Kawabata Terutaka

Yahagi Kunikazu

Many of the kata of Ryushin Shouchi Ryu are based on the techniques of Tenshinsho Jigen-ryu.  Tenshinsho Jigen-ryu is a school of ancient martial arts centered on Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu and was founded by Tose (Kose) Yosazaemon Osamune (later Seotguchi Bizen no Kami Masato) in the 5th year of Eisho (1508), during the Muromachi period.

According to tradition within the school, the existence of Tenshinsho Jigen-ryu was kept secret, and its existence was confirmed nearly 400 years later, during the Meiji period.  After the Meiji Restoration, Tenshinsho Jigen-ryu, which had been passed down in secret since its founding, was inherited by the 27th headmaster Ueno Genshin family and opened its doors to the public.

In 1964, the Sogo Martial Arts Shobukan was opened in Asakusa, Tokyo.  Ueno Genshin Soke taught Tenshinsho Jigen-ryu to his students (including our founder, Kawabata Shihan) until 1968.  After the death of Ueno Genshin Soke, Terutaka Kawabata continued his training in swordmanship and established the Seiseikan in Akabane, Tokyo.  In 2006, he founded Ryushin Jigen Ryu.  In 2008, Mr. Katawaba’s best student, Mr. Kunikazu Yahagi, became the second headmaster (soke) of Ryushin Jigen Ryu.

In 2011, to clarify the purpose of the school in cultivating the mind and conditioning the body through rigorous training, the original name of the school, Ryushin Jigen Ryu, was changed to Ryushin Shouchi Ryu. The name Ryushin Shouchi Ryu was selected by the founder, Kawabata Terutaka. Ryūshin (柳心) means “Mind or Heart of the Willow tree” and invokes the image of a tree which does not lose its leaves even in winter; while Shouchi (照智) can be translated as “shining wisdom”. Together, these characters convey the sense of “establishing in the world an unmovable wisdom and everyday mind by means of a strong yet flexible body and spirit.”

Today, the Ryushin Shouchi Ryu is practiced across the globe with several schools in the United States, Europe and Japan. Every year, Yahagi makes official trips to conduct training courses abroad, where he receives the warm support of his overseas students. The Ryushin Shouchi Ryu also takes part in the Annual Kobudo Dedication Demonstrations (Kobudo Hono Embu Taikai) at Katori Shrine every year; an event that has been taking place for over 25 years.