Chapter Nine


  • Japan from the 10th Century onwards
  • The 47 Ronin
  • The warrior lords and their Ryu
  • The Monasteries and the Yamabushi
  • The martial arts Ryu
  • The Ryu’s Sensei
  • Recognition of martial arts expertise
  • Ryu training methods
  • Secrets of the Ryu
  • The “Do” or the “Jutsu” martial arts
  • Which do you choose?

Ryu Kyu KobujutsuThe Yuishinkai Kobujutsu Ryu traces its roots right back to the old Ryu and is a melding of these traditional ways and methods.

The 10th century onwards

n the 10th and 11th centuries the military classes played a dominant role as the various clans fought each other. The concept of collective responsibility and punishment was also enforced.  There is the well-known story of the 47 Ronin that epitomises this attitude and culture of the people of those times.

The warrior lords and their Ryu

The time from the early 1600s, known as the Edo period, was a time of enforced peace and was renowned for its highly developed culture in the various arts, religious matters, etiquette and administration.

The Ronin

Ronin actually means a “man of the waves.”

The Monasteries

The Yamabushi, the warrior monks congregated at these temples.  The Yamabushi had always been skilled in all types of martial arts and weapons.

The Ryu

These ryu were usually named after their founders The old ryu were structured in a vertical, hierarchical organisation with the headmaster at the top.

The Ryu Sensei

The Sensei was the master of the ryu in every sense of the word.  A good Sensei had the ability to pass this knowledge onto his students.

The Recognition of Martial Arts Expertise

In line with Japanese martial arts, Yuishinkai Kobujutsu has nine kyu grades, each with its own coloured belt. The Dan grades start when one is awarded a First Dan grade as a First Kyu.

Ryu Training Methods

Many different training methods are used by the martial arts schools of today. Some are more focussed on a competitive style, others are focussed on self-defence.

Secrets of the Ryu

Techniques were normally passed on orally and the advanced techniques were only shown and explained to senior students.  This practice is very much the same in today’s traditional ryu.

Which is right – the “Do” or “Jutsu” form of martial art?

This is a constant question in the minds of thinking people who are involved in the martial arts.  There is no easy answer and it actually depends on what you are looking for in your life.

Which type of martial art do you choose?

I have always been grateful that my own martial arts journey has been in the traditional Ryu of Yuishinkai Kobujutsu.


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