitment of (Ronald) Michio Yamanaka Sensei to carry this dream forward. Yamanaka Sensei has continued to promote Shintani's dream of Ohtsuka's ways through the continued teaching and promotion of Shindo Ryu Jujutsu.

In addition to being a senior teacher with Shintani Sensei, Yamanaka Sensei has also studied Aikido and Gung Fu extensively. For example, during his studies of the martial arts, Yamanaka Sensei studied in Okinawa directly under Miyazato Sensei and attained the rank of hachidan in Okinawan Goju Ryu (Jundokan) Karate and was designated the Canadian chief instructor (Shibucho) of the Jundokan. Miyazato Sensei was also a student of Shoko Itokazu and held a nanadan in Judo. As well, he practiced jujutsu (specifically Keisatsu Gijutsu - the police arts) as evidenced by his tenure as the Chief Self Defense Instructor at the Police School. Yamanaka Sensei's interest in the hidden jujutsu bunkai in Goju-Ryu is evident in his teaching and provides further sophistication to YSR Jujutsu.

(L-R) Shawn Wade Senpai, Sue Fraser Shihan, Darren Smith Shihan, Giovanni DiMeglio Shihan, Chuck Hasson Shihan, Jason Bilodeau and Matt Stephens Senpai, Stratford 2009

Smith Shihan was the Senior Yamanaka-ha Shindo Ryu instructor until his untimely passing in 2012. 

DiMeglio Shihan is the International President of the YKKF and Senior Instructor of YSR outside Canada.

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