About Yagyu Shingan Ryu

‘From the start it must be noted that Sensei Court has never officially studied Yagyu Shingan Ryu, nor is he graded in it. His Kempo Ju-Jitsu training has come from Shihan Dave Vincent (who studied Yagyu Shingan Ryu in Japan) and Shihan Dave Court (a direct student of Shihan Vincent). Sensei Court holds the rank of Yondan in Kempo Ju-Jitsu, and was graded to Nidan in International Kempo Ju-Jitsu by Shihan Vincent. This page is merely for historical information purposes, so that students can appreciate where Kempo Ju-Jitsu came from – as without Yagyu Shingan Ryu (and Yagyu Shinkage Ryu) there may not have been a Kempo Kan Ju-Jitsu.’

Sensei Dave Court 14-05-2013.

 

The core Kempo Ju-Jitsu system that makes up the majority of the Kempo Kan Ju-Jitsu system is based on Yagyu Shingan-ryu, a combat system originally developed in Feudal Japan for use on the battlefield. Originally called simply Shingan-ryu, the system was later renamed Yagyu Shingan-ryu, due to the influence the Yagyu Shinkage-ryu system had upon its development. Yagyu Shingan-ryu was created to be a battlefield system with a large comprehensive curriculum of weapons, and grappling techniques for use by warriors against an opponent who was either armoured or un-armoured. The techniques were designed to eliminate your opponent as quickly and effortlessly as possible. In the early days, both the Yagyu Shingan and Yagyu Shinkage schools were similar, both consisted of an array of armed and unarmed combat techniques, but as the two schools evolved, the Yagyu Shinkage-ryu system began to primarily focus on the Kenjutsu aspect of its training, whilst Yagyu Shingan-ryu continued as a more comprehensive combat system.

                Yagyu Shingan-ryu was founded by Takenaga Hayato Kanetsugu (Jikinyu), after many years spent studying systems such as Shindo-ryu, Shinkage-ryu, Shuza-ryu, and Toda-ryu. At a later date he was employed by the Yagyu clan and studied Edo line Yagyu Shinkage-ryu under Yagyu Munenori. Takenaga’s Shingan-ryu system was changed to Yagyu Shingan-ryu after he was directed to use the "Yagyu" family name in the title of his own system by Yagyu Munenori.

There are two main lines of Yagyu Shingan-ryu, and a few off-shoot lineages:

 The Yagyu Shingan Ryu Heihojitsu (Sendai -line) known for its armored routines and hard, thrashing strikes and pressure point attacks.

Yagyu Shingan-ryu Taijitsu (Edo-line) whose armored battlefield tactics naturally evolved into more practical self-defence methods relevant to the locale and social climate.

The aggressiveness of the style remained the same. Some of the trade-mark maneuvers include pole-driving (dropping an opponent on his head), back breaking, and neck snapping. Unlike modern Japanese budo, which was created for the masses and is largely sport oriented, kobudo (“ko” being short for koryu, meaning traditional or old) was designed for the warrior, whose sole purpose was to kill or be killed. Thus any off-shoot Kempo Ju-Jitsu systems (based on the Yagyu Shingan-ryu lineage) are combat based systems of Martial Art developed for use on the battlefield.

Many of Japan’s modern budo have their roots in the Yagyu schools of combat. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, was a student of Yagyu Shingan-ryu, receiving Shoden from a Shihan of the Edo-line of Yagyu Shingan-ryu.