In addition, all official country branches keep close ties with their Japanese heritage so there are numerous opportunities each year to receive direct instruction from Soke, both in Europe and Japan.
Who is it for?
With an emphasis placed on technique over strength or fitness, anyone is able to practice Hontai Yoshin Ryu, regardless of age or build. Prior martial arts experience may be beneficial but it is certainly not necessary; everyone must begin their journey somewhere!
We welcome all students of good character who wish to learn in the true spirit of Budo.
What can I expect?
To begin with, classes will focus on basic (kihon, 基本), body movements (taisabaki, 体さばき), strikes (atemi, 当身) and break-falls (ukemi, 受け身). Structured jujutsu kata forms follow, before moving on to more advanced weapons kata and real-life applications.
How does it differ from other martial arts?
Rather than meeting head-on with physical strength, jujutsu blends with and redirects an incoming attack with minimal force. You will be using your opponent’s own strength against them. Achieving this harmony of movement requires skill in observation, timing and control over fear.
In modern Japanese styles such as karate and judo (and even modern jujutsu), a number of techniques have been altered or even removed completely from the syllabus to make them safer in a competitive sports environment. These styles can still be very effective but the mindset and focus may be quite different.
Since Hontai Yoshin Ryu is not a sport, but true kobudo, it retains many potentially dangerous methods. Thus, a careful approach must be taken, only building complexity once sufficient experience and competence has been achieved. You will not find self-defence style “quick and easy” moves here, but the subtlety and depth of knowledge available is enough to last a lifetime of study.
Hontai Yoshin Ryu seeks to preserve the complete teachings of the past grandmasters who have each, in turn, refined the style for almost 400 years.
How do I start?
You are welcome to attend any of our classes, even if you just wish to sit at the side and watch. Or, if you bring some loose clothing like a t-shirt and track pants, you can join in straight away. Your first session is free!
More information on times and locations can be found in the drop-down menu above.
I have another question…
Common questions are answered in the FAQ found on the contact page.