Representative Shihan

Representative Shihan

Tennen Rishin Ryu Shihan Kato Kyoji

Tennen Rishin Ryū Bujutsu Hozonkai Representative Shihan – Katō Kyōji

My name is Katō Kyōji and I am a disciple of Hirai Taisuke, the 9th generation headmaster of Tennen Rishin Ryū Monjinkai. For years, I have performed in multiple enbu: this includes ones held at the Nihon Budōkan and at Kashima Shrine. Prior to departing, Hirai Taisuke licensed me as teacher at our school.

tennen rishin ryu menkyo
Katō Kyōji’s Menkyo, issued by Hirai Taisuke Sensei

I am extremely pleased to say that, with the collaboration and support of many, I have established the Tennen Rishin Ryū Bujutsu Hozonkai. Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude here.

Contained within the scope of this association is the ability to continue the tradition of the Hatsuunkan: the Kondō dōjō of Tennen Rishin Ryū during the Meiji, Taishō, and Shōwa periods. In particular, my mission is to convey the gekiken (shinaigeiko) of our tradition that was practiced until the start of World War II.

The essence of Tennen Rishin Ryū training is called shinai kenjutsu. It is different from modern Kendō in the fact that for every technique of our curriculum we aim to defeat an opponent.

As perfectly stated on our scrolls, practitioners will practice shinaigeiko and all of its applications (kumiuchi, nagewaza, atemi, katamewaza) since the Kirigami (the first level of progression).

For many years, it has been said that Kondō Yūgorō (founder of the Hatsuunkan) was only taught shinai kendo; and is said to have never learned kata. Such a statement is historically incorrect since the essence of every Tennen Rishin Ryū kata is included in the shinaigeiko. On the contrary, a Tennen Rishin Ryū teacher who was not teaching shinaigeiko has never existed. For this reason, the school was also represented at the Kōbusho by Onoda Tōichi, where training with a bōgu and shinai was the only approved practice.

Tennen Rishin Ryu dojo Hatsuunkan
Kondō Yūgorō Sensei and his students in front of the Hatsuunkan dōjō

In the Bujutsu Hozonkai the training is performed exactly in the same way it used to be in the past. Because of this, we are always looking forward to advancing in our path as martial arts practitioners by meeting people from other schools. We invite everyone to bring a bōgu when visiting our dōjō. We hope to train further in order to build long lasting relationships between schools.