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History of Shindenfudo Ryu


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History of Shindenfudo Ryu

History of Shindenfudo Ryu

The Ryu originated by Genpachiro Temeyoshi in the mid 12th century. It is traced back to Koshijutsu which was introduced by Izumo Kanja Yoshitero (Hiden Ninja Submission). However that this would have been the same person as the Izumo of Kukishinden-ryu is not likely, the dates are not the same. In the scrolls it is written that Mizuhara Kuro Yoshinari, lord of Mizuhara castle, brought forth by Minamoto no Yoshitsune during his flight from the capital. He was a great master of Iai (draw-cutting). In the scrolls of Fudo Ryu, it is written that he may have been the originator of Iai (Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu video).

Kuden says that Yari was taught to Izumo (the founder) by Tengu, and these techniques still remains a secret today. Takamatsu sensei started training at Toda's dojo when he was 9 years old. And the first school he studied was Shindenfudo-Ryu (Bujin magazine). Shinden Fudo Ryu suits small or weak persons very well (Doron Navon, Ninja magazine, page 10).


Hogenbo, Tesshin

Sakabe, Tendo

Izumo, Kanja Yoshiteru (Kumano) Yeikyu (1113)

Minamoto, Hachiman Tamenari Genyei (1118)

Minamoto, Hachiro Tameyoshi Hogen (1156)

Mizuhara, Kuro Yoshinari Genkyu (1204)

Mugaibo, Shinnen Tempuku (1233)

Ohkuni, Zenhachiro Yoshinobu Bunyie (1264)

Hata, Saburo Sasukeyasu? (? )

Kotani, Yuhachiro Nobuchika Geboko (1321 or 1331)

Kaneko, Jinsuke Yoshikiyo Shohei (1346)

Tajima, Genkoro Nariyoshi Genchu (1384)

Kammon, Kokanja Yoshikane Shocho (1428)

Kimura, Hozen Kwancho (1460)

Ibuki, Yoshihaha Bummei (1469)

Otsuka, Hakushi Nyudo Tadamori Yeisho (1506)

Otsuka, Daikuro Tadahide Taiyei (1522)

Abe, Muga Tensho (1573)

Koga, Taro Kyokokaku Tensho (1573)

Katayama, Hokinokami Mori HisayasuBunroku (1592)

Shindo, Unsai Kwanyei (1624-1644)

Odagiri, Tohyoe Yoshihiso Kwanyei (1624-1644)

Iida, Jubee Tameyoshi Meiwa (1764)

Mori, Genroku Masahide Bunkwa (1804)

Toyota, Jubei Mitsuyoshi Keiyo (1865)

Toda, Shinryuken Masamitsu (Kobe) Meiji (1824. - 1909.)

Takamatsu, Toshitsugu (Nara) Taisho (1909) (1888.03.01 - 1972.04.??)

Hatsumi, Masaaki (Noda) Showa (1968) (1931.12.02 -)

The law of the Dojo

The following rules are said to be the ones listed in Shinryuken Masamitsu Toda's Dojo. Toda was a master of many Ryu-ha (schools). Takamatsu inherited six schools from him and which in turn was handed over to Hatsumi Soke.

To know that patience comes first.

To know that the path of Man comes from justice.

To renounce avarice, indolence, and obstinacy.

To recognize sadness and worry as natural, and to seek the immovable heart.

To not stray from the path of loyalty and brotherly love, and to delve

always deeper into the heart of Budo.

-- Meiji 23 (1890) spring, Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu

-- Showa 33 (1958) March, Takamatsu Toshitsugu Uou

The Principles of Shinden Fudô Ryu

There is a twofold meaning to the “Nature” of Shinden Fudo Ryu. First, there is the secret principle of the school, the “Principle of Nature.” Instead of building a dojo and then training, students are taught to use nature to make the body strong. The legs and the hips are conditioned first. Then, rocks and trees are used to toughen the fists. Trees are excellent training partners for practicing do jime (body choke) and various strikes and kicks. Walking through a bamboo grove one practices the unique kicking method of the Shinden Fudo Ryu. This is training in take-ori kicking. One walks and kicks without stopping. Here, rather than breaking at once, one breaks gradually, with a series of blows. Then one tears bark off trees. This is similar to tearing human skin. One grabs and crushes, or grabs and holds, a withered core inside a big tree. This training increases gripping strength for chokes and seizing muscles. Body throws can be practiced by bending supple trees. Rolling and falling on uneven ground with rocks and sticks provide a realistic training environment and help to teach situational awareness. Shinden Fudo Ryu also uses “Nature” to emphasize the importance of moving in a natural way, without power or force. All of the techniques in this school (and the others in the Bujinkan Ninjutsu system) are practiced without utilizing physical strength as a means to overcome an opponent. The techniques are successful by using angles, distance and timing. Striking and kicking are done from a natural posture with no set-up or telegraphing. They should take the opponent by surprise from a blind angle. There are no set Kamae (stance, posture) in Shinden Fudo Ryu, with the notable exception of Shizen no Kamae (natural posture), which holds no fixed form. A characteristic of this Ryu can be found in its recognition of natural style as the only posture of defense. However, in reality, a person imagines a posture of defense in his mind and places himself on guard. As nothing in nature is fixed, so it should be with one’s movement. Nature is comprised of moment to moment changes, and these natural body changes become the Kamae.

The Essence of Nature

It is difficult to quantify and express in words the true meaning of “Nature” in the training of Shinden Fudo Ryu. The principles of this school lie on many levels, often too complex to explain in simple terms. To fully understand how and why these techniques were developed, it is important to think and train the way Izumo did in the 1100s:

• Train outdoors.

• Use what is around you as your dojo.

• Don’t get caught up in positions and details.

• Above all try and eliminate any forced or “unnatural” movement.

Not everyone has access to armor, so when training, try to visualize and incorporate your movement as if you were wearing some. When you can apply these principles to your training you will begin to understand the essence and true “Nature” of Shinden Fudô Ryu.

Moving Naturally

Every individual has a unique way of moving. As people mature, “habits” of motion develop, giving each person their own distinct way of walking, sitting, etc. Unfortunately, most of these habits contradict natural movement, and actually hinder motion. When a baby picks up an object from the ground he or she will bend down at the knees, keeping their back straight, and use their legs to raise and lower their body. Babies will instinctively use the largest muscle groups to coordinate balance and strength when moving. Most adults, on the other hand, will bend at the waist and rely on the smaller back muscles to perform the same task. They assume that these “shortcuts” of motion are more efficient, when in fact the opposite is true. Large weapons such as the Ono (battlefield axe), O-Tsuchi (large war hammer) and Yari (spear) are also found in Shinden Fudo Ryu. Because of their size and weight, it would be impossible to wield these weapons unless the entire body’s movement was integrated. Kuden says that Yari was taught to Izumo (the founder) by Tengu, and these techniques still remains a secret today. As an exercise, walk slowly in a straight line. Try to eliminate all unnecessary motion or habitual patterns. Keep your body relaxed and allow your body to compensate for uneven terrain or obstacles naturally – without overcompensating with muscle or tension. This is the true movement of Shinden Fudo Ryu.

Shinden Fudô Ryu Punching

Traditionally, Shinden Fudo Ryu was developed for warriors wearing armor. Because of the heavy and cumbersome armor of the time, techniques needed to be both energy efficient and powerful. A punch, as we know it today, would be very slow and difficult to execute. The unique punching style of Shinden Fudô Ryu emphasizes the use of natural movement with the whole body, not just the shoulder and arm. This economy of motion saved time and energy, both of which were vital in battle.

Here is an example of the Shinden Fudo Ryu punching method:

• Start from Shizen no Kamae (stand naturally).

• Step forward with your right leg. At the same time, punch by bringing your right hand straight out from your hip, surprising the opponent from a blind angle.

• Make sure to open your hips to provide better balance and posture. By opening the hips, a better posture of balance and stability is achieved, which is crucial when wearing heavy armor. Punching in this fashion provides added benefits such as allowing you to keep your sword (worn on the left side of the body) away from an opponent’s grasp. This also allows the punch to go unnoticed, by coming from underneath rather than straight on (like a jab) or from the side (like a hook). The Shinden Fudo Ryu punch should strike areas of an opponent’s body not protected by armor.

“With Shinden Fudo-ryu you are in armor. Real armor is very heavy so if you relaxed your muscles, the weight of the armor would crumple down on you. Remember this. So they go to grab you to throw you to the ground, all you need to do is open up and grab the ‘skirt’ here behind them. So long as you do that, they cannot throw you. And from here, you can reach up and grab the back of their helmet to tip their head back. This will allow you to punch, otherwise you would hurt your hand on their mask.Or you could place your hand on their mask here, and slam it into their face. Just keep a hold, and keep slamming it to bloody them up. Then you could rip the mask off, or just force their head back, exposing their neck. This is how you must train.”

Iaijutsu and the Sword

It is written in the Shinden Fudo Ryu scrolls that Iaijutsu (draw cutting) may have originated from this school. The Shinden Fudo Ryu sword is typically much longer than a katana. To compensate for the sword’s unusual length, a unique style of Iaijutsu (sword drawing) was developed. The best way to hold a sword like this is to hold it upright in 'Wangetsu no Kamae', or resting on the left arm. One technique in this style involves drawing the sword vertically while pushing the saya (sword scabbard) back. This type of Iaijutsu allows the sword to be drawn in a confined space, for example when fighting on a crowded battlefield. Due to the swords’ size it is important to use the spine and not just the arm when drawing the sword. By drawing only with the arm, many people would not be capable of completely removing the sword from the saya. Sheathing the sword is done by turning sideways so the tip of the sword will always face the opponent. If necessary the sword can be pushed forward to prevent an oncoming attack. This type of sheathing also helps to hide the length of the sword, since the opponent is looking at the sword head-on. By taking a step back with the left leg and angling the body when pushing the sword into the saya, the dimensions of the sword stays hidden, and the sword remains in a ready position. The cutting method of Shinden Fudo Ryu relies on using the swords’ weight, not upper body movement or power. This again emphasizes the principles of natural movement as opposed to forced muscle strength. The sword is literally allowed to drop on to the opponent, and body movement is used to push the sword down and in to complete a cut.

Ten no Kata

1. Nichigeki (Solar strike)

A: In Kumi uchi, attempts to perform an ogoshi

D: Drops your hips, left boshiken strike to his left kidney. Right shako ken strike to his face step in behind his right leg with your right leg and perform Osoto. When he is down on the floor apply a straight arm lock.

Note: the right hand is very important in this technique, for example it can be used to search for hidden weapons e.g. a Tanto inside his jacket.


i) The opponent, wearing daisho, grabs and attempts a throw. Drop your weight, and then your right hand grabs the tsuka of the daito and pushes the tsuba into the sternum or ribs. To throw push the opponent back using the daito.

ii) Attacker grabs. Drop your hips. Your left hand grabs the bottom of the saya of the daito and pulls it across and behind the opponent using it to place an arm bar on his right arm. Your right arm now frees itself and grabs the tsuka of the shoto and uses it to put pressure across his right hip joint. Next, kick his right leg to the right with your right foot to throw him.

iii) When the attacker is thrown he should try to land on his feet especially if he is wearing daisho.

iv) When he comes in for his technique you strike to his right shichibatsu using his right elbow by punching it with your left hand.

v) When he goes to throw bring your right arm to point up (bent at the elbow)and your left arm points in the direction in front of him. Then strike with your right hand to his face.

vi) Opponent comes into throw. Drop your hips. Your right hand comes up so that it is at the left side of your neck while your left hand holds the left side of the opponents neck and grabs. Strike right ura shuto to the right side of his neck and hold and choke. You then use a head hold and turn his neck anticlockwise while stepping away with your left foot to throw him.

vii) As opponent comes in to throw you Yoko aruki to your left with your right foot. Drop down to kneel bringing your opponent down so that his back breaks across your right knee.

viii) Yoko Aruki to the right with your left foot. Step around and behind with your left foot whilst twisting his torso to throw him.

2. Gekkan (Moon Liver)

A: Right punch

D: Left jodan uke, hold his right hand with your left, grab his right shoulder with your right hand, right kick to his groin then step back with your right leg and pull him down. Apply an O Gyaku when he is on the floor.


i) He punches. You avoid by stepping slightly back and to the right with your right foot. You grasp his right hand with your left. If he then goes to throw a left punch (without stepping forward) you twist your hips anticlockwise so that they are parallel to his right arm.(You can also strike with your right elbow as you do this).Grab his right shoulder with your right hand and kick to his stomach with the toes of your right foot. Step back with your right leg and pull him down to the floor. Apply an Ogyaku. It is possible to dislocate his arm by putting pressure on it with your body.

ii) If he is wearing Daisho you must move your body do that it is between the Tsuka of the two swords. From there draw back your left foot (thus creating distance) and kick to his stomach with your right foot. Step back with your right foot taking him down and to the ground. Then lean to his arm using your body and grab hold of the end of the saya of his Daito with your left hand so that it pets pressure on his body and he submits.

iii) As above but use a knee strike and strike with the right elbow as you step in between the tsuka of the swords.

iv) He is wearing Daisho. Right puch. Step back and hold his right hand with your left.Step in with your right foot and grab the Tsuka of the Daito with your right hand and strike to his chin with its Tsuba. Hold the back of his head with your left hand and choke by bringing your hands towards each other as if to make them meet. Step in front of him with your left foot and throw him by twisting your hips clockwise.

v) He is wearing Daisho. He strikes in. Step back and to the right with your right foot and hold his right wrist with your left hand. Step in by kicking to his stomach with your right foot and grab his right shoulder with your right hand. Step and grab the saya of his Daito with your right hand and use it (by lifting it) to throw him by stepping back. Once he is on the floor (face down) hold the Tsuka of his shoto with your right hand and the saya of his Daito with your left and squeezes his body. Draw his shoto and cut to his neck

vi) Both are wearing daisho. Do Gekkan as normal but when he is on the floor you lock his right arm by holding onto the Tsuka of your daito with your left hand and put pressure on his elbow with the tsuka. Draw your shoto with your right hand and cut.

3. Fubi (Brought down by the wind)

A: Hon jime D: Grab the opponents Trapezius muscle, jump up and wrap your legs around him and squeeze your legs together, strike with the base of your right fist to his nose, drop to the floor and do koho kaiten


i) He is wairing daisho. He grabs. You grab the Tsuba of his daito with your right hand and the Tsuka of his shoto with your left hand. Push forward with your right hand and backwards with your left (N.B. this can be done with the daito tsuka inside or outside the opponents left arm).Twist him around then place an arm bar on his left arm using the daito. Move away from him to dram his Daito and cut.

ii) As he grabs, lift his daito up as you go to grab his shoulders. Leap up hitting him with the tsuka of the daito. Drop down and roll back. Throw metsubishi into his eyes

iii) He comes in with Hon jime. Place your hands between his hand and press boshiken into his throat using both hands. Grab his left and right trapezius muscles with your right and left hands as you step behind his left leg with your right and his right leg with your left. Push him forward to unbalance him so that he drops to the floor with his torso between your legs and squeeze then push on his chin with your right hand.

4. Uryu (Rain Dragon)

A: Full nelsons hold from behind

D: Lower both arms, hold his right hand (using your thumb pressed into the pressure point)with your right hand, step back under his right arm putting on an Ura gyaku lock on his wrist, step back to kneel on your left knee while pushing his elbow with your left hand to throw him.


Don't try to escape, bring your arms down so that they are bent at the elbow and by your sides. Next use the Kyusho known as Gokoku to give him pain. Drive your hips back to strike at his right leg to unbalance him.


i) Step to your left with your left foot while pulling him down by lowering your right arm. Next grab his hair with your right hand and pull him forward to throw him. Then pull his hair as you strike with the right knee to the top of his head when he is on the ground

ii) This time when he grabs he links his hands behind your head. Turn your hips clockwise as you step a little back and to the left bending at the waist as you do so (as if you are going to touch your toes).Grab his right ankle with your right hand and pull on his ankle to throw him to the floor.

5. Unjaku (Cloud Sparrow)

A: Right punch D: Drop down on your right knee, right punch to his face as you rise up. Grab the flesh under his left armpit with your right hand. Step back with your right leg ('through' his left leg) as you pull forward with your right hand to throw him.

Note: The defense against this when wearing Daisho is that when the defender has escaped and then come up to punch, you use the tsuba of the Daito to parry his punch.


i) Opponent is wearing Daisho. Drop down to the ground. As you rise up grab the tsuka of the daito with your right hand drawing the sword upwards to strike to the opponents nose with the tsuba. Draw the blade fully and step back with your right foot and have the sword resting across your left forearm (for support) and Tsuki.

ii) He punches.You drops down so that you are outside the punch (kneeling on your left leg) with your right knee on the inside of his right leg and strike with your right fist to his groin. Stand up using your shoulder to strike to the elbow of his straightened arm and strike right boshiken to his throat followed by a right toe strike to his throat (the last two strikes should be done in such a way so that the opponent is unable to see them coming).

iii) He punches. Drop down and roll 'through' his right leg and continue the roll so that you finish up sitting astride him.

6. Setsuyaku (Snow Gleam)

A: Right punch

D:Left jodan uke, take hold of his right wrist with your left hand, step in with the right leg and barring his elbow with your bent right arm (i.e. you wrap your right arm around his right arm) perform a gyaku seio nage.


It is important that when you hold his right wrist with your left hand that you rotate the wrist anticlockwise.


He punches.You move back and to the right with your right foot. Take hold of his right wrist with your left hand .Step in with your right foot behind his right foot whilst holding his right arm at the elbow with your bent right arm. Perform an Osoto to throw him and then use your right knee to put pressure on his ribs when he is on the ground.

7. Musan (Fog Scattering)

A: Right punch

D: Turn clockwise outside the punch and take hold of the opponents right hand with your left hand. Push his arm to the side as you do a right punch to his face. Step under his right arm (anticlockwise) then pull on the arm to straighten in (so that it is in line with his shoulders) and strike right shuto to his elbow.

8. Karai (Mist Thunder)

A: Take hold of the left lapel with your right hand D: Place your left hand under his right, step back with your left leg pulling him forward while you perform a right punch to his ribs. Place a take ori on his extended right arm while you take hold of his right shoulder with your right hand. Step back with your right leg while pushing up with your left arm and pulling down with your right. Apply O Gyaku.


He grabs your left lapel with his right hand. Turn clockwise using your left elbow to put pressure on his arm and strike with the right fist to the solar plexus (without stepping forward) next strike with the left elbow into his ribs. Grab hold of his right shoulder with your right hand. Step back with the right leg and pull him onto the ground. Apply O Gyaku. Grab his both hands with your right and press into his lower spine with your left hand while lifting his torso up to break his spine.

Chi no kata

Unless otherwise stated both opponents wear Daisho

1. RIKKEN (Reason fist)

A: Seiza. Grab the left lapel with your right hand

D: Fudoza. Push your scabbard up with your left hand, reach across his arm and use the tsuka to apply Ura Gyaku .Left Keri to his sternum whilst leaning back. Perform a straight arm lock.

2. SHINKEN (Heart fist)

A: Seiza. Right hand grab to the left lapel

D: Fudoza. Right punch to his inner elbow, right Keri to the sternum, upward strike with the left forearm to his right arm, backward roll

3. RAIKKEN (Thunder fist)

A: Shizen-Right Keri

D: Fudoza. Lean back to the right using the right hand for support. Left gedan uke (hold his leg) then right Keri to his groin

4. HENKYO (Changing emptiness)

A: Left hand grab to the right lapel. Right thrust with the kodachi to the stomach

D: Start to apply omote gyaku using your right hand, right Keri to his sternum as he thrusts, stand up and continue omote gyaku.

5. ISSEN (One flash)

A: Shizen. Right Keri, right jodan kiri with kodachi

D: Fudoza. Gedan uke, as he cuts move to the left, grab his right hand with yours. Right sweeping kick using the sole of your foot to the inside of his right ankle while you pull down with your right hand.

6. AKUKEN (Bridge fist)

A: Dai jodan no Kamae. Jodan kiri.

D: Fudoza. Koho kaiten while kicking his hands with your right leg, into seated right Ichimonji no Kamae.

7. KENKON (Heaven Earth)

A: Jodan kiri from behind.

D: Fudoza. Lean to the left side and lift your right knee up so that it is parallel to your body.Grab his hands with your right hand and pull him forward onto your right thigh. Apply Ura gyaku as you stand up and turn ina clockwise direction. Disarm him and cut.

8. SUIRYU (Weeping willow)

A: Seigan. Tsuki

D: Fudoza. Lean to the side using the right hand for support. Use your left hand to grab his left elbow and push to the side. Right Keri to the stomach stands up while using the right arm to encircle his two arms from underneath. Squeeze together, step behind his right leg with your right leg and perform o Soto. Disarm and cut.


(Pattern of natural ultimate)

1. TAINAGASHI (Body Flow)

A: Left hand grab to the right lapel. Right punch.

D: Hold his left hand with your right, push to the side to put some pressure on the arm using your forearm. Right jodan uke, grab his left lapel and push up with your right hand, yoko nagare, continue rolling until you are sat upright.


A: Left hand grab to the right lapel. Right punch

D: Cover his left hand with your right. Jodan uke , use your left and right hands to put a bent arm Ura gyaku on his left arm then push up with your right hand whilst stepping in with your right leg and then pull back down with your right hand so that the lock is back on. Turn clockwise and use the lock to throw him.

3. FUBATSU (Unswerving)

A: Left hand grab to the right lapel .Right hand punch.

D: Straight away grab his left shoulder with your right hand. Left jodan uke, right Keri to his stomach. Step in with your left foot so that you are at a right angle to his body whilst using your bent arm to push up under his right armpit while pulling with your right arm. Drop down so that you are kneeling on your right knee and turn clockwise to throw him.

4. RYOTEGAKE (Two handed hook)

A: Hon jime

D: Using both hands under each of his elbows put on a nerve hold, step back with the left foot while pulling down with the left arm and pushing up with the right, as he resists reverse the movement and throw him held still in this position in a ganseki nage.

5. ROUTO (Wolf Topple)

A: Right hand grab to the left lapel. Left punch.

D: Right jodan uke, place the right hand over his right and perform Ura gyaku whilst stepping forward with your left leg and simultaneously strike to his right armpit, step back to take him down. Left Keri to the ribs when he is on the floor.

6. FUDO (Unmoving)

A: Left hand grab to the right lapel. Right punch.

D: Put your right hand under his, then put a take ori on whilst you step back and to the side with your right leg at the same time punching his right arm with your left. Step clockwise under his left arm maintaining the lock and hold his bent arm behind his back. Grab his collar with your right hand and walk backwards. Stamp on the back of his knee with the sole of your left foot.

7. UGARI (Quail clip)

A: Kumi uchi. Osoto (stepping to his right side)

D: Grab his left pectoral muscle with your right hand whilst stepping back with your left leg. As he throws pull him down with you and roll so that you are on top astride his chest then apply Hon jime using your body weight to reinforce the strangle.

8. FUKAN (No Posthumous Name)

A: Kumi uchi, attempt hip throw

D: Drop your hips whilst pushing his hips forward with your left hand. Right upper cut to his face, grab his left loin then step in and perform a shoulder roll under him pulling him over the top of you.

9. SHIZEN (Nature)

(i) A: Double lapel grab and pull forward D: Move forward, kikaku ken strike to the face the right Tsuki to his sternum.

(ii) A: Kumi uchi. Attempt hip throw.

D: Drop your hips, right Tsuki to stomach, turn forty five degrees clockwise and walk through him

(iii) A: Right Tsuki

D: Step to the left side. Right arm encircles the attackers neck and arm until unconscious. Walk away

(iv) A: Right Keri

D: Turn clockwise and walk through the leg

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