The Kenshinryu was originally formed in 1991 as a full time provider of the traditional Japanese martial art of Yoshinkan Aikido. In 2000 it expanded its syllabus to include instruction in Shinto Muso Ryu. The influence of the kobudo of Shinto Muso Ryu has permeated the Aikido practice until it has built upon and diverged from its roots in Yoshinkan Aikido resulting in a change of style to Kenshinryu Aikido. Classes are provided 6 days per week at the Honbu Dojo on the Sunshine Coast.
The Kenshinryu style owes a great deal to Headmaster Dangerfield Sensei’s training in the kobudo of Shinto Muso Ryu under Master Nishioka Tsuneo Sensei by whom he was awarded the traditional certification of Shomokuroku. Kenshinryu Aikido is notable for its strong spirit and technique and the re-incorporation of genuine sword principles to the unarmed practice.
Symbiosis means ‘to live together.’
There are three kinds of symbiosis. Parasitism – one organism harmfully exploits another. Commensalism – one organism takes advantage of another without necessarily harming it. Mutualism – two or more organisms cooperate to the equal advantage of each other.
Time also comes in threes – Past, Present and Future. A deeper understanding of Martial Arts & Ways and their part in daily life can be gained by considering the three ways we can live together as an evolving process across the continuum that is time.
The past …. obliteration
Conflict between people has been very much a part of human history. In fact it’s a feature of the evolutionary process in the natural world where life forms struggle for resources and supremacy – survival of the fittest has been the message from our past. This has seen human warfare, individual and in massed armies, developing weaponry & armour, strategy, training & technology aimed at dominating their environment and each other. Japanese Bujutsu (warrior arts) is amongst the most sophisticated systems developed for individuals and armies to achieve that supremacy in the period before firearms came to dominate combat.
The need for years of dedicated training & experience in personal and professional combat evaporated when a relatively inexperienced person armed with a gun could dispatch an armoured professional at a significant distance. A new technology had arrived. In Japan it was accompanied by political and economic change of equal significance.
The present …. competition
The ancient Warrior arts morphed in three directions. One focused more on self defence in a civilian population. This involved less weapons training and more unarmed training. Weapons of choice in many countries were more concealable while law enforcement (and organised crime) adopted efficient firearms including handguns. The second direction in Japan came with increasing western influence as Bujutsu was transformed into competitive combat sport. There is now an argument that competition allowed for ‘real world’ testing of combatants skill however this is certainly not the case. In a modern competitive environment there are rules and referees – truly dangerous technique must be removed from the syllabus to ensure both people survive and are not maimed. The third possibility has been called Budo. The weapons, armoury & combat systems of the past – sword, spear, glaive (naginata), bow, unarmed etc came to be practised more by a smaller group who recognised this type of training still had relevance to human development.
In the present, the mutually destructive capacity of ancient combat systems has escalated to such an extent that warfare and the associated technology threaten not only all human life but the very existence of the entire planet. At the same time, the people involved in that scenario are more removed from the realities and impact of combat than ever before – a very dangerous combination.
The future …. cooperation
Perhaps the question that may best occupy us is not so much ‘what is martial art’ as ‘what can martial art be?’ How can ancient combat systems contribute to a future that is more positive than the present? The prevailing view struggles to recognise that cooperation is the future and this is enshrined in the evolution of Bujutsu to Budo. My teacher, Nishioka Tsuneo, doesn’t see these as opposing or even different concepts but as two points on the same road.
The universe demonstrates that symbiosis through Mutualism is the path we need to tread and Budo philosophy and practice can contribute positively to that direction. More so, it is vital that it does so. Humanity is poised on a precipice and Budo people can provide leadership and education that will assist in the positive evolution towards mutual benefit. Perhaps this is the vision of the future that Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei, founder of modern Aikido, saw when Japan lay in ruins after World War 2 – I cannot say for certain. What I can say is that the destructive aspects of martial arts from the past must be transformed so the past does not become our future once more.
The mission of the Kenshinryu is to model this spirit of change and to do so from the strong technical base provided by the past … to build on a proud heritage of warrior values and skills …. To walk along the path from Bujutsu to Budo to Peace …