Gassan Sadatoshi – Master of Swordsmanship

A phenomenal tradition of  800 years: At the skirt of Mt. Aogaki within the east of Nara bowl, there dwells “Yamanobe no Michi,” or an old street interfacing Nara and Miwa. The stone-paved street leads you from Omiwa Hallowed place in Sakurai City to the assistant hallowed place Sai Holy place, and inevitably to a white-walled building “Gassan Japanese Sword Preparing Dojo and Dedication House”. This grave put faces to the Sai Waterway, and Sasa-yuri (lilies on three-toed plants) for “Saikusa no …

Higaonna Kanryo, the founder of Naha-te

After becoming a disciple of Master Ryu Ryuko, Higaonna Sensei helped his master at his trade during the day as a craftsman of bamboo. Training look place after dark starting with the practice of Sanchin. Then, lifting the Nigiri-game (heavy ceramic jars), by their rims, a student would practice Unsokuho (a pattern of stepping movements). …

The legend Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushin Karate

Masutatsu Oyama was born in Korea in 1923 and is the founder of Japan’s most famous and widespread karate style in the world. At the age of 9, Mas Oyama learned Chinese kenpo in Manchuria and practiced judo and boxing as a teenager. All this leads to training in Okinawan karate, which serves as a …

Miyamoto Musashi – The Samurai Legend

Miyamoto Musashi was a Japanese samurai and swordsman who became a legend. Musashi is known for his remarkable skill as a swordsman and the many duels he has won since his early teens. He is the founder of the Ni Ten Ichi Ryu school and the author of Go Rin No Sho (“The Book of …

Muso Gonnosuke – The Man Who Defeated Musashi

Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi, samurai of the early 17th century, launches a system that elevates the simple stick to one of Japan’s favorite martial arts weapons called Jojutsu. He practiced in Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu, then studied Kashima Jikishinkage-ryu, practicing their secret techniques called “ichi no tachi”. According to legends, Gonnosuke took part in a large number of …

Kano Jigoro – the creator of Judo

Kano Jigoro is the creator of judo, the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to be recognized as an official Olympic sport. Educators of the new innovations presented to Jigoro Kano should be used on white and black belts and be introduced to the dans to show the relative …

Musō Jikiden Eishin – Ryū

The founder of the early school of Eishin-ryu is Hayashizaki Minamoto no Shigenobu (1546-1621). Hayashizaki was born in Oshu, Dewa Province (present-day Yamagata Prefecture). Many of the historical details of Hayashizaki’s life are highly suspicious. It is assumed that he grew up during the constant wars in Japan and for this reason began to study …