Aiki Budokai  of Boston
Aoi Koyamakan Dojo
Wes Tasker, Sensei, throws Alex F. in Tai Otoshi (body drop)

About the Art We Practice

What is Tenshin Shintai Ryu?

    Tenshin Shintai Ryu Heiho (literally- heaven-inspired divine-body flow/school [of] strategy) or Shintai, for short, is a comprehensive martial art system practiced by the Koyama/Yonezawa/Nakayama
family of police in Hiroshima, Japan in the 1800 and early 1900's and brought to the US in 1980.

    Students of Shintai are exposed to taijutsu (body ['unarmed'] skills), buki (weapons) and kenkojutsu (health restoration) all based on a very small number of 'Kihon' (literally, tree roots; basics or fundamentals) that pervade the entire art.
Both ranking and transmission of material centers on the three densho (scrolls):  Shoden (new/first), Chuden (middle), and Okuden (esoteric/secret).  At each stage, the kihon provide a critical means of evaluating progress and of improving connection and timing.  Rather than a random collection of techniques, each densho is designed to impart both physical skills and an underlying Heiho (strategy).
The Shoden Mokuroku (catalogue
of techniques) of Shintai comprises: 
  • Taijutsu-  taiso [no] undo/tandoku renshu (body conditioning), power generation, atemi (striking), ukemi (receiving body, rolling/falling/etc.), tori waza (taking techniques), kihon and (36 core, two-person) kata, with henka (variations)
  • Buki-ho- tandoku renshu, sotai renshu (two-person conditioning drills), kumikata (forms) and oyo (applications) for a number of tools (yari, naginata, [rokushaku]bo, nodachi, jo,ken/batto, ryoto, hanbo, kodachi, tanjo, yubibo, tanto, and bo-shuriken) usually, in sets of 5
  • Kenkojutsu- a range of theory and manual therapeutics (hijoji tetsuda, honesei, amma and kampo).
    After Shoden, once one has developed a functional (if unrefined) basis of striking, grappling, use of bladed and impact weapons and intrinsic body mechanics (power generation and weight [dis]placement) and proprioception (personal spatial and awareness of connection, timing and distancing), Chuden Mokuroku moves on to yoroikumiuchi/yoroinage (armored grappling/armor throwing), adds tetsubo, jutte and a variety of flexible weapons (chigiriki, kusarifundo, kusarigama and torinawa), while expanding on taijutsu and kenjutsu.

    Though very much its own art, Shintai does preserve a limited number of basic kata from the three Ryu (schools/styles)
that influenced the system most heavily.

Visitors are welcome, by appointment, as are beginners and guests.  To schedule an interview, please E-mail or call us 617.501.3446.

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