How to (or not to) Start Your Own Martial Arts Style

I was going to just write this as a comment to my earlier post, but there was a lot I wanted to say, so I’m just writing it as a new post. I mentioned how Oyata-sensei has had a problem with most of his students no longer being associatied with him. Here I will talk about three of his former students and compare/contrast what they have done since.

1. Albert Geraldi has been associated with Oyata-sensei as long as anyone one has. Raul Perez, one of Geraldi-sensei’s students, said this in a comment to my former posting:

From what I have read and heard from his association he is/was Oyata’s most senior student. He was an Okinawan full contact champion himself and one of the people who brought him back to the US. When Oyata’s son died (not the one mentioned in your second post) he went back to Okinawa. Geraldi was one of the people responsible for convincing Oyata to come back to the US. Jim Logue and Albert Geraldi trained in the Manchiminato dojo together. But I believe Albert Geraldi was Oyata’s most senior student.

I heard pretty much the same thing about Geraldi-sensei when I was studying Ryu-Te. From what I heard, Geraldi-sensei is still on good terms with Oyata-sensei, he just wanted to do his own thing instead of being in Oyata-sensei’s organization. I can’t seem to find a website for Geraldi-sensei’s organization, which is called Zenkoku Ryukyu Kenpo Karate-Do Renmei (I assume that’s 全国琉球拳法空手道連盟, which is very similar to the old name of Oyata-sensei’s organization, which was Zenkoku Ryukyu Kenpo Karate Kobudo Rengokai 全国琉球拳法空手古武道連合会.) There is a website for the Millenium Martial Arts Fitness Center, which is run by an Anthony Carnemolla, who seems to be one of Geraldi-sensei’s students. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong here.)

Even though Geraldi-sensei is no longer directly associated with Oyata-sensei, he evidently gives Oyata-sensei full credit in training him in his diagram of martial artists. Even without any bio/resume on the web site, there is a lot of other information we can assert from it. On the page explaining the guiding principles and the dojo kun, I recognize the copy of both of them as the same copy that was in my own Ryu-te dojo. Also, both of them are signed 親田真手法(Oyata Shin Shu Hou, the name for Oyata-sensei’s style and techniques that he developed himself and are only taught to students above shodan). Additionally, the English translations on both of these pages are the translations that Oyata-sensei himself has authorized as his official interpretation.

Another nice thing I noticed from looking at the page is that Geraldi-sensei simply refers to himself as Kyoshi (教師, which simply means teacher) instead of something pretentious like ‘Professor’ (this one always cracks me up when martial artists use it) or even ‘Grand Master’. (I don’t care who you are, you are full of yourself when you call yourself by this title.)

2. I mentioned in the earlier posting how Shiro Shintaku (新宅四郎) had been Oyata-sensei’s top student while I was studying Ryu Te, but had a falling-out with him and they have now parted ways. I was wondering whether he was still in the States or had returned to Japan. The answer, or course, was only a google away. It seems that Mr. Shintaku is in Maryland and has started his own style, which he calls Tenshin Ichi Ryu(天心一流).

In the about page he starts explaining his history of training in martial arts like this:
(update: this quote is from July 26, 2004, when I originially posted this. The bio page on Ten Shin Ichi Ryu has changed. If you want to see the page I’m quoting from, the wayback link is here.)

Doshu’s martial arts training began in Japan during the early 60’s where he vigorously studied Goju Karate and language at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. In 1971 he came to the States to further his language studies and taught Karate at Berkley University in California, and then later at Anderson College in South Carolina. Returning to Japan in 1976, Doshu studied Aikido from Morihei Ueshiba’s 10th Dan – Hikitsuchi Sensei.

Through this daily training experience with Hikitsuchi Sensei, Doshu learned of the deeper concepts of Aikido the founder had emphasized. It was also during this time he studied Iaido, Bojitsu, Kendo and Jujitsu.

Doshu returned for the second time to the States, and after nine additional years of teaching in South Carolina, his quest for martial arts perfecton lead him to study karate and other weapons from an Okinawan karate master for approximately 9 years.

Nothing particularly noteworthy here. A martial artist that has trained several different styles throughout the years, puts what he’s learned together and founds his own school. Martial artists have been doing this for centuries, and that’s pretty much how all martial arts schools started. An important part of this is that you are able to trace back who you trained with in order to show your credibility. This is especially so in Japanese society, where a person’s academic history (what school they attended, etc.) is more important than what you actually know in many cases. But in martial arts you can still make a name for yourself, even if you don’t have great credentials, providing that you have outstanding technique. (Or at least are able to convince enough people that you have outstanding technique. More on this on the next person, George Dillman.)

Where it gets interesting is in the fact that he fails to even mention Oyata-sensei’s name, even though he is eager to point out that his Aikido teacher was Hikitsuchi-sensei, one of O-sensei’s (Morihei Ueshiba) top students. Not to mention that Oyata-sensei has been deemed a “living national treasure” by the government of Okinawa for his contributions in preserving and teaching the Okinawan martial arts. You would think he would mention his name at least, wouldn’t you?

So what is up with this? He was Oyata-sensei’s most trusted student for several years, in fact at the time, he was the only one of Oyata-sensei’s students authorized to teach Shin Shu Hou (真手法). He trained with him for nine years, and he doesn’t even mention his name in his bio/resume? I find that a little odd. It does lend credibility to the rumor that he parted ways with Oyata-sensei on less than friendly terms, though.

    Sharon Hayakawa has given me a bit of a tongue-lashing, but she’s pretty much right and knows all the people I’m talking about much better than I do, so I’ve blocked out my comments on Shintaku Doshu above. Basically, after parting ways with Oyata after a difference of opinion (much like many of his predecessors in Oyata’s organization, see my previous post), he decided not put Oyata’s name anywhere on his website out of caution, since he was no longer associated with Oyata and didn’t want to offend him. I suppose I took it the wrong way and assumed that since he didn’t have Oyata’s name that he wasn’t crediting him with anything. Also Shintaku Doshu’s bio has changed since the year-and-a-half ago that I originally made this post, this is now what he says about him studying with Taika Oyata:

    Doshu returned for the second time to the States, and after many more years of teaching in South Carolina, he also studied Karate and other weapons from Okinawan Karate Master, Taika Oyata, for approximately 14 years.

    As Allan Amor and Sharon Hayakawa have pointed out, even though politics and such in Ryu-te have caused many of Oyata’s students to go thier seperate ways, it doesn’t mean any of the people involved are jerks.

3. The story of George Dillman is one that I find a lot more interesting. He is quite well-known throughout the U.S. karate sub-culture, and has a somewhat murky connection with Oyata-sensei, depending on who you ask.

His website also describes him in a praising 3rd person. While the tone doesn’t make it sound like he’s royalty or anything, reading it somehow makes me feel like I’m watching an infomercial or something. Anyway, a few of the statements on this page stick out to me.

George A. Dillman, a 9th degree black belt in Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-te, recently honored by Black Belt Magazine as “1997 — Instructor of the Year” is one of the USA’s best-known and well-established martial arts personalities.

The first thing he says is that he is a 9th degree black belt in Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-te. I had never heard of a karate school with this name, so I tried to look it up. Google gave me some interesting results. Searching under “Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-te”, there were 63 hits. Every single hit though, was talking about George Dillman, 9th degree blackbelt in Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-te, or one of his students that had studied under him. Just to be sure, I did a search “Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-te” -Dillman. Zero hits. Well, let’s not give up on him yet. At the end of his resumi/bio, it says “He has studied under five 10th degree black belts from Okinawa”, so perhaps one of those 10th degree black belts is the doshu for Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-te.

Let’s look around in Japanese. Searching around, I find that the kanji for Tomari-te is simply 泊手. On this page, which has a brief history and explanation of Okinawan karate, it explains that there were three styles of karate practiced on the Ryukyu islands: Shuri-te(首里手), Naha-te(那覇手), and Tomari-te(泊手). For example, Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shoto-kan, and Hironori Otsuka, the founder of Wado-ryu, were both from the Shuri-te style. Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-ryu, was from the Naha-te style. But as for the Tomari-te style, it seems there isn’t much known about it. (I find the ambiguity of the Tomari-te intersting, and might research it more for a later post.) Basically it says that all that is really known about Tomari-te is the kata “Kusanku of Chatanyara” (I assume this is the Kusanku kata in Ryu-te) comes from the Tomari-te style, and that a karate master by the name of Kousaku Matsumora had studied the Tomari-te style. However, since he also studied the Shuri-te style at the same time, and since there weren’t any real successors to the Tomari-te style, it seems to have dwindled away while other karate styles were promoted and flourished in mainland Japan.

Hmm, things are looking pretty sketchy on this “Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-te” that George Dillman has earned a 9th dan rank in. I did a search on the Japanese “琉球拳法泊手” and came up with nothing. I will admit that simply because there is no record of something on the internet doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but it does cast serious doubts on it’s existance.

So what does this guy have to do with Oyata-sensei? According to Dillman’s site:

Dillman began serious martial arts training in 1961 with Harry G. Smith. He went on to study with Daniel K. Pai, Robert Trias and Seiyu Oyata. Dillman has always considered himself a student, never a master of the martial arts. To this end he and his students have traveled throughout the United States to meet and train with various martial arts experts.

Things get murky here too. According to Oyata-sensei, Dillman joined his organization back in the 70’s. Since Dillman was already a well-known martial artist, Oyata-sensei welcomed him hoping that Dillman’s fame and notoriety would help him spread the name of his own martial art. After a couple of years though, Dillman left Oyata-sensei’s organization. (Under what circumstances or terms, I’ve never heard for certain.) Then a few years later, Dillman starts promoting this ‘new’ system he’s developed, called Tuite Jitsu and Kyusho Jitsu. These are the exact same two terms taht Oyata-sensei originally used to describe his system. Tuite Jitsu (really should be tsuite jutsu, or 付い手術) is used to describe grappling and joint-lock techniques, while Kyusho Jitsu (probably should be kyuusho jutsu, or 急所術) is used to describe techniques that involve striking of vital points. These were terms that Oyata-sensei himself had coined, and he had been the only one to use them up to this point.

So did Dillman take these concepts and claim them as his own, as Oyata-sensei and his students claim, or did he learn them from one of the other “five 10th degree blackbelts from Okinawa”? Who are these other four 10th degree blackbelts? Considering all the name dropping that Dillman does in the rest of his bio/resume (Bruce Lee, Muhammed Ali, etc.), you’d think he would also mention thier names too.

The propogation of new martial arts styles in the U.S. (and outside of Japan, in general) seems to have no standard. In the academic world, everything must be documented and peer-reviewed. In the martial arts, there really isn’t any way to do that. Following a martial art sometimes seems more like following a religion, or perhaps purchasing items from infomercials. Because the belief of the students is more fundamental than any other criteria for propogating arts, ideological wars often break out between different styles and schools. Back in pre-Meiji Japan, if two schools disagreed on who was the legitimate heir to the master’s style, the solution was simple. The two schools would fight it out, somewhat akin to a gang turf war. The winner of the struggle also became the ideological winner. This “might makes right” idea doesn’t work in today’s society, though.

Even so, in Japan if a martial artist wants to start his own new style, he had better have some credentials from the instructors that have taught him. Otherwise no one will take him seriously, no matter what kind of technique he may have. This doesn’t seem necessary in the States, though. The three individuals I mentioned above have all trained with at least one master, (Oyata-sensei) but some credit him differently than others. Albert Geraldi seems to be fully crediting Oyata-sensei for pretty much everything. Shiro Shintaku mentions that he trained under him for 9~14 years. It seems that Shintaku-sensei’s parting with Oyata-sensei was less than ideal, which is unfortunate. At least he doesn’t neglect mentioning him, though. George Dillman only trained with Oyata-sensei for a short period of time, but then seems to have taken Oyata-sensei’s teachings and made them his own, and only gives Oyata-sensei passing credit as being one of many martial artists he has trained with. (A more detailed account of George Dillman is given by Raul Perez, here.)

I guess what I’m getting at is that I wish that basic concepts like honesty and humility, which martial artists are always saying are fundamentally more important than skill, power, or technique, actually were as universal as they preach.

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23 Responses to How to (or not to) Start Your Own Martial Arts Style

  1. Raul Perez says:

    Hi Derek,

    A few comments on your post:

    Unfortunately the Zenkoku Ryukyu Kempo Karate-Do Renmei does not have an official webpage. It is still under construction. The only active dojos under the association that have websites are the Millenium Dojo and the Dowling Karate Club ( The Millenium School is owned by Anthony Carnemolla and the dojo is run by both Mr. Carnemolla and Kenneth LaPeters (both with the rank of Godan).
    You are correct that Albert Geraldi gives all the credit to Oyata Sensei. The Millenium dojo has Oyata’s picture on the wall along with the other masters in the lineage. All katas, tuite jitsu, kyusho jitsu, atemi jitsu, kia jitsu, kumi uchi, etc as taught in Oyata’s org. is taught in Geraldi’s as well. In fact Kyoshi Geraldi made it very clear at last year’s seminar that the katas that he has taught us are the same as the way Oyata teaches them, are the same that Nakamura has taught Oyata… etc. and they must go unchanged.
    From what I have heard from higher yudansha from Oyata’s org is that Oyata does not speak bad things of Geraldi. The same can be said for Geraldi about Oyata. But from my understanding, the two have not spoken since Geraldi split. Kyoshi Geraldi has not changed his rank since the split (Hachidan). Nor does he intend to.
    The unfortunate thing about the Zenkoku Ryukyu Kempo Karate-Do Renmei is that the active dojos are not in direct physical contact with Kyoshi Geraldi. The dojos are in NY while Kyoshi Geraldi is located in FL. Although Kyoshi Geraldi does host seminars once or twice a year (which are great btw) the association would most likely explode in popularity in the NY region if Kyoshi Geraldi was there.

    I have asked my seniors about Shiro Shintaku. Apparently while Geraldi was still associated with Oyata, Shintaku was Oyata’s interpreter during seminars. That is all the info I received about Shintaku. Takamine is now Oyata’s interpreter from my understanding.

    As for Dillman…. As you probably have read in my post in Fighting Arts, Dillman did not receive one on one instruction from Oyata. Dillman only received instruction through a seminar format. In fact Kyoshi Geraldi has a scrap book which shows Dillman receiving instruction on tuite jitsu from one of Geraldi’s senior students at a seminar. Funny you don’t hear about that in Dillman’s website.
    His Tomari-Te stunt is just a play on history. On Okinawa the most prominent kara-te came from Shuri and Naha. Tomari was a fishing village and the kara-te taught there was considered crude with regards to Shuri and Naha standards. Although Tomari-te was effective it has been subsequently absorbed into the Naha and Shuri styles. From my research there is no PURE Tomari-Te styles out there (unless practiced in secret or I missed an OMA somewhere). The lineage of the Tomari-te styles have ties to Shuri-te and Naha-te masters (
    Based on this and the fact that Oyata’s katas are 95% Shuri-te and Naha-te… Dillman’s Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-Te does not hold much water.
    Based on my discussions with some Shorin Ryu Yudansha, Dillman did not receive one on one instruction from Hohan Soken either. Again through a seminar format…. And I believe Hohan Soken only traveled to the US once, perhaps twice. Dillman only received the standard PP chart that everyone received at the seminar.
    Dillman’s DKI has been moving in the direction of using sound to increase the effectiveness of Kyusho and Tuite techniques, no touch KOs and deflecting attacks with sound and chi. I do not find this direction very combat effective because this is done against compliant partners. I’m sure the adrenal dump in a combative environment would be enough to counter act what they are doing. In any case I visited a DKI affiliated school in my neighborhood and spoke to an 8th dan (awarded to him by Dillman). He mentioned the no touch KOs and deflection with sound and chi. I mentioned my lineage and my instructors. I gave no indication whether I believed in this stuff or not but he was determined to prove that this would work. He had his high ranking students (shodans and nidans) attempt to block my punches and kicks with sound and chi. None of their attempts were successful. He himself tried to “move” me with chi, at which he was unsuccessful as well. His excuse was the I have a “blockage” in chi. Again I have no ill will towards Dillman’s organization but I do not agree with a lot of their training methods.

    Kind regards,


  2. Raul Perez says:

    So there is no confusion. I am not one of Kyoshi Geraldi’s student. My instructors are Kyoshi Geraldi’s students. I wish I could have been part of their generation in the Ronkonkoma, NY Dojo when Kyoshi Geraldi was teaching there.

    Kind regards,


  3. Allan Amor says:

    FYI, Shiro Shintaku practiced with Taika Oyata as his personal student. A title that very few who have learned from him could claim. During his tenure in the Oyata organization Shiro perfomed many of the basic responsibilities that a true student has to his instructor. Besides the days of actual training there is a responsibilty that one has an obligation to “take care of” his or her instructor. Performing yardwork, taking out the trash, translating for the book publication, acting as a Uke,driving to and from the airport,editing printed materials,attending school functions, funerals and birthday parties. Although these activities do not in themselves enhance ones technical abilities, I believe that it demonstrates a commitment to ones instructor in the teachings of Te No Michi as taught by Taika Oyata. Lot of information can be learned during this extra time spent with someone as skilled as Oyata Sensei. I believe his technique is a direct result of his philosophy and character attributes and knowing the man is to know the martial artist. I feel many who know him do not know him. Anyway Shiro Shintaku played an important part in the growth of the current Ryu-Te organization. I believe he has simply not mentioned Oyata Sensei in his Blurb regarding his past history as a courtesy to Taika Oyata which he still feels a great respect and love for. I do not agree with Shiro’s position however I do understand it. I only ask that people do not mistake Shiro Shintaku as not wanting to mention Oyata Sensei as an act of malicious intent on Shiro’s behalf. He is trying to be respectful to his instructor in the difficulty of his seperation. Albert Geraldi is Taika Oyata’s senior student here in the U.S. Although he is seperated by the powers of the organization I am sure that Geraldi Sensei’s loyalty and love for Taika Oyata remains strong and intact and Taika Oyata’s lesson still lives in his heart.

  4. Allan Amor says:

    After personal contact with Geraldi Sensei.. He still has connection and conversation with Ryute. He was never asked to leave nor has he ever resigned from Oyata Shin Shu Ho Ryu or any of Oyata Sensei’s organizations. His separation is strictly voluntary and he continues to practice and teach Ryukyu Karate the way he always has.

  5. John says:

    It is my opinion that Mr. Dillman has been getting his fill of “Humble Pie” since Rick and Tom served him his first slice. Now there is a new catering service in town – KI. I’m sure with time others will follow suit. It is nice to see that there is such a thing as Karma.

  6. Mike Jones says:

    Try for the website of the Zenkoku Ryukyu Kempo Karate Renmei and Mr. Geraldi

  7. I just wanted to add a word or two, about the comments of both the blog writer and Kaicho Amor.
    I am Sharon Hayakawa. I began training with Taika Oyata in 1979, I think it was. Later,I was there during the writing of the books and magazine articles, I spent 24/7 with the book writing project, at Taika’s request, and Shintaku Doshu’s request, for nine years.
    Amor Kaicho is absolutely telling it like it is, honestly and without holding back. Shintaku Doshu lived and taught, and slept and ate, all in the tiny back room of the hombu, both at the 23rd street and 291 hwy locations, and all his sincere efforts and time were devoted to keeping the bills paid in the dojo and taking care of Taika. You don’t think the yudansha and Taika paid the bills, do you? I went without a paycheck for nine years. Taika compensated me in other ways, and Shintaku Doshu has done what he could as well, after I became disabled.
    Also, at Taika’s request, I assisted Shintaku Doshu and the other yudansha for a great number of years, at the hombu, and don’t remember the author of this blog, at all. You must not have studied very long with Shintaku Sensei, ne? Be that as it may, the Japanese word for a founder of an art is “Doshu”. Shintaku Sensei, or Doshu, as he prefers, didn’t just appear out of the mists and begin his training with Oyata Sensei. His former instructor, a direct student of Ueshiba Morahei who was given ten dan before O’Sensei passed away, also felt, as Taika did, that there was a great student and life protection arts practitioner, in the person of Shiro Shintaku. It’s also my opinion that such men as they have the spiritual insight that allows them to see within the heart and soul of the person, and they were able to see the heart of Shintaku Doshu, as only such men can see. That is my opinion only.
    Amor Kaicho is right about the way Shiro had to serve Taika, and he did it out of devotion and affection, without complaint. Amor Kaicho was also devoted, talented, and served Oyata Sensei with devotion and humility. From what I know of him, which is very little, admittedly, I assume the same of Geraldi Sensei, though I didn’t know him as well, he was kind, dignified, courteous and well thought of, and very close to Taika for a very long time.
    I think the point that is missed here, by Bassett san, is that politics and personal lives of people are not to be dismissed or discounted, when serving and studying even with someone as well loved and respected as Taika. Human beings are entitled to live beyond the needs of their martial arts masters sometimes, and when certain political machinations are set in motion, even the very great and respected Taika Oyata is sometimes bound by in his own personal life, to accomodate these elements.
    I was there during all these odd turns in the path of Ryu Te, and Taika’s life here in the States. Not as much as his student, but as his personal family friend.
    I agree that Dillman is a very minor player that isn’t really a genuine student of Taika’s, and I was there when he first dropped in for that seminar at the Whatsoever Gym, in (north) Kansas City. I think it was 1983, but I could have the year wrong. I’m forgetful these days. I mean no disrespect to him or his, but he just wasn’t a major ANYBODY, in Ryu Te. No offense intended. Which is all I will say about Dillman.
    There is little anyone can do about me, I’m retired from training, I’m disabled and living on SSI now. I just wanted to set some of these comments in this blog in some kind of personal perspective. I signed up almost all the students that studied from Shintaku Sensei at the Hombu, and I really don’t remember you at all. Sorry, my memory is probably at fault, in this case.
    Kaicho Amor is a faithful and loyal student to Taika, as is Shintaku Doshu. Both were more the victims of politics than any offense or personal life change. Taika has his own life, family, art, and students to consider, and neither of these men have ever disrespected him, in my presence or otherwise, as far as I know. I do know both of them personally, and Taika personally. I spoke to all of them within the past month, over the phone. (including Taika)
    Feel free to e mail me, if you want to. I am always happy to visit with others.

    Sharon Hayakawa,
    hayakawa(< @t mark>)

  8. I also forgot to mention that you should check the most recent new information about Shintaku Doshu, on his website. Particularly, the drop down about the founder. It’s very interesting, as family backgrounds go.

    Sharon Hayakawa

  9. I looked up my web site. As always, I enjoy sharing with others, and there is no charge or anything, for downloading any of the art. It’s been diminished a little since it had to be redone, though, so other art that was there may be deleted now. One was used for one of Taika’s Ryukyu Kempo association newsletters, as a holiday greeting one year. I often did holiday greetings for them, but the one that year with the dragon theme was signed by Taika.
    I’m still working on the e mail, Bassett san, but now that I know a little more about you, I feel a little sorry to come off so strongly about the comments you made without knowing more about it.

    Sharon Hayakawa

  10. admin says:

    That’s OK, Sharon. I made some pretty harsh and ultimately misguided assuptions based on Shintaku-Doshu choosing to not put Oyata’s name on his website, and combined that with a bit of my own pet peeve against pretentious titles. You corrected me, and no harm done.

  11. Im am impressed with the professional manner in which these things were handled.
    And Hello Sharon Sensei,
    thanks for sahring the info.

  12. it seems like e very good web site but my Chinese is not good. It would be great if it might be availible in English too. Thanks.

  13. admin says:

    Well, there isn’t any Chinese on this site, but lots of Japanese. Still, any place that I have written Japanese characters I also included the pronunciation in English characters.

  14. Jacob Flaston says:

    I am curious about Shintaku Doshu training in kendo what rank is he. And are his students in the eyes of another kendoka getting same education in kata,etiquette and are his students ever at any competetions. I am just curious. ( His website says he teaches kendo if so does he give dan ranking to his students I am pretty sure you have to go before a commitee. I am just a curious kendoka if offended anyone i am sorry. just curious.

  15. admin says:

    I can’t say myself what Shintaku Sensei does of course, but in my experience, it is not unusual for martial artists to have official membership in more than one organization. During my time in Kyoto when I studied iaido, all the iaido instructors had affiliation with at least two organizations. They were ranked as iaido practitioners within the AJKF (All Japan Kendo Federation), generally 5th dan or higher for the instructors. In addition to that, they had a ranking within their particular style of iaido, be it Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Muso Shinden Ryu, or some other style. Several of the instructors also were ranked in kendo itself (as opposed to strictly iaido) and other instructors were also ranked in other styles, like aikido, jojutsu, judo, etc.

    Of course, it’s possible that a martial artist may have studied for many years in a style, and no longer be affiliated with that style even though they incorporate many of it’s teachings into their own. I don’t think that’s a bad thing necessarily, as any teacher can only teach that which they know. And as I surmised earlier, I think a lot of this breaking away and forming your own style has a lot of economic motivation as opposed to ideological (i.e., why should I keep sending 15% of my profits back to the honbu when it’s me doing all the teaching and bookkeeping here? If I go independent I can keep these profits to help build my own school, etc.) I think this kind of thinking is pretty normal when a professional martial artist has to consider the practical realities of managing their own school and dojo.

  16. Jacob Flaston says:

    I talked to a high school who had been studying kendo under Shintaku sensei. He told me that because of financial back drops for him and other kendo trainees do not actually own bogu but practice usually technique and he told me his sensei has not gone over kata with the years of training under him.

  17. Rick Caudle says:

    Where is Oyata Sensei teaching now?
    Thank you

  18. admin says:

    Oyata’s organization is called Ryute Renmei (琉手連盟) and has headquarters at the following address:

    RyuTe® Renmei Technical Headquarters
    Taika Seiyu Oyata
    19105 E. 30th St.
    Independence, MO 64057

    There are additional links and email addresses and such that can be found in the main web site above.

  19. Rick Caudle says:

    Thanks a lot! I appreciate it. This is kind of full circle for me. I have been in martial arts since 1973. I started in Shorinji-Ryu, but after about a year and a half, moved and began training in Jeet Kune Do and other arts. I am a certified instructor in JKD, Filipino Martial Arts, and Muay Thai. Now at the ripe old age of 56, I am training in Kyusho Jitsu and Tuite. I would love to someday meet and train with Oyata Sensei.
    Thanks again.

  20. Pingback: Moroha 諸刃 » How to Start Your Own Martial Arts Style, pt. 3

  21. D'veed Natan says:

    Another Oyata product. There is Rocky Leavitt, also.

  22. I like it very much thanks a lot

  23. Jeff Andrews says:

    I care not about rank and credentials. Knowledge is the key to defining ones self. After training in 2 forms of judo, 2 forms of karate, Thai kick boxing, and american kick boxing, I would include Thai Kwon Do but have little respect for the false sence of security they have, what I have concluded is that there are practical things to keep from all. There are useless things in all. Combining and incorporating the practical things and teaching a totally new all around art is importaint. I do not care for the ranking systom, it means nothing these days. Tournament is a joke. I claim no belt and never will. Martial Arts should evolve. Tradition has failed the students in the U.S. due to th money making machine and relaxed training. Open Kumite is what I choose as the way teach as close quarters combat. Kata should be for practical use in kumite not a show of useless moves that are rarely used as the basis for fighting. Kata should be one with fighting. Practical kata taught and learned to perfection with full understanding of the movements will, in time, make a fine martal artist. There is no reason, other than tradition that seems lost to even the masters today, to stick to a style and not educate yourself in the other aspects of defence through offence. I’m not talking cage fighting MMA style of fighting. I believe in a progressive new approach without the politics or arrogence in todays karate. Every man is capable of creating something new from old ideas and no one art covers all one might need to know. Evolution is good for martial arts if taught with ethics, morals, and a purpose. To discount new ideas is stupid. Every man must breathe, see, and stand to fight. I know how how to take these things from anyone and fear no one reguardless of title. New forms of karate should be concidered as legitament as they proove to be. Crap is crap and Thai Kwon Don’t falls squarely in this catagory in the ATA. Fight even a “Master” is not difficult. Titles are purchased today and the path to a better art is more practical expertice.

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