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,
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
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.