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Shindo Yoshinryu History Print

Wadoryu Karate and Shindo Yoshinryu Jujutsu

The founder of Wadoryu karate Ohtsuka Hironori said and wrote in many occasions that he had trained Shindo Yoshinryu jujutsu under Nakayama Tatsusaburo(1870-1945). It is quite natural that our curiosity extends to Shindo Yoshinryu jujutsu and Nakayama Tatsusaburo; our roots.
Shindo Yoshinryu jujutsu was founded by Matsuoka Katsunosuke (1836-1898). He was a doctor (in Chinese medicine), and studied Tenjin Shinyoryu jujutsu and Yoshin Koryu jujutsu together with Jikishinkageryu kenjutsu and Hokushin Ittoryu kenjutsu. He was fully licensed in Tenjin Shinyoryu jujutsu in 1855 and opened  a dojo of Tenjin Shinyoryu in Tokyo in 1858.
In 1864 he started his own style of jujutsu Shindo Yoshinryu and in 1870 he opened Shindokan Matsuoka-dojo where he taught both kenjutsu and jujutsu.
Matsuoka Katsunosuke founded Shindo Yoshinryu, but it has a long historical background that comes from the stream of Yoshinryu juj

Nakayama Tatsusaburo 1931 Shimotsuma Middle School (Picture Shimotsuma Daiich Highschool)

 Monument for Makayama Tatsusaburo in Shimotsuma-city



Two Yoshinryu jujutsu Streams


   Miura Yoshinryu Linage

1. Miura Yoshin (ca. 1560-1725? several generations?) Hizen, Nagasaki

6. Abe Kanryu (1712-1770)

dojo in Osaka ca. 1755

7. Egami Shimanosuke Taketsune (1747-1795) - dojo in Tokyo

8. Totsuka Hikouemon Hidesumi (1772-1847) - dojo in Tokyo

9. Totsuka Hikosuke Hidetoshi (1813-1886) – Tokyo, Atagoyama-dojo, instructor at Kobu-sho

10. Totsuka Hikokuro Hidemi (1840-1909) - Butokukai Hanshi

Kanaya Motoo - Yoshin-ryu dojo

in Tokyo


   Akiyama Yoshinryu Linage         

1. Akiyama Shirobei Yoshimasa (ca.1620-1680), Nagasaki

2. Oe Senbei Yoshitoki (Hirotomi) (ca.1650-1710)

- Yoshin-ryu Shizuma-no-Maki, moved to Osaka and opened a dojo

4. Yamamoto Minzaemon Hidehaya (ca.1720-1785) – Osaka, Shin no Shindo-ryu

7. Honma Jouemon Masatou (1755?-1815)

8. Iso Matauemon Masatari (1769-1862) – Tenjin Shinyo-ryu, Tokyo Kanda Otamagaike dojo

10. Iso Matauemon Masatoshi (1819-1881) – instructor at Kobusho


                                 1. Matsuoka Katsunosuke (1836-1898)   

                                         the founder of Shindo Yoshinryu

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Ueno Honbu dojo Lineage

2. Inose Motokichi (1852-1921)

3. Matsuoka Tatsuo (1892-1989)


Nakayama Tatsusaburo (1870-1945)

Ohtsuka Hironori (1892-1982)

(Wadoryu karate)

Fujiwara Ryozo (1925-) 

(Shindo Yoshinryu Domonkai)  


Asakusa Branch dojo Lineage   

Obata Shigeta (1863-1945)

(Shindo Yoshinryu Asakusa dojo)

Takamura Yukiyoshi (1928-2000)

(Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshinryu)

Toby Threadgill ( 1959 - )

(Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshinryu)


Unfortunately I cannot find any materials in Shindo Yoshiryu except the names of techniques. The terminology in Shindo Yoshinryu is quite identical with that in Tenjin Shinyoryu, which is quite natural when you look at the historical background. Today Tenjin Shinyoryu group is quite active and annually demonstrating at Budokan, which I can see in video. A book about Tenjin Shinyoryu was published in 1893. Below, I can present pictures from this book. I hope that in this way we can identify some Yoshinryu techniques in Wadoryu karate. We can say that Kihon Kumite No.5 and No.10, Tantodori and Idori (defense in sitting position) are derived from Shindo Yoshinryu jujutsu.

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Kinukatsugi (carrying the cloth) in Tenjin Shinyoryu jujutsu Shodan Tachiai is identical with the throw in Wadoryu's Kihon Kumite No.10.

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Hikitate (drawing up) in Tenjin Shinyoryu jujutsu Shodan Tachiai, this technique is applied in Wadoryus Tantodori, Hikitatedori

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3) Tsukikake of Tenjin Shinyoryu jujutsu Shodan Tachiai, 
1) when your opponent attack you with his right fist, you avoid this with your left arm.... 
2) holding the opponents right hand you execute your right Maegeri 
3) you continue with your throw (Kotegaeshi)  
The same technique can be seen in Wadoryu Tantodori, Kotenagedori

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Zudori of Tenjin Shinyoryu jujutsu Chudan Tachiai
This technique is applied in Wadoryu Tantodori, Zudori

Punch and kicks are included in any jujutsu school, but it seems like these are used more in Yoshiryu-stream. In my impression the techniques that are used in Kihon Kumite such as escaping (Nogare), avoiding (Sabaki), floating (Nori) and sweeping away (Nagashi) are often used in kenjutsu. Personally I trained Shindo Musoryu Jodo, I have found many similar principles there that are used in Wadoryu karate. My guess is that this is because Nakayama Tatsusaburo was a kendo instructor who trained Jikishin Kageryu and Onoha Ittoryu kenjutsu. A monument is raised for the memory of Nakayama in Shimotsuma. It mentions mainly about his kendo. It is difficult to find out how much jujutsu Nakayama had trained.

The founder of Shindo Yoshinryu jujutsu Matsuoka Katsunosuke (1836-1898) had a Honbu dojo in Ueno (some 50 km north of Tokyo) and a branch dojo in Asakusa, Tokyo, where Obata Shigeta gained Menkyo Kaiden (full license) and started his Shindo Yoshinryu dojo there. Takamura Yukiyoshi was his grandson and the teacher to Toby Threadgill. Today Toby Threadgill (1859-), Menkyo Kaiden (full license) in Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshinryu jujutsu is actively teaching throughout the world while the Honbu dojo linage seems to be quite iactive. Personally I was looking for an opportunity to practise Shindo Yoshinryu jujutsu in 1970's in Japan, but I could not find any opportunity then.

Year 2000 I was introduced to Toby Threadgill by Takamura Yukiyoshi, since then Toby Has been kind enough to show his execellent Shindo Yoshinryu techniques. 

Shingo Ohgami

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