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March 07th, 2009 -- Page updated in full. Text revised and edited for flow. August 07th 2013 new link added.

This is the page for discussion of the Shinden yoshin ryu and its mokuroku.

On these pages you'll find some detailed descriptions of things which might be helpful (even if it's not your school.)




This school is a derivative of Shinto yoshin ryu, according to most accounts, that changed its name to 'shinden' around 1910. The word 'shinden' and the word 'shinto'  mean about the same thing in Japanese: "Traditional (by Japanese standards)". Shinden yoshin ryu, although originating in Japan, is only a very minor school that is not associated with or derived from any of the koryu. The form of Shinto yoshin ryu from which it is said to have derived was NOT the famous koryu school by that same name (there are many different kinds of gendai schools that use the name 'shinto yoshin ryu' both inside and outside of Japan.) It bears no connection of any kind to the Akiyama lineage of schools. Another account says that the Shinden yoshin ryu was a break away from an earlier Takagi based gendai school (these schools are quite prolific and go by a variety of names quite often with the term “yoshin” included in them.) Whichever proves the case isn't very important since both are only tiny gendai schools without any real prestige.

Shinden yoshin ryu is a post war school, and our American dojos were likewise (separately so). These were Japanese jujutsu schools that originated in some relationship to the events of WWI in hoped for preparation should the World war re-occur (which of course, it did, WWII.) Karate schools also occur from the same theme of origin, in relationship to the World wars and a perceived need to prepare for national defense. These schools, whether jujutsu, judo or karate were extremely common (garden variety, nothing special mind you) intended as personal preparation for defense. They didn't teach paramilitarism, but instead had a focus on personal preparation and doctrines that taught duty and obligation relevant to social service (military, paramilitary or civilian emergency is what's meant.) Like the Japanese school itself, the American dojos were founded by former U.S. servicemen and the duty oriented teachings and doctrines kept intact as relevant should war re-occur or public service be engaged in (which, back then, seemed likely.) American post-war schools like this were very common. Nowadays, it's hard to find them. That's why I posted this record to the net in the first place.

For the longest time I couldn't find any references to Shinden yoshin ryu on the Internet, but over the years, a few have popped up -- mostly simple references to it. There are two forms of Shinden yoshin ryu, as far as I know: one has a structure and content more akin to the Takagi and Kukishin related schools (that'd be our branch.) The other branch has a structure and content a little more simplified, and is much closer to contemporary Shinto yoshin ryu. AS FAR AS I KNOW they are both just different branches of the same school. The other branch calls the techniques by simple literal names and almost never by the poetic names. For example, the other branch (and most forms of shinto yoshin ryu) call such as Oni kudaki 'Demon crusher' by the name 'Ude garame / Ude daoshi' (otherwise  'Hiji garame / Hiji doashi', 'Hiji osae' and etc) , Oni buse 'Laying out a demon' they call 'Ude gatame / Ude daoshi' ('Hiji gatame / Hiji daoshi', 'Hiji ori' and etc.


Like Shinto yoshin ryu, our school (both branches) was frequently employed by town police departments as basic training for duty. These schools are all considered good pursuits for men, since they lend themselves well to being useful for a soldier too. The school and its methods are not spurious, they are rather straight forward and to the point. In my instructors dojo, back in the 1970's and 1980's, one was expected to study and pursue a very wide variety of subjects relevant to the martial arts -- we were told that this was the way the school itself sought to instruct its students -- and that one never stopped being a student no matter what his rank. My instructor had served in the U.S. military and been stationed in Okinawa, where he used to travel to Osaka on leave. That was where the SYR dojo was, a very small group of people from what I was told. He brought back SYR after his tour of duty ended and set up shop in Florida back in 1973.

One of the things I had always appreciated about the school was its insistence on studying all kinds of stuff, when one reviews them, the SYR Hiden Mokuroku and the Mokuroku No Hyogai (List of Items Outside) show a proliferation of interesting subjects that one might not otherwise have thought connected to fighting techniques -- but now, years later, I know that its really very sensible a connection being that Jujutsu like this is meant for servicemen and police, emergency personnel and etc.   



When I was being trained, and for years as an assistant instructor, the katas were almost never named. Frequently we just called them "techniques", but we did know that some stuff had names: we knew what 'oni kudaki' was, we knew what 'ganseki nage', 'koshi guruma', 'koshi ori' was and etc. But we were REALLY confused by it all. See, we thought the throw was called 'koshi guruma' and did NOT understand that the kata was called this. Nor did we understand that it was possible to see a variation of koshi guruma that didn't involve any form of a hip throw.

Now today everybody understands this stuff, back then we didn't. What I know now is that the katas, or 'techniques' as we used to call them, aren't even that special -- they're all from a common garden variety assortment of fighting techniques that are easy to get ones hands on. HOWEVER, one aspect of the way we were trained and learned the techniques (kata) was pretty interesting and not very common to encounter today. So I chose to use that approach (the same approach we were taught with) in addressing the katas, because its not what one commonly encounters in today's training. Go here for kata interpretations.  




Shinden yoshin ryu densho-bungaku study manual.


The Purpose of Jujutsu.







Tonko-no-jutsu discussion page.


Another discussion page on the school.


Budo No Kansei -- the Complete Martial Path.


 Return -- Back to Mokuroku front page


July 20th, 2008

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